- AMC’s “The Terror” is an amazing limited series starring some familiar faces from “Game of Thrones” and “Mad Men.”
- It premiered to high critical acclaim in March, but earned zero Emmy nominations.
- Its lack of nominations is a disgrace, and the biggest snub of the year.
- The historical-fiction series is a sci-fi horror twist on the stories of real people who went on an expedition to the Arctic and never returned.
AMC’s historical-fiction series “The Terror” is the best new TV show of the year so far, and critics loved it when it premiered in March. But in an upsetting twist, “The Terror,” which should have dominated all of the limited series categories at the 2018 Emmys, isn’t even nominated for one.
Set in the Canadian Arctic, “The Terror” follows a British expedition stuck in ice, haunted by a horrifying creature. The show is terrifying and impeccably made — from the sets to the costumes to the performances. It is truly unlike anything else on television no, or ever before.
The first season of “The Terror” stars some of your favorite British actors, including a few from “Game of Thrones” like Ciaran Hinds (Mance Rayder), Tobias Menzies (Edmure Tully), and Clive Russell (The Blackfish). Jared Harris, who played Lane Pryce on AMC’s “Mad Men,” is the star, and deserved a nomination for best actor in a limited series.
The series, which premiered on March 26, is based on the 2007 Dan Simmons novel of the same name; both are fictionalized accounts of Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition. In May, when the finale aired, Business Insider spoke with David Kajganich, the creator of the series, who said that the show had been in the works for a decade.
The story, however, dates back to the late 1800s.
In 1845, Franklin (Hinds on the show) led the HMS Terror and the HMS Erebus on an Arctic expedition to explore the Northwest Passage. After a few men died, both ships got stuck in ice, and not one person out of 129 ever returned. The remains of the ships were found recently: the Terror in 2016 and the Erebus in 2014. There has always been a lot of speculation about what happened to the lost explorers, and “The Terror” imagines they were hunted by a supernatural being.
“The Terror,” which manages to look horrifying and gorgeous at the same time, was (amazingly) not shot outside, though most of the series is set in the open Arctic. What you mostly see are stunning visual effects.
The AMC anthology series was so successful that the network picked it up for another season in June, with new writers and a new cast. Season two will be a completely new story that’s set at a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Similarly to season one, it will depict a dark and disturbing real-life event with an out-of-reality horror elements.
Here are some of the best things critics said about “The Terror” that will hopefully get you to stop everything you are doing and watch it — and then complain about how it didn’t get nominated for any Emmys.
“A lavish event series that could be called ‘Master and Commander’ Meets ‘The Thing.’ It’s not quite as exciting as that pitch makes it sound, but it is a show that builds up steam around the fourth episode.”
— Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
“As the title suggests, ‘The Terror’ is interested in fear itself, how it transforms us, how it turns us cruel and savage … It conjures a piercing dread, both familiar and inconceivable; a portrait of man and nature at their cruelest and coldest.”
— Haleigh Foutch, Collider
“‘The Terror’ can be scary, but it’s real achievement is climatological. The freeze is tangible. When you watch it, wear a sweater.”
— Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly
“‘The Terror’ isn’t trying to impress its prestigeness upon you by making everything as nasty and extreme as possible. These may be humans under almost unimaginable pressure, but they’re still recognizably human.”
— Sean T. Collins, The AV Club
“Nerve-racking suspense, a deceptively gorgeous landscape and the deeply developed characters lend a rich, big-screen quality to ‘The Terror’s’ hourlong episodes.”
— Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times
“This grueling but rewarding 10-part series from Ridley Scott’s company is like a Masterpiece version of a classic horror movie: literate and philosophical, yet shocking and terrifically scary.”
— Matt Roush, TV Insider
“David Kajganich and Soo Hugh’s 10-episode nightmare … is a work of harrowing historical fiction, one in which supernatural menace looms large over the proceedings, and yet is ultimately less threatening — or terrifying — than man himself.”
— Nick Schager, Daily Beast
“Two hours, four, even six, sure, but ten? You have to be a masochist to keep coming back. I came back.”
— Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture
“There’s an impressive confidence to the storytelling that will grab viewers with a taste for sophisticated horror.”
— David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“It’s a thriller where everything contains cruel intention — be it the wind, the ice, the water, what have you. The story leans into the superstitious nature of sea-fairing men and ramps up the fear factor with Inuit lore and shamanism.”
— Matt Fowler, IGN Movies
“A terrifying story of doomed characters will draw in viewers, but they’ll stay for the show’s cinematography.”
— Chelsea Tatham, Tampa Bay Times