The Horrifying True Story That Inspired True Detective Season 4

Yes, True Detective: Night Country knows all about the Dyatlov Pass incident.

Jodie Foster, Kali Reis, and others assembled in the show during the first episode of True Detective: Night Country
Photo: Michele K. Short | HBO

This article contains spoilers for True Detective: Night Country episode 1.

True Detective season 4, subtitled True Detective: Night Country, isn’t shy about acknowledging its influences. In the first episode alone, the series showcases a DVD copy of John Carpenter’s The Thing, a well-worn edition of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, and even several instances of the swirly “Carcosa” symbol from True Detective season 1.

There’s another major influence at play, however, and it comes directly from the terrifying annals of history. While episode 1 didn’t explicitly shout it out as an inspiration, showrunner Issa López mentioned it when speaking to Den of Geek and other outlets before season 1 premiered.

“Some mysteries that obsessed me as a child were the Dyatlov Pass incident and the Mary Celeste,” Lopez said.


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