Colin Farrell unrecognisable in new pictures of Hull drama The North Water

A heavily bearded Colin Farrell puffs on a pipe in new pictures from Andrew Haigh’s forthcoming adaptation of The North Water, some of which is set in Yorkshire.

Henry Drax (Colin Farrell), Captain Brownlee (Stephen Graham) and cast
Henry Drax (Colin Farrell), Captain Brownlee (Stephen Graham) and cast

A new look at the drama, set both in Hull and in the Arctic, shows a dirty faced Farrell with long dark hair and a beard as Henry Drax.

Graham, who is sporting shoulder-length hair as Brownlee, the Volunteer’s Captain, wears a full-length fur coat as he stands next to Farrell on the deck of a ship.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The BBC Two drama travelled as far as 81 degrees north to film sequences in the pack ice, the furthest point north it is believed a drama series has ever filmed.

Henry Drax (Colin Farrell)

The drama also stars Jack O’Connell as Patrick Sumner and Sir Tom Courtenay as the ship’s owner Baxter, as well as Peter Mullan, Sam Spruell and Roland Moller.

Based on the novel by Ian McGuire, the five-part series tells the story of Sumner, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic.

Farrell plays Drax, a harpooner and distinctly brutal force of nature.

As the true purpose of the expedition becomes clear, confrontation between the two men erupts, taking them on a journey far from solid ground and beyond the safe moorings of civilisation.

The series is set in Hull and on the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s, where shooting took place on the frozen seas north of the Svalbard archipelago.

The North Water will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this autumn.