1 – Go For Broke


What follows below is some historical and liguistic information that might be interesting while (or after) watching the episode. Spoilers are labeled in red — they’re warning for the following paragraph, anything after that paragraph is safe to read — and explain what kind of spoiler, for example, episode spoiler (safe to read after watching the episode), series spoiler (don’t read until finished with the series, and minor spoilers (which I consider will not hurt your viewing, but in case you’re super spoiler adverse).


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Major series spoiler (come back and read this paragraph after watching the whole show):   When the Inuit tells Sir James Ross that Crozier’s last words were “Tell them we are gone, dead and gone,” you can see Crozier, who is alive and well and sitting outside with his back to the tent entrance, get up and start walking off into the snow.

The show has Ross talking to the Inuit, but as far as I can tell it was John Rae who, in 1954, got information about the Franklin expedition.

There are two different versions of the scene where Crozier complains about Franklin and Fitzjames coming for dinner. In one, the first time we meet Crozier he’s on deck complaining to Blanky about having to hear about Birdshit Island, and in the other we first meet him below as he’s being dressed by Jopson, and says basically the same thing to Jopson. I’m not sure how or why the two versions circulate, but I suspect they weren’t crazy about the introduction of Mr. Blanky on deck, because he comes off a bit like a drunken pirate, and so they gave similar lines to Jopson in Crozier’s quarters, where the tense tone is better maintained. I believe the one with Jopson delivering the lines aired officially in the US. (But Jared’s reading of the fantastic “I’m inclined to put the food in my ears” line is much better in the on-deck version.)

“Billy, take this one up with you and don’t let him down till he can do his becket bends with both his eyes closed.”  A becket bend is a kind of knot. Collins is ordering Billy to take another crewman up into the rigging, and watch while he practices this knot.

Well, magnetic north wanders miles every day. We’re within its circle now. …It’ll be tall headlines for the men. There’s an obscure 1952 film titled “Tall Headlines,” but I had trouble finding this usage. It’s seems to be an idiom that means “good news” (although it’s bad news in the film). Anyway, I suggest that, along with, brown study, we bring it back into circulation because it’s awesome.

“Tell Francis James and I will be joining him for dinner… Mr. Terry! Open the flag box!” Flags were used to communicate specific or less specific messages between ships. They were presumably kept in boxes, but Google’s keeping its secrets on this one.

Series spoiler: “Careful how you use that word, “close”. This is the Discovery Service. “Close” is nothing. It’s worse than nothing. It’s worse than anything in the world.” In episode ten, Lt. Little’s (he of the gold chains and piercings) only word to Crozier before he dies is “Close.”

“Not if Fitzjames is with us. We’ll have to hear his whole saga of policing that massive guano deposit off Namibia.SHORT : Fitzjames was in charge of a large island of bird shit (guano) which was mined — in horrific conditions — for use as fertilizer. LONG : This is indeed a long one, from a biography of Fitzjames by William Battersby, but worth reading to know exactly what story Crozier didn’t look forward to hearing over dinner:  There had been an unseemly scramble to mine wealth of an unlikely type off the coast of what is now Namibia. ‘White Gold’ was the name given to colossal deposits of guano [“birdshit”] which had built up on the island of Ichaboa, where huge coloies of seabirds had congregated… The dry climate meant that this guano retained its nutrients. P/ Fitzjames tersely stated in the record of his career that he ‘visited Tcheroe (the guano island) … to settle the disturbances amongst the crews of the merchant vessels loading guano’, which he did in in August 1844. But Fitzjames and Le Vesconte [also a character in The Terror] were much more descriptive of its unique horrors in their private correspondence. Fitzjames described the island as ‘the Father of all Dung-Hills’ with a smell like ‘rotten kittens’. Le Vesconte said: “…it is seven hundred feet long and the part above the waves is almost entirely formed by the guano… The guano is brought to the boats over stages whose outer ends are hung to shears fixed among the rocks and secured with chains and heavy anchors. It is the most dirty miserable employment possible and attendant with frequent loss of life… The guano itself… has a very pungent smell affecting the eyes and nose very much in simply walking over it and often drawing blood from the nostrils of those engaged in stowing it.” …When the Clio arrived, Fitzjames found 130 ships scrambling over the ‘white gold’. With no discipline, fights had broken out in a near-piratical situation. Fitzjames confiscated one ship which had attacked another and sent it back to England… He arrested the ringleaders and took them back himself in irons.

“Sir John abstains, of course, and it’s Allsopp‘s for the rest.” Allsop’s Arctic Ale was a beer specifically brewed for arctic voyages in the 1800s (and apparently wouldn’t freeze until -42 f, and it still took twelve hours then.)


Series spoiler: “They’re glass, but the ring is plate.” David’s ring becomes a minor MacGuffin throughout the series. Goodsir forgets to remove it, and Hickey sees it during the burial and takes it. (Comes back later in the series but I’m not sure the episode.)

I think Goodsir is being truthful when he says the men he’s seen die have gone peacefully, and David’s death is a foreshadowing of all the far-from-peaceful deaths to come. Goodsir is clearly shaken.

Crozier is worried the boy who got sick at dog dinner might have scurvy. “I don’t want to be the one to say the word, but we’re all thinking  it.” Franklin reassures him: “None of the three who died at Beechey showed any sign of it.” SHORT: He’s referring to three of their sailors who died and were buried on Beechey Island a few months previously in the journey. LONGER: Their graves were found a in 1850, and in the 80s there were inconclusive attempts to find the cause of their deaths.  Here’s a photo of one of the sailors, John Torrington. Due to the extreme cold, he was remarkably well preserved:


“And, even if it’s the case now, we will be in the Pacific before it has a chance to don its undertaker’s weepers.” “….the cuffs of the waistcoat were covered with a white material so you can use your sleeve to dry your eyes. These coverings are known as “weepers”.”

“We’ve all but found the passage in a year. We’re not rowing drakkars after all.”  Drakkars were open rowed ships, built by the Vikings during the Viking Age. Fitzjames is references the state-of-the art technology of the refitted Terror and Erebus.

“We’ve given the boy a Dover’s powder.” Wikipedia: Named from Doctor Thomas Dover, an English physician of the eighteenth century who first prepared it, the powder was an old preparation of powder of ipecacuanha, opium in powder, and potassium sulfate. The powder was largely used in domestic practice to induce sweating, to defeat the advance of a “cold” and at the beginning of any attack of fever.

“I’ll send a gig for him.” The captain’s gig is a boat used on naval ships as the captain’s taxi.

“Good night, Francis. Try to shake the brown study. All is well.” This truly excellent article in the Paris Review on the brown study describes it as “a state of intense, sometimes melancholy reverie” which can only be cured by whiskey, never gin. As with tall headlines, I suggest we all start using this phrase again. As in, 2020 ruined my life and gave me a severe case of the brown study.

“And he’s a lushington to boot.”  A drunkard, as in a ‘lush.’ Here’s a short, un-sourced but good history of lushington.

“And he looks down on we of the wardroom. Wikipedia: SHORT: “The wardroom is the mess cabin or compartment for commissioned naval officers above the rank of midshipman.” LONG: More from a Patrick O’brian discussion site: “On larger ships of the line with two complete gundecks (4th rate and above), the captain has his own Great Cabin, and a fancy stern gallery. The deck below has the Wardroom, brightly lit by stern windows. It is a common area for the use of the ship’s commissioned officers, plus a few of the more ‘gentlemanly’ warrant officers such as the master, surgeon, purser, and chaplain.”

“I’ve been getting headaches all me life. Didn’t think nothing of it. And we’ve been drinking that squeezed lemon every night.” The use of lemon juice to prevent scurvy was discovered in 1747 by James Lind in what was the first systematic clinical trial.

“The crew is under strictest orders to come forward if unwell. I think burying three of your mates on Beechy was sufficient motivation.” He’s referring to three of their sailors who died and were buried on Beechey Island a few months previously in the journey.

“We can’t spin the propeller nor retract it. Mr. Reid is certain we must have caught a growler at the surface.” A growler is a small piece of an iceberg, poking 15 or so feet above the surface, and stretching for 50 or so feet.

“Sir James Ross at Farthest South. In a play some years before, Crozier is being portrayed during the Ross Expedition by someone who looks nothing like him. Ross (who we also saw talking to the Inuit at the beginning of the episode) teases:  If you believe that depiction, you’ve dropped a stone [14 pounds] at least – since we’ve been back. Crozier: And seen a dentist as well, apparently.

“Hold fast, David.” SHORT: Hold fast was a common good-luck tattoo among sailors on tall ships who needed to hang tight to the lines in the rigging. Tiny Spoiler: I’m not sure the phrase was used this way generally, but Goodsir is always an imperfect but sincere friend to his patients, and it’s awfully sweet when he says it. May we all have our own Dr. Goodsir by our side on our deathbed.  “Then there will be the angels, with songs lovelier than you’ve heard.”

“Sir John has a flea in his ear about scurvy.”  To ‘put a flea in one’s ear’ originally meant to send someone away after rebuking them. It seems like it later was sometimes used to mean, as it does here, to be fixated on or angry about something.

Blanky: “Look at the snow on those bergy bits. That’s not summer break-up, that’s coming down from the north.” Crozier: “It’s pack ice.” Blanky: “There are leads, but…” Bergy bits are similar to the growlers Lt. Gore described earlier, and leads are narrow, linear passages through the ice. From NASA: “Some sea ice holds fast to a coastline or the sea floor—“fast ice”—while pack ice drifts with winds and currents. Because pack ice is dynamic, pieces can collide and form much thicker ice. Leads—narrow, linear openings ranging in size from meters to kilometers—continually form and disappear.”

If it is ice wedged behing the propeller and you can pry it out, well, you’ll have grabbed the ring twice in one morning.” To grab the ring means to have achieved the highest level of something, or to have made a great step in life. It surely occurred to the writers as well that Goodsir had promised to ‘grab’ the ring from Young after his death.

I was sure “God lies in all realmswas a reference to some form of literature, but apparently it’s original to the show. Nice.

“You’ve seen the sun dogs, Graham. How many have there been now?” Clearly Crozier thinks the sun dogs mean something like an early or more severe winter, although I didn’t find anything that suggested that, so feel free to skip the picture, Shakespeare, and painting below.


Henry the VI, Part 3:

EDWARD Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?

RICHARD Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun; Not separated with the racking clouds, But sever’d in a pale clear-shining sky. See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss, As if they vow’d some league inviolable: Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun. In this the heaven figures some event.

EDWARD ‘Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of. I think it cites us, brother, to the field, That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet, Each one already blazing by our meeds, Should notwithstanding join our lights together And over-shine the earth as this the world. Whate’er it bodes, henceforward will I bear Upon my target three fair-shining suns.

The Sun Dog Painting, Vädersolstavlan, 1636:


Franklin: I’ve been to the Arctic, Francis. Crozier: On foot. And you nearly starved. Not all of your men returned. Crozier is referring to Franklin’s disastrous 1819-1921 Coppermine Expedition to the Arctic. While he’s portrayed as somewhat naive about the dangers of arctic winters in the show, the Coppermine Expedition was nearly as nightmarish (Franklin would write “There was no tripe de roche, so we drank tea and ate some of our shoes for supper.”) as the expedition the Terror is about, except some people lived, hence “You know what men are like when they are desperate.”

As a trusted friend once put it, this place wants us dead.” While it sounds like it came from another explorer, it was written to Crozier by Franklin’s niece as a warning (microscopic spoiler: more from her in later episodes).

We are about to commit an act of hubris we may not survive. I’m not going to do much interpretation in these posts, but suffice it to say that hubris — particularly by these white, colonial explorers — is a major theme of the show.

At Young’s burial, Sgt. Tozer sings “In Westminster not long ago / There lived a Ratcatcher’s Daughter,” a ballad first published around 1860. The show takes place in 1845, but it was likely sung by people of Tozer’s class before it was printed, so it’s not necessarily an anachronism.

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Tiny spoiler: During the burial scene, Hickey does not climb down to close the casket out of moral duty.

“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” is from John 20:29, but coming at this point from Franklin, the words speak for themselves.

Franklin’s “We shall earn our loved ones’ cheers and embraces at our return” reminds Goodsir of his deathbed promise to send Young’s ring to his sister.

At dinner with Fitzjames, Franklin finds a ball of lead in his food. There’s plenty to read about what might have caused the deaths of the men of the Franklin Expedition (the show suggests the poorly canned food as at least part of it), but this sums up current state of the the lead theory well: In his 1987 bestseller co-written with John Geiger, Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition, Beattie suggested the lead solder used to seal the expedition’s canned provisions had leached into the food, resulting in neurological impairment that could have contributed to the men’s deaths. More recently, historians have moved away from the lead-in-the-cans theory.

Here’s a bonus poem by Franklin’s first wife, Eleanor Anne Porden

Yet how, if here, the Spanish maid to find ,
A thousand doubts distract his labouring mind
Of all he ask’d, in vain–no ship was here
From Albion’s isle, and all the sea was clear.

(Albion is another word for England.)

Translator: They saw many men on foot, all starving.

Ross: He met them?

Inuit: “We saw a captain there. The one called Aglooka.”

Ross: Ask him if one of these men is the one he’s calling Aglooka.

Inuit: “He spoke in our tongue. He was dying. He pointed south. Says they were going overland. Home. But they could barely walk. And with Tuunbaq behind them.”

Ross: Tuunbaq?

Inuit: “Behind them, coming. Always coming.”

Ross: Someone was pursuing them? An Eskimo?

Inuit: “From the shamans. The thing that eats on two legs and four. The thing made of muscles and spells.”

Ross: I don’t understand. Is he describing a man?

Translator: Sorry, Sir James. I don’t know what the hell he’s describing.

Ross: What did Francis say? Aglooka?

Inuit: “Your friend took my hands. He said, ‘Tell those who come after us not to stay. The ships are gone. There’s no way through. No passage. Tell them we are gone. Dead and gone.'”


Collins: Billy, take this one up with you and don’t let him down till he can do his becket bends with both his eyes closed.

Billy: Yes, sir.

Morfin: Captain, sir.

Fitzjames: Daily observations are starting to make for bizarre reading, sir.

Franklin: Well, magnetic north wanders miles every day. We’re within its circle now.

Fitzjames: It’ll be tall headlines for the men.

Collins: Terror is signaling, Sir John. Captain Crozier requests an ice report. Shall I send Mr. Reid back?

Franklin: No. Tell Francis, James and I will be joining him for dinner.

Collins: Mr. Terry! Open the flag box!

Franklin: Word has it, they’ve not yet run out of beef tongue on Terror.


Crozier: Tell Mr. Diggle Sir John and Commander Fitzjames are coming aboard to dine tonight. He can choose whatever he likes in my storeroom. He’ll enjoy that.

Little: Yes sir.

Blankly: Did you see them?

Crozier: I saw them.

Blankly: Ho ho.

Crozier: Of all the hardships of the Discovery Service, this may be the toughest, Thomas.

Blankly: Keep it to three courses, it will be over before you know it.

Crozier: Not with Fitzjames there. We’ll have to hear his whole saga about policing that massive islet of guano off the coast of Namibia. Or the time he got shot by the Chinese. I’m inclined to put the food in my ears.


Crozier: Of all the hardships of the Discovery Service, this may be the toughest.

Jopson: It’s three courses tonight and a dessert. It’ll be over before you know it, Captain.

Crozier: Not if Fitzjames is with us. We’ll have to hear his whole saga of policing that massive guano deposit off Namibia. Or the time he got shot by the Chinese. I’m inclined to put the food in my ears.

Jopson: I haven’t settled the matter of spirits for tonight, sir. Sir John abstains, of course, and it’s Allsopp’s for the rest. But is there anything special you require, sir?

Crozier: More open water, clear to the Pacific. And then we can go home.

Jopson: We’re close, sir.

Crozier: Careful how you use that word, “close”. This is the Discovery Service. “Close” is nothing. It’s worse than nothing. It’s worse than anything in the world.


Little: Welcome aboard, Sir John. Captain Fitzjames.

Young: If we’re that near the pole, we’ll see King William Land any day, then.

??: Look who’s an expert.

Young: Mr. Farr showed me on a chart. Past King William Land we get to the American coast and it’s all mapped out again from there.

Fitzjames: Hello, boy.

??: That thing whined all night. Must be sick or got a scent. With the right wind, he can smell bears at a mile.

Hickey: What rank is that dog, ever wonder that?

??: He’s on deck most nights, so I’d guess you could call that watch duty.

Young: I don’t know. That’d make him an AB, or a marine.

Hickey: But he walks the quarterdeck, so that makes him a petty officer at least. Right? And some nights he’s back there in officer’s country. Petty  officers can’t sleep aft. So that’d be considered a wardroom officer? What would that be? A mate? A lieutenant?

??: Are we still talking about this dog?

Hickey: It’s of consequence though, isn’t it? Putting a dog above a man. Who serves who in that arrangement?

Strong: It’s a ship’s dog. We put up with it.

[In the Crozier/Jopson introduction version, cut here to Jopson saying: “I haven’t settled the matter of spirits for tonight,” but leaves out the “Allsop’s for the rest” line. Sad!]

Fitzjames: The brigades already ashore were catching every kind of fire, so I was bringing out the Congreves.

Hodgson: Rockets.

Fitzjames: Yes. Ironic, considering it was the Chinese themselves who had pioneered the things. We shot the marksmen down off the city walls and we started up. As I climbed the ladder, I was thinking of Caesar crossing the Rubicon. We reached the top and I saw the city of Chingkiang laid out before us, wavering in the morning heat. And the soldiers in the alleys below started using their matchlocks on us, those muskets for which you carry a lit taper at all times. But in such dry conditions, when we’d shoot one of them, they would fall down on top of these tapers and they would catch fire like tinder piles. So, soon the whole city was dotted with these lone columns of personal smoke and the whole view smelled of roast duck. And then we rushed down into the streets to assist the 49th, which we could hear was under attack. We came upon a pack of Chinese behind a street barricade. And I’d just loaded a rocket and aimed when I was pierced. Single musket ball. Size of a cherry. Passed clean through my arm and kept on in, making a third wound here, entering my chest.

Little?: Like the shot that killed Lord Nelson at Trafalgar.

Fitzjames: And, had it not used up most of its energy on my arm, yes, I might have ended same as he. [Cut from some versions: They finally got me back to the Cornwallis, where it was our very own Dr. Stanley, in fact, who dug out the shot.

Hodgson: That battle turned the war. The Chin’g mission came aboard to sign the treaty five weeks later.

Fitzjames: By which time I was up and about, my arm in a sling, smiling for the official portrait. Have you seen it?]

Crozier: Tell us about Birdshit Island, why don’t you, James? That’s a capital story.

Franklin: Mr. Reid and I chatted about the ice today. He tells me we’ve started sailing past slabs he thinks are not part of the summer break-up.

Crozier: Old ice?

Franklin: He’s not concerned. He thinks we’re close to an intersection with some bigger channel coming down from the north, bringing bergy bits with it. But it means our little summer strait is likely coming to an end. It has yet to be named, and I thought Sir James Ross could be honored thusly.

Fitzjames: Hear, hear. [Not in some versions: Would that he were here with us now. But for being a newlywed.]

Franklin: You approve, Francis?

Crozier: He’ll be very pleased.

[Not in some versions: BACK AT HICKEY’S TABLE

Strong:  It’s on account of the magnetic energy here. I heard when Sir John got as far as he got in ’23, his hair grew two inches in a week, and they weren’t even close to here.

??: Is that why you signed on, then, Strong? To get your two inches?

??: Young?

Strong: David?

??: Turn him over! He can’t breathe!

David? David!


??: Get a doctor now!

Come on!

Roll him over!

Watch it!

OPENING CREDITS (From here, all versions are the same)

Crozier: I don’t want to be the first one to say the word, Sir John, but we’re all thinking it.

Franklin: None of the three who died at Beechey showed any sign of it. And, even if it’s the case now, we will be in the Pacific before it has a chance to don its undertaker’s weepers.

Crozier: Your confidence is reassuring, of course.

Franklin: You’re not confident with all our progress? I don’t know why. We’ve all but found the passage in a year. We’re not rowing drakkars after all.

Crozier: In this place, technology stil lbends the knee to luck, James.

Dr. McDonald: Sir. We’ve given the boy a Dover’s powder. Settled his spasms. He’s resting now. As he can. But he has a dark blood in his stool. Digested blood. He’s bleeding above his colon.

Fitzjames: That’s a vivid description.

Franklin: Is it scurvy?

McDonald: Though I see nothing to mark it as such, I can’t rule it out. But if I were to wager a guess at this point, I’d say the patient’s consumptive. Doesn’t always attack the lungs.

Franklin: Dr. Stanley should examine him. Perhaps he can discern something more.

Crozier: I’ll send a gig for him.

Franklin: No, no. There’s no need. We’ll take him with us.

Crozier: Young? In his condition?

Franklin: Yes. Wrap him up well and have our boat readied.

McDonald: I…I would hesitate to move him, sir. I don’t frankly know how much spirit the boy has left in him.

Franklin: Bit of cool air will freshen him. He’ll be tucked up just the same in half an hour’s time.

??: Steady now. Ease away.

Franklin: Oh, Francis. Tell your cook “yes” to the cow’s head, “no” to the capers he cooked it with. For future visits.

Fitzjames: Good night, Francis. Try to shake the brown study. All is well.

??: All clear. Heave away.

Fitzjames: There is nothing worse than a man who has lost his joy. He’s become insufferable. And he’s a lushington to boot.

Franklin: We should be better friends to him, James.

Fitzjames: I can’t work out why he’s even here. He despises glory. Even the glory of a good pudding. And he looks down on we of the wardroom. I tell you, one glance from him, I have to remind myself I’m not a fraud.

Franklin: I’ll not have you speak of him uncharitably, James. He is my second. Now, if something were to happen to me, you would be his second. You should cherish that man.

Fitzjames: Sometimes I think you love your men more than even God loves them, Sir John.

Franklin: For all your sakes, let’s hope you’re wrong.

Ready, all!

Ready to let go the bowlines!


Man overboard starboard side!

All hands on deck!

All eyes on the man in the water!

Who’s marking him?


Stand back!

Drop the line!

Give me room! Give me room!

– Collins, no!
– Let me try!

That seaman wouldn’t want you
to risk more!

Billy Orren, that’s who it is!

He’s gone!

What I fail to understand is
why you chose not to speak up

when you began feeling this take root.


I’ve been getting headaches all me life.

Didn’t think nothing of it.

And we’ve been drinking that
squeezed lemon every night.

Crew’s under strictest orders
to come forward if unwell.

I’d think burying three of
your mates on Beechey

was sufficient motivation.

The lemon juice is not a cure-all.

I didn’t want to disappoint Sir John.

Well, he can praise your
loyalty as he buries you.

We can’t spin the propeller nor
retract it. Mr. Reid is certain

we must have caught a growler
at the surface.

– So, is it blocked?
– Yes.

Yes. Mr. Gregory thinks
there must be ice

wedged up in the prop well.

But we won’t know till first light.

He all but assured me

if we can clear out a jam,
we’ll be under way.

Good. I think that’s all
for now, then, Graham,

since we don’t appear to be sinking.

Wake me if that should change.

Algonquian, Massacred by Mohawk.

– Did that disturb you?
– Which part, Francis?

The savages,
or that they became Catholics?

I have a question for you later.

No question is needed, Francis.

But you’ll hear me out?

Sir James Ross at Furthest South.

If you believe that depiction,
you’ve dropped a stone at least

since we’ve been back.

And seen a dentist as well, apparently.

Ladies and gentlemen,

it’s our great honor
to find up in the boxes tonight

the actual Sir James Ross!

Get up, old man.

Bravo, gentlemen! Bravo.

You should stand up.

I don’t want you to do to me

what you did to Tom Hartnell’s brother.


…that… that was for
the good of the crew.

We needed to know if it was
scurvy killed John Hartnell…

I want to go to my grave as I am.

Don’t cut me open.

– Do you promise?
– If Sir John orders it done,

we must do.

You may be a warning of things to come.

Now, hold… hold fast, David.

If Sir John orders it…

I will do it.

Do you know…


when people are near passing…

I’ve heard they speak of a radiance…

…like a million daybreaks all in one.

In which loved ones are there
to welcome them over.

We grew up at the Foundlings.

I never knew me father…

or me mum.


Then there will be the angels…

with songs…
lovelier than you’ve heard.

Will I fly? Up to God?


You… You’ll see the Passage
first, then, as you go.

Try… Try to call back
and let us know where it is.

I wanted to be ‘ere… when we found it.

Do not fear it, David. I…

I have been there

when souls have passed.

A great peace descends.

They are glass.

But the ring is plate.

It won’t fetch much
but my sister should have it.

It’s a nasty jar but…

..but I can’t get it off.

I… I can ask cook for some grease.

– Or I have an oil of castor…
– No.

When you’re sure I’m gone…

…find a way.

And don’t tell Sir John I was afraid.

You have my word.

There’s nothing

to be afraid of.

He’s been going on like that
since the wind died.

Something’s got him worked up.

Take your wigs off.

Don’t you hear that?

– Give me your glass.
– Yeah.

Just don’t drop it. It belongs
to Lieutenant Irving.

Put a thumb in it.






– No. No.
– David? David?

Wake Mr. Blanky.

Do it now.



Run! Run! He wants us to run!

– David, calm down.
– No!


Sorry to disturb you.

David Young has passed.

As if that weren’t plain.

Cover him and get some rest,
Mr. Goodsir.

Some… Some…

You can do the post-mortem in
the morning when the men go up.

I-Is it necessary?

Sir John has a flea
in his ear about scurvy.

– He will ask.
– Something…

…transpired… at the end.

He… He was seeing something
I couldn’t see.

Holding its gaze as if
it was in the room with us…

Do I really need to explain
what is an hallucination?

He had no fever. He was clear-eyed.

Good night, Mr. Goodsir.


Look at the snow on those bergy bits.

That’s not summer break up.

That’s coming down from the north.

It’s pack ice.

There are leads but…

How was the cold last night?

It dropped. 20.

Is Erebus aware?

Well, no flags as yet.

But no doubt they woke
thinking of their propeller.

If Sir John doesn’t convene a
meeting of the officers by ten,

I’ll do it myself.

You’re about to surpass us all, son.

You’re going somewhere
no man has ever been,

not even a native.

If it is ice wedged
behind the propeller,

and you can pry it out,

well, you’ll have grabbed
the ring twice in one morning.


Observe my signals.

One pull on the tube
means half a fathom’s slack.

Two means the tube is kinked,
likely on the gunwale.

Three… pull me up.

If water floods the suit,

it will be exponentially
harder to lift me

and exponentially more urgent,

so all of you be ready on the line.

There should be a surgeon here.

They’re just below,
Mr. Collins. Proceed.

You’re a pilgrim to the deeps.

And remember… God lies in all realms.

Lower him in.


Haul me up!

You wouldn’t call this cirrhotic.

And there’s gall.

I don’t see scurvy.

– I don’t see anything at all.
– Open the bowel.


Propeller’s bent.

One of the blades…

I pried some ice from behind.

I think she’ll spin now, sir.

Is there anything else to report?

– No, sir.
– Capital job, Mr. Collins.

Graham, let the engineers know
and signal Terror.

Have Captain Crozier
bring his lieutenants over.

– Sir.
– We need to confer

about the ice that’s in front of us now.

I envy you, Mr. Collins.

I have long wanted to move below.

What was it like?

Like a dream, sir.

News is in about Erebus.

While she can still make
headway under steam,

the flagship’s efficiency
has been compromised.

How badly compromised?

She can still pull two knots,
maybe three,

with the boiler full up.

– Half-power, more or less?
– Yes.

As well, we know that the ice ahead

is increasing dramatically,
both in thickness and amount.

But we must be nearly in sight
of King William Land.

Then it isn’t but another 200 miles

before we can pick up the western charts

and draw in this final piece
of the puzzle once and for all.

Hear, hear.

Our situation is more dire
than you may understand.

Dramatic opening shot.

Please, go ahead, Francis.

That is not just ice ahead.
It is the pack.

And you are proposing
that we cross it, in September.

Even with leads, it could take us weeks

of picking our way through it.

– We may not have weeks.
– What, weeks at most?

You’ve seen the sun dogs, Graham?

How many have there been now?


It’s already a colder year than last.

I’ve been to the Arctic,

– Francis.
– On foot.

And you nearly starved.

Not all of your men returned.

I say this with all due honor.

For God’s sake, Francis.

A captain is due his candor.

So, what would you propose instead?

– Wait out winter here?
– No.

The exact shape of
King William Land is unknown.

As we discovered with Cornwallis Land,

it could be King William Island,

with a chance to sail around
its eastern shore.

Yes, but east would add miles.

We might not be out this year after all.

But only because Erebus is lame.

If we consolidate all our coal

on the less-damaged ship,
we’d have enough

to go for broke and get east of
King William Land,

possibly around it, before winter.

It’s our best,
and probably only, chance.

Yes. We should go for broke.

Abandon Erebus? Is…
Is that what you’re saying?

If it is a dead end, we can over-winter

in complete safety out of the pack…

in some sheltered harbor.

We retrace our steps come spring…

tired of one another, no doubt,
but alive.

That is an interesting… speculation.

But, of course, we will not be
abandoning Erebus, nor Terror,

should she suffer
some minor misfortunes.

– We are almost there…
– Hear me, John.

It won’t matter if we’re 200
or 2,000 miles from safe water.

If the leads close up
and we are out there in it,

we’ll have no idea where
the current will move the pack,

of which we will be a part.

We could be forced onto the shallows

on the weather side of King William

and crushed to atoms,

if we’re even upright by then.

As a trusted friend once put it…

This place wants us dead.

Who is this friend?
Does he also write melodrama?

Sir John, myself,
Mr. Blanky and Mr. Reid.

Only four of us at this table
are Arctic veterans.

There’ll be no melodramas here.

Just live men… or dead men.

It’s certainly good to see color

in your cheeks again, Francis.

But we are two weeks
from finding the grail.

And it is my belief that God and winter

will find us in safe waters
by the end of the year.

The Sandwich Islands. Or even further.

If you’re wrong, we are about
to commit an act of hubris…

we may not survive.

You know what men are like
when they are desperate.

We both do.

I shall continue to command from Erebus,

but due to her injuries,

I’m putting Terror in lead position.

She may not be the better ice-breaker,

but she’s the more powerful ship now.

Bury your boy, Young,
and we’ll be on our way.

West around King William Land
as planned.

– Bury?
– Yes. A mercy.

It was a long night.

♪ Long ago in Westminster ♪

♪ There lived a rat-catcher’s daughter ♪

All this when we could have
just dropped him overboard

and been done with it.

Sir John’s a spiritual man.

– I’d say an impractical one.
– Careful there.

What, is that some kind of
treason, Sergeant?

They shoulda run more nails
through that lid.

Pull up the ropes
and fill it in, Mr. Hickey.

– Me?
– Mr. Hornby tells me

you have the most duty owing.

Didn’t tell me why.

Grousing, probably.

Are… Are we just gonna
leave it like that?

Unless you want to climb in
there and fix it, yes, we are.

Hop to it, Mr. Hickey.

Mr. Hickey…

It’s not important.

Sergeant Tozer said it’s not important.

Well, it would be to this boy’s
father, wouldn’t it?


Help a mate up.

And Jesus saith unto Thomas:

“Because thou hast seen me,
thou hast believed…

but blessed are they
that have not yet seen

but still believe.”

And just as David Young
is at the gates…

so too are we.

And now is our moment to stride
through them, to our glory,

and to our destiny.

I have set a course south south-west.

We will see the North American
mainland within a fortnight,


We must now begin
our last and best efforts

to reach her,

as we become the greatest
Argonauts of our age!

We shall earn our loved ones’
cheers and embraces

at our return.

Onwards, men!

All right, lads.

Man the braces!

– Hard to starboard!
– Hard to starboard it is, sir!

– Hard to starboard!
– Go to it, man.

Let’s hit it with force.

There should be more men picking here!

Why is there only one man picking?

All right, men, stand back!

Right, everybody, fall back!

Our Lord and Father will see us through.

Whatever morning brings.

Get the ice anchors up.
We’re part of it now.


Fix our position with care, Mr. Reid.

I want to know exactly where we are

in relation to King William Land.

Yes, sir.

When the men are fed,

have them begin pulling the tarp up.

Mr. Gregory can start drawing
down the engine for winter.

Your demeanor should be
all cheer, gentlemen.

You understand? It’s going to be tight,

but that’s what we signed up for,

an adventure for Queen and Country.

An adventure of a lifetime.

That’s what you tell the men.

Synced & corrected by kinglouisxx

One thought on “1 – Go For Broke

  1. Re: the sun dogs, Crozier is likely bringing them up as evidence of cold weather. As I understand it they can be seen anywhere in the world, but are more likely to show up as temperatures drop since that means more frozen water droplets in the atmosphere, even close to the ground (aka “diamond dust”). I’m not sure if I can submit links here, but google “sun dogs polar vortex” for some examples. So Crozier is trying to convince them it’s too cold to safely attempt to cross the pack.


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