In The Series
Collins first appears in episode 1 telling William Orren to go up on the main mast with another crew member and later informs Sir John Franklin and Commander Fitzjames that HMS Terror is signaling for an ice report and asks if he should send James Reid back. Franklin tells Collins he'll be boarding Terror for dinner and Collins orders Thomas Terry to open up the flag box. He next appears watching Sir John and the rest return from dinner from his spyglass when Erebus hits an iceberg causing Orren to fall into the water and despite Collins' best efforts, he is unable to save him.
He appears the next morning donning a diving suit and getting ready to go underwater to remove the ice lodged next to the propeller. He is successful but begins to panic when he sees the frozen corpse of Orren drifting towards him. Afterwards he reports to the other officers the propeller has been bent but should be able to spin now. Sir John asks him what the experience was like and despite being frightened by Orrin's body, he tells him it was "like a dream". He later appears towards the end of the episode during Sir John's speech before the expedition sails deeper into the Arctic.
He is seen briefly at the end of episode 3 where he is attending Sir John's funeral. He is not seen again until episode 5 when he informs Fitzjames that Lieutenant Edward Little had come by with a requisition form signed by Crozier regarding Erebus's spirit room. He appears in the next episode talking to Dr. Stephen Samuel Stanley about his distressed state of mind but Stanley brushes it off and recommends Collins to keep busy and attend the carnivale for fun and to uplift his spirit.
In episode 7 he speaks with Doctor Henry Goodsir about his traumatic experience seeing his friends getting burned at the carnivale fire in the previous episode and how the smell reminds him of cooked meat and food. He describes it as his nose and stomach not knowing "horrible from supper". Later one evening when John Morfin begins screaming in pain throughout the camp Collins remains inside his tent cowering and afraid. By episode 8, Collins's mental state deteriorates rapidly and steals a bottle of Peruvian wine of coca from John Bridgens which causes him to enter into a euphoric state. He later reappears right before the execution of Cornelius Hickey laughing hysterically with the Tuunbaq behind him. Collins is eventually found by the Tuunbaq where he is ripped open and his soul consumed.
- Collins is a minor character in the novel.