This looks like something to look forward to in 2020.
Stephen Graham, Tom Courtenay and Peter Mullan are among the names joining Colin Farrell and Jack O’Connell in Andrew Haigh’s forthcoming adaptation of The North Water.
The three-part drama recently completed its first leg of filming in the Arctic, shooting for three weeks in Svalbard. The unit travelled as far as 81 degrees north to film sequences in the pack ice, the furthest point north it is believed a drama series has ever filmed before.
It tells the story of Patrick Sumner (O’Connell), a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic. On board he meets the harpooner Henry Drax (Farrell), a brutish killer whose amorality has been shaped to fit the harshness of his world. Hoping to escape the horrors of his past, Sumner finds himself in a male-dominated world, on an ill-fated journey with a murderous psychopath. In search of redemption, his story becomes a harsh struggle for survival in the Arctic wasteland.
Graham plays Brownlee, the Volunteer’s Captain, while Tom Courtenay will play the ship’s owner, Baxter. Sam Spruell will play Cavendish, the ship’s first mate, and Roland Møller will play Otto, a harpooner. Peter Mullan will appear in episode four in a pivotal role.
Stephen Graham says: “Filming on the ship was an incredible experience and one that I will never forget. To be so privileged to see such beautiful animals like polar bears in their natural habitat – albeit it an ever-changing one, sadly – was truly remarkable.”
The North Water is set in Hull and the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s.
Look out for it in 2020.