Colin Farrell is almost unrecognisable in new pictures from the BBC Two Arctic drama The North Water.

The Hollywood star plays harpooner Henry Drax in the adaptation of Ian McGuire's popular book from award-winning writer and director Andrew Haigh.

A new look at the five-part series, which is set in Hull and on the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s, shows a transformed Farrell sporting long dark hair and a thick beard.

Colin Farrell plays Henry Drax in the BBC Two drama

Farrell stars alongside Stephen Graham as Brownlee, the Volunteer's Captain, Jack O'Connell as Patrick Sumner and Tom Courtenay as the ship’s owner Baxter.

Sumner is a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship's doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic. The ferocity of the elements is matched by the violence of his crew mates, in particular Drax (Farrell), who is described as "a brutal force of nature".

Drax described as "a brutal force of nature"

As the true purpose of the expedition becomes clear, confrontation between the two men erupts, taking them on a journey far from solid ground and beyond the safe moorings of civilisation.

Stephen Graham plays Brownlee, the Volunteer's Captain in The North Water

The production travelled as far as 81 degrees north to film sequences in the pack ice, the furthest point north it is believed a drama series has ever filmed.

The North Water will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this autumn.

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