Fortitude (TV series)

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Created by Simon Donald
Opening theme "Peeling Off the Layers" by Wildbirds & Peacedrums
Composer(s) Ben Frost
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 22 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Simon Donald
  • Anne Mensah
  • Cameron Roach
  • Patrick Spence
  • Frith Tiplady
  • Andrew Woodhead
Producer(s) Matthew Bird
Production location(s) Reyðarfjörður, Iceland
Running time 46–49 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Endemol UK
Original network Sky Atlantic
Picture format 16:9
Original release 29 January 2015 (2015-01-29) – present
External links

Fortitude is a British sci-fi psychological thriller television series created and written by Simon Donald. A 12-episode series was commissioned by Sky Atlantic in 2013, and started airing on 29 January 2015.[1][2][3] The series is set in the fictional Arctic Norwegian settlement of Fortitude. On 9 April 2015, Sky Atlantic recommissioned the show for a second series consisting of 10 episodes,[4] which premiered on 26 January 2017.[5] On 25 January 2018, Sky announced a third and final series would air in late 2018, consisting of 4 episodes.[6]



Writer Simon Donald based his parasite on ichneumon wasps, which lay their eggs in hosts, after talking to a parasitologist.[7]


Fortitude is a fictional community located on Svalbard in Arctic Norway. It is described as an international community, with inhabitants from many parts of the world (population of 713 inhabitants and 4 police officers).[8] The series was filmed in both the UK and in Reyðarfjörður, Iceland.[9][10]


American actor Stanley Tucci appears in his first British television role as Detective Chief Inspector Morton from London's Metropolitan Police, who has flown to the peaceful close-knit community of Fortitude, as the local sheriff, played by Richard Dormer, investigates a violent murder. Christopher Eccleston plays Charlie Stoddart, a British scientist who leads the arctic biology department at the Fortitude arctic research facility. Michael Gambon portrays Henry Tyson, a wildlife photographer who is dying of cancer.[11] The Killing star Sofie Gråbøl plays Hildur Odegard, the governor of Fortitude, in her first UK television drama role.[12][13]


Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Series 1[edit]

Series 2[edit]


Series 1 (2015)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [16]
11"Episode 1"Sam MillerSimon Donald29 January 2015 (2015-01-29)1.53
Professor Charlie Stoddart, a scientist at the Fortitude research centre, is approached by Jason Donnelly, who claims to have found a mammoth carcass. When Jason offers to sell Charlie the carcass, he refuses and threatens to report Donnelly to the police for the illegal sale of a scientific discovery. Meanwhile, a young boy, Liam Sutter, faints after taking a walk with his friend, Carrie Morgan. When he later awakens, he discovers he is alone. His father, Frank, who is supposed to be looking after him, is nowhere to be seen. Liam opens up his bedroom window, and climbs barefoot into the snow. When he develops frostbite, he is rushed to hospital. Meanwhile, scientist Vincent Rattrey arrives at Stoddart's house for a pre-planned meeting and finds him dead, the victim of a savage attack.
22"Episode 2"Sam MillerSimon Donald29 January 2015 (2015-01-29)1.53
Rattrey is taken to the police station, but as forensic officers arrive to sweep the crime scene, they discover Stoddart is still alive, but he dies on the way to hospital. The mysterious disappearance of Natalie Yelburton leads Sheriff Anderssen to suspect she is either the perpetrator or another victim. When Henry Tyson discovers Stoddart has been murdered, he makes a call to an old friend in Britain. DCI Eugene Morton, from the London Metropolitan Police, arrives to investigate. Anderssen isn't pleased at Morton's arrival and immediately makes his feelings known. Dr. Allerdyce offers Liam's mother Julia the chance for Liam to take part in an experimental procedure which could stave the effects of frostbite.
33"Episode 3"Sam MillerSimon Donald5 February 2015 (2015-02-05)1.26
The search for Natalie Yelburton continues, but information from Eric Odegard points the team toward Jason Donnelly, who they suspect may be responsible for Stoddart's murder, who he confronted earlier in the day. Sheriff Anderssen is suspicious when he learns Morton left London before Stoddard's murder was even reported. Meanwhile, Morton receives advice from local teacher Markus Huseklepp, who turns to him after a violent confrontation with Frank Sutter. As the search for Natalie and Jason leads the team to an exploration bunker out on the glacier, they finally stumble upon a possible motive for the murder. As the team set out to find Jason's brother Ciaran, Governor Hildur discovers Stoddart left a telephone message for his wife, which could thwart her plans to build a hotel on the glacier.
44"Episode 4"Richard LaxtonStephen Brady12 February 2015 (2015-02-12)1.10
Ciaran is found beaten and gagged in a warehouse at the back of his shop, and he points the finger towards Ronnie Morgan. Morgan is nowhere to be found, and his daughter, Carrie, is also missing. Meanwhile, Morton seizes his chance to interview Henry Tyson, who denies making the phone call that brought Morton to Fortitude. When Eric Odegard pays a visit to Julia, an unexpected accident leads him to discover Frank's blood-stained T-shirt in the bathroom. Eric tries to alert Sheriff Anderssen, but he is out of radio range while searching for a boat used by Ronnie Morgan in his escape. Later, a vital piece of evidence belonging to Stoddart is stolen from Morton's hotel room while he is distracted by an altercation next door, where he discovers an angry Sheriff Anderssen savagely beating Frank.
55"Episode 5"Richard LaxtonSimon Donald19 February 2015 (2015-02-19)1.15
Frank is taken in and interviewed by Morton. He denies being responsible for Stoddard's murder and claims, on the night in question, he found his son covered in blood, saying this caused by a ruptured swelling in his son's throat. Hildur organises a DNA test to confirm if the blood found on the shirt is Stoddard's or Liam's. Elena reveals he snuck out to have sex with her and left his son alone. The blood is confirmed to belong to Stoddard, but Frank is adamant that he found his son covered in blood and was not responsible for the murder. When Morton finds a pair of blood-stained pyjamas hidden in Liam's room, the evidence seemingly confirms Frank's story. Meanwhile, Ronnie Morgan continues to lay low from the police, camped out on the glacier with his daughter.
66"Episode 6"Hettie MacDonaldSimon Donald26 February 2015 (2015-02-26)1.15
In a flashback to the night of the murder, Liam is seen leaving his bedroom and walking over to Stoddard's house. He attacks him with a chopping board before taking cover under the kitchen table. Further forensic examination of Stoddard's body reveals a broken fingernail lodged in a rib, later determined to belong to Liam. Dr. Allerdyce wakens Liam in his hyperbaric chamber just long enough for him to confirm to Morton he was present at the murder scene. Jason discovers Ronnie has taken the ivory tusks from the Mammoth carcass. Meanwhile, the focus of Morton's investigation switches to the dead Pettigrew, a geologist who was eaten by a polar bear. After discovering who was responsible for stealing the evidence, he unexpectedly stumbles upon a possible crime scene.
77"Episode 7"Hettie MacDonaldTom Butterworth & Chris Hurford5 March 2015 (2015-03-05)1.05
As Fortitude begins to come to terms with Stoddard's death, Morton begins his investigation to find out who was responsible for Pettigrew's murder. After visiting the research centre and speaking with lab technician Max Cordero, he decides to track down Yuri Lubimov, whom he is certain holds vital information on the case. Shirley Allerdyce becomes more and more sick, but her boyfriend Markus continues his quest to make her 'more beautiful by the day'. Lubimov suggests to Morton that Eric was responsible for Pettigrew's murder, and that his police colleagues have hidden evidence in order to protect him. Henry Tyson has a flashback and realises he photographed Pettigrew's murder scene. Ronnie Morgan arranges a deal to sell the ivory tusks but is ambushed and is forced to hand over his goods at gunpoint. Shirley's illness overcomes her, leading her to brutally attack her own mother and leave her for dead.
88"Episode 8"Hettie MacDonaldBen Richards12 March 2015 (2015-03-12)1.00
The townsfolk are disturbed by the second attack and suspect a serial killer may be on the loose. Shirley is found dead of a heart attack in a nearby supermarket. Frank Sutter becomes convinced the second attack proves his son was not responsible for Stoddart's murder and tries to find evidence to prove Markus' involvement. As Dr. Allerdyce fights for her life in hospital, Carrie Morgan finally returns home.
99"Episode 9"Nick HurranStephen Brady19 March 2015 (2015-03-19)1.03
Frank Sutter interrogates Huseklepp, convinced he was responsible for his son's involvement in Stoddart's death. Meanwhile, Rattrey and Yelburton receive a note from Stoddard, to be delivered in the event of his death. It asks them to perform a brain analysis on a polar bear who was found to have mauled and eaten another adult male. Toxins in the bear's brain motivate Rattrey to perform the same analysis on Shirley Allerdyce to determine if her body carried the same toxins. When the test results come back positive, Rattrey realises an environmental factor played a part in both murders. Morton continues to probe into the circumstances surrounding Pettigrew's death. When he finds a series of photographs in Henry Tyson's dark room depicting the scene, he realises Sheriff Anderssen's version of events doesn't tally up.
1010"Episode 10"Nick HurranTom Butterworth & Chris Hurford26 March 2015 (2015-03-26)0.87
The test to determine if Liam Sutter carries the same toxins as Shirley Allerdyce comes back as negative, forcing Rattrey and Yelburton to seek approach. They discover both perpetrators carried spores in their blood, suggesting an airborne virus. When Jules decides to flee with Liam, they discover Hildur locked down the island in order to determine who has been affected. Jason Donnelly returns home, battered and bruised, but refuses to give an account of his whereabouts. Morton heads out onto the glacier in search of Henry, but meets a grisly fate when Henry refuses to be interrogated by Morton. Huseklepp becomes increasingly anxious when the research center refuse him access to Shirley's body.
1111"Episode 11"Sam MillerSimon Donald2 April 2015 (2015-04-02)0.82
Anderssen heads out onto the glacier in an attempt to rescue Morton. In a flashback to the night of Pettigrew's death, Anderssen reveals to Morton that he found Pettigrew in Elena's hotel room after raping her. After subduing him, he took Pettigrew to the beach and handcuffed him to a pylon, where he was subsequently mauled by a polar bear before being shot by Henry Tyson. Meanwhile, Rattrey goes in search of Stoddart's dog, shot at the scene of his murder. A post-mortem examination reveals the dog ingested larvae found in Stoddart's remains. Suspecting Dr. Allerdyce became the larvae's host, transferring them from Liam Sutter to her daughter, he finally uncovers the link between the two murders. But when attempting to uncover the larvae's identity, he finds Dr. Allerdyce's body has become a feeding ground.
1212"Episode 12"Sam MillerSimon Donald9 April 2015 (2015-04-09)1.06
Rattrey is trapped with Dr. Allerdyce in her hospital room, forced to succumb to the plague of wasps, as Yelburton and Sheriff Anderssen watch helplessly. Meanwhile, Eric goes out in search of the missing ice drill, and finds Yuri and Max out on the glacier. Yuri, powered by his own greed, decides to fight Eric, leaving him unconscious – but he himself is left helpless when he falls into a cave beneath the ice, into a mammoth's graveyard. Jason finally reveals the location of the mammoth carcass, and the location of Ronnie Morgan's body – but it all seems too late. As Elena succumbs to the virus, Anderssen is forced to shoot her to prevent her from infecting the child.

Series 2 (2017)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [16]
131"Episode 1"Hettie MacDonaldSimon Donald26 January 2017 (2017-01-26)0.777
A road traffic accident out on the glacier leads to the discovery of a headless body. Forensic examination reveals that the angle of decapitation suggests that it could not have been an accident. As Ingrid and Petra try to identity the victim, Hildur is forced to take charge of the investigation in Anderssen and Eric's absence. Meanwhile, fisherman Michael Lennox has pitched up in Fortitude in the hope of collecting an incoming haul of rare Arctic King Crab worth upward of $13 per pound. However, a fire on his vessel leads him to suspect that one of his rivals may have discovered his intended plan. Vincent announces that he is heading back home to London for good, but not before he reveals his true feelings for Natalie. Convinced that the former sheriff has died somewhere out on the glacier, Hildur sends out a search party to bring Eric home, but then Anderssen unexpectedly reappears.
142"Episode 2"Hettie MacDonaldTom Butterworth & Chris Hurford2 February 2017 (2017-02-02)0.350
Hildur is shocked to discover that she is to be replaced as governor of Fortitude by Munk. The search for the glacier victim's missing head takes a surprising turn when Ingrid discovers an item of clothing belonging to Rune in the victim's house. Attempting to use Tavrani as a source of information to discover how the decapitation may have taken place, Eric is surprised to find the victim's missing head upright in Tavrani's freezer. Tavrani manages to escape, leaving Eric and the team no closer to uncovering the killer's identity. Meanwhile, Michael and Markus are forced to join forces when a polar bear runs rampage in the local primary school, leaving Vincent and Natalie attempting to identify the cause of the animal's rage. As Hildur tries to discover why her bosses are keen to oust her out, Anderssen continues to fight for his life.
153"Episode 3"Hettie MacDonaldSimon Burke9 February 2017 (2017-02-09)0.330
Eric, Ingrid and Petra finally manage to track down Tavrani, but he fails to provide them with any useful information as to who the killer might be. Meanwhile, Natalie and Vincent head out into the wilderness in an attempt to discover why a deer has been spotted eating the remains of a polar bear in the frigid wastes of the tundra. When a second headless victim is found out on the glacier, Munk angrily demands Eric to catch the killer. However, the killer's reign of terror continues to cause trouble when a burial site is savaged for surviving organs. Whilst trapped in custody, a masked intruder forces his way into the station and uses a knife to remove Tavrani's tongue. Khatri orders a review of Anderssen's medical history in light of his miraculous recovery. Hildur struggles to adjust to life outside of government.
164"Episode 4"Kieron HawkesSimon Burke16 February 2017 (2017-02-16)0.298
Hong Mankyo identifies the second headless victim found out on the glacier as his missing daughter, Bianca. Tavrani begins to recover in hospital, but continues to refuse to identify who was responsible for the vicious attack. Hildur and Eric's relationship continues to crumble as it becomes apparent that Munk has ulterior motives for becoming acting governor. Michael offers Hildur assistance in retrieving communications from Munk's computer that could provide information as to why she was sacked. Vladek Klimov comes to Fortitude and reignites his friendship with Freya, Michael Lennox's wife, and she asks Vladek, a shaman, to heal her from her deadly neuro-degenerative disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, AKA Lou Gehrig's disease). Natalie and Vincent's field trip continues to spiral when Vincent begins to suffer from a bout of hysterical blindness. Eric comes face to face with Anderssen for the first time since his miraculous recovery.
175"Episode 5"Kieron HawkesSimon Donald23 February 2017 (2017-02-23)0.168
Just hours after his release from hospital, Tavrani is found dead of suspected heart failure. Later, during the memorial service for Bianca Mankyo, a hooded figure disrupts the mourners by sadistically taunting them with Tavrani's missing tongue. Eric and Michael give chase and are led into a mysterious lair where they find Bianca's missing head suspended from the ceiling in a yellow holdall. The man escapes, but not before Eric shoots him. Hildur is left a suspicious package in her hotel room, which contains video footage of an autopsy from 1942 in which the victim appears to return to life. Freya tends to Vladek Klimov's wound, revealing him to be the man Eric shot. Anderssen threatens Khatri to gain entry into the research facility to turn off Elena's life support machine, but is shocked when she makes an unexpected recovery. Ingrid suspects that her mother has been harbouring Vladek Klimov, the man suspected of being the murderer. Munk warns bartender Tomak that he is no longer prepared to support his activities, revealing the two to be conspiring.
186"Episode 6"Metin HüseyinSimon Burke2 March 2017 (2017-03-02)0.180
Khatri pressures Munk into diverting the police's attention to find Anderssen and Elena, despite Tomak just having become the fourth victim of the still unidentified serial killer. Michael tries to convince Natalie and Vincent of the possibilities of full tissue regeneration with the evidence file and films from 1942. Hildur and Eric are forced to confront their feelings for one another, but when Hildur tries to convince Eric of Munk's corruption, he refuses to believe her. Meanwhile, a large sinkhole appears on a highway out on the glacier, and Munk is reluctant to spend the town's resources on fixing it. Petra manages to track down Dan, who then manages to blackmail Khatri to secure his release from custody. Hildur decides to challenge Munk to find out the truth behind her removal as governor, but her efforts to lure him into a trap, resulting in his own downfall, end in tragedy.
197"Episode 7"Metin HüseyinSimon Donald9 March 2017 (2017-03-09)0.215
Munk continues to cover up the events surrounding Hildur's death. As Freya's health begins to deteriorate, Michael goes in search of the weather station featured in the video from 1942, but discovers more than he bargained for when he is confronted by a lone Russian soldier. Munk urges Eric to step up the investigation and nail the killer before he takes another victim. Following a heart-to-heart with Vladek, Anderssen crushes Elena to death as he realized he isn't his former self anymore. Natalie approaches Munk with evidence of Khatri's corruption, but he refuses to investigate. Eric's suspicions begin to grow when it becomes apparent that Hildur has been uncontactable for some time. When he receives news of a body found floating in a lake out on the glacier, he is heartbroken to discover that the victim is his estranged wife.
208"Episode 8"Kieron HawkesSimon Burke16 March 2017 (2017-03-16)0.174
Two men stumble upon Vladek's shrine cave and are killed. Vincent and Ingrid wake up together. Khatri confronts a frightened Anderssen about his genetic changes, warns him he will experience uncontrollable violence, and offers to cure him; instead he takes over the murder investigations while Eric blames himself for Hildur's "suicide." Michael brings the female Russian soldier's body to Vincent. He tries to convince Eric that Hildur was murdered, but he again refuses to listen. Michael finally brings his suspicions to Ingrid and Petra, who hear him out. Terrified that Natalie knows about the tissue regeneration, Munk and Khatri conspire to steal all her evidence and poison her. Vladek finds Elena's body and burns it Viking style. Anderssen wakes up a lab table but Vladek soon incapacitates her and retrieves the former sheriff.
219"Episode 9"Kieron HawkesSimon Donald23 March 2017 (2017-03-23)0.152
Vladek forces Anderssen to take muscimol with him and then reveals the tupilaq. Freya arrives and burns it. Vladek escapes with an unconscious Freya while Michael and Ingrid save Anderssen from the fire. Vincent finds Natalie bleeding from the eyes, apparently infected. Michael and Ingrid discover where and how Hildur was murdered. Vladek castrates himself, cauterizes the wound, and turns himself in to Elena. Anderssen locks Petra in a cell and beats Vladek to death and drags his body into the town hall. Michael takes Munk at gunpoint and Munk promises to save Freya.
2210"Episode 10"Kieron HawkesSimon Donald30 March 2017 (2017-03-30)0.113
The extraction team arrive in Fortitude in search of Dan. Natalie's condition continues to worsen, but, when Vincent discovers that Khatri is leaving town, he is forced to take drastic action to potentially save his friend's life. The sheriff announces to the townspeople that Hildur was murdered and gives a chilling account of her death, naming Munk as her killer. As he allows the townspeople to carry out their own form of justice, Michael realises that he is the only person who holds the key to saving Freya. As Michael continues his search for answers, Eric comes to his rescue when he is shot by a member of the extraction team.


Critics gave positive reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season an 89% rating with an average score rating of 7.74 out of 10 based on 27 critic reviews. The critical consensus reads "Fortitude's fine cast, deliberate pacing, and chilling setting provide the show with more than enough of the titular quality."[17] Metacritic gave the first season a score of 75 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews" based on 15 critic reviews.[18]

The second season received generally positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a 100% approval rating with an average rating of 7.17 out of 10 based on 6 reviews.[19]


In the United States and Canada, the series premiered on 29 January 2015 (the same date as the UK) on Pivot and Super Channel, respectively. It was also dubbed in Persian language and aired by Manoto in Iran.[20][21] The series debuted in Australia on 15 February 2015 on ABC.[22]


The violent scenes broadcast of the series by FX on 19 February 2017 in Indonesia led to the banning of the channel by Indonesian authority from 10 to 14 April 2017.[23]


  1. ^ "Sky Vision announces FORTITUDE presales in advance of star-studded launch at MIPCOM". Sky Vision. 11 September 2014. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (24 January 2014). "Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston to Star in Sky's 'Fortitude'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (19 December 2014). "Pivot Sets Jan. 29 Premiere for Stanley Tucci Drama 'Fortitude'". Variety. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Rigby, Sam (9 April 2015). "Fortitude renewed for second series by Sky Atlantic". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Fortitude". Sky. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "Sky Atlantic's Arctic thriller Fortitude to return for final four-part miniseries". Radio Times. Retrieved 25 February 2018. 
  7. ^ Schuster, Jessica (2017). "Fortitude creator Simon Donald answers some burning questions about the chilling drama". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company Ltd. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  8. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (27 January 2015). "Our fascination with the Arctic from Greek myths to Sky Atlantic's new drama Fortitude". The Independent. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Wareing, Charlotte (25 January 2014). "Harry Potter star Michael Gambon to join Stanley Tucci for new Sky Atlantic drama Fortitude". The Mirror. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Davis, Serena (27 January 2015). "Fortitude: behind the scenes of Sky's most expensive drama ever". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (24 January 2014). "Stanley Tucci, Christopher Eccleston to star in Sky Atlantic drama". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "The Killing star Sofie Gråbøl in new British TV drama". The Telegraph. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Curis, Nick (11 February 2017). "Sofie Grabol: 'I am mystified by the British obsession with Danish culture'". The Times. Retrieved 11 February 2017. (Registration required (help)). 
  14. ^ Eames, Tom (2 February 2016). "Fortitude series 2 adds Dennis Quaid, Game of Thrones star Michelle Fairley, Robert Sheehan and ER's Parminder Nagra". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  15. ^ "Fortitude Season 2 press pack". Sky. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "Weekly Top 10 Programmes (See relevant weeks and scroll down to Sky Atlantic)". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "Fortitude: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "Fortitude: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "Fortitude: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  20. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (19 December 2014). "Pivot Sets Jan. 29 Premiere for Stanley Tucci Drama 'Fortitude'". Variety. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  21. ^ Moore, Frazier (29 January 2015). "Fortitude a gripping murder mystery set in Arctic". The Star. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  22. ^ Knox, David (23 January 2015). "Airdate: Fortitude. Returning: Broadchurch". TV Tonight. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  23. ^

External links[edit]