A review of The Terror – out on Blu-Ray & DVD today!

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After The Terror’s debut release in 2018 on AMC/BT and then the recent highly successful showing on the BBC, this incredible series finds its way to a Blu-Ray & DVD and digital debut on 26 April 2021 courtesy of those lovely people at Acorn Media International.

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Now, because I’m something of a miser, I had to miss out on the initial AMC/BT release in 2018 and so had to wait like a good little boy until the Beeb finally got its hands on the 10 episode series – and I kid ye not, it was worth the wait….. as the viewing figures & critical acclaim will also testify!
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EXEC-PRODUCED BY Ridley Scott, horror-period-drama The Terror features a fantastic line-up of British acting greats including BAFTA winner Jared Harris (Chernobyl, Mad Men) and Golden Globe nominee Tobias Menzies (The Crown, Game of Thrones), as the crew of a real life Royal Naval expedition in 1847 that ventures deep into the Arctic.

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SYNOPSIS

1847, the crew of a real life Royal Naval expedition led by three captains, Sir John Franklin (Ciaran Hinds – Game of Thrones, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Francis Crozier (Harris) and James Fitzjames (Menzies), is sent to find the Arctic’s fabled treacherous Northwest Passage, but instead discovers a monstrous polar bear-like predator, a cunning and vicious Gothic horror that stalks the ships in a desperate game of survival.

However, it soon becomes clear that that’s just the beginning of their troubles. As things worsen and civilised behaviour disintegrates in favour of survival at any cost, the crew must simultaneously battle the elements, the supernatural and eventually – themselves. The captains make contact with a mute Inuit woman, Lady Silence (Nive Nielsen – The New World, Togo), who lives as an outcast from her tribe but still follows their old religion…can they trust her to help them, or will she only add to The Terror?

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The Terror is a gripping study of a set of men who find themselves completely ill-prepared for not only the freezing desolation of the Arctic, but also the inability to understand both potential allies and enemies – in particular, the enemy who wants to rip each and every one of them to pieces. It is the attention to character study that sets this apart as a the immersive (and potentially binging) experience that it is. Perhaps the core relationship is that of the three captains who provide the bedrock of the first section of the story, particularly Franklin and Crozier’s relationship, which with the benefit of ever-clear pre-expedition flashbacks, show the strains of relationship and trust well before the voyage begins. Franklin, the bombastic showman more at home in making the safe and popular decisions is the perfect opposite of Croziers alcohol tinged professionalism and pragmatism.

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Ciarán Hinds as John Franklin, Tobias Menzies as James Fitzjames, Jared Harris as Francis Crozier – The Terror _ Season 1, Gallery – Photo Credit: Nadav Kander/AMC

However, it’s not just the performances of the three leads that catch the eye, but the attention to character detail of many of the crew are nuanced in such a way that often a lesser referenced crew member often steals the scene. One notable scene stealer is caulker’s mate Cornelius Hickey (Adam Nagaitis), a Barack room lawyer, plotter, trickster, seducer and opportunist all rolled into one – this one is a masterful performance.

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But it’s the terror, the terror I tell ya – because once the real problems start with the arrival of a mysterious beast then that’s when the real fun begins…..So what more can I say? Superbly acted, wonderfully shot, deliciously claustrophobic , acutely atmospheric – well the only thing I can add is that the good people involved in these things have sent me a lovely Blu-Ray that will soon be offered up as a 5D competition prize – so keep your eyes peeled!

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Ciarán Hinds as John Franklin – The Terror _ Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Screengrab/AMC

Special features include:
• Ridley Scott on The Terror • A Look at the characters • The Boat and Visual Effects
Plus additional feature on the Blu-ray edition:
• Behind the Scenes Featurettes – Inside the Episodes

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