Actors from the Terror

Watch The Terror online on DStv Now.

If you've missed The Terror, don't be disheartened as you can watch it and get up to date on DStv Catch Up.

Watch new episodes of The Terror, Tuesdays at 21:00 on Sundance Dstv Channel 108. Also available on DStv Now. 

Here's a peak of what you can expect on The Terror:

Here are some interesting facts about The Terror:

The History
People were as obsessed with conquering the Northwest Passage in the 1850s as Elon Musk is with going to Mars and the explorers of that era bore the same celebrity as the astronauts and Elon Musks of our modern times do. 

They were undertaking a mammoth task; trying to find a shortcut across the Arctic, from England to the Pacific as it would take them years to go around Africa to get to India and China. Their logic with regards to the distance being less was as sound as their arrogance that they could take heavily-laden wooden ships across the more-often-than-not, frozen solid ice pack. 

If you need resons to watch it, check out the video below:

The Adventurers 

It is against this rich history of bravery, determination and hubris that we meet the three main characters of The Terror, the new and exclusive series on Sundance TV, Sir John Franklin, Captain Francis Crozier and Captain James Fitzjames, the three men in charge of navigating the Northwest Passage in two state-of-the-art steam-and-sail-combo boats called the Terror and the Erebus. They should’ve known they were in for a tough journey in ships with names like that – Erebus means; deep darkness and, in Greek mythology, is the place where the dead pass immediately after death!

None-the-less, the ideological Sir John believes that through the grace of God and buoyed by his ‘queen and country’ ideology, they will succeed. The admiralty believed this too, so much so that there were no plans laid in case of disaster or the need for rescue – what could possibly go wrong! 

Although these missions were the ‘hot news’ of the time, and despite the fact that they are steeped in drama, romance, arrogance and comeuppance, these are not stories many people are familiar with, Tobias Menzes, who plays Captain James Fitzjames, believes this is because, “the disaster of this is similar to when the Challenger exploded and the stigma of that failure is why this story is not as well-known as it maybe should be. We’ve heard about the Naval successes, the ones that we’ve won but you hear less about the failures and this is, obviously, one of the big ones.” 

The Actors 

We were fortunate enough to meet the great actors who play these three men in London. We last saw both Ciarán Hinds and Tobias Menzies in another frozen favorite, Game of Thrones, they also appeared together in Rome, while Jared Harris is, most recently, known for his roles in The Crown and megahit, Mad Men, for which he won an Emmy and SAG Award, he has also filled too many movie roles to mention, a true character actor, who has embodied John Lennon, Andi Warhol and Ulyses Grant with a rare talent for subtle accents. 

Jarred loves to recount the stat that, “there have been more successful missions to the moon than across the Northwest Passage!” but nonetheless the Terror and the Erebus set out in one of the coldest Arctic winters in history!

DStv_The Terror_Sundance

Ciarán Hinds, who plays Sir John explains that his character, “believed that he was doing the right thing but, in fact, he wasn’t “, he adds that he is a little similar to his character in that he too is quite ideological, “I live in hope of better things,“ he admits in his warm Belfast accent. Tobias Menzies, reflecting upon Captain James Fitzjames, explains that although his character seems thoroughly unlikeable and arrogant in the beginning, he is also working from the same Queen and country beliefs that Sir John is and that, “he is a product of the British arrogance to dominate the seas”, he continues, ”he believes that everything that he is born out of is right and good, and that leads you into the hubris that ultimately unpicks them”. Jared Harris, who leads the series as Captain Crozier explains that back-in-the-day, this Queen and country conceitedness lead them to, “think that they were exporting their culture for the benefit of the world and sent them crashing into a part of the world where they were essentially unwelcome“.

The Story

Crozier and Thomas Blanky, played by Ian Hart (The Last Kingdom, Boardwalk Empire, Agents of S.H.I.E.LD., Bates Motel) were by far the most experienced of the explorers. Harris explains, “they were never going to put Crozier in charge of the expedition because he wasn’t English and he’s there, really, to stop Franklin from making any big mistakes,” he continues, “Franklin believes that God smiles favorably upon all Englishman and it is the manifest destiny of every Britishman to bring their way of life everywhere.” Ciaran Hinds adds Sir John really should’ve known better and made wiser decisions, “this was his third or fourth Arctic expedition and some had been very successful but some hadn’t. In one he lost 11 of his 20 men, which is huge, and he became known as ‘the man who ate his own boot’ because they were starving. He believed he was representing The Queen and The British Nation and what could possibly go wrong?”

It is this superiority that sees them set aside Crozier’s sage advice as well as the evidence that, as Crozier warns, “this place wants us dead,” and it is then that disaster strikes, bringing with it an unseen imminent threat, that is picking off the crew one by one.

The Series

We were allowed a sneak peek at the series before meeting the cast and can report that the first couple of episodes unfold at a medium pace, as we are introduced to the characters and understand the world in which they find themselves, but as both the world they find themselves in and the unseen, ominous threat close in around them, so the pace increases and it is impossible to stop watching. We started with the first episode, thinking we’d be able to dip in and out over the days leading up to interviewing the stars, but quickly found ourselves still awake at two the next morning having binged through four episodes and hungry for more!

The Golden Age of TV

Much has been written and said about the ‘Golden Age of Television’ in which we find ourselves and this series is truly a reflection of this glorious time! Jared Harris comments that he loves it as, “for a while you didn’t get a film script with any expectation that it would surprise you. It was remakes and reboots and prequels and sequels. Television has stepped into this gap, this sort of vacuum and studios like AMC (The Terror is an AMC Original Production) are taking really big risks with narrative and risks with character.” “We are telling stories to people who have lived life so they are nuanced and complicated. It’s much more exciting to play those types of roles and tell those sorts of stories.”

This caliber of risk-taking and story-telling comes from seasoned producers of both Film and TV as Ridley Scott serves as Executive Producer alongside Dan Simmons, author of the book of the same name and showrunners Soo Hugh and David Kajganich, who spent the last decade developing The Terror for TV.

Shot on location in Budapest and Croatia on multimillion dollar replicas of the real ships, Jarred exclaims, “it’s exciting, you go onto these sets and there’s a real ship, the size of the ship, stuck in the ice, it was fantastic!”

The Terror

This is a self-contained 10-part series that truly offers something for everyone, The Terror, features the historical record of the many attempts to cross the Arctic, characters based on real people, the thrill of the ominous threat hidden in the terrifying, endless white world surrounding them, unrequited love and broken hearts left behind, Inuit mythology and culture and the absolute spectacle of vast replica sets in desolate locations. A definite must-see on Sundance TV, Channel 108. The series will also be available on DStv Catch Up, where it will build to a Box Set for the ultimate 10-episode binge (you’ve been warned, once you start, it’s impossible to stop!)