The Terror, Season One
The Terror is a fictionalized account of the real historical event known as Franklin's Lost Expedition. The expedition, a crew of 129 men split between two British Royal Navy ships, set out in 1845 to discover a new route through the Arctic for trade between England and China - a route deemed the "Northwest Passage." Over a year after the expedition initially set sail, both ships (HMS Erebus and HMS Terror) became trapped in thick ice off the northern coast of Canada. The crew, utterly isolated and unprepared, were left to fend off the unrelenting cold of the Arctic with few provisions and little real hope of rescue. With no survivors and only scant records remaining, the ensuing events have long been a mystery. The Terror, AMC's limited series based on the Dan Simmons novel of the same name, attempts to fill in our gaps in knowledge while creating its own unique layers of mystery.
Some scenes were too violent for me to stomach, but I otherwise enjoyed every aspect of the series. I especially appreciated how much research went into creating an authentic representation of the events and how well the fictionalized account lines up with the real evidence. The series is extremely well-acted and the casting impeccable. The sets feel realistic and it's easy to get an intense sense of the cold the characters must be feeling. It does a magnificent job of making you huddle down into your blankets and reach for a cup of something warm. The twists and turns make it addicting, despite the bleak plot and setting. Just when you think you've caught the thread of one mystery, another appears, or your assumptions were all wrong. Be prepared to binge this far longer than you meant to.