What would you do when faced with a wild beast while walking the streets of your neighborhood? Would you run in terror, scream in surprise, hide for safety, or take a picture with it?

Londoners recently got the chance to go up close and personal with an eight-foot Arctic polar bear wandering the busy streets. Initial reactions were of fear, disbelief, shock, and curiosity until they realized that the traveling visitor was a magnificent animatronics creation made by the special effects company Millennium FX.

Zai Bennett, director of Sky Atlantic, tapped the Buckinghamshire Company for the upcoming show Fortitude. The show featuring Stanley Tucci, Christopher Ecclestone and Michael Gambon is an 11-part Arctic crime drama series that is premiering on Thursday night.

The realistic-looking replica was brought to life by puppeteers Tom Wilton and Derek Arnold. The pair invested hours learning real polar bear behavior and movements in preparation for their London streets debut.

"It is made of a semi-rigid foam, as it had to be light. The head was difficult, as we wanted the hair to look right. So each hair was put into place individually. Then we used an electrostatic current to make the hairs stand up on end," said Rob Mayor, principal of Millennium FX, about the robot bear.

Sightings of the bear include a ride along with passengers on the Underground Tube in Charing Cross, wandering across Hampstead Heath and the Millennium Bridge before continuing onto the South Bank area to make friends with local pets and busy passersby.

As for the creative PR approach to launch the show, Bennett said they used a polar bear to give Londoners a taste of fear, which the characters of Fortitude will be facing on a constant basis.

"Polar bears are the most dangerous animal on land and present an ever-present threat to Fortitude's inhabitants ... 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," he said.

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.