As AMC's first season of The Terror comes to a close, it's understandable if the thing that terrifies you most is that there might not be any more of this addictive, captivating, excruciating, gorgeous and horrifying series to watch. The show is an adaptation of the book by Dan Simmons that follows the historically catastrophic Franklin Expedition by the British Royal Navy to find the Northwest Passage through Canada in the 1840s, and by all accounts, the Season 1 finale covers the end of the book and concludes the story.
So will there be a Season 2? Maybe! But don't expect any more of this particular story.
"When AMC greenlit the show now almost three years ago, they greenlit it as an anthology show," co-showrunner and executive producer Soo Hugh told TV Guide. "Meaning Season 1 would be the story of the Franklin Expedition, and subsequent seasons would take on a new narrative that carried the DNA that we established in Season 2."
Despite the show being named after this book (which in turn was named after one of the ships featured in the book), The Terror could return, presumably with a new story, setting and characters in each season, much like what American Crime Story does for FX and True Detective for HBO.
The Terror would be AMC's first anthology series, should it choose to renew it. AMC has not made any formal announcement of a second season, but the series won over critics and is AMC's fourth most-watched program, behind only the pair of The Walking Dead shows and Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. The Terror is also already a contender for awards season,thanks to a stellar cast led by Jared Harris' dazzling performance. A few Emmy nods could seal its future.
However, there almost was more of the famed Franklin Expedition in the show. When David Kajganich was selling the project to networks, there was a version of it that included a continuation of this particular expedition, co-showrunner Soo Hugh told TV Guide. But when it landed at AMC, the Franklin Expedition was contained to one season.
And for those of you who were impressed by Kajganich and Hugh's vision and are curious to see their take on a new story in Season 2, I have bad news. "Dave and I aren't coming back for Season 2 by our choice," Hugh says. "We're just really excited to see what AMC does with what we've done."
But you can see more of their work soon enough. Kajganich is working on a film for Ridley Scott to direct, and Hugh is working on an adaptation of a book that is about immigrants, which she hopes to talk about in detail in the coming weeks. Both say their projects are very different from The Terror, and given the content of the show, we don't blame them if they want to take a break from it.
"I'd like to go onto a smaller canvas [for my next project]," Hugh says. "We're both exhausted."
The Terror's Season 1 finale airs Monday, May 21 at 9/8c on AMC.