AMC’s The Terror is based on Dan Simmons’ 2007 fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Fraklin’s lost expedition of HMS Erubus and HMS Terror in the Arctic in the mid-1800’s. That said, some characters mentioned only briefly in the book play major roles in the series, other characters from the book went the other route, said EP David Kajganich. Similarly, some aspects of the book were “simply un-produce-able” and got crossed off the list quickly, Kajganich added, while insisted the project is true to the tension of the characters and experience of the crew in the book.
Inspired by a true story of the Royal Navy’s harrowing voyage into uncharted territory as they attempt to discover the Northwest Passage, they fall victim, over the course of three years, to treacherous conditions, disease, impending starvation, and fear of the unknown – most especially a “mysterious threat” in the frigid darkness they believe to be stalking their ship, snatching one man at a time, leaving mangled bodies. More than 120 crew members disappeared.
Following two centuries of searching, coincidentally, the ships were discovered by arctic research groups in 2014 and 2016. The TV project’s creators said they had to adjust their work to keep pace with those developments.
Asked where they decided to shoot “what looks like the coldest place on earth without wrecking their cameras,” EP and co-showrunner Soo Hugh acknowledged it was shot on a sound stage in Budapest. Kajganich notes the arctic of 1845 does not exist anymore. Some shooting also was done off the coast of Croatia, he said.
Asked how it set the one on the set that the cast was 98% men and shooting went on for months, Kajganich insisted it was “great, like summer camp.”
The expedition drama, produced by AMC Studios in association with Scott Free, Emjag Productions and Entertainment 360, is heading around the world, via a global output deal, Amazon struck with AMC Studios. The streaming service has inked an agreement that will see it take first-run rights to in-house shows from the Breaking Bad broadcaster in 28 territories including Australia, Germany, Italy, India, and Japan.