Polar bear shocks commuters on the Tube

Polar bear shocks commuters on the Tube

Commuters were left stunned as an eight-foot polar bear strolled London's busy Underground on Monday morning - even getting on a train.

Manoeuvring through the crowds and pitching for a seat at Charing Cross station, the two-man puppet greeted passengers to celebrate the release of the new Arctic crime drama Fortitude.

The giant bear, created by Hollywood special effects experts FX, was also spotted at Hampstead Heath and roaming along the South Bank as part of the Sky Atlantic publicity stunt.

Polar bear shocks commuters on the Tube

Created by a team of 19 prop specialists, the male polar bear was made from more than 60 different materials including 90 square foot of sheet white fur.

Incredibly the realistic replica even had individual strands of hair on the top of his head which were charged with an electrostatic current causing the fur to stand up on end.

The friendly bear was powered by two puppeteers who spent weeks studying footage of real polar bears in the wild before spending five days rehearsing with the device.

The performers – who previously worked together in the West End's War Horse – powered the beast with the use of hidden cameras that allowed them to see inside.

Polar bear shocks commuters on the Tube

Director of Sky Atlantic, Zai Bennett, said: "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."

Polar bear shocks commuters on the Tube

The 11- episode series boasts an all-star cast including Academy Award nominee Stanley Tucci and acting legend Michael Gambon.

Sky Atlantic's Fortitude will premier on Thursday 29th January at 9pm.

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Polar bear shocks commuters on the Tube
Manitoba, Canada.
Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada.
Manitoba, Churchill, Canada. 
Wuppertal Zoo, Western Germany.

Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.

North East Greenland Coast, Arctic.
Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo, Munich.
Coastal Hudson Bay, Canada.
Hellabrunn Zoo, Munich.
A polar bear cub plays in its enclosure at the zoo in Brno, Czech Republic.
Aalborg Zoo, Denmark.
Stuttgart Zoo, Germany
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