Occasionally I stumble across a TV show that I think is deserving of acclaim but did not show up on the radar of the American media. Fortitude is such a show. One reason may be is that it was produced by the Brits, namely, Sky Atlantic. But I found it to be a well written and intriguing murder mystery, sci fi, horror series. It can now be streamed on Amazon Prime.
Fortitude is a town of less than 1000 people and the only habitation on the Norwegian island of Svarlbard. The inhabitants are a mix of Russian miners, international arctic researchers and a motley mix of people making up the support staff of police, hotel managers and teachers for the 4 or 5 children that live there. As you can expect, it is a bleak, cold and isolated environment. In reality, the town of Reydafjordur, Iceland on the east coast of the island substitutes for the Norwegian town. It is also a town where everyone, including children, carries a high powered rifle for protection against polar bears. The show includes stars such as Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon and Sophie Grabol who was in the original version of The Killing.
It starts when Michael Gambon, who plays an alcoholic photographer, sees a man being attacked by a polar bear and shoots, missing the bear but hitting the man. The scene cuts away and we see two of the towns children finding the remains of a woolly mammoth. At the same time, a new scientist is arriving and we learn that he is studying aberrant behavior in apex predators.
In a short time you become aware that something is not quite right in the town. One of the children who found the mammoth becomes ill. The chief scientist for the research station is murdered. You know that these plot lines will somehow intersect but the writers keep you guessing until the last episode.
I was pleased to see that they didn't use the story line to promote an agenda of Industry - bad, Nature - good. And while they could have done so several times, they didn't use any nudity.The show kept me hooked and I was happy that I could stream the episodes as fast as I wanted. The good news is that there will be a second season and I can't wait to see what they do.