‘Fortitude’ Polar Bear Roams Central London


An inventive publicity campaign has left Londoners in awe leading up to the release of Fortitude

If you have been lucky enough to spot an 8 ft. long animatronic adult male polar bear during your commute to work, rest assured it is not a sight to fear. Nineteen Hollywood special effects designers have spent two months constructing the life-size replica to promote the launch of Sky Atlantic’s new series Fortitude. The Arctic resident has been spotted in such unexpected locations as along the South Bank, Hampstead Heath, as well as travelling on a tube in the depths of the Charing Cross Underground.

The director of Sky Atlantic, Zai Bennett, spoke of the bear’s London pilgrimage: “In Fortitude there are 3000 polar bears to 713 residents. Polar bears are the most dangerous animal on land and present an ever present threat to Fortitude’s inhabitants. To launch our new Arctic-noir thriller we wanted to bring a realistic polar bear to the streets of London to give people 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.”

Inside the beast two performers from the West End play War Horse transferred their talents to act as puppeteers. The polar bear is cloaked with 90 square feet of artificial nylon fur that is powered with an electrostatic current to cause the hair on its head to stand on end, further imitating a realistic impression. Nevertheless, the creatures in the show, as in reality, are meant to be revered for their natural beauty and just like the Arctic landscape surrounding the town of Fortitude.

The first episode of Fortitude airs on Sky Atlantic on Thursday 29th January