The Terror

"This place wants us dead."

AMC's The Terror (Season 1) is a ten-part horror series based on real historic events and the book by Dan Simmons of the same title. Originally airing in 2018, it is a fictional account of the tragic last expedition led by Sir John Franklin in the 1840s which resulted in the deaths of over a hundred men.

A shot looking down on two ships in water scattered with pieces of ice

Franklin’s lost expedition was a British naval voyage tasked with discovering and navigating the fabled Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic. It departed in 1845 aboard two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Their last reported sighting by Europeans occurred later that year as they were awaiting good conditions to enter the passage. After that they promptly vanished.

When two years had passed and nothing had been heard from them, the admiralty were urged to begin sending out search parties. Unfortunately, they were sent out too late and not one of the men was ever found alive. What they instead uncovered was a chilling series of events involving sickness, starvation, exposure, and cannibalism. If you want to read more about it, this article is a good starting point (Warning: article contains an image of a dead body).

Looking up at a torn flag hanging from a flag pole

The show begins in the late summer of 1846. Having overwintered on Beachy Island, the expedition enters unchartered territory as they attempt to navigate the most difficult leg of their journey. Unfortunately, the ships become frozen in the ice and their crews must fight to survive the brutal environment and the supernatural being that protects it.

I first discovered this series in the summer of 2021, and it pretty much consumed my life for the next year. What makes this show so wonderful is that at its heart it’s more than just a supernatural horror. It’s a tragedy about love and loss. It explores hubris and colonialism and the consequences of the wilful destruction of natural habitats on indigenous communities. Best of all, it’s a show that values the intelligence of its audience so much so that, even after a hundred rewatches, you’d probably still find yourself discovering something you’d never noticed before.

A group of people climbing up the side of a wall of ice


Here are a selection of quotes from the show that make me feel a little bit insane.

*This Section Contains Spoilers*
Click here if you're happy to view

Blood dripping down some blue tinted ice


A group of people holding guns running past a pool of blood in the snow

This page is still very lacking, but if you're interested in exploring a more comprehensive fansite, I can't recommend The Cold Boys Fandom Hub enough. It has everything a fan could possibly ask for, plus some more (Warning for spoilers!)