Jack O’Connell as Patrick Sumner, Colin Farrell as Henry Drax, and Stephen Graham as Captain Brownlee, alongside Tom Courtenay as Baxter, seen here in character for the first time. The North Water also stars Peter Mullan, Sam Spruell and Roland Møller.
Set in Hull and on the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s, The North Water’s location work took place primarily in the Arctic, shooting on the frozen seas north of the Svalbard Archipelago. The cast and production team sailed 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.
Based on the acclaimed novel by Ian McGuire, the five-part series 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. But the ferocity of the elements is matched by the violence of his crew mates, with Drax (Farrell), a harpooner and distinctly brutal force of nature.
As the true purpose of the expedition becomes clear, confrontation between the two men erupts, taking them on a journey far from solid ground and beyond the safe moorings of civilisation.
The North Water begins Friday 10th September at 9:30pm on BBC Two.