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The Franklin Story is Coming to Television

Does anybody remember my review of The Terror by Dan Simmons? OK, I didn't think so. It ran in the Globe and Mail almost six years back. I declared the novel a tour de force, and lauded the way it transformed the fate of the lost expedition of Sir John Franklin into a supernatural, hell-bent narrative. "The most impressive achievement of this brilliant historical novel," I wrote, "is that the author manages to account plausibly for all the known facts. In recreating the harrowing true story of the final expedition of Sir John Franklin, who disappeared into the Arctic with two ships and 128 men in 1845, Dan Simmons offers imaginative solutions to the thorniest mysteries. After spending a first winter at Beechey Island, why did Franklin leave no note saying where he was sailing? Why did sailors, and especially officers, begin dying in such numbers? When, in 1847, the men abandoned the two ice-locked ships, the Erebus and the Terror, why did they drag sledges towards the continental mainland and not Fury Beach, where food supplies lay waiting?" I went on in this vein. Anyway, others have recognized the possibilities. According to Wired, the folks at AMC, makers of The Walking Dead, are turning their hand to the Franklin saga. Purists will soon be raging. But I for one will be happily tuning in.
Ken McGoogan
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1 comment:

Russell Potter said...

I'm afraid I am not a fan of Dan Simmons' work, not because it's historically inaccurate -- after all, it's a work of horror fiction! -- but because the horror of the actual facts of Franklin's men is so hard to improve on.

That said, walking Arctic dead are fine with me!

Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.