[The following contains spoilers for season 1 of The Terror]
AMC's The Terror could return for season 2, but it would be very different show. Based on Dan Simmons' novel of the same name, AMC's The Terror took audiences on a harrowing journey to the frozen Arctic for a story of survival inspired by true events. In 1845, Sir John Franklin left England with two ships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. Both of Franklin's ships would disappear in the forbidding wastes of far northern Canada, leaving behind no survivors.
Many years later, the fate of the Franklin Expedition would become partially pieced together based on scattered physical evidence and accounts by native Inuits (including tales of cannibalism). For his 2007 book, Simmons took off from this incomplete picture to craft a fictionalized narrative weaving a tale of survival together with elements of the supernatural. AMC's adaptation stuck faithfully to Simmons' story to create a powerful portrait of men struggling, and sometimes breaking, under the most extreme pressures imaginable.
With the series covering all of Simmons' sprawling novel, prospects for a second season of The Terror seemed remote at best. Now however, it appears there remains hope that The Terror could somehow get a season 2. Speaking to TV Guide, series co-creator Soo Hugh explained that when AMC took the show, a plan was already in place for multiple seasons. She said:
"When AMC greenlit the show now almost three years ago, they greenlit it as an anthology show. Meaning Season 1 would be the story of the Franklin Expedition, and subsequent seasons would take on a new narrative that carried the DNA that we established in Season 2."
But Hugh also revealed that, if The Terror does live on for season 2, she and co-showrunner David Kajganich will not be back. Hugh said both she and Kajganich are exhausted after three years of work bringing The Terror to life, and are eager to move on to other less demanding projects. This is certainly disappointing news given the high level of quality Hugh and Kajganich brought to The Terror, a series that not only delivered on a technical level but also featured some of the strongest writing and acting on television this year.
So what would a second season of The Terror look like? Hugh's remarks about new seasons of the show "carrying on the DNA" of season 1 provide a hint. If the show does go the genuine anthology route and start over with a completely new story made in the spirit of the original, perhaps it could tackle a different lost expedition or unsolved mystery from the 19th Century. Certainly, there are other tales of survival and heroism out there that could make for a stirring season 2 of The Terror. The key is to maintain the same attention to detail, and sense of complex humanity, that brought so much life to season 1.
Carrying on directly from the events of The Terror season 1 sounds like it's not in the cards, but if AMC were to change course and craft a direct sequel, there are two characters left from season 1 who could figure into that story. At the end of the gruesome season finale of The Terror, Inuit mystery woman Lady Silence (Nive Nielsen) was seen leaving her tribe behind to live on her own in the wastelands. Meanwhile, the Franklin Expedition's only survivor Captain Crozier (Jared Harris) evaded an attempt at rescue by his fellow Englishmen, and went full native. It doesn't seem those characters have any future together, after hints of a strange connection existing between them, but you never know.
Source: TV Guide