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New BBC Drama The North Water Starring Stephen Graham Starts Tonight

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New BBC Drama The North Water Starring Stephen Graham Starts Tonight

A new BBC drama starring the always excellent Stephen Graham starts tonight (Friday 10 September). Watch the trailer here:


The five-part series is set in Hull and the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s, and also stars Colin Farrell (Seven Psychopaths, In Bruges, Phone Booth) and Jack O'Connell (This Is England, Skins, Godless).

Based on the novel of the same name by Ian McGuire, the show 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 synopsis reads: "1859. Patrick Sumner joins The Volunteer as a ship's surgeon, hoping to lose himself in the tough physicality of an Arctic whaling trip. But the ferocity of the elements is matched by the violence of his crewmates, with Drax (Farrell), a harpooner, a 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 way beyond the safe moorings of civilisation."

The drama kicks off tonight. Credit: BBC
The drama kicks off tonight. Credit: BBC

It sounds like it has all the ingredients to be a winner, doesn't it?


To make the show, the cast and crew actually headed to 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 farthest point north it is believed a drama series has ever been filmed.

Graham had a great time making the show. Credit: BBC
Graham had a great time making the show. Credit: BBC

Graham - who plays Captain Brownlee - told the BBC: "They said, 'Three weeks filming in the Arctic', and I was like, 'Well, not really the Arctic, not the Arctic Arctic?' but they said: 'It's three weeks in the Arctic on a ship, sailing'.


"We ended up 22 miles away from the North Pole. We pulled into this massive glacier and there was this feeling of being on another planet. It was unbelievable.

"We saw polar bears, walruses, seals, all these beautiful creatures in their own habitat, that was amazing."

So here's hoping we have nearly as much fun watching it as they clearly did making it.


The first episode will air on BBC Two at 9.30pm and subsequent episodes will air weekly at the same time.

But if you find yourself immediately hooked like a big whale, you will be able to binge the whole thing as a box set on BBC iPlayer.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: TV and Film, BBC, Stephen Graham, UK Entertainment

Jake Massey
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