The creator of this crazy Arctic mystery tells us just what he was thinking.
If you didn’t watch obscure cable network Pivot’s Arctic-set mystery series Fortitude — and the ratings suggest you skipped it — you missed out on one of TV’s most propulsive, addictive shows. Fortunately, the entire first season is now available on Amazon Prime.
Fortitude is that rarest of creations — a show that’s one genre in one scene and a completely different one in another. It’s equal parts sci-fi thriller, small-town comedy, horror show, murder mystery, soap opera, and commentary on climate change.
Any of those shows would be a lot of fun. But by making them rub elbows with one another, Fortitude makes all of them that much more exciting. It’s never clear when the straightforward murder mystery is going to take a hard turn into horror, or when the gentle laughs of the small-town comedy are going to be interrupted by a torrid love affair.
FORTITUDE IS THAT RAREST OF CREATIONS — A SHOW THAT’S ONE GENRE IN ONE SCENE AND A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ONE IN ANOTHER
The series, a co-production with the United Kingdom network Sky Atlantic, is set in the town of Fortitude, an isolated burg north of the Arctic Circle, primarily occupied by people with deep, dark secrets that they want to keep hidden. (It’s loosely based on the very real islands of Svalbard.)
When a terrible murder occurs in the show’s first episode, the stage is set for those secrets to unravel — especially with a detective from outside the town, played by the great character actor Stanley Tucci, coming in to crack the case.