William Gibson is a character in AMC's The Terror. He is a subordinate officer's steward on HMS Terror.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Gibson first appears in episode 1 in a minor role serving food to Sir John Franklin and Commander James Fitzjames when they join Captain Francis Crozier for dinner on Terror.

His first major appearance is in episode 2 where he and Cornelius Hickey are discovered in the ship's hold together by Lieutenant John Irving. Gibson claims he heard one of the ship's cats crying and Hickey had come along to assist. Irving tells Hickey he's needed to caulk the captain's seat of ease due to a draft and then leaves. Gibson is concerned Irving will report their homosexual relationship although Irving specifically didn't see anything. Hickey assures him Irving is a devout Christian man who doesn't want to imagine such things and most likely won't invite more chaos if he can help it.

In episode 3, Gibson eventually informs Irving about the relationship to which he claims was non-consensual and that Hickey is a "devious seducer". Irving speaks to Hickey regarding the matter and Hickey confronts Gibson soon after. Gibson assures him the course of action he took was far better than both of them being lashed and that he's a man whose dignity and standing with the officers are more important than their relationship. Gibson officially ends the relationship but after Sir John's death and while Gibson is attending his funeral, Hickey enters into Gibson's quarters and defecates on his bed in retaliation.

In the next episode, Gibson is present when Hickey is being flogged for his role in kidnapping Lady Silence and blood from Hickey lands onto Gibson's hand. In episode 5 Hickey asks Gibson to use his status as on officer's steward to gain information regarding what the officers are talking and thinking about. Gibson refuses at first but changes his mind when Hickey gives him a ring that he stole off the corpse of David Young in episode 1.

In episode 6, Gibson informs Hickey of a strange list he saw on Lieutenant George Henry Hodgson's desk asking to take inventory of empty items such as trunks and crates to which Hickey deduces they are most likely going to abandon ship soon.

The order to abandon both ships is given in episode 7 and Gibson speaks with Magnus Manson, Thomas Armitage, Robert Golding, Sgt. Solomon Tozer, and Hickey about his bleak outlook regarding the future of the expedition and how they might have a better chance at survival if they split from the main group and move on their own. Hickey agrees with him and begin plotting out a mutiny.

In episode 8 the first step of their mutiny takes place as Hickey had earlier murdered Irving and Thomas R. Farr while placing blame on the local Netsilik creating paranoia among the men. Hickey departs to the murder site to verify his account but once he returns he tasks Gibson of finding a map showing the location of both ships all the way down to Great Slave Lake and burn any others. However their plot is soon discovered and Hickey and Tozer are sentenced to hang. Gibson attends the tribunal but before Hickey could be executed, the Tuunbaq attacks and the camp is thrown into disarray. The mutineers use the chaos to their advantage and Gibson tells Manson to do as Hickey instructed him. Crozier and his men are not able to stop them and Gibson along with the others manage to escape.

By episode 9, Gibson's health has deteriorated rapidly and he tells Doctor Henry Goodsir who was captured by the mutineers that his joints feel like they have glass in them due to lead poisoning. Goodsir informs Gibson his condition will only get worse and it's best to begin preparing for death. Hickey checks in on them and tells Gibson he'll make best of a bad situation as he always have. Hickey then returns and stabs Gibson in the back killing him. Hickey then orders Goodsir to cut up Gibson's body to which Goodsir refuses until Hickey threatens to harm Hodgson. While removing Gibson's clothing, Goodsir notices Young's ring which Goodsir promised to deliver to his sister back in episode 1 and takes it. After around 40 minutes of preparation, Goodsir delivers Gibson's remains to the others where it is eaten.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Gibson is a minor and nonspeaking character in the original novel. Hickey shoots him to feed William Jerry.
  • Like a few other characters, he fought in the First Opium War.
  • A skeleton that likely belonged to Gibson was found by Francis McClintock in 1859.
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