- "You must wonder what we're doing here, in your part of the world. We are from England. Very far away. We've come here to find a way through to China and India."
- —Doctor Henry Goodsir to Lady Silence.
Doctor Henry Goodsir is a character on AMC's The Terror. The most junior of the expedition's four doctors, Henry Goodsir is a gentle, moral soul who joins the Discovery Service to explore the natural world of the Arctic. But his open-minded intellect and empathetic nature make him the first to realize something supernatural is also in play, and he sets about trying to understand the forces working to destroy the men even while he redoubles his efforts to try to connect with this vast and uncanny landscape and its indigenous people.
Not much is known about Goodsir before joining the Expedition. He studied anatomy, and according to him, had performed on 20 cadavers in his career.
In The Show
Goodsir is first seen in episode 1 alongside his superior Dr. Stephen Samuel Stanley speaking with David Young and how drinking lemon juice is not a cure all for all diseases. He stays with Young during his final hours comforting him and Young asks Goodsir to deliver a ring he owns to his sister once Goodsir returns to England to which he agrees. Goodsir is present when Young sees the apparition of the Netsilik Shaman and reports the incident to Stanley who brushes it off as a mere hallucination and orders Goodsir to conduct an autopsy in the morning. The dissection is performed with Stanley supervising and no signs of scurvy or any notable disease is found. He later appears on the deck when Sir John Franklin is giving the departing speech when he suddenly remembers Young's ring and how he forgot to take it off before he was buried. Unknown to Goodsir, the ring was stolen by Cornelius Hickey off Young's corpse.
Eight months later, he accompanies Lieutenant Graham Gore and other members of the expedition in search of open water leads and deliver a message to a cairn on King William Island. Along the way Goodsir talks about how he's been reading the journals of Doctor Alexander McDonald during his time in Cumberland Sound and how they had brought back an Inuit man back to Aberdeen. Goodsir asks Gore if he remembers the man's name to which he replies he does not. Goodsir volunteers to pull the sledge and Gore has him relieve Thomas "Tom" Hartnell. Goodsir tries to tow the sledge but trips shortly after. Upon reaching the edge of King William Island Goodsir remarks with awe how the ice is piled up and how beautiful it is. Goodsir notes how remote the area is and Gore asks him if the place makes him uncomfortable. Goodsir informs that despite being called a doctor by Gore, he's technically just an anatomist but Gore tells him that's good enough to be considered a doctor in his mind. After delivering the message to the cairn Gore and Sergeant David Bryant head off to another cairn and Goodsir calls out Gore's name as they depart.
Goodsir and the others return to their camp only to find it wrecked and the group suspects a bear is nearby. Goodsir informs them they'll be able to tell from the tracks and warns there may be more than one. Later that evening during a hailstorm Bryant shoots what he believes was the bear only to be revealed it's a Netsilik Shaman and his daughter Lady Silence. Goodsir is called to examine the shaman's body and tries to retrieve the Lieutenant only to witness him being killed by the Tuunbaq. Goodsir and the others return to HMS Erebus two days later and tries his best to remove the musket ball inside the shaman to no avail. Sir John, Captain Francis Crozier, and Commander James Fitzjames question Goodsir about what happened and Goodsir informs them of a giant bear that made prints 20 inches across which killed Gore and how the team searched half a mile in each direction for his body. He also tells the officers the bear apparently tracked them back to the ship and no leads were found. Lastly he tells them about the shaman and how he had his tongue cut out some time before.
Several days later Goodsir is present when the shaman's body is being prepared for burial and expresses concern when he is to be thrown down a fire hole and not given a proper burial. He is later seen photographing Sir John along with some of the other men and is in the hunting blind to witness Sergeant Bryant being taken by the Tuunbaq and decapitated. Afterwards he prepares Sir John's coffin by putting in his leg, the only recovered part and also attends his funeral. Five months later Goodsir is examining the photos he took and trying to determine the exact nature of the injuries and how the Tuunbaq was able to inflict it. Not long after Private William Heather is severely injured by having his skull ripped off by the creature and Goodsir asks his fellow surgeons if he can watch the surgical procedure to help Heather in order to learn. Later on he and Dr. Stanley are in the sick room treating John Morfin when Fitzjames arrives and informs them Lady Silence will be coming aboard and asks Stanley to look after her. Stanley turns the task over to Goodsir and he and Morfin have a conversation regarding flogging and Goodsir notices Morfin's gums are a grayish color. He brings food over to Lady Silence and converses with her who he is and the reason why the British are in the Arctic.
Over the next month Goodsir makes good progress on speaking with her and when he learns she is being transferred to HMS Terror, he asks to come along. Dr. Stanley grants him permission and sarcastically reminds Goodsir to invite him to the wedding to which Goodsir replies if anyone has ever invited Stanley to any wedding. On the walk over between ships Frederick John Hornby collapses on the ice and brings him inside. Hickey asks what happened and Goodsir replied he didn't know and that Hickey shouldn't be doing too much heavy lifting while his wounds still heal from his lashing. Goodsir later examines Hickey's wounds and that he's making good progress. Hickey compliments Goodsir's kindness but also tries to get information regarding Lady Silence but Goodsir doesn't give him any and asks if that trick really ever works on anyone. He then talks with McDonald in the sick bay about how teeth can explode in extremely cold temperatures and how McDonald witnessed such an incident back in 1839. Goodsir also asks McDonald if he has seen gray gums in any of his patients as he suspects bismuth might be the cause. McDonald recalls an incident in Devon where lead poisoning was occurring from the cider presses and Goodsir expresses concern as the ship's water pipes are made of lead. McDonald assures him lead doesn't affect neutral liquids but will begin making inquiries. Similarly as he did with Gore, Goodsir insists to McDonald that he's not a doctor but McDonald tells him he very much sounded like one.
Crozier summons Goodsir to question Lady Silence and asks regarding the progress he's made but Goodsir tells him nothing has been spoken of the Tuunbaq. Crozier tries to bluntly interrogate Lady Silence and Goodsir volunteers to try a lighter approach but is unable to do so due to not knowing the words. Crozier tries to force Lady Silence to speak but Goodsir points out she hasn't made any attempt at escape and Thomas Blanky suspects she's frightened of it also. Not long after the Tuunbaq attacks the ship but is driven away and Lady Silence escapes in the commotion. Goodsir goes to her room afterwards to find various drawings she's made in addition to bits of lead she found in the canned food. He soon finds Jacko and tells him he needs his help with something. Goodsir begins feeding Jacko the canned food and recording his observations. Eventually Jacko goes crazy and ends up killing himself. Examining the corpse he sees the exact same gray gums he saw in Morfin and deduces that lead poisoning from the cans are slowly killing the men. He reports his findings to Dr. Stanley and how command must be informed immediately. Stanley is hesitant at first but assures Goodsir he'll take care of it and Goodsir reminds him of the urgency. Goodsir later attends the carnivale where he tells Dr. McDonald and Dr. John Smart Peddie of his findings and soon after Lady Silence appears after severing her tongue. Dr. Stanley then immolates himself and burns the carnivale down, killing both Mcdonald and Peddie leaving Goodsir the only surgeon left alive. John Bridgens volunteers to be Goodsir's assistant and he's grateful for the help.
As the expedition prepares to abandon both ships, Goodsir notices Morfin falling down carrying some of his luggage and asks if the mandragora is no longer helping. He tells Morfin he'll ask Bridgens to increase the dosage and maybe try wine of coca or a stronger tonic in the near future. Later that evening once camp has been set up Goodsir asks Henry Foster Collins if Morfin is nearby and asks how he is doing. Collins talks about how seeing his friends being burned alive at Carnivale caused him considerable distress but at the same time the smell reminded him of cooked meat and food. Afterwards Goodsir goes to Crozier and asks if hunting parties can begin now to avoid eating the tinned food but Crozier replies there is nothing to hunt on the ice and once they reach the mainland he'll commence hunting parties. The next morning Hickey notices Lady Silence in line to get food but Goodsir dissuades her which raises Hickey's suspicion that something is wrong with the food. Later that day the rest of the group catch up with Lieutenant Edward Little's team who had left earlier and set up camp. In the evening Goodsir is going through his belongings and pulls out Jacko's corpse and the jar he was in broken. Goodsir softly tells Jacko he is trying. Not long after screaming is heard throughout the camp which is revealed to be Morfin in great pain. Goodsir asks what Morfin needs and he replies he needs to die. Morfin grabs a musket from one of the marines creating a standoff and Goodsir tries to calmly reassure him there's options available like wine of coca. Despite this Morfin intentionally fires his weapon almost hitting Fitzjames and is in turn shot by Sgt. Solomon Tozer. Goodsir is extremely distressed by Morfin's death to the point where he starts crying in his tent but Lady Silence arrives to comfort him. By the time he wakes up in the morning Lady Silence is gone and much of the camp is also awake.
Later that day Hickey returns from his hunting trip and tells everyone Lieutenant John Irving and Thomas R. Farr were brutally slaughtered and mutilated by the Netsilik causing paranoia to spread throughout the camp. Goodsir examines Irving's body and later accompanies Crozier, Blanky, Hickey, Lady Silence, Thomas "Tom" Hartnell, Thomas Jopson, and Private William Pilkington to the alleged murder site. Once there he asks Lady Silence if the dead Netsilik were her family which she denies. He then asks if they were her friends which she confirms. Upon arriving back at the camp hysteria has spread enough to the point that the armory was opened up and weapons were issued without proper orders. Fitzjames recommends getting Lady Silence away from the camp to prevent hostilities and Crozier agrees. Goodsir bids farewell to Lady Silence and it's the last time they see each other alive. Once back in camp, Crozier asks Goodsir to cut open Irving's stomach in which they find barely digested seal meat indicating Irving was fed and not killed on sight as Hickey claimed. Goodsir is asked to testify against Hickey but before he does he asks Bridgens who took all the Peruvian wine of coca. Bridgens replies he hasn't given any to anyone but it's revealed Collins took all of it. At Hickey's court martial he announces to the rest of the expedition that the Netsilik fed Irving and before Hickey is hanged the Tuunbaq attacks the camp. Goodsir hides from the creature but is found by Hickey and his mutineers and forced to come along.
Being held by Hickey against his will, Goodsir examines William Gibson's symptoms of lead poisoning and tells Gibson to begin preparing himself for death. Hickey stabs Gibson which Goodsir tries to stop and Hickey asks Goodsir to cut up Gibson's corpse to be eaten which Goodsir refuses. He states that Hickey will have to do it himself as he should know which parts are edible due to his alleged poor background. Goodsir only relents after Hickey threatens to hurt Lieutenant George Henry Hodgson and asks for 40 minutes to prepare the body. While removing Gibson's clothes he finds the ring Young asked Goodsir to deliver to his sister once he returned to London which Goodsir thought was long lost. Goodsir does not participate in the cannibalization of Gibson's corpse and remains inside his tent during the whole feast even after Hickey asks him to come out. After the men finish eating, Hodgson enters the tent where Goodsir is and tells him a time from his childhood where he attended a Catholic mass while Goodsir quietly listens.
Not long after, Crozier is captured by the mutineers and Goodsir is asked to treat his injuries. Goodsir briefs Crozier in on the current situation and asks Crozier to deliver Young's ring to his sister once Crozier returns to London. Crozier insists Goodsir will do it himself but he states he will not leave the camp alive and when he's dead and his body is cannibalized, he warns Crozier to only eat his feet, in particular the soles if possible. Goodsir states that despite everything that's happened there is still beauty in the world and asks if Lady Silence is alive and Crozier suspects she is. Crozier asks who the ring belonged to but Goodsir is unable to remember Young's name. Later that evening, Goodsir poisons himself in order to poison Hickey and his men and also slits his wrists in order to hide the cause of death. The next morning, Goodsir's naked corpse has been mutilated and being eaten to which Crozier expresses anger and angrily asks why they would murder this man of all men. Charles Frederick Des Voeux tells Crozier Goodsir killed himself by cutting his wrists instead of being murdered and Crozier is forced to join the meal. Heeding to Goodsir's warning, he only eats the soles of his feet and is spared from the poison. Later after the Tuunbaq is killed and Lady Silence is towing an injured Crozier, she spots Goodsir's body and nearly breaks out in tears as she bids farewell to one of her few friends.
Goodsir is a kind-hearted man, if not a bit naive. Though he is easy to see the best in people, he is not afraid to become 'cheeky' with those who deserve it.
- Like most of the characters, Goodsir is based off of a real person. His full name was Henry Duncan Spens Goodsir and he was born in Anstruther-Easter, Scotland in 1819.
- Goodsir was the middle of 7 children, his oldest brother John was a famous Scottish doctor who pioneered what would later be called Cellular Theory.
- The Goodsirs were known for being a family of doctors. His paternal grandfather, two uncles, father and three brothers were all doctors.
- Goodsir's younger brother, Robert A. Goodsir had gone on two expeditions to find the Franklin expedition, the first in 1849 and the second in 1850. He wrote a book on the first expedition, An Arctic voyage to Baffin's Bay and Lancaster Sound: in search of friends with Sir John Franklin
- Before he worked abroad H.M.S. Erebus, Goodsir was a curator at the Museum of the RCSEd (Surgeon's Hall).
- In 1869, the American explorer Charles Francis Hall was shown by a group of Inuit the remains of a skeleton. The body was examined by biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, it was incorrectly assumed to be Henry Le Vesconte, a lieutenant aboard Erebus. In 2009, facial reconstruction and tooth enamel research begun on this skeleton. It became apparent that this was not Le Vesconte and more likely Goodsir.
- Paul Ready had to undergo a full body cast in order to make the corpse used in Episode 10. Ready described the experience as 'claustrophobic' and when the filming concluded, he considered keeping the prosthetic as a keepsake.
- A fork and spoon belonging to Goodsir were recovered between 1854 and 1859.
- The Terror Episode 9
- The Terror Episode 5
- Turner W, ed. The Anatomical Memoirs of John Goodsir F.R.S. with a Biographical Memoir by Henry Lonsdale, MD. (2 vols, vol. I, Biography). Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1868
- Kaufman MH. Harry Goodsir and the last Franklin expedition, of 1845. Journal of Medical Biography 2004; 12: 82–89
- Mays, S., et al., New light on the personal identification of a skeleton of a member of Sir John Franklin’s last expedition to the Arctic, 1845, Journal of Archaeological Science (2011), doi:10.1016/j.jas.2011.02.022
- How The Terror Crafted Its Haunting, Perfect Series Finale. Vanity Fair. Karen Han. 2018-05-21