News

The Terror Is Definitely Not a Bear, and 6 More Fun Facts Learned From the Stars and Trailer

Tobias Menzies and Jared Harris reveal that there's more than one horror in their new AMC series and talk Outlander and Carnival Row.

by | February 16, 2018 | Comments

AMC’s new series The Terror is about the lost British Royal Navy’s Arctic voyage in the mid-1800s chronicled in Dan Simmons’ 2007 historical novel. The novel suggests that it wasn’t just the elements that claimed the crew — the elements had help from a monster.

The trailer for AMC’s series pretty much rules out a bear. The Terror is totally not a bear. “The Terror” is also the name of the ship that got lost at sea, so it has a double meaning.


Tobias Menzies as James Fitzjames, Jared Harris as Francis Crozier - The Terror (Nadav Kander/AMC)

The TV adaptation’s stars Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones, Outlander) and Jared Harris (The Crown, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) spoke with Rotten Tomatoes recently about the series. Harris plays second in command Francis Crozier and Menzies plays officer James Fitzjames. With their insights and the new trailer, here are seven things to know before The Terror sets sail on AMC in March.


1. YOU WILL SEE THE CREATURE EVENTUALLY.

Now that they’ve ruled out bears, Menzies and Harris could speak freely about the creature. Yes, it’s a monster, but it’s scarier when you don’t see it.

“Definitely we ascribe to the adage, don’t show the monster,” Menzies said.

So, come to The Terror for the creature. Stay for the drama.

“It’s also not a creature feature either,” Harris said. “That’s not what the idea of it is. The idea is: Is there a monster and what is it? There are several monsters in the story.”

There is literally a monster, but Menzies added that there are human terrors, imagined terrors, and more.

“It’s more psychological in that way and more a meditation on The Other,” Menzies said, suggesting that there are conflicts at work more insidious than the actual creature.


2. THE BRITS SHOULD’VE LISTENED TO THE LOCALS.

You saw the Inuit woman in the trailer. That’s Lady Silence (Nive Nielsen), who comes across the British ship with her father. These officers think they’re gonna take over the Arctic. If they’d just listened to the Inuits, they might’ve had a chance.

“Part of the idea of the show is this clash of societies,” Harris said. “There’s British culture and there’s Inuit culture. We bring our arrogance with us thinking we are the masters of the world and we are sophisticated, cultured, and more evolved and advanced. And [we] fail miserably to survive in a place that they’ve survived in for thousands of years.”

What’s Inuit for “I told you so?”

“In that early Victorian period, they consider themselves morally and spiritually superior,” Menzies said. “So they encounter indigenous peoples, and they really believe that they are better. That’s one of the blindnesses that unpick us out there. There are people we encounter in that place who could’ve saved us.”


3. IT WAS ACTUALLY BLISTERINGLY HOT FOR PART OF THE FILMING.

When The Terror filmed in Budapest, the temperatures were appropriately Arctic. When they got to Croatia, that’s when the acting had to kick in.

“We had some very sweaty days on Croatian islands where the sun was beating down and we had to pretend to be freezing our asses off,” Menzies said. “They had to come in and mop us down between takes.”

The trailer shows the scene where Crozier’s spyglass sticks to his eyebrow. Harris isn’t quite sure how they did that, but he felt it.

“It didn’t rip off as much skin as it looks like there,” Harris said. “They added that, but that was one of those questions: How are you going to do that? They go, ‘Yeah, we’ve got this thing.’ What is it? ‘Yeah, we’ve got this thing.’ When you do it on the day, like, ‘Stick your eye on that.’”


4. THE BOATS CROSS WATER, EVEN WHEN IT’S FROZEN.

The trailer showed a glimpse of the crew dragging boats across the ice too. They don’t have to pull the entire Terror across the ice, but they don’t get to stop just because the water froze over.

“The crazy thing they do is they have to abandon ship and they put all of their supplies in these boats,” Harris said. “Although at that point they’re stuck in ice, they at some point expect to reach open water, and they will have to have boats to cross it. So they have to drag these boats with them and haul them up and down glaciers and everything. It was just insane what these people did.”

Dragging the boats was a last resort. They would try to blow paths through the ice if at all possible.

“They had all these techniques to try and open up channels in the ice,” Harris said. “One of them was just to put down coal dust because the sun would focus the heat onto the black coal dust. That would create enough heat to start to open up fissures in the ice. As well, they put dynamite down and then hack away with great big ice saws.”


5. THE CREW MEMBERS ARE ANOTHER TERROR.

As if creatures, ice, and conflict with the locals weren’t enough problems, the captains had to contend with their own crew. At first, corporal punishment does the trick. Crozier whips a sailor to make an example out of him. Once the crew sees a creature, will they really defer to their human captain?

“Controlling that number of men in such a small space was a huge issue,” Menzies said. “It was probably the main preoccupation of a captain.”

There are Marines on board The Terror to protect the captain. When you watch the show, pay attention to the layout of the officers’ quarters.

“The entrance to the officer’s quarters, there would be a Marine posted at the beginning of that corridor and then by the great room,” Harris noted. “There’d always be an armed guard there.”

They also made sure the armory was not accessible to crew members, lest they mutiny.

“The weapons that they had would be accessible through a trap door in the big great room near the captain’s cabin,” Harris said. “It would be locked on the other side underneath the ship. The first thing they would go for — the sailors, if they were going to mutiny — was they’d go for the arms room, the weapons room. The idea was the officers would always have a quicker route to the firearms than the sailors would have.”


6. MENZIES NEEDED A NEW SHOW AFTER OUTLANDER.Starz

Fans of Outlander were sorry to see both Black Jack Randall and Frank Randall go. If they read the books, they knew it was coming, though. So Menzies was on the lookout for a new role.

“Yes, my exit from that show was in line with what’s in the books,” Menzies said. “Obviously, I did the best part of four years on Outlander. It was a big part of my life. I consider them real family, but I was ready for new adventures. This is the show that came along next. I feel very proud of what we made, and I’m really excited to show it to people and see what people make of it.”

Actually, Menzies got a few extra episodes out of Outlander.

“There was some talk, at some point, all that stuff might’ve been at the end of the second season,” Menzies said. “They hung it over and did it the beginning of the third.”


7. HARRIS HAS ANOTHER PROJECT LINED UP: CARNIVAL ROW.

Harris already has another show lined up: Carnival Row, an original fantasy series for Amazon. Set in an alternate world with only two continents, Harris plays Absolom Breakspear.

“I’m the political head of this one city state that’s fighting for control over this new land we’ve discovered with all these riches and all these amazing, fantastical creatures on it,” Harris said. “They’re all fleeing from the war and coming over to our continent. Of course they’re taking work and jobs away from the people, so there’s this whole pressure of immigration if you like. I’m the capitalist pig basically.”

With its topical social issues, maybe Carnival Row isn’t such a fantasy — except for those mythical creatures in it.

“All fantasy is an allegory,” Harris said. “It’s set in the kind of Industrial era, Victorian era. The closest parallel you could make would be the European discovery of the New World, the Americas. Using the Native Americans to fight proxy wars between the European powers, but they’re not Native Americans. In this story, they’re fantastical creatures like centaurs and fairies and kobolds and all these different fantasy creatures.”

Carnival Row is expected to begin filming this year to premiere on Amazon in 2019.


The Terror premieres March 26 on AMC.

Tag Cloud

A24 psycho comics cancelled Sci-Fi book TCM Mudbound Cosplay casting Rock 2018 Amazon 007 Ovation Paramount Hear Us Out BBC America Trivia adaptation Comics on TV Star Wars romance festivals versus films Acorn TV Mary Poppins Returns Polls and Games dark supernatural Shudder halloween ABC Writers Guild of America Winners Film Biopics comic canceled TV shows video Lifetime Christmas movies reboot Spring TV kids Warner Bros. GIFs finale theme song Mystery award winner TIFF joker Travel Channel Epix police drama Showtime Crunchyroll YouTube cars singing competition WarnerMedia 21st Century Fox revenge Rocky Lifetime Turner werewolf tv talk Hallmark Christmas movies TV Land Sneak Peek twilight hist dceu satire Rom-Com VH1 FX transformers Fall TV TLC Fantasy Esquire 45 Music Character Guide Horror franchise ITV Tubi Video Games natural history Thanksgiving rotten movies we love Drama indie TV Ellie Kemper MSNBC Disney Television Critics Association cats USA Network Teen Musicals MCU best independent Holiday 71st Emmy Awards Ghostbusters Shondaland AMC NBC BBC Pet Sematary PlayStation Academy Awards SXSW LGBTQ Disney Plus A&E canceled zero dark thirty Opinion richard e. Grant Peacock scary movies Awards Awards Tour DC Universe directors documentaries Heroines LGBT spider-man The Walking Dead screenings facebook First Look TNT PaleyFest Freeform space IFC true crime cancelled TV series Pop MTV science fiction E3 all-time game of thrones latino dogs Hulu Paramount Network stoner CW Seed Star Trek blockbuster HBO Go Tumblr anthology 2016 Sundance Now news ratings Schedule comedies Extras Western Nat Geo child's play Emmys Pop TV HBO Grammys disaster cancelled TV shows Cannes Nickelodeon green book TCA 2017 cults Reality discovery Oscars 2020 YouTube Red christmas movies spy thriller south america Summer spain golden globes parents Mary Tyler Moore BAFTA Disney Channel Tomatazos The CW Fox News Funimation cops Starz Superheroes Tarantino The Purge Kids & Family cartoon what to watch travel elevated horror television Marathons zombie DGA Food Network binge FX on Hulu Comedy Central Apple Marvel ABC Family Hallmark 2015 cancelled television Syfy concert aliens Women's History Month The Arrangement VOD Logo indiana jones See It Skip It Best and Worst Holidays die hard RT History Comedy romantic comedy teaser social media TruTV sports spanish language Red Carpet talk show sitcom slashers National Geographic Box Office Cartoon Network Chernobyl Spectrum Originals 20th Century Fox ghosts CBS blaxploitation Animation Toys Pirates critics serial killer Year in Review children's TV Trailer period drama Apple TV Plus Marvel Television Amazon Studios renewed TV shows Sundance TV Podcast docudrama Superheroe strong female leads Adult Swim FXX YouTube Premium Christmas Avengers jamie lee curtis comiccon DC streaming service Crackle Pixar crime based on movie New York Comic Con Britbox Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Countdown Calendar RT21 doctor who medical drama HBO Max GLAAD San Diego Comic-Con TCA Winter 2020 thriller Netflix game show stand-up comedy Black History Month zombies Infographic BET Awards TV renewals breaking bad TCA Stephen King spinoff The Witch justice league Spike Disney+ Disney Plus WGN Walt Disney Pictures Song of Ice and Fire Lucasfilm Endgame Trophy Talk CNN Certified Fresh psychological thriller Comic Book Lionsgate El Rey CMT vampires E! Marvel Studios harry potter PBS biography Musical free movies robots war Family cinemax OneApp GoT Binge Guide TCA Awards anime asian-american mission: impossible crossover American Society of Cinematographers Mindy Kaling streaming Action foreign Valentine's Day VICE Sundance hispanic FOX Winter TV Brie Larson Amazon Prime Quiz Netflix Christmas movies 2017 Reality Competition 4/20 Disney streaming service animated Apple TV+ BBC One Election SundanceTV sag awards Watching Series Martial Arts quibi diversity boxoffice 24 frames composers Set visit Super Bowl crime drama Discovery Channel OWN Country Nominations Black Mirror Columbia Pictures SDCC cooking a nightmare on elm street politics movie Creative Arts Emmys DC Comics Sony Pictures Interview Universal Emmy Nominations witnail unscripted Turner Classic Movies X-Men sequel Elton John Classic Film adventure series First Reviews Dark Horse Comics Photos documentary historical drama Film Festival dragons mockumentary name the review Arrowverse APB mutant DirecTV TBS crime thriller nature screen actors guild universal monsters Captain marvel Vudu Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Baby Yoda dc dramedy Amazon Prime Video President political drama Masterpiece technology ESPN reviews movies YA batman Bravo Premiere Dates Mary poppins BET USA Television Academy History 2019 NYCC IFC Films criterion Pride Month video on demand Rocketman toy story chucky miniseries CBS All Access Anna Paquin