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Colin Farrell, Stephen Graham, Jack O’Connell in BBC’s ‘The North Water’ – First Look Revealed

BBC Two has released several images from its upcoming star-studded, long-gestating drama series “The North Water.”

The new photos feature Jack O’Connell as Patrick Sumner, Colin Farrell as Henry Drax, and Stephen Graham as Captain Brownlee, alongside Tom Courtenay as Baxter, seen in character for the first time. “The North Water” also stars Peter Mullan, Sam Spruell and Roland Møller.

Adapted for the screen and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Haigh, “The North Water” is made by See-Saw Films for the BBC. Production began on the series in 2019.

Filming started in Hungary, on the Nowegian archipelago of Svalbard (Spitzbergen), with the Production Team journeying North as far as 81 degrees, to shoot pack ice sequences, which is purported to be the furthest point North any television drama has ever been filmed. In 2020, filming had to be paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The remaining block of filming was successfully completed at Black Hangar Studios, following carefully Covid-compliant guidelines. 

“The North Water” – Colin Farrell as Henry Drax. BBC/See-Saw Films

Set in Hull and on the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s, the series’ 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, one of the furthest points north a drama series has ever filmed before.

“The North Water” – Jack O’Connell as Patrick Sumner Stephen Graham as Captain Brownlee. BBC/See-Saw Films

Based on the acclaimed novel by Ian McGuire, which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and named a New York Times Book Review editors’ choice, 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. The ferocity of the elements, however, is matched by the violence of his crew mates, with Drax (Farrell), a harpooner and a 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 civilization.

“North Water” – Tom Courtenay as Baxter. BBC/See-Saw Films

Executive producers on the series are Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman for See-Saw Films, Niv Fichman for Rhombus Media, and Jo McClellan for the BBC. The series was produced by Kate Ogborn. “The North Water” is a co-production with Rhombus Media and is distributed internationally by BBC Studios.

See-Saw Films’ drama credits include Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake” series.

“The North Water”. BBC/See-Saw Films

“The North Water” will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this fall.

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