'The Terror' S1 DVD & Blu-ray: Ridley Scott AMC Series About 'The Thing' Terrorizing Real-Life Arctic Expedition
The Lionsgate August 21, 2018 separate DVD and Blu-ray releases of the current Ridley Scott produced AMC horror series "The Terror" provides a warning to anyone who thinks that is safe to go back into the Arctic. This ripped-from-the-history-books drama is based on the novel of the same name that is a fictionalized account of the real-life mid-19th century effort by Sir John Franklin to locate the Northwest Passage.
The incredible sets and beautiful on-location scenery that includes The Northern Lights make full use of Blu-ray technology. Just watching the frozen landscape in such detail during a hot and humid summer provides relief.
The title of the series and the book refers both to the name of the British naval ship that leads the two vessel expedition and to the events around which the series is centered. The film "The Thing" about a creature preying on scientists in Antarctica seems to provide most of the rest of the inspiration for the series. An interesting casting note is that Richard Harris son Jared Harris plays Captain Francis Crozier, who is the "good" captain.
This show that is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes also is notable for having debuted as the number one new cable series premiere.
"Terror" opens with a spoiler in the form of a rescue group asking natives for information about the crews of the HMS Terror and the sister ship the HMS Erebus. The spoiler part relates to the action throughout the season including folks in London with horses in the race campaigning for the rescue. The actual story is that nothing is known about the real events or even the fate of the actual Sir John Franklin and his men.
We also get other pre-expeditions flashbacks and scenes from the home front during the period that are concurrent with the primary events of the series.
Things are sailing long well when we first meet the crews; the primary exceptions are Sir John not being especially popular and the crew experiencing an unexpected medical problem.
The real trouble begins with an ill-fated decision that gets both ships solidly locked in ice. This leads to the first of many explorations of the land, which leads to the first of many encounters with the aforementioned creature. The series remains true to the tradition of quality horror in taking its own sweet time showing the actual beast. One spoiler is that he is a fan of biting off heads.
Heightened tension in the wake of the first attack leads to accidentally killing a native man in the presence of his daughter. She, in turn, becomes a person of interest. The perceived threat that she poses includes a sense that she controls the beast.
The shipboard action during this period provides the most fascinating insight; the below decks area overall seem realistic but cleaner and more roomy than the general perception of those accommodations. We further learn about the diet of the men and the potential role of their food supply regarding the mayhem in "Terror."
Although there is no hint of the men adopting an any port in a storm attitude in the complete absence of women for several years, one crew member gets a brutal literal bare-ass whipping while all look on., This brings new meaning to a variation of the expression take it like a man.
In true horror fashion, the threat and the tension among the men proportionately increase. Both lead to events that prove that desperate times lead to desperate measures. A compelling part of all this is that the challenge and the stakes are much higher than typical. This is even without an unearthly predator having a strong appetite for seafood.
Things come full circle in the season finale and offer a big surprise before adopting a cliche from another genre by having a character walking off into the sunset. This leaves the door wide open for the second season that is scheduled to run in 2019.
The Blu-ray extras include actual character studies, a look at the series itself, and a "horse's mouth" feature with Scott.