In the UK: Thursdays, 9pm, Sky Atlantic
In the US: Thursdays, 10e/p, Pivot TV
I remember watching the first episode of Twin Peaks very well. It was my first year at university and I was sat in the TV room. The hype for the show had been huge, and the room was full as a result. We sat waiting in expectation through the previous programme for the moment when David Lynch’s very first TV series would begin.
And for about 30 minutes, we sat there wondering what the hell all the fuss was about. This was boring. This was dull. David Lynch made this? David Lynch?
But then, through a simple straight cut scene change, we were catapulted into the Twin Peaks everyone would come to grow and love. Because we were suddenly in the car with Special Agent Dale Cooper of the FBI and finally we understood what the fuss was about.
Fortitude doesn’t quite have that moment but it has something also approaching it. For pretty much two episodes, you sit with baited breath, watching the beautiful Icelandic filming and the famous cast as they enact a lifeless and - punningly enough - glacial script. Set in a small town on a Norwegian island in the Arctic circle where the inhabitants are outnumbered by polar bears and no one’s allowed to die, even the murder of one of the inhabitants isn’t enough to get things going in the frozen wastes of the prestige filming.
But then, in the last act of the second episode, Stanley Tucci arrives to save the day. The Agent Cooper of the piece, almost single-handedly he makes this a must-watch show… and he even brings the Twin Peaks with him. Here’s a trailer.