Top 8 awful and awesome moments from AMC’s The Terror

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Ciarán Hinds as John Franklin, Tobias Menzies as James Fitzjames – The Terror _ Season 1, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Aidan Monaghan/AMC

AMC’s The Terror is one of those rare shows that manages to pack each episode full of action, horror, tragedy, and humor without ever feeling off-balance.

Now that the first season of The Terror is finally over (a sentence which makes me very sad to type), it’s time to look back at some of the best moments from the season, from start to finish.

Some are scary, some are tearjerkers, and some are just plain cool.

Pun totally intended.

“It wants us to run”

The most bone-chilling moment in the entire show was right in episode 1. As a young crew member dies of consumption in Erebus’ medical bay, he experiences a terrifying vision of a figure half-hidden in darkness; first faceless, then masked, and finally revealed as the man we will come to recognize as Silna’s father.

The way the figure moves closer and closer to the bed, changing appearance each time it grows closer, is absolutely terrifying. It’s strange and surreal and utterly terrifying, and the perfect set-up for the supernatural elements that thread through the rest of the show.

Sir John does the polar plunge

There’s so much good about the scene where Sir John Franklin meets his sticky end. The long, agonizing shot that precedes it, when Goodsir is taking his photograph, cranks the tension up to full; you’re just waiting for something to happen the entire time, but of course it doesn’t come until the moment after you’ve stopped anticipating it.

The editing in this scene was sublime, with the cuts between him dangling in the Tuunbaq’s grasp and spinning, dazed, back in England before this all began. Though Franklin is not a particularly likable character, it’s difficult not to get wrapped up in his terror and bewilderment as he’s carried to the fire hole, or to feel horror and sympathy at his death. It’s the first time we see the Tuunbaq’s intelligent cruelty (or perhaps, its vindictiveness) as well as its brute strength, a factor which makes it all the more frightening.

Also, they really did hoist Ciarán Hinds up on a trolley and swing him around a bit. That’s a great mental image on its own.