Fortitude was a big-budget, wow-cast crime/horror mash-up from 2014 and it was good, if completely barmy stuff, telling the story of a small community in Iceland who slowly went insane after some ancient virus was disturbed and began to wreak havoc in the 21st century. We all know that’s returning in early 2017 for a second series, and now Sky Atalntic has released the first trailer from the new run.
Thanks to Trapped earlier this year, Iceland has been at the forefront of crime drama fans’ minds. (Well, it has been for me, fuelling some serious wanderlust.) While Trapped was an indigenous production (more or less), we got our first taste of the island’s potential for hosting thrillers as early as last autumn, thanks to Sky Atlantic’s barmy but occasionally brilliant Fortitude. Now, with the filming for series two underway, Sky Atlantic has released the first batch of photographs.
Watching both True Detective and Jordskott has really brought it home to me – or at least reminded me – how much importance and influence a location or setting can have on a drama. I thought it might be fun to do a list-tastic feature to try and doff my cap to some of the most influential locations ever seen in crime dramas. I’m interested in those places that almost inform the drama and become a character themselves, not so much act as window dressing. So let’s get on with it…
Endings can be tricky. Especially those to series whose host broadcaster has already announced that a second series is in the offing. This normally means, unless it’s an anthology, that the series finale will be used as nothing more than a bridge to set things up for the next season. Fortitude, which has been intriguing and (mostly) excellent throughout its debut run fell into this trap, and even then came up short. It was neither a satisfactory ending nor a bridge episode to the next season. So what exactly was it?
TV channels certainly do pick their moments. The past few years have seen high-profile crime dramas that end on a cliffhanger announce on the day – or the day before or immediately after – that they will be returning for another series. Some rejoice at this knowledge; some scratch their heads. Has the story runs its course? Will it jump the shark? In the case of Fortitude, which ends tonight (Thursday 9th April), Sky has chosen to drop its announcement that it will be back for a second series right in the middle of the maelström of anticipation.
The ninth episode of Fortitude tied a few loose ends up but left us with one enormous, glacier-sized cliffhanger – before ending his own life Henry Tyson (Sir Michael Gambon) shot my favourite character, DCI Eugene Morton (Stanley Tucci) in the stomach for revealing that he had found proof of Henry and Dan’s involvement in the death of Billy Pettigrew (and because he had disturbed his plans for the perfect suicide). Before shooting himself in the head, Henry had radioed Dan, telling him what had happened. With Morton’s life slipping away, Dan had to decide whether to chopper out and save the life of a man who was hell-bent on taking him down or leave him to die and save his career. He wouldn’t leave Morton to die out in the wasteland, would he? Perhaps he would. OR WOULD HE?
Last week I wrote that the eighth episode of Fortitude felt like the deep breath before the plunge into the mayhem of dénouement. Things bubbled and simmered, things held firm, scenes were longer, more considered. It was a classic tactic in a series of this length, where you can afford to have an episode that takes stock and prepares for the final run-in. And I was right (not often, I know), because this ninth episode had EVERYTHING going on, including some stunning twists and plenty of revelations.