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AMC Orders The Terror Season 2; Will Be Set During World War II

The Terror AMC Jared Harris

The terror of AMC’s The Terror may be over, but the series will definitely return for a second season as the network transitions it into a fictional-horror anthology series. The series was initially based on the novel of the same name by Dan Simmons, which told a fictionalized account of the mid-19th century journey of the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror to discover the Northwest Passage. What followed was a story of survival that included mutiny, cannibalism, and a supernatural presence stalking the survivors as they attempted to flee the arctic with their lives. 

The 10-episode first season premiered in the spring of this year, boasting an impressive cast that included Ciarán Hinds, Jared Harris, and one of the hardest working actors around, Tobias Menzies. The series also featured a standout performance by Adam Nagaitis, as Cornelius Hickey, a manipulative crewman with a knack for causing trouble and dividing an already apprehensive crew to better suit his plans for survival. Mix that in with some impressive set design and effects work to create a believable and visually striking setting, and you understand why AMC is eager to see what might be possible with a second season. 

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That new season will see the series move to World War II, and “center on an uncanny specter that menaces a Japanese-American community from its home in Southern California to the internment camps to the war in the Pacific.” The new season will continue to be produced by Ridley Scott, but will also welcome Alexander Woo (True Blood) as showrunner. Max Borestein, writer of Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla, conceived of the idea for season 2 and will serve as co-executive producer. 

Borestein had this to say about the upcoming season: 

“As a history-buff and genre geek (not to mention a conscious American today), it’s clear that truth is always scarier than fiction. This season of The Terror uses as its setting one of the darkest, most horrific moments in our nation’s history. The Japanese-American internment is a blemish on the nation’s conscience — and one with dire resonance to current events. I’m thrilled that AMC is giving us the chance to use that darkness as the inspiration for what I hope will be a trenchant, terrifying season of TV.”

With this announcement, The Terror becomes AMC’s first anthology series, and a smart move for the network as it steps out from the shadow of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and continues to define itself in the midst of Peak TV. Anthologies have become increasingly popular as of late, with HBO's True Detective, as well as FX’s American Horror Story, American Crime Story, and Fargo taking advantage of the format to varying degrees. The Terror is more in keeping with Crime Story in that it will be a wholly new setting and story that is at least inspired by real-life events. At any rate, it will be interesting to see what Woo and Borestein cook up for the new season.

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The Terror season 2 is expected sometime in 2019 on AMC. 

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