The North Water - Character Biographies
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The North Water is a 5-part series that begins in the UK on BBC2 on Friday September 10 at 9.30pm with episodes then shown weekly on BBC2.
Directly after the first BBC2 episode, all five episodes will become available on the streaming service BBCiPlayer.
The drama has already been shown in the US, having arrived on AMC+ on July 15 2021.
Patrick Sumner (Jack O’Connell)
Patrick Sumner is appointed ship’s doctor on board The Volunteer, a whaling ship sailing from Hull, bound for the North Water. He has recently returned from India, where he worked as an army surgeon, but keeps the bitter secret of his court-martial close to his chest. He’s also brought home a thriving laudanum addiction.
Keen to occupy his days and to claw back some semblance of dignity and purpose, he impulsively takes the job aboard the ship. Little does he know of the true nature of this expedition.
Henry Drax (Colin Farrell)
Drax is a harpooner, one of the best there is. He can kill a whale with machine-like efficiency and balletic grace. Some say he’s a heathen, more animal than man, but the way he sees it, he is simply driven by instinct. Pragmatic, physically imposing and devoid of empathy, Drax is a man who exists to sate the urges he feels. Morality or decency matter little to him. But when these desires get him into trouble on board The Volunteer, he has to fight for his own survival.
Captain Brownlee (Stephen Graham)
Brownlee is a whaling man through and through. He knows how to captain a ship through the perilous Arctic waters, how to slaughter the whales until the sea turns red, and how to fill the hold with their blubber. The trouble is, the whales are running out. The whaling industry has driven them close to extinction. And while Brownlee is loyal to his ship and his motley crew, his loyalty is first and foremost to himself. So when the ship’s owner, Baxter, proposes a dangerous but lucrative alternative plan for The Volunteer, Brownlee decides to silence his conscience and follow the money.
Baxter (Tom Courtenay)
Baxter is the owner of a fleet of whaling ships, including The Volunteer. He pays men handsomely for their loyalty to him, but he himself has no loyalty to anything other than money. He is smart enough to know that the whaling trade is over, and he wants to cash out while he still can. If that means risking the lives of an entire crew of men, then so be it. Whaling is a dangerous game. The only danger he failed to predict was that of the tenacious Patrick Sumner.
Cavendish (Sam Spruell)
Cavendish is the First Mate aboard The Volunteer, employed by Baxter because he does what he’s told and doesn’t show the kind of initiative that might derail Baxter’s plans.
He possesses a virtuoso knowledge of the local whorehouse and is more comfortable using his fists than his words to resolve an argument. He was born with sea legs, and once on board, Cavendish is in his element. But when the ship arrives in the North Water, events quickly spiral out of control. Suddenly Cavendish is catapulted into authority and called upon to take charge of the crew. Does he have what it takes to get his men back to safety?
Otto (Roland Møller)
Otto is a Danish harpooner. He’s a man built like a mountain who can toss a harpoon 50 yards without making a sound. But, despite his profession and physical appearance, he’s a deep thinker with a speculative and mystic bent. Once on board the ship, he bonds with Sumner, who takes his spiritual wanderings as part of his eccentricity. Until, one day, Otto shares a chilling premonition about the grisly fate of the crew. This is harder to ignore.
Source BBC TWO
September 6, 2021 5:00am ET by BBC TWO