TV network AMC has released its first trailer for new series The Terror – a fictionalized version of Sir John Franklin’s Arctic expedition to open the Northwest Passage.

The show is based on a 2007 novel of the same name and produced by Ridley Scott, director of Alien, Blade Runner and The Martian.

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The name is derived from HMS Terror, one of two ships present on the 1845 expedition alongside the HMS Erebus. All 129 hands were lost over a span of three years without successfully clearing the Northwest Passage, but Franklin’s name lives on across the North: both a Yellowknife school and its main road bear his name.

In the past four years, the expedition has returned to prominence following discovery of the wrecks of both ships off the coast of what is now Nunavut.

But viewers expecting a realistic portrayal of Franklin’s expedition from AMC, the home of post-apocalyptic smash hit The Walking Dead, may be disappointed. The trailer shows sets of 20-inch-wide handprints leading from the boat, which would suggest all is not entirely well, or natural, in their icy surrounds.

An almost entirely male cast, in keeping with an 1840s British naval expedition, is complemented by Greenland-born Inuk Nive Nielsen as an Inuit woman who ends up with the crew.

Billed as an epic psychological and supernatural horror show, The Terror premieres on March 26.