‘The Terror’: AMC pulls no punches with its new Britcom
AMC has had a good run of dark dramas and horrors like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, making the network a powerhouse producer of quality TV shows. More recently, the network formerly known as American Movie Classics has stretched its wings even further by airing comedic horror shows like the comic book-based Preacher and for its first season, The Terror.
Based on the novel by Dan Simmons, this laugh-out-loud British-style comedy is a refreshing change to the serious dramas we’ve seen on AMC. The show takes place in the mid-1800s and follows the antics of British explorers attempting to chart a Northern trade route to East Asia. Oh, what folly! While the pretense of the story is based on the real events of two ships that became stranded in the middle of the Arctic, the writers of this show take what could be a serious and horrifying drama and throw in some British caricatures and goofy scenarios that will leave you laughing ‘til the scurvy kicks in!
So far in the show we’ve been introduced to the zany incompetence of the Captain Crozier (played by Jared Harris) and Commander Fitzjames (played by Tobias Menzies) who decide to wait weeks before abandoning the ships to travel by foot to the nearest known port (Port Richmond, about 26 miles away). Why did they wait? Well, they were planning to wait out the cold winter weather in the hope that the ice melted in the next season before the food rations ran out.
The crew members were bummed out when they discovered the canned tins were tainted with lead poisoning and the lemon juice (their only source of vitamins) was running out. The crew is then forced to abandon the ships but not before planning a lovely masquerade party to, you know, boost morale and help them forget about the cuddly Arctic monster who’s killed and dismembered a number of men outside.
Oh, and the Eskimo woman (played by the endearing Nive Nielsen)? Apparently she and her father (who was mistakenly shot and killed by one of the Brits) are Arctic monster whisperers! Where do the writers of this show come up with this stuff? Oh yeah, probably from Dan Simmons. There are so many more larks in this sidesplitting show so far, but we really haven’t the heart to spoil it for you. You’ll have to experience the comic genius of The Terror yourself.