Gilbert Speaks on “The Terror” S01 E05

17 Apr


A strange illness begins to take hold of the men while Fitzjames questions Captain Crozier’s judgment. On this episode of “The Terror” we learn what Doctor Goodsir and Lady Silence are talking about. Meet me after the jump.

First Shot a Winner, Lads

Le Vesconte and Des Voeux are checking for atmospheric pressure and temperature by gauging the speed of sound of canon shots. People were smart back in those days, and their results were close to what we’d get using all our modern and technical equipment. Fitzjames is upset that Captain Crozier has refused to attend meetings, and that Lieutenant Little has taken 16 bottles of liquor per Crozier’s orders. Is Crozier neglecting his duties because of the drinking?

Fitzjames orders Lieutenant Little to take Lady Silence back to the Terror with him. He tells Little that the woman frightens his men. Dr. Goodsir is probably the only man abort Erebus who isn’t frightened of the girl, and in fact, has been learning how to communicate with Lady Silence. Goodsir gets permission to go with the girl, from Dr. Stanley, who is busy cutting of Le Vesconte’s frostbitten toes.

When we think of the great explorations done in the past: the artic and Antarctica, we forget that it wasn’t all fame, wealth, and glory. The men who volunteered for these explorations suffered from the extreme cold, there were plenty of fingers, noses, and toes lost in the search for knowledge. While the armed Marines escort Goodsir and Lady Silence to Terror, Fitzjames inspects the men who come over from Terror. Hornby who is with Goodsir, Little and Lady, dies on the way to terror. We don’t know the cause of death, but it might be related to the tainted food.


Lady Silence is led to the belly of the ship where she is made comfortable. She’s not at all happy about her situation, but she is comfortable helping Goodsir develop a dictionary of her language. She refuses to speak about the creature.


The man is surely sinking into some sort of depression. He is upset to learn that he could not find any whiskey aboard the Erebus. There is only rum and gin to drink. The news of Hornby’s mysterious death also upsets Crozier, as also the fact that poor Private Heather is still in a coma after the creature ripped away the top of his skull.

How more men haven’t died due to the limited medical supplies is a miracle. Dr. MacDonald does his best, but the causes of infection weren’t really understood then, and the word, sterile procedure, was not a common theory understood by a majority of doctors. MacDonald pays attention to Goodsir when he tells him about Morfin’s gray gums. On a side note, that pesky Hickey is looking for information on the girl, but Goodsir stops him short.

Crozier invites Lady Silence, Goodsir, Little and Blanky for tea. Crozier wants to know about the creature, but Lady only says, “Tuunbaq.” Blanky recognizes the word to mean a spirit that dresses as an animal. When Crozier pushes Lady for ways to kill this spirit, she replies, “Why do you want to die?”

Lady Silence has said what’s been on everyone’s mind. Crozier doesn’t really want help killing the creature. He has been lost to the bottle, and that is exactly what Fitzjames accuses Crozier of when he asks about the missing liquor. This interrogation earns Fitzjames a punch in the nose.


There is so much going on with this episode that I don’t want to miss the important parts like how easily a mutiny can start, or how superstitions can play on a person’s mind when far from home. Hartnell and Manson are afraid to carry Hornby’s body down into the hold where the other bodies are stored. The men have heard strange noises coming from there.. Lieutenant Irving doesn’t buy the ghost story, but Hickey is definitely up to something…like maybe robbing the dead of their possessions? Could this be where Hickey got that ring he gave to Gibson?

The creature makes his appearance and kills Darlington, then he chases after Blanky who is smart enough to climb up the crow’s nest, but not before the creature almost rips off his left leg. The Marines shoot a canon at the creature and injure the huge, and I mean huge polar bear…but it gets away.


During the commotion, Lady Silence escapes, but she leaves behind some clues: drawings and beads of lead. Blanky loses his leg, and Crozier finally admits that he has a severe drinking problem. He puts Fitzjames and Little in charge.

Goodsir is my favorite character on this series. He is a smart doctor. After returning to the Erebus, he opens one of the canned foods and feeds it to Captain Franklin’s monkey. If that monkey dies, then we’ve solved the mystery of Hornby’s death, and Morfin’s gray tinted gums…but that will leave the men on both ships with a food shortage.

There is only one episode left.

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