Fortitude Season 2: What You Need To Know
The first season of Sky Atlantic's Fortitude, created by Simon Donald, proved to be a show that was quite unlike any other. Part sci-fi, part murder mystery, Fortitude takes its name from the town in which the show is set, an isolated outcrop on the Arctic island of Svalbard whose peace is disrupted my a mysterious force that results, one way or another, in a series of grisly deaths, all under the watchful eye of a shadowy pharmaceutical company which employs many of the town's residents at a biological research facility.
Following a successful first run, Season 2 began airing in January this year and arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday (May 1st). Here's everything you need to know...
Who's in it?
The first season's impressive cast included Michael Gambon, Chris Eccleston and Stanley Tucci, but although none of those three return for the second series there are a number of returning cast members, including Sofie Gråbøl, Richard Dormer, Luke Treadaway and Sienna Guillory.
New additions to the cast for the second include Dennis Quaid, Game of Thrones star Michelle Fairley and Ken Stott, best-known to most for his starring role in long-running crime series Rebus.
What's the plot?
Season 2 kicks off with the first of several more grisly deaths when a decapitated body is found near the site of a road traffic accident out on the glacier – a death that foreshadows several similar ones in what appears to a case of a serial killer roaming the island town.
Meanwhile, Sofie Gråbøl's Hildur Odegard finds herself struggling to adjust to life outside government when she is replaced as governor by newcomer Erling Munk (Stott), a man she she suspects of sinister motives and whom she soon becomes convinced is corrupt.
Another newcomer to the island is fisherman Michael Lennox, who has his sights set on a lucrative haul of Arctic crab, but soon becomes the victim of an arson attack that leaves his boat destroyed, an incident he initially blames on his competitors, but as ever in Fortitude the truth is rather more complicated.
All of this feeds into a web of intrigue surrounding the town and the pharmaceutical company which acts as puppet master for many of its inhabitants and employees, and the discovery of a film detailing some strange experiments dating back to 1942 begins to reveal a dark chapter in the facility's history, one that involves the Russians, blood diamonds and mysterious satanic rituals.
Does it deliver?
There were times during the first season when Fortitude felt like it was getting a bit lost in the complexity of its own bizarre narrative and viewers could be forgiven for feeling a little perplexed by the time of the series' conclusion, but things do begin to straighten out a little in season 2.
While the likes of Tucci and Gambon addd weight to the first season, their characters aren't missed as much as you might imagine and the new additions, particularly Dennis Quaid's gnarly fisherman Lennox, prove to be good ones. The programme makers have yet to confirm if a third season is being commissioned and it would be a shame if that didn't happen as this is a show that is really starting to reach its potential.