You Should Be Watching AMC’s The Terror

Meet your latest obsession: the historical fiction book turned AMC show, The Terror

Three episodes in, this show floats between historical drama and horror. With a stellar cast that includes the likes of Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies, and Ciarán Hinds, this show captures the frozen terror of early British Naval ships on the journey to discover the Northern Passage. On two ships, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror (for which the show is named), nearly 200 men face the dangers of exploration.

What is sold as historical fiction, taking the very real story of the two ships, the show considers the potentially supernatural as well as the almost rational bear that hunts them. And although the bear may seem like their most pressing concern, what the show continues to demonstrate is that perhaps the thing to fear is each other, what will men do to survive?

The sweeping sound stages of snow, ice, rock, and ships manage to capture what one can only imagine the frozen arctic must look like. And somehow, with the crunch of snow beneath their boots, as a viewer you may feel the chill of ice – or fear – at the nape of your neck. 

Do be warned, however, this show is graphic. With a grotesque violence befitting of a show called The Terror, it is certainly not for all viewers. And also know that you will grow attached to some of these characters even knowing that in the real history none of these men made it out alive.

Every death hits you, whether it is shown or the death is unknown. These men make you care, (particularly Jared Harris with his portrayal of Captain Francis Crozier), and also deal with the inherent dangers of Britain’s (and most of white history’s) focus on the “savages” of the world. With a perhaps not all too surprising twist, civilization may just be where the danger and savagery truly lies. 

This show will draw you in, having you eagerly awaiting the next week’s episode. And luckily for you, it’s only a few episodes in, so you can easily catch up on AMC’s website before this upcoming Monday. 

Hopefully you have your sea legs!