AMC’s supernatural anthology series, The Terror, returns this week for its second suspense-filled season with a completely new cast and a story which promises to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The series, which blends a historical setting with a supernatural twist, has a new time period for its second season: an internment camp in 1940s America.
I attended the press conference for the series during San Diego Comic Con and in attendance were:
Alexander Woo (Executive Producer & Co-creator)
Max Borenstein (Executive Producer & Co-creator)
George Takei (Yamato-san)
Derek Mio (Chester Nakayama)
Kiki Sukezane (Yuko Tanabe)
Cristina Rodlo (Luz Ojeda)
Executive Producer and Co-Creator Alexander Woo discussed how he contemplated the direction for the show after AMC approached him to plan for season two. He said that he challenged himself to find another moment in history to add a supernatural element. He recalled attending a seminar where George Takei (Star Trek) spoke about his own experience as a young boy in an internment camp and his autobiography. During this time, over 140,000 Japanese-American and Japanese-Canadians were forced from their homes and placed in internment camps by their respective governments.
This period of time, along with horror elements tapping into Japanese folklore, served as the genesis for the second season. The Terror: Infamy centers on Chester Nakayama (Derek Mio) who is a photographer for LIFE Magazine. He gets involved in events resulting from the unusual circumstances surrounding deaths which haunt his Japanese community. Takei plays Yamoto-san, an elder statesman who serves as a bridge to the old traditions of Japan. The producers and cast would not disclose too much about this upcoming season but promised that each episode would be impressive and leave viewers waiting in anticipation for the next week’s episode.
Alexander Woo stated that there were risks they considered when working on this season, as this is a part of history not typically featured in television or movies and they felt that the great strength of media would help build the relationship between the viewer and the characters.
The personal investment and connection for Takei, who also served as a consultant on the series, is powerful and he was noticeably emotional as he recounted some of his own experiences and what his family endured, including losing all of their money and possessions due to seizure by the US government. Derek Mio (Chester Nakayama) talked about his familial connection where his grandfather grew up on Terminal Island, one of the settings for this season.
Executive Producers and Co-Creators Max Borenstein and Alexander Woo discussed during the press conference that they found out a few of the Canadian locations used for filming, such as Hastings Park, were actually used as staging areas or barracks for interments.
There are 10 episodes in this second season of The Terror: Infamy and after watching the first episode, I felt that the series started off on the right track with a good balance between introducing the characters and the community where they live, along with a few scary elements which kept me interested. I look forward to seeing how the story unfolds each week. I wouldn’t be surprised if the series is mentioned during awards season for the depiction of the ordeal the Japaneses Americans endured during the 1940s and a subject seldom depicted on television.
FoCC Tip: Keep your eyes on the screen, as there are some things you may miss if you are not watching closely or paying attention.
The Terror: Infamy airs Mondays at 9pm on AMC and if you missed the first episode you can catch it via OnDemand or through the AMC App.
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