BBC Two has rounded out the cast of The North Water. Stephen Graham (Line Of Duty), Tom Courtenay (The Aeronauts), Peter Mullan (Top Of The Lake), Sam Spruell (Legend), Roland Møller (Atomic Blond), Philip Hill-Pearson (Three Girls) and Kieran Urquhart (Vera) have been tapped to star opposite Jack O’Connell and Colin Farrell in the Ian McGuire adaptation.
The North Water is set in the UK and the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s and 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. On board he meets Henry Drax (Farrell), the harpooner, a brutish killer whose amorality has been shaped to fit the harshness of his world. Hoping to escape the horrors of his past, Sumner finds himself on an ill-fated journey with a murderous psychopath. In search of redemption, his story becomes a harsh struggle for survival in the Arctic wasteland.
Stephen Graham has been cast as Brownlee, the Volunteer’s Captain; Tom Courtenay as the ship’s owner, Baxter; Sam Spruell as Cavendish, the ship’s first mate; Roland Møller as Otto, a harpooner; Philip Hill-Pearson as McKendrick; and Kieran Urquhart as Jones. Details of Peter Mullan’s role are being kept under wraps. He will appear in episode four in a “pivotal role”. “Filming on the ship was an incredible experience and one that I will never forget”, Stephen Graham said. “To be so privileged to see such beautiful animals like polar bears in their natural habitat – albeit it an ever changing one, sadly – was truly remarkable.”
The four-part series, which consists of three hour-long episodes and one ninety-minute episode, is being penned by Andrew Haigh, who will also direct. The North Water is being produced for BBC Two by See-Saw Films. Rhombus Media are co-producing. Kate Ogborn is the series producer. The executive producers 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 first leg of filming recently wrapped in the Arctic, shooting for three weeks in Svalbard. Filming continues in Hungary. BBC Studios will handle global sales.
Alongside the casting announcement, BBC Two has released a series of first-look images from the series. Check it out below: