'Series Regular' Podcast: Inside the Bone-Cracking Horror of 'The Terror: Infamy'

The Terror: Infamy S02 Still 1 - Publicity - H 2019
Ed Araquel/AMC

Welcome back to Series RegularThe Hollywood Reporter's weekly podcast dedicated to diving deep into hit TV shows. 

Every episode of Series Regular comes courtesy of Josh Wigler (that's me!), taking a closer look at a new corner of the genre television space. This week, it's all about The Terror: Infamy, the second season of the AMC horror anthology series, airing Monday nights. Currently two episodes deep into the season, The Terror: Infamy moves on from the arctic spirit bears of yesteryear and into another terror entirely: the interment of Japanese Americans in the 1940s, and the ghosts from that period of American history — both the literal and figurative ones.

Showrunner and co-creator Alexander Woo joins Series Regular this week to talk about the events of The Terror: Infamy thus far, as well as the motivations behind the series, which counts Derek Mio, Kiki Sukezane, Cristina Rodlo and Star Trek legend George Takei among its sprawling cast. According to Woo, everything the viewer needs to know about what they're in store for arrives within the opening scene of Infamy, which focuses on a young woman who takes her own life on a dock beneath the early morning sun — a feat of bone-chilling sound design and cinematography that speaks to the haunting darkness at the heart of the series: "You're going to be in the skin of these characters."

"It's the calling card of the show," Woo says about the first few minutes of the series premiere, which aired Aug. 12. "You know instantaneously that this is the show you're going to get. We wanted to present it as meticulously composed, lovely and poetic and lyrical, but at the same time, horrifying and creepy and disturbing. We wanted all of the elements — the sound design, the score, the extraordinary cinematography that John Conroy and our director Josef Wladyka brought to that scene — and an exceptional performance, too, from someone who dies in the first scene. All of that came together to establish the world we're in. 

"It's a highly subjective style of storytelling. This is as much in the sound as anything else. The shots are pretty tight on her, but as she's sticking that hair stick in her ear, I wanted the score to not serve as a backdrop so much, but as an evocation of what's going on inside her brain — that level of disturbance. When it finally penetrates and severs her brain stem, the sound goes out entirely. It sets up a very subjective style of storytelling."

Hear it all now on Series Regular. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. Follow Wigler on Twitter at @roundhoward, and send suggestions for future topics and questions to SeriesRegular@THR.com.

Series Regular is part of THR's roster of podcasts, including TV's Top 5, the weekly TV news analysis podcast hosted by West Coast TV editor Lesley Goldberg and chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg; Awards Chatter, Scott Feinberg's weekly in-depth (and award-winning) interview show focusing on the most interesting talents of the Oscar and Emmy seasons; crafts expert Carolyn Giardina's weekly series, Behind the Screen, which explores the top artists and technologies creating film and TV magic; and Seth Abramovitch's monthly series, It Happened in Hollywood, which revisits indelible moments from 90 years of THR's entertainment history. Other podcasts are in the works.