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After sitting through the entire two hour pilot episode, I still have no idea what the ding is going on in this show. There seem to be a zillion different story lines and I’ll be darned if I could tell you about a single one of them. I watched this based on the strength of the cast but I just couldn’t really get into it. The location is stated only as the most northerly town in the world, but no indication is given as to its geographical position on a map. I don’t even know what country it’s in, only that it gets a lot of its resources from “the mainland”. One such resource is Stanley Tucci, who shows up with British police credentials even though he’s an American and what do you know, there’s a murder for him to solve. I couldn’t figure out whether this was meant to have a supernatural element to it or whether there was just a lot of human weirdness going on. But frankly, life is too short to waste on such bemusing stuff and while I usually enjoy brain teasers, this one left me, er, cold. – BETHANY

[Addendum: In doing a little research for this review, I’ve found that fictional Fortitude is based on the Norwegian Archipelago of Svalbard, giving the remote location a burst of tourism interest. According to the Daily Mail, the show has been dubbed the ‘Broadchurch of the Arctic’. It didn’t say dubbed by whom, but I loved Broadchurch and think perhaps I gave up on Fortitude too early. But really, if the 2 hour pilot is so un-illuminating it doesn’t hook you, that’s just poor craftsmanship.]

For more detailed information, visit the Internet Movie Database

For more on Svalbard, visit The Daily Mail website

     Clockwise from upper left: Stanley Tucci, Christopher Eccleston, Sofie Gråbøl, Luke Treadaway, Richard Dormer, Michael Gambon

A huge animatronic polar bear roamed around London as a publicity stunt for Sky Atlantic Network, marking the premiere of Fortitude.  This might be the coolest thing about the show, in my opinion.


Photos courtesy of Fifty Fathoms and Tiger Aspect Productions, Endemol UK, Sky Atlantic and BBC America


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