Stephen Graham and Sir Tom Courtenay join The North Water adaptation
Stephen Graham, Sir Tom Courtenay and Peter Mullan have joined Colin Farrell and Jack O’Connell in Andrew Haigh’s forthcoming adaptation of The North Water, it has been announced.
The first pictures from the drama, filmed in the Arctic, show a heavily bearded Farrell as Henry Drax, dressed in a heavy coat and furry hat with snow settled on his facial hair.
Graham, who is sporting shoulder-length hair as Brownlee, the Volunteer’s Captain, stands on the deck of a ship staring out to sea.
The BBC Two drama recently completed its first leg of filming in the Arctic, shooting for three weeks in Svalbard.
The unit travelled as far as 81 degrees north to film sequences in the pack ice, the furthest point north it is believed a drama series has ever filmed before.
Set in Hull and the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s, The North Water tells the story of Patrick Sumner, played by O’Connell, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition.
On board he meets the brutish killer Drax and finds himself in a male-dominated world 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.
Sir Tom will play the ship’s owner, Baxter, while Mullan will appear in episode four in a pivotal role.
Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Ian McGuire, The North Water has been adapted by Haigh, and will also star Sam Spruell as the ship’s first mate Cavendish, Roland Moller as harpooner Otto, Philip Hill-Pearson as McKendrick and Kieran Urquhart as Jones.
Graham said: “Filming on the ship was an incredible experience and one that I will never forget.
“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.”
Sir Tom, who worked with Haigh on the critically acclaimed 45 Years, added: “I’m thrilled to be working with Andrew again on such epic material.”
Filming for the series continues in Hungary.