Fortitude (TV series)

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 1
No. of episodes 12 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Simon Donald
  • Anne Mensah
  • Cameron Roach
  • Patrick Spence
  • Frith Tiplady
  • Andrew Woodhead
Producer(s) Matthew Bird
Location(s) Iceland
Running time 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 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]


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 800 inhabitants and 4 police officers).[5] The series was filmed in both the UK and in Reyðarfjörður, Iceland.[6][7]


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.[8] The Killing star Sofie Gråbøl plays the governor of Fortitude in her first UK television drama role.[9]


Main cast

Series 1 (2015)

Series 2 (2017)

Recurring cast

Series 1 (2015)


Series 1 (2015)

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
1"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 a man named Jason Donnelly, who claims to have found the carcass of an extinct mammoth. 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 out into the snow, bare-foot, to search for him. When he contracts frostbite, he is rushed to hospital. Meanwhile, scientist Vincent Rattrey arrives at Stoddart's house for a pre-planned meeting and finds him dead, having been the victim of a savage attack.
2"Episode 2"Sam MillerSimon Donald29 January 2015 (2015-01-29)1.53
Rattrey is escorted to the police station, but as forensic officers arrive to sweep the crime scene, they discover Stoddart is still alive - but despite the best efforts of a fast-response paramedic, he dies on the way to hospital. The mysterious disappearance of Natalie Yelburton leads Sheriff Andersen 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 back home. DCI Eugene Morton, of the Metropolitan police, arrives to take up the case on behalf of Stoddart's widow, whom he discovers hasn't yet been informed of the murder. Andersen isn't pleased to learn of DCI Morton's arrival, and immediately makes his feelings known. Dr. Allerdyce offers Julia the chance to allow Liam to take part in an experimental procedure which could stave the effects of frostbite.
3"Episode 3"Sam MillerSimon Donald5 February 2015 (2015-02-05)1.26
The search for Natalie Yelburton continues, but information from Eric Odegard leads the team in the direction of Jason Donnelly, whom they suspect may be responsible for the murder, after he was seen confronting Stoddart earlier in the day. Sheriff Andersen is suspicious when it transpires that DCI Morton had to have 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, Hildur discovers that Stoddart left a telephone message for his wife, which could potentially scupper her plans to build a hotel on the glacier.
4"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, but Henry denies making the phone call that brought him to Fortitude. When Eric Odegard pays a visit to Julia, an unexpected accident leads him to discover a blood-stained T-shirt in the bathroom linen, belonging to Frank. Eric tries to alert Sheriff Andersen, but he is out of radio control on a search and rescue mission in an attempt to find 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, but he is distracted by an altercation next door, where he discovers an angry Sheriff Andersen violently confronting Frank.
5"Episode 5"Richard LaxtonSimon Donald19 February 2015 (2015-02-19)1.15
Frank is hauled in to interview by Morton. He denies being responsible for Stoddard's murder, and claims that on the night in question, he found his son covered in blood - supposedly caused by a ruptured swell in his throat - thus providing him with an alibi. Hildur organises for a DNA test to confirm if the blood found on the shirt is Stoddard's, or his son's, as he claims. Elena breaks his alibi when she confirms that 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 that he 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 version of events. Meanwhile, Ronnie Morgan continues to lay low from the police, camped out on the glacier.
6"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 one of his ribs, a fingernail which is discovered to belong to Liam. Dr. Allerdyce wakens Liam in his hyperstatis chamber just long enough for him to confirm to Morton that he was present at the scene of the murder. Jason discovers that Ronnie takes taken the Ivory tusks from the Mammoth carcass, blissfully unaware that the remains are becoming more harmful by the minute. Meanwhile, the attention of Morton's investigation switches to the death of Pettigrew. After discovering who was responsible for the evidence theft, he unexpectedly stumbles upon a possible crime scene.
7"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 found out who was responsible for the murder of Pettigrew. 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's health continues to deteriorate, but Markus is blissfully unaware as he continues his quest to make her 'more beautiful by the day'. Lubimov suggets to Morton that Eric was responsible for Pettigrew's murder, and that his police colleagues have suppressed evidence in order to protect him. Henry Tyson has a flashback and realises that he took a picture at the scene of Pettigrew's murder on his camera. Shirley's illness overcomes her, leading her to brutally attack her own mother, and leave her for dead.
8"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. Ronnie Morgan arranges a deal to sell on the Ivory tusks, but is ambushed and is forced to hand over his goods at gunpoint. Shirley is found dead in a nearby supermarket, having died of a suspected heart attack. Frank Sutter becomes convinced that the second attack proves his son was not responsible for Stoddart's murder, and sets about finding evidence to prove Markus' involvement. Ciaran and Jason begin a witch hunt of their own, interrogating all outsiders who were known to have been close by at the time of the attack. As Dr. Allerdyce fights for her life in hospital, Carrie Morgan finally returns home. But unbeknown to her, her father is not far behind - and nor is a mysterious attacker who is determined to enact revenge on both Morgan and Huseklepp.
9"Episode 9"Nick HurranStephen Brady19 March 2015 (2015-03-19)1.03
Frank Sutter continues his interrogation of Huseklepp, convinced that 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 trigger 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 has 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 that Sheriff Andersen's version of events doesn't tally up.
10"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 determine another approach. They discover that both perpetrators carried spores in their blood, suggestive of an airborne virus. When Jules decides to flee with Liam in tow, they discover Hildur has decided to lockdown 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, armed with the evidence which seemingly confirms that Henry shot Pettigrew, but meets a grisly fate when Henry refuses to let his dying moments be downcast by Morton's interrogation. Huseklepp becomes increasingly anxious when the research center refuse him access to Shirley's body.
11"Episode 11"Sam MillerSimon Donald2 April 2015 (2015-04-02)0.82
Andersen heads out onto the glacier in an attempt to rescue Morton. In a flashback to the night of Pettigrew's death, Andersen reveals to Morton that he found Pettigrew in Elena's hotel room, attempting to rape her. Having subdued him, he then took Pettigrew out to the beach and handcuffed him to a pylon, where he subsequently mauled by a polar bear - before being shot by Henry Tyson. Meanwhile, Rattrey goes in search of Stoddard's dog, who was shot at the scene of his murder. A post-mortem examination reveals the dog to have ingested Larvae that was found in Morton's remains. Suspecting that Dr. Allerdyce became the Larvae host, transferring them from Liam Sutter to her daughter, he finally uncovers the link between the two murders. But on attempting to uncover the Larvae identity, he finds Dr. Allerdyce's body has become a feeding ground.
12"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 Andersen watch on helplessly. Yelburton, however, isn't going to give up on her friend and hatches a plan to save him. 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 collapses beneath the ice, into a mammoth's graveyard. Max also manages to escape, stealing Eric's snowmobile. 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, Andersen is forced to make a life-changing decision - save the woman he loves, or allow her to commit murder. Which will he choose?


Critics gave positive reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season an 88% rating with an average score rating of 7.7 out of 10 based on 26 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."[12] Metacritic gave the first season a score of 75 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews" based on 15 critic reviews.[13]


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.[14][15] The series debuted in Australia on 15 February 2015 on ABC.[16]


  1. "Sky Vision announces FORTITUDE presales in advance of star-studded launch at MIPCOM". Sky Vision. 11 September 2014. 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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Davis, Serena (27 January 2015). "Fortitude: behind the scenes of Sky's most expensive drama ever". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  8. Jeffery, Morgan (24 January 2014). "Stanley Tucci, Christopher Eccleston to star in Sky Atlantic drama". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  9. "The Killing star Sofie Gråbøl in new British TV drama". The Telegraph. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 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.
  11. "Weekly Top 10 Programmes (See relevant weeks and scroll down to Sky Atlantic)". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  12. "Fortitude: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  13. "Fortitude: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  14. Wagmeister, Elizabeth (19 December 2014). "Pivot Sets Jan. 29 Premiere for Stanley Tucci Drama 'Fortitude'". Variety. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  15. Moore, Frazier (29 January 2015). "Fortitude a gripping murder mystery set in Arctic". The Star. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  16. Knox, David (23 January 2015). "Airdate: Fortitude. Returning: Broadchurch.". TV Tonight. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
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