In 1847, Captain Sir John Franklin led a Royal Navy expedition to navigate the Northwest Passage. His crew of 129 men and two ships were lost in the Arctic, leaving no survivors. For over 150 years, the final resting places of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were a mystery. The Erebus was found in 2014, and Deadline reports that the wreckage of the Terror has been located by the Arctic Research Foundation. This missing expedition is also the premise of an upcoming adaptation by AMC.
This is good news for maritime history buffs and hardcore fans of the Northwest Passage, but is probably seen as a mixed blessing by the cable network looking to spin a fantastical yarn about a ship that was never found. “We congratulate the Arctic Research Foundation on finding the Terror 168 years later,” said AMC president of original programming Joel Stillerman. “Apparently they’ve never heard of a spoiler alert.”
Based on a 2007 supernatural novel by Dan Simmons, The Terror chronicles a tormented crew who find their ships stalked by a mysterious, unstoppable creature resembling a polar bear which will not rest until they all succumb to its predatory bloodlust. While Simmons’ novel focuses on the cursed voyage, AMC has the series planned as an anthology, which allows the network to tell the full tale in a single season, and then tell another story if ratings advise it.
While a recovered vessel doesn’t have the same cachet as one that vanished forever without a trace, the Terror’s discovery does provide AMC (and the Arctic Research Foundation) with some free publicity. Tobias Menzies (Outlander) has been cast as an unspecified lead in the 10-episode season, which is being prepped to air in 2017.