Fortitude (Sky/Pivot)


How Liam got sick after finding the mammoth with wasn’t exactly made clear. But my assumption right from the beginning was that it was made clear the mammoth corpse infected anyone who touched it, from Liam and the girl, to the girl’s father and his mate. And that the girl was clearly immune, especially since she stayed resolutely healthy while her father deteriorated as they rambled over the country. It is of course possible I am the only person who came away with that understanding.

I think someone above commented that while they were in the tent, and they came out and blood was outside the tent, this was the father acting out his ‘sickness’. I think this was a misunderstanding, and the blood was instead relating to the father saying there were no polar bears outside, but it turns out they weren’t as safe as he wanted to portray because obviously a polar bear butchered something outside their tent. Or something like that. The father never made it to fullblown ‘mammoth aids’ status, as he was lucid to the point he was murdered by his mate whom he purloined the mammoth with.

As for Elena… remember how when Elena and the girl were in the girl’s father’s house, they’d flick to showing the festering infected corpse of the father ripening in the boiler room? Then the scene where Elena picks up the keys in the hallway, in episode 11, where you hear buzzing of flies and likely see one, but she doesn’t cotton on, and just puts the keys in the door. I think it’s fair to assume the whole point of that scene was to foreshadow Elena getting ‘sick’.


I think someone above commented that while they were in the tent, and they came out and blood was outside the tent, this was the father acting out his ‘sickness’. I think this was a misunderstanding, and the blood was instead relating to the father saying there were no polar bears outside, but it turns out they weren’t as safe as he wanted to portray because obviously a polar bear butchered something outside their tent.

Oh absolutely. It came right after the scene where Ronnie said that there are no polar bears near that place and was just one more proof of how this situation was way over his head and that he was a moron for putting his daughter and himself in such a situation.

I think it’s fair to assume the whole point of that scene was to foreshadow Elena getting ‘sick’.

That certainly makes sense, but still doesn’t explain exactly how she would get sick. Did one of the wasps escape and stung her? I doubt she had discovered the body because she most certainly would have called Dan and the rest of the police right away. It’s not like the symptons kick in the second you get infected. And just being near Ronnie wouldn’t do it.

It’s also weird that touching the mammoth seems utterly dangerous and highly contageous, but touching one of the ‘zombified’ people, even sexual intercourse, doesn’t seem to transmit whatever it is. None of the people around Liam (Frank, Jules) Jason (Natalie, his wife( or Shirley (her bf) got sick.

Btw., leave it to Yuri to speak out something I had been wondering since the first episode: How would you build a larger building ON a glacier?


Wasn’t the implication that the wasp’s “life cycle” had two stages, with an intermediary host who has to vomit the egg substance into the “brood” host?

So Liam, Shirley Allerdyce, and Jason all got sick from direct exposure to the mammoth. Liam found the mammoth (and, yes, for whatever reason, Carrie was immune), Jason carted the mammoth into town, and then Shirley found the cooler behind the market where the mammoth was stored. Elena presumably got infected from being in the same house with a “brood host” next to the house’s heating system, circulating infected air (?). I don’t think these people were stung by the wasps, were they? Otherwise, wouldn’t we have seen a wasp? Could this be some sort of airborne infection? Or spread through fluids?

At this point, a parasite drives the host to kill someone and vomit the egg substance into the victim’s torso. It then turns that person into a brood host, as we saw with Dr. Allerdyce. But what isn’t entirely clear is what happens to the intermediary host, right? Jason committed suicide knowing what he’s done. Shirley had a heart attack while gorging herself at the supermarket. Elena was shot by Dan. And presumably Liam is a basket case for the rest of his life?

One of the clues was the larva that Vincent found in Stoddard’s dog’s intestinal tract. Was the dog eating from Stoddard’s “corpse”? So these larva were in the fluid vomited up by Liam, right? The hot Sienna Guillory scientist tells Vincent that wasps don’t reach sexual maturity in less that 48 hours, so he’s probably fine. But at that point, isn’t it all guesswork as to what happens with the life cycle after all the wasps have hatched? We’re just left knowing that Vincent is probably fine. Aside from the serious burns all over his face and body, of course.



Ah, well that clears that up! Why didn’t you weigh in earlier when I was asking about that? I was thinking Carrie had been infected and had killed something herself!

And, yeah, I love that Yuri brings up that minor detail about the glacier. I can’t believe where they left that character.



We saw several ominous shots of insects buzzing in windows, etc. They weren’t clearly identifiable as wasps, but then, neither were the ones emerging from Dr. Allerdyce. We don’t actually see the infected characters getting stung or bitten or whatever, no, but they were certainly in a position to have been and not necessarily have noticed, and if we’d specifically been shown that I think it would have been too easy to figure out where the show was going with things.


Hmm. I don’t remember those. But you’re saying the people exposed to the mammoth corpse were stung? You could be right, but I didn’t get that impression. And consider Vincent’s physical reaction to the stings. Those hardly seem like the sorts of things someone wouldn’t notice! And how do you explain Elena’s infection when she wasn’t exposed to the mammoth and Ronnie hadn’t yet “hatched”? Or had he? Did we see bugs in the heater room?

But regardless, there are two separate stages to the process. We know how the second stage begins, but we can only infer how the first stage begins.



The scene where Elena is outside the boiler room, and finds the key, and locks the boiler room is preceded by several shots of the girl’s father full blown with his mouth open and insects buzzing, much like the doctor in the hospital bed. And when she is there locking the door, there’s buzzing.

There is lots of inference needed, and I think in this case, less so than others.


Binged this over the weekend based on the impressions from this thread. Great, great show. I still want to know why the hell the sheriff was at the professor’s house…


I only just noticed that Fortitude was picked up for a 2nd season. Yay. No word as to when it will premiere.

I don’t know how they can recapture the tone of the original. So much of it was predicated on not knowing just where the series might head. ie if it would stay grounded in science/reality, or if it would veer into Lovecraft-esque territory. Still, if they can condense another richly detailed plot into a single season, and keep on with the glorious HD footage of this locale, I’m in.


I’m into this through Episode 8 and oh my lord. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a show quite like this. I’m staying away from page 2 of this thread as I don’t want to be spoiled, but just wanted to say that if this can close itself up, it might rank as the best TV single season I’ve ever seen.

I know I’m going to have to go back & rewatch the first few episodes because so many things were happening / relationships and I as the viewer really didn’t catch on. So revisiting them will be necessary!

Tom - you’re spot on. He’s really like a Sherlock Holmes who holds his cards a bit more closer to his chest. One of the last scenes in Ep 8, they’re walking out of the town meeting where the mayor finally calmed everyone down and Sherriff Dan turns to DCI Morton and shouts “ask me anything you want” and DCI Morton smiles and says “Oh I will” and the scene ends. He’ll ask it when he’s ready to ask!


Gah, you bumped this thread. I’ve watched the first season twice. I wouldn’t mind a third time round. It really is an amazing stretch of television, so cinematic, so unusual, so eerie, such a powerful sense of place and such memorable distinct characters. I’m glad you’re enjoying it, Tman. Come back to debrief when you’re done with the season!



Yeah, I loved this show so much. And it came completely out of the blue, too. I heard absolutely nothing about it before I stumbled across the AV Club’s coverage of the pilot and was like, “Oooh. This looks interesting.” I’m so glad it was!

Really wondering what they’re going to do (and whether they’ll be able to keep up the magic) with season 2. Aside from, apparently, cast Dennis Quaid.


A second season? That’s great news although October is a long time away.


Ok, wow. Very nice. I think it tied up pretty good. So many individual story arcs, I was pleasantly surprised how most were resolved. I thought they would be related, but it all made sense - except of course what everyone else in this thread is mentioning, and that’s how did Sheriff Dan get into Stoddart’s house so quickly.

At the end, do we really know if the russian dies? Him waking up and flopping down, I’m not sure if he was happy or sad or what and the shot of Eric returning to the drill cut away pretty quickly. Did he return and dig the russian out? Possible, but I’m thinking not as this is just my desire for conspiracy!

The buzzing was at the end of each episode while it cut to credits. I kept thinking of Amityville Horror but didn’t think the flies / wasps would be literal!

Awesome series. Very tightly wound. Kept the tension going.

“We don’t need a bigger hotel, we need a bigger morgue”


So cool to see Richard Dormer back on Game of Thrones!



I really enjoyed the show.
I am just going to let it out. Spoilers (heavy, in a way), but no real structured thought. Sorry.

I liked how the show switched away from the zombie-pseudo menace (without discarding it either) to a more relatable, common, horror: the psychological massacre we may inflict upon each others. Most of the characters got a surprising depth for how little we end up really knowing about them, but I’ll just focus on Richard Dormer’s. Andersen is incredible. I kept going left and right. What should I think about him? Let’s scratch that: no, not think, feel. Hate, fear, sympathy, pathos? Such a vivid representation of humanity, both strong and weak, comforting and worth of contemptation, angry and sad, startling and sympathetic, is so rare. The “houellebecq-ish” ending was perfect.

As Tom said in his article for the Halloween month, I am left puzzled at how can you even plan a second season after this? And, in my opinion, he pulled a nice trick in his opening, trying to make the reader think it is Halloween horror, while it is much more insiduous than that. The kind of horror that makes you want to hug your loved ones, maybe as a spell.


I’m looking for my post in this thread, and now realize that I neglected to post anything! And I think it was because I didn’t feel like I’d be contributing anything that hadn’t already been said.

But yeah, the girlfriend and I binge-watched the entire show this past winter based on what you guys had been writing here up until that point.

And we absolutely loved it. Julie kept gushing about this Richard Dormer guy while we watched. And so she got a big kick out of Tom’s “Make TV Scare Again” Fortitude post, in which he too gushes about him. Now I’ll admit that I did enjoy his performance quite a bit, but the two of you could start a fan club.

“back on Game Of Thrones”? We’ve so far watched the first 5 seasons, and don’t recall seeing him before. Which season was he on before? Of course, we probably weren’t specifically looking for him at that time, but based on his performance in Fortitude, I’m surprised he didn’t jump out at us.


I really thought that the girl’s rabbit was going to be an important piece of the puzzle. They spent a bunch of time with it early on and “Harvey” was on the TV for the first murder with Jimmy Stewart saying that Harvey was ancient. Then it went nowhere.

Super cool series. Just a complete creep-fest.


My best friend is visiting and I showed her the first episode. In 5 minutes, when the kids fish some bony thing out of the biological muck, she said “What a shame the permafrost has receded to the degree that mammoth remains are decomposing like that.” My jaw dropped.

Later, when we see the mammoth carcass in the grocery cooler under a tarp, she said “Is this whole thing just going to be a story about bacteria that get exposed after millions of years in the ice?”

Sometimes people can be too smart for their own good.


Well, technically it’s not bacteria! Or not just.