A polar bear on the loose in London - or is it? Animatronic animal promotes new Sky Atlantic series Fortitude

 
Catherine Neilan
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If you go onto the Tube today... (Source: Sky Atlantic)

We know it's cold in London, but we didn't think it was Arctic. Why else would a polar bear be wandering the capital's streets?

For a major publicity stunt perhaps? Sky Atlantic has gone all out to promote its new big-budget series Fortitude, sending an eight-foot long semi-animatronic polar bear around the city centre.


(Source: Sky Atlantic)

He bemused commuters at Charing Cross Tube station, startled runners on the Millennium Bridge and Hampstead Heath, and even got a stroke from a brave child.


(Source: Sky Atlantic)

The highly realistic polar bear was built by 19 prop specialists and the puppeteers spent three years working together as the horse Joey in the award-winning West End production of War Horse. You can see him in motion thanks to these Vine videos.

(Source: Sky Atlantic)

Polar bears feature heavily in the new series – 3000 of them to 713 people, apparently – about a mysterious murder in a close-knit community. Not quite the same as London, though commuters seem to have got used to the lumbering animal pretty quickly judging by some of the photos.


(Source: Sky Atlantic)

Zai Bennett, formerly head of BBC3 and now director of Sky Atlantic, said the stunt was designed to give Londoners “an up close experience of what it must be like to come face to face with one of the biggest, but uncredited stars of our new show”.


(Source: Sky Atlantic)

As with all of Sky Atlantic's original commissions, Fortitude boasts a cast and crew from both sides of the ocean, including Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon and Christopher Ecclestone as well as The Killing's Sofie Grabol.


(Source: Sky Atlantic)

The series, which was filmed in the UK and Iceland, was created and written by Simon Donald.
It launches on Thursday January 29 at 9pm. If the polar bear gets home on time. TfL, we're looking at you.


(Source: Sky Atlantic)

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