‘The Terror’ Blu-ray Review: A Show This Good Deserves a Better Blu-ray

     August 21, 2018

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AMC’s The Terror came out of nowhere this past March to become one of the best new shows of the year. In what could have been one of the network’s losing drama gambles like Low Winter Sun or RubiconThe Terror managed to stand apart from the crowd thanks to a fantastic cast, incredible production value, and a terrifying mystery at the heart of a unique mythology. The anthology series’ first season performed well enough that AMC has ordered up a second season, though it’ll feature its own terror-fying tale since the story of the doomed title ship was wrapped up nicely in Season 1. The Blu-ray treatment for said season, however, is sorely lacking.

As compelling as the ill-fated tale of the 19th century Franklin Expedition was, The Terror also succeeded with its production value, which featured the uncommon setting of the unexplored and still wild and frozen Arctic. Complete with period-appropriate costuming, cultural conflicts, social stratification and language, The Terror supplied viewers with rich environments and characters to love and hate in equal measure. And while the mysterious tuunbaq stalked the sailors at every turn, it was ultimately man’s own inhumanity towards man that proved their undoing. So if you simply want to revisit The Terror anytime you like, or you just want to watch the series for the first time and happen to like physical media, the Blu-ray, available now, is a safe buy. If you’re looking for more, however, buyer beware.

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Image via AMC

Having been a fan of the series when it was on the air, I was quite excited to check out the Blu-ray. Silly me. I had hoped for a deep dive into the show’s jaw-dropping production process, from constructing the title ship and its many interior sets, to populating those unique sets with period-appropriate paraphernalia and moody lighting, to the CGI-heavy creation of both the tuunbaq and the vast expanse of the ice itself. Instead, the Blu-ray includes three short featurettes (5 minutes each) which were pulled from the series’ promotional material; they even include repeated factoids and commentary, so they’re not even uniquely original unto themselves. We’ve actually featured more original behind-the-scenes content on this very site.

It’s a shame that such a solid show has a Blu-ray treatment that’s rather lazy, featuring only the simplest of cast/character commentary featurettes. Hopefully Season 2’s home-video release will have a bit more meat on its bones.

A crew of a Royal Naval expedition is sent to find the Arctic’s treacherous Northwest Passage but instead discovers a monstrous predator, a cunning and vicious Gothic horror that stalks the ships in a desperate game of survival, the consequences of which could endanger the region and its native people forever.

BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • “A Look at the Characters” Featurette
  • “A Look at the Series” Featurette
  • “Ridley Scott on The Terror” Featurette
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Image via AMC, Lionsgate

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