20 Jul 19
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
AMC’s series “The Terror” infuses the supernatural with real life history.
The first season followed the crews aboard the British Royal Navy polar exploration ships and their lost expedition to the Arctic in 1845. The new season, however, is dubbed “The Terror: Infamy” and features an all-new cast, writers and creators and focuses on the United States during World War II.
This time around it follows the story of Japanese-Americans being forced into internment camps. The season premieres on Monday, Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
The crew from AMC’s “The Terror: Infamy” (from left: actors Derek Mio, Cristina Rodlo, Kiki Sukezane, George Takei and co-creators and executive producers Alexander Woo and Max Borestein) talked about the upcoming season of the show during a press panel at Comic-Con International on Friday. (Photo by Kelli Skye Fadroski, Orange County Register/SCNG)
“If you loved season one, none of it will be the same in season two,” co-creator and executive producer Alexander Woo said during a press conference at Comic-Con International on Friday, July 19. “Everyone here is new … but it does share some of the same DNA as the first season.”
In telling the real life horror stories that faced Japanese-Americans in the internment camps, “The Terror: Infamy” will also include elements of Japanese folklore and horror. Though the co-creators insist it’s much more in the supernatural style of films like “The Ring” versus the more gore-filled and body-dismantling section of the genre led by films like “Audition.”
The Comic-Con conference at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront next door to the San Diego Convention Center included actors George Takei, Derek Mio, Kiki Sukezane and Cristina Rodlo. For Takei, the series hits very close to home since he and his family were imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp when he was a child.
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“That’s the very reason why it’s important to tell the story,” he said when asked how he felt about reliving these moments and sharing that period of history with the audience. “This is part of American history. It happened in the United States to American citizens of Japanese ancestry ordered by the United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
“I hate the term the media always uses, ‘Japanese internment camp.’ Japanese internment camps would be run by the government of Japan, it was not. Many Japanese-Americans prefer the term concentration camp, because that’s precisely what it was.
It’s an important story that has chilling resonance for us today and yet so many Americans … they don’t believe that something like that happened to me,” he continued. “That’s why it’s important for Americans to know their own American history.”
Mio has connections to the history written into the show as well.
“There’s a scene where some family members get taken away and my grandfather, his father got taken away, so when we shot that, it was very powerful,” he said. “Probably the most emotional experience I’ve ever had acting.”
The co-creators also recognize the timeliness of re-sharing this bit of history as one of the current hot political topics is those being held at the Migration Detention Centers at the U.S. boarder to Mexico.
“(In television) risks are being taken,” co-creator Max Borenstein said. “One of the strengths of the television medium is that you can really build a relationship between the viewer and the characters and build a really strong empathy. That’s what were trying to do. We can use the (horror) genre in order to really bring out that experience (in the internment camps). So you’re not at home saying ‘Oh, that happened 75 years ago’.
“You know, thank goodness immigrants have nothing to worry about today,” he said sarcastically.
READ MORE about SDCC 2019:
Photo galleries: Cosplay | Scenes from Comic-Con | Her Universe Fashion Show | Preview night
Recaps: Day 1 | 5 memorable moments from opening day |Preview night and the Running of the Nerds
Fashion: Her Universe Fashion Show winners | SoCal Her Universe designers | Interview with Her Universe’s Ashley Eckstein | The Hero Within clothing line | What cosplay weapons are allowed
Inside SDCC: A daily guide to TV and movie panels | The $1.1 million comic book | Mensa members predict the future | The future of college esports
Super fans: “Dragon Ball Z” world record | Wayward Cocktails “Supernatural” party
Things to do: No badge needed for these activities | Comic-Con museum in Balboa Park | Where to drink and party
History: The 12-year-old who co-founded Comic-Con | 50 facts about Comic-Con’s 50 years
The big issues: Service animals are superheroes | Cosplay, panels reflect diversity | Security measures