The Terror: cast of new BBC drama with Ciaran Hinds, what it's about - and how to watch Ridley Scott series

Inspired by true events surrounding HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, The Terror is also named after Dan Simmons’ 2007 book

Friday, 5th March 2021, 9:03 am

A new BBC drama series based on a real-life expedition to the Arctic has audiences gripped.

The Terror is named after a 2007 novel written by Dan Simmons which, like the TV series, is inspired by the Royal Navy’s lost expedition to the Arctic in 1845.

The 10-part drama follows the perilous voyage of two ships - HMS Erebus and HMS Terror - as they hope to navigate the Northwest Passage to the Pacific.

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Actor Ciarán Hinds (Game Of Thrones, Rome) plays the part of Sir John Franklin in The Terror. (Pic: Getty Images)

Neither ship or its crews were seen again.

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What’s The Terror about?

The drama series is inspired by true events and is a fictionalised account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to the Arctic between 1845-48.

Attempting to navigate the Northwest Passage, the crews encounter treacherous conditions, limited resources, and dwindling hope and fear of the unknown.

Isolated and stuck at the end of the earth, The Terror highlights all that can go wrong when a group of men, desperate to survive, struggle not only with the elements, but with each other.

And, as the true story is not known - though both wreckages have recently been discovered, its creators have plenty of room to take the drama where they want.

What’s more the series, which first aired in the US in 2018, is produced by Ridley Scott of Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator and The Martian fame.

“The Terror is an atmospheric, character-driven drama, full of menace and foreboding, which will thrill and chill BBC viewers all the way to its icy denouement,” says the BBC’s head of programme acquisitions Sue Deeks.

Who is in the cast of The Terror?

In a large cast, the series features 15 characters in all 10 episodes.

The stellar cast includes Jared Harris (The Crown, Mad Men) as Captain Francis Crozier of the HMS Terror, Tobias Menzies (Outlander, Game Of Thrones) as Commandor James Fitzjames of HMS Erebus, Ciarán Hinds (Game Of Thrones, Rome) as Sir John Franklin.

Paul Ready (Cuffs, Utopia) plays surgeon Henry Goodsir, Adam Nagaitis (Houdini And Doyle, Suffragette) as Petty Officer Cornelius Hickey, Nive Nielsen (The New World) as Lady Silence and Ian Hart (Neverland) as Mr. Thomas Blanky, Ice Master of HMS Terror.

How to watch The Terror in the UK?

The first season was initially shown on AMC in the US in March 2018 before BT TV bought the rights to air the show in the UK in the same year.

Yet it has been thrust into the spotlight after it was acquired by the BBC and shown on its terrestrial services and digital platform iPlayer.

The first two episodes of The Terror were aired on Wednesday 3 March on BBC2 and were met with glowing reviews from TV critics.

The Independent said it was “easily the most compelling new drama to reach British screens this year” and gave it five stars.

The Telegraph said it was “a chilling tale of monsters and Victorian vainglory” and gave the drama four stars out of five.

It has already scooped several award nominations in 2019 and 2020, winning Best Television Series at the Satellite Awards in 2019.