A 12-hour thriller set in the Arctic archipelago of Svarlbard, and with an all-star cast, it certainly looks like a heap of money has been thrown at it.
The blurb is wearing several long johns:
Fortitude is a place like nowhere else. Although surrounded by the savage beauty of the Arctic landscape, Fortitude is one of the safest towns on earth. There has never been a violent crime here. Until now. In such a close-knit community a murder touches everyone and the unsettling, mysterious horror of this crime threatens the future of the town itself.
The local Chief of Police, Sheriff Dan Anderssen, has to investigate alongside DCI Morton, the detective who has flown into Fortitude so fast that questions are being asked about how much he knew, and when. As these two cops try to make sense of the killing, each finds compelling reasons to mistrust and suspect the other.
The murder is a catastrophe for Hildur Odegard, the town’s Governor. It threatens her ambitious plans to transform Fortitude from a mining town into a site for high-end tourism. And for Henry Tyson, a wildlife photographer who only has weeks left to live, the murder is the catalyst to unearthing Fortitude’s darkest secret.
As the cold Arctic darkness gives way to endless summer nights, this apparently idyllic community struggles to make sense of the murderous horror that has been let loose in its heart.
Fortitude is written by Simon Donald, who did Low Winter Sun, which was pretty good, and, er, that underwater thing, The Deep. It’s got a good cast: Michael Gambon, Sofie Gråbøl, Stanley Tucci and Christopher ‘Leftover’ Eccleston. And the production values look delicious.
The last time I invested in an arctic thriller series it was Helix, so at least the bar is set very low. Incidentally, snow, ice and freezing temperatures will be something of a theme on this site this week, because we’ll be reviewing William Giraldi’s fabulous edge-of-civilization novel Hold The Dark.
So, look, I’m persuaded. Fortitude, which is on Sky Atlantic at 9pm on Thursday, is going on The Device.
Truly great television comes and goes. One year it’s Breaking Bad, the next it’s it’s True Detective, and then Still Open All Hours. But one show has quietly been knocking it out of the park for six seasons — The Good Wife.
Ratings in the US have always been modest but consistent. However, a lot of reviewers have lately gone gaga for The Good Wife’s compelling last two seasons, featuring a smart and serialized mix of legal and political intrigue. The show stars Juliana Margulies stars as a Alicia Florrick, who woman who returns to work after her state’s attorney husband is caught up in a sex scandal. It’s definitely worth gorging if you haven’t seen it.
The Good Wife is dumped on More 4, these days, but the latest season begins at 9pm on Thursday. Same time as Fortitude. Yikes — to The Device!