The four-part drama, which will air on BBC Two in the U.K. later this Fall following its American streaming premiere, is based on Ian McGuire's bestselling novel of the same name, a brutal story about the depravity of humanity set aboard a Victorian whaling ship. (If you too feel like this series seems like it could be a distant cousin of AMC's period horror drama The Terror, well. you're not alone. Watch out for Tunbaaqs, folks!)
Set in Hull, England, and on the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s, the series tells the story of Patrick Sumner (O’Connell), a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as the ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic. But the ferocity of the elements is matched by the violence of his crewmates, particularly Henry Drax (Farrell), a harpooner and distinctly brutal force of nature. As the true purpose of the expedition becomes clear, a confrontation between the two men erupts, taking them on a journey far from solid ground and way beyond the safe moorings of civilization.
The novel The North Water was published in 2016 before being long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and named a New York Times Book Review editors’ choice.
The series is created, written, and directed by Andrew Haigh, who is best known for his acclaimed indie features 45 Years and Weekend. It will debut on the cable network's AMC+ streaming service beginning on July 15 and features location work shot in the real-life Arctic. The cast and production team sailed as far as 81 degrees north to film sequences in the pack ice, the furthest point north it is believed a drama series has ever filmed before.
What do you think of The North Water? Plan to give it a look when it arrives on streaming next month? Let's discuss in the comments.