|Based on||The Terror|
by Dan Simmons (s. 1)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||20 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||40–56 minutes|
|Original release||March 25, 2018 –|
October 14, 2019
The Terror is an American supernatural horror drama anthology television series developed for AMC. The series is named after Dan Simmons's 2007 novel, which serves as the basis for the first season. It premiered on March 25, 2018, with a second season, subtitled Infamy, premiering on August 12, 2019.
The first season was developed by David Kajganich and is a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin's lost expedition to the Arctic from 1845 to 1848. Kajganich and Soo Hugh serve as co-showrunners. Featured in the cast are Jared Harris as Captain Francis Crozier, Tobias Menzies as Commander James Fitzjames, Paul Ready as Dr. Harry Goodsir, and Ciarán Hinds as Franklin. The second season, which has no narrative connection to the first season, was co-created by Alexander Woo and Max Borenstein and is mostly set in an American-run Japanese internment camp during World War II. It stars Derek Mio, Kiki Sukezane, Cristina Rodlo, Shingo Usami, Naoko Mori, Miki Ishikawa, and George Takei.
The first season begins with the Royal Navy's polar explorer ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror having recently left Beechey Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, heading south toward King William Island into uncharted territory, seeking to find and confirm the existence and navigability of the fabled Northwest Passage. The ships are soon frozen and trapped in the ice, and those aboard must survive the harsh weather conditions and each other, while being stalked by an elusive menace.
The second season takes place on the west coast of the United States during World War II and centers on the Japanese folklore of bakemono, "an uncanny specter that menaces a Japanese American community from its home in Southern California to the internment camps to the war in the Pacific".
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||—||10||March 25, 2018||May 21, 2018|
|2||Infamy||10||August 12, 2019||October 14, 2019|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date [a]||U.S. viewers|
|1||1||"Go for Broke"||Edward Berger||David Kajganich||March 25, 2018[b]||3.34|
|A title card informs the viewer that Sir John Franklin's Arctic expedition was never seen again. In the opening sequence, James Ross is speaking to a Netsilik man in a tent who encountered the expedition's last survivors, under the leadership of Captain Francis Crozier, and informs Ross they were being pursued south by a creature called "Tuunbaq" and are now "dead and gone." Four years earlier, in September 1846, Captain Sir John Franklin's Royal Navy expedition aboard HMS Erebus and HMS Terror are attempting the first crossing of the Northwest Passage in the Arctic Archipelago. The expedition runs into difficulty when a collision with an iceberg damages Erebus's propeller. Francis Crozier, captain of the Terror and second-in-command of the expedition, becomes concerned about becoming stranded in the pack ice above the Arctic Circle through winter, and recommends to Franklin that they shift all men from Erebus to Terror and steam south aboard Terror to avoid becoming trapped in winter ice. Franklin overrules Crozier's concerns and presses the expedition further west in the belief that the ships can complete transit before the onset of thick ice. Before the ships can reach open water, however, they become frozen and trapped.|
|2||2||"Gore"||Edward Berger||Soo Hugh||March 26, 2018||1.39|
|In June 1847, after a winter stranded in the ice, Erebus and Terror remain stuck. Franklin sends out parties to find leads (open water passages) through the ice. The party that treks east finds nothing, but the party heading to the south travels into dangerous territory and accidentally shoots an Inuit man, mistaking him for a polar bear. During the chaos, a massive, unseen creature kills their lieutenant, Graham Gore. The surviving men from the expedition to the south return with the wounded Inuit man and his companion, an Inuit woman. The man is a powerful shaman without a tongue to speak and the woman is his daughter, and he communicates that after his death she must control the "Tuunbaq." After the Inuit man dies of his wounds, the crew apologize to the woman, whom they call "Lady Silence" because she refuses to speak to them, for killing him.|
|3||3||"The Ladder"||Sergio Mimica-Gezzan||Gina Welch||April 2, 2018||1.11|
|The crew bury the Inuit shaman in the sea through a hole in the ice, and Lady Silence sets out alone on foot to return to her people. Franklin and Crozier had once been friends, but in England Franklin had denied Crozier permission to marry his niece. They angrily debate their crews' future and disagree sharply about Crozier's suggestion that they send out a party on foot to seek help. Franklin joins a group of armed Royal Marines who have set a hunting blind for the creature, but it ambushes the group, killing a marine and Franklin, who drowns after the creature tears off his leg and tosses him into the same hole where the British had buried the shaman. Crozier later sends out a party across the ice to seek help, despite the protests of James Fitzjames (now captain of Erebus). Alone in an igloo, Lady Silence hears the creature outside and finds that it has left her a seal carcass to eat.|
|4||4||"Punished, as a Boy"||Edward Berger||David Kajganich||April 9, 2018||1.17|
|By November 1847, as the creature continues to kill members of the British expedition, the crews of Erebus and Terror begin to consider it supernatural. Opportunistic caulker's mate Cornelius Hickey leads an unauthorised expedition to abduct Lady Silence, bringing her back to the ships in the belief that she is controlling the creature. When Hickey disputes his punishment during a debriefing, Crozier orders him subject to a more severe lashing than his fellow abductors, ordering him to be "punished as a boy" (whipped across the buttocks rather than the back). An increasingly alcoholic Crozier announces to Terror's crew an opportunity to transfer to Erebus due to Terror's precarious location on a fault in the ice, and all but ten of Terror's crew depart for Erebus.|
|5||5||"First Shot a Winner, Lads"||Sergio Mimica-Gezzan||Josh Parkinson||April 16, 2018||0.91|
|The Erebus's naval surgeon's mate, Dr. Goodsir, speaks with Lady Silence in an effort to learn her language, but has little success learning about the nature of the creature. Crozier becomes temperamental as his liquor supplies run out, and sends his first lieutenant Edward Little to pilfer bottles of whiskey from the private stores of Fitzjames aboard Erebus. The creature, revealed as a polar bear-like creature with vaguely human facial features called the "Tuunbaq", attacks Terror and pursues her ice master Thomas Blanky up one of the ship's masts, mauling his leg so severely that it later requires amputation. The men manage to wound the creature with a cannon and it flees, and Lady Silence escapes during the commotion. Crozier resolves to go sober, delegating command of both ships to Fitzjames while he suffers through alcohol withdrawal.|
|6||6||"A Mercy"||Sergio Mimica-Gezzan||Vinnie Wilhelm||April 23, 2018||0.92|
|January 1848 finds the ships still trapped in the ice. Now in charge of both Terror and Erebus, Fitzjames plans to abandon the ships and lead the men back to civilization on foot. Blanky advises him to soften the blow of this news, so he organizes a carnival on the ice, reasoning that it will deplete the food and drink they will need to carry. Goodsir discerns that the poorly-soldered tins of food on the ships are giving the men lead poisoning and attempts to warn the Erebus's surgeon, Dr. Stanley, who replies he has a "plan". After weeks of withdrawal, Crozier recovers in time to visit Fitzjames's carnival, and is disturbed by the breakdown in naval discipline. Crozier announces the plan to travel south overland to Fort Resolution, but is interrupted by a mentally unhinged Dr. Stanley, who traps the men in the carnival before setting fire to himself and the tents, killing himself and many other men. The others manage to escape, but Dr. Peddie is killed in the blaze and Dr. McDonald is accidentally killed by Hickey when he cuts through the tent, leaving Goodsir as the last surviving surgeon left in the expedition.|
|7||7||"Horrible from Supper"||Tim Mielants||Andres Fischer-Centeno||April 30, 2018||0.97|
|On April 22, 1848, Crozier gives the order to abandon both ships. The men soon depart on foot, and a patrol, including Crozier, Fitzjames and Terror's Sergeant Tozer, discovers that the party Crozier had sent ahead of them was massacred only eighteen miles from the ships by the Tuunbaq. Crozier, wanting to keep morale high, chooses to keep this from the men, along with the knowledge of the lead poisoning learned from Goodsir. After the crew reach King William Land, Hickey becomes aware of the bad tins and begins plotting a mutiny along with Tozer. While hunting for game, Hickey, Lieutenant John Irving, and petty officer Thomas Farr, come across a hunting party of friendly Netsilik, who provide Irving with seal meat. Hickey then murders both Irving and Farr.|
|8||8||"Terror Camp Clear"||Tim Mielants||David Kajganich||May 7, 2018||0.86|
|Off-screen, Hickey lies to another hunting party, telling them that Irving and Farr were murdered by the Netsilik; the other party kills the Netsilik family in retaliation. After they return to camp a fog rolls in, stoking the men's paranoia about a surprise Netsilik attack. Hickey and Tozer open the camp's armoury and distribute weapons without Crozier's permission. Crozier has Goodsir conduct an autopsy on Lieutenant Irving, sees that he had recently eaten seal meat, and deduces that Hickey was responsible for the deaths and is planning a mutiny. He sentences Hickey and Tozer to hang, but the Tuunbaq, provoked by the Netsilik massacre, returns and attacks the camp. The Tuunbaq kills many men, but is wounded by a Congreve rocket fired by Fitzjames. In the chaos, Hickey and Tozer rally the mutineers, steal supplies and a sled, and disappear into the fog.|
|9||9||"The C, the C, the Open C"||Tim Mielants||Soo Hugh||May 14, 2018||0.78|
|Hickey sets up camp and murders one of his own men, William Gibson. Goodsir, abducted by Hickey's men, is forced to cut up Gibson's body so that Hickey and his men can use it for cannibalism. Crozier and his remaining men become malnourished and ill of lead poisoning, with many dying as they continue south. Fitzjames cannot bear the pain and is euthanized at his own request. Blanky's leg stump becomes gangrenous, and he volunteers to sacrifice himself by luring the Tuunbaq away from the rest of the survivors. In the process, he accidentally stumbles across the Northwest Passage just before the Tuunbaq finds and kills him. Later, Hickey's men ambush Crozier. After they kill one of his men, Crozier surrenders, instructing Little to take charge and lead the remaining crew south.|
|10||10||"We Are Gone"||Tim Mielants||David Kajganich||May 21, 2018||0.79|
|Crozier is brought to Hickey's camp and, knowing that Hickey's men will eventually eat him, Goodsir poisons himself in an attempt to poison the entire group except Crozier, who eats the unaffected soles of Goodsir′s feet. Hickey reveals that he killed the real Cornelius Hickey and has been impersonating him on the expedition in an attempt to escape England, and subsequently sabotaged the crew's efforts to return. The Tuunbaq returns, killing Tozer and most of the mutineers. Hickey cuts off his tongue in an attempt to control the creature, but it kills him before an injured Crozier manages to kill the creature, which had become weakened by the poisoned bodies. After being rescued by Lady Silence, Crozier learns that the rest of his men, including Little, have died. He adapts to the Inuit way of life. Following Inuit custom, Lady Silence, whose name is revealed to be Silna, is exiled for having "lost Tuunbaq." When members of a British search party led by Ross land two years later in September 1850, Crozier conceals himself from them and instructs the Inuit leader to tell them that everyone from the expedition is dead, that there is no Northwest Passage, and that they should not return. After eavesdropping on the conversation, Crozier departs to hunt seal.|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|11||1||"A Sparrow in a Swallow's Nest"||Josef Kubota Wladyka||Story by : Max Borenstein & Alexander Woo|
Teleplay by : Alexander Woo
|August 12, 2019||0.58|
|The residents of Terminal Island are haunted by a series of mysterious unexplained deaths. Chester, a Japanese-American man, learns that his Mexican girlfriend Luz is pregnant and contemplates his future. The men of Japanese ancestry are arrested after the news breaks that Japan has attacked Pearl Harbor.|
|12||2||"All the Demons Are Still in Hell"||Josef Kubota Wladyka||Tony Tost||August 19, 2019||0.45|
|An evacuation order is given for the residents of Terminal Island who are to be held in internment camps following the Pearl Harbor attack. Chester wants to leave with Luz but is later arrested after a local resident reports him to the FBI. Luz decides to join Chester after telling the FBI agents that she is carrying his child.|
|13||3||"Gaman"||Michael Lehmann||Shannon Goss||August 26, 2019||0.42|
|Chester and his family start to settle into life in the internment camp. Some of the residents believe that a bakemono is responsible for the events that have occurred. Furuya is arrested for assault and tells Chester that he wasn't responsible for his actions and that something had possessed him. The camp's children discover Furuya's body the next day in the nearby woods after Yuko kills him. Chester then accepts a translator job with the army and departs the camp. Concerned about the pregnancy, Luz meets with Yuko who is a posing as a midwife at the camp to assist her, but she is unaware that Yuko harbors a strong interest in Chester and their unborn child.|
|14||4||"The Weak Are Meat"||Michael Lehmann||Naomi Iizuka||September 2, 2019||0.38|
|Chester is stationed in Guadalcanal where he works with the U.S. Army. While on assignment to locate a missing sergeant, Chester uncovers a secret code on a belt of a dead Japanese soldier. Believing he may be haunted by a Yūrei, Chester takes pictures near his camp and closely examines them. Yuko possesses an MP named Nessler and forces him to jump from a watchtower, killing him. Major Bowen believes that Nessler was drunk from contraband sake and orders a crackdown in the camp. Luz is heartened by Chester's letter and thinks about what life would be like when they have a family of their own. Asako takes Luz to see Dr. Kitemura after she goes into labor, which leads Yuko to possess Nurse Hasegawa so she can assist with her birth. But after a difficult labor, the twins are stillborn.|
|15||5||"Shatter Like a Pearl"||Lily Mariye||Steven Hanna||September 9, 2019||0.36|
|The Japanese Americans are forced to undertake a humiliating exercise that divides the community. Chester comes face to face with a man who forces him to question his very nature. Luz, stricken by grief after the tragedy, is forced to make an important choice.|
|16||6||"Taizo"||Everardo Gout||Max Borenstein & Benjamin Klein||September 16, 2019||0.38|
|A story of the past provides insight into the present evil that stalks the Terminal Islanders. Chester returns home to his family, only to find that someone he was searching for is gone. Henry and Asako are faced with a difficult decision.|
|17||7||"My Perfect World"||Meera Menon||Danielle Roderick & Tony Tost||September 23, 2019||0.33|
|The Nakayamas have been torn apart, and Chester searches for the person he believes can help, even if it means taking drastic action. A tuberculosis outbreak in the community forces Amy to act, though she's caught between doing what she's told and doing what's right.|
|18||8||"My Sweet Boy"||Toa Fraser||Alessandra Dimona & Shannon Goss||September 30, 2019||0.28|
|Chester and Luz have reached a turning point in their relationship, one that causes an evil force to catch up to them. Amy must take matters into her own hands as she's tormented by a powerful nemesis. Chester meets a boy who gives him answers.|
|19||9||"Come and Get Me"||Frederick E.O. Toye||Steven Hanna & Naomi Iizuka||October 7, 2019||0.38|
|The Terminal Islanders return home to find that things have changed since they left. The Nakayamas, still tense from the pain they've inflicted on one another, must come together to battle the spirit that threatens their future.|
|20||10||"Into the Afterlife"||Frederick E.O. Toye||Alexander Woo||October 14, 2019||0.36|
|As all seems lost, Henry and Asako must look to the past to provide answers to their current turmoil. Chester and Luz grapple with their identities in hopes of saving those who are dearest to them. Amy and Yamato-san struggle to once again assimilate to American life.|
After the success of the show The Walking Dead, the American cable TV network AMC planned to create a horror TV series based on the novel The Terror. In March 2016, it was confirmed that AMC ordered 10 episodes of the show, with an expected premiere date in 2018.
David Kajganich and Soo Hugh serve as co-showrunners, while Kajganich penned the adaptation. Ridley Scott, Alexandra Milchan, Scott Lambert, David W. Zucker, and Guymon Casady are executive producers. In September 2016, it was announced that Tobias Menzies was cast as a series lead and the showrunners were seeking an Inuit woman, between the ages of 16 and 30, to play an unspecified 'major character', most likely Lady Silence.
Most of the scenes on the ice were created using CGI.
The second season, titled The Terror: Infamy, and consisting of 10 episodes, is co-created by Max Borenstein and Alexander Woo, who also serves as the showrunner.
Derek Mio plays the lead role of Chester Nakayama, a son of Japanese born immigrants who joins the army. George Takei plays Yamato-san, a former fishing captain and community elder who was imprisoned with his family in two Japanese-American internment camps during WWII. Also cast are Kiki Sukezane as Yuko, a mysterious woman from Chester's past; Shingo Usami as Henry Nakayama, Chester's father; and Naoko Mori as Asako Nakayama, Chester's mother; and Miki Ishikawa as Amy, a Nakayama family friend. Takei also serves in a consulting role to ensure the accuracy of historical events and storytelling. C. Thomas Howell was cast as Retired Major Hallowell Bowen, an official with the War Relocation Authority whose "presence looms over the Japanese-American characters in the story."
Josef Kubota Wladyka directed the first two episodes of the season. Production began on January 14, 2019, in Vancouver.
In January 2020, it was reported by Deadline Hollywood that AMC president Sarah Barnett had expressed interest in renewing The Terror for a third season and that AMC and Scott Free Productions were discussing plot ideas.
The first season premiered on AMC in the United States and Canada on March 25, 2018, and concluded on May 21, 2018. It was released worldwide on Amazon Prime Video in every other country where the service is present (except Canada, the UK and some Middle Eastern countries) starting March 26, 2018. Amazon released most of the first season ahead of its broadcast on AMC. In the United Kingdom, The Terror premiered on AMC on April 24, 2018, and BBC Two on March 3, 2021.
The first season received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a 94% "certified fresh" rating based on 69 reviews, with an average rating of 8.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "A thriller wrapped in a prestige drama package, The Terror makes for gripping, atmospheric supernatural horror." On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the season has a score of 76 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
The second season also received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a 80% "certified fresh" rating based on 45 reviews, with an average rating of 7.0/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Real-world and supernatural horrors collide in Infamy, an exceptionally well-crafted ghost story that creeps under the skin and stays there." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 75 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||First aired||Last aired||Avg. viewers
|1||Monday 9:00 pm||10||March 25, 2018||3.34||May 21, 2018||0.79||1.22||TBD||0.36|
|2||10||August 12, 2019||0.58||October 14, 2019||0.36||0.39||TBD||0.08|
|1||"Go for Broke"||March 25, 2018||1.3||3.34||0.5||1.03||1.8||4.37|
|2||"Gore"||March 26, 2018||0.4||1.39||0.3||1.12||0.7||2.51|
|3||"The Ladder"||April 2, 2018||0.3||1.11||0.3||1.07||0.6||2.18|
|4||"Punished, as a Boy"||April 9, 2018||0.3||1.17||0.3||1.04||0.6||2.22|
|5||"First Shot a Winner, Lads"||April 16, 2018||0.2||0.91||—||—||—||—|
|6||"A Mercy"||April 23, 2018||0.2||0.92||0.3||0.86||0.5||1.78|
|7||"Horrible from Supper"||April 30, 2018||0.2||0.97||—||—||—||—|
|8||"Terror Camp Clear"||May 7, 2018||0.2||0.86||0.2||0.81||0.4||1.67|
|9||"The C, the C, the Open C"||May 14, 2018||0.2||0.78||—||—||—||—|
|10||"We Are Gone"||May 21, 2018||0.2||0.79||0.2||0.75||0.4||1.54|
|1||"A Sparrow in a Swallow's Nest"||August 12, 2019||0.15||0.58||0.10||0.40||0.25||0.98|
|2||"All the Demons Are Still in Hell"||August 19, 2019||0.10||0.45||0.08||0.38||0.18||0.83|
|3||"Gaman"||August 26, 2019||0.07||0.42||0.08||0.40||0.15||0.82|
|4||"The Weak Are Meat"||September 2, 2019||0.06||0.38||0.06||0.37||0.12||0.74|
|5||"Shatter Like a Pearl"||September 9, 2019||0.08||0.36||0.07||0.31||0.15||0.67|
|6||"Taizo"||September 16, 2019||0.07||0.38||0.06||0.31||0.13||0.69|
|7||"My Perfect World"||September 23, 2019||0.07||0.33||0.07||0.31||0.14||0.64|
|8||"My Sweet Boy"||September 30, 2019||0.04||0.28||0.03||0.22||0.08||0.50|
|9||"Come and Get Me"||October 7, 2019||0.09||0.38||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|10||"Into the Afterlife"||October 14, 2019||0.09||0.36||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|2019||Satellite Awards||Best Television Series – Genre||The Terror||Won|||
|Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film||Jared Harris||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Paul Ready||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Nive Nielsen||Nominated|
|Visual Effects Society Awards||Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode||Frank Petzold, Lenka Líkařová, Viktor Muller and Pedro Sabrosa (for "Go for Broke")||Nominated|||
|2020||Satellite Awards||Best Genre Series||The Terror||Nominated|||
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Long Form – Original||Max Borenstein, Alessandra DiMona, Shannon Goss, Steven Hanna, Naomi Iizuka, Benjamin Klein, Danielle Roderick, Tony Tost and Alexander Woo||Nominated|||