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amc's The Terror (1 Viewer)

Tommy R

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This premiered on Sunday hilariously posing as the second half of a two hour Walking Dead episode. It re-aired along with the second episode on Monday which will be it's regular night. I read the Dan Simmons book years ago and it got me hooked on the real life story of this British expedition that was trying to find the northwest passage. There are quite a few interesting books written theorizing possibilities. It's quite a mysterious episode of history as both ships and all 129 men vanished. It wasn't until 2014 and 2016 that the ships were finally found.

As for the show I'm loving it so far. Like the book it does a great job at speculating "what ifs" as well as adding a fun touch of supernatural horror. I'm greatly looking forward to more.
 

Hollywoodaholic

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I'm digging this show. Such a different vibe and scenario than most stuff on television.

I had already read books about these lost expeditions, and while I love the supernatural element they are obviously going to go with on this version, the real reasons why everyone went crazy and disappeared (at least according to the research I read) is much more interesting.

This was 1847 and canning goods for long term storage was still in its infancy. They used LEAD. The lead leeched into the food through the cans in storage in the ships over time and the crews of the ships all got severe lead poisoning and went crazy: lost expeditions wandering around in circles or getting lost; battles among each other; death from the lead. It's really a fascinating explanation.

If I were writing this series, I would still go with that explanation, and the way I would incorporate the supernatural 'terror' element is as a form of mass hysteria. Once one crew member hallucinates a monster and plants that seed, all the other crew start to see the same things. That would be cool.

But I'm still digging the vibe and look of this show (plus a great cast) much more than the show it was piggybacked on to get us watching the first episode.
 

Johnny Angell

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I’ve watched the first hour. As the years have passed, I find I have a harder time watch programs that are bleak. The Terror jumps right into bleak city. In minutes the expedition is already in northern and very cold waters. It’s just bleak, bleak, bleak.

It is done very well. Gotta try the new hour soon. Don’t know whether I’ll stick with it.
 

Malcolm R

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The book was a tedious slog. Not sure if I want to invest in the series though I did DVR the first episode.
 

Hollywoodaholic

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I’ve watched the first hour. As the years have passed, I find I have a harder time watch programs that are bleak. The Terror jumps right into bleak city. In minutes the expedition is already in northern and very cold waters. It’s just bleak, bleak, bleak.

It is done very well. Gotta try the new hour soon. Don’t know whether I’ll stick with it.

I don't know if I'd describe it as 'bleak.' Would you describe The Thing as bleak? It's more a creeping slow burn horror story basically. So that's either your lead can of beans or not. I reserve the term 'bleak' for something more downbeat about humanity in general, not a particular incident with a particular expedition. For these men stuck in the ice, their prospects may be 'bleak,' but it's an extraordinary circumstance that viewers would never experience personally.

As for understanding the language when dealing with thick English, Irish or Scottish dialects, I find it helpful to just tune your ear to the rhythm of how they speak. Don't struggle to understand every word, just sort of tune your ear to the pattern of how they speak and you will eventually find yourself understanding every single word as they become part of your internal dialect dictionary.

I remember there was a Guy Ritchie film where the accents were so thick they had to put subtitles for the American audiences. Again, if you just go with the flow, not worry about catching every word at first, you will develop the ability to get into the rhythm and understand everything.

Think of all the British actors that can effortlessly recreate not only an American accent, but a particular regional American accent. They've tuned their ears to that. American actors get very lazy about doing that themselves, and rarely pull off good English accents or dialects (I'm looking at you Kevin Costner for Robin Hood!). It takes some effort and discipline, but that's what dedicated British actors do.

I write dialogue for a living, so I've got my ear tuned to it no matter where I'm at - at the airport, or walking into a bar, but I ultimately learned it was not a hard thing to just not fight the struggle to understand a thick dialect, but surrender yourself to listening to it without expectations, and sooner rather than later, you are totally into that pattern of speech and getting it all.
 

Johnny Angell

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I don't know if I'd describe it as 'bleak.' Would you describe The Thing as bleak? It's more a creeping slow burn horror story basically. So that's either your lead can of beans or not. I reserve the term 'bleak' for something more downbeat about humanity in general, not a particular incident with a particular expedition. For these men stuck in the ice, their prospects may be 'bleak,' but it's an extraordinary circumstance that viewers would never experience personally.
No, I wouldn’t describe Carpenter’s Thing as bleak. The men in that movie are not living substandard lives. They’ve got warmth and a good diet and good medical care. Of course things go south for them. In The Terror, the peons are eating what appears to be a sub-standard diet, they are becoming ill because of it, and the medical care (maybe it’s modern for then) sucks. The Terror is drained of color, The Thing looks like 7 Wives for 7 Brothers in comparison.

Having said that, I watched the last half of the first episode and was surprised when in ended. It just seemed to fly by, meaning I enjoyed it.

Question: when they are looking for “leads” does that mean free flowing ice, open water of some sort?
 

gadgtfreek

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Just watched the first hour, I enjoyed it and look forward to more. Nice slow burn
 

Tommy R

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I'm guessing "leads" has more to do with where there is land and where there is water regardless of season ice breakage. Their mission other than finding the nw passage is also general discovery and mapping that part of the world. There was only so much of the arctic that was mapped at this point in time, so they were always on the look out for opportunities to fill in blank spots on their maps.
 

Johnny Angell

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I'm guessing "leads" has more to do with where there is land and where there is water regardless of season ice breakage. Their mission other than finding the nw passage is also general discovery and mapping that part of the world. There was only so much of the arctic that was mapped at this point in time, so they were always on the look out for opportunities to fill in blank spots on their maps.
At least I’m not the only one unsure of what “leads” are. :)
 

Stan

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Wish i could understand what they are saying.

Oddly I've complained about Jonny Miller's speaking in "Elementary", yet have no problem with this. Totally understandable. :) I'm liking it so far, it's a nice change from the average medical show or rom/com on TV so constantly. There are a few good ones, really enjoying "The Resident", but most are pretty bad.

Probably have to go on-line for older episodes, but AMC repeats the current one about 15 times a week.
 

Johnny Angell

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Oddly I've complained about Jonny Miller's speaking in "Elementary", yet have no problem with this. Totally understandable. :)
The english do enunciate, if the accents aren't too extreme. Remember, subtitles are your friend.

I am now hooked on this show.
 

Malcolm R

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Yeah, I had no issues with understanding the dialogue. Though I have watched years of BBC shows and British period piece films, so maybe I'm just accustomed to the accents.

As Johnny says, don't be afraid to turn on captions or subtitles. As you get used to it, you'll likely need to refer to them less and less.

That said, I'm not sure I'll continue with the series. I've watched the first three episodes and it seems nearly as tedious as the book though, as mentioned above, British period pieces are some of my favorite things so it's kind of disappointing.
 

Hollywoodaholic

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If anyone's still on the fence about watching this series, whether on AMC on demand or otherwise, I urge you to check it out, it's easily the best series I've been watching lately (well, except for finally catching up with The Handmaid's Tale on blu-ray); it's just awesome.

The writing, acting, vibe of the whole thing is just so vastly different than the usual stuff on; and they're finally getting around to my researched theory of what actually went down with the actual expedition and how it all went crazy, and it's a scarier revelation than you would expect from a show that seems initially built around some 'monster.'
 

Stan

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Yeah, I had no issues with understanding the dialogue. Though I have watched years of BBC shows and British period piece films, so maybe I'm just accustomed to the accents.
.

Kind of odd, but watching "The Graham Norton Show" through the years, have become very accustomed to different accents. There are still a few I can't quite catch, but most are understandable. Irish and Scottish are a little tough, but getting better. :)
 

Hollywoodaholic

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Who cares about the bear at this point, Hickey is a lot scarier.

This is consistently the best suspense show I've seen airing currently on television right now. Just great atmosphere, acting, writing, visuals, sound design, music, and narrative. It's also the only series the stingy A.V. Club television reviews has given an "A" to for every episode. And we don't have to worry about some lame cliffhanger for a Season Two; this is a one shot novel adaptation only. And posters have been adamant the series is better than the book.
 

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