Foztel’s History channel is embarking on a journey of The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill next month.
50 years after Captain James Cook began his epic exploration of the Pacific, Sam Neill journeys in the wake, uncovering stories that resonate from those times on both sides of the beach. Visiting the islands and lands where Cook went and meeting the descendants of the people Cook met, Sam hears their stories from oral tradition. What did Cook’s arrival mean to Pacific island cultures then and now?
Across six stunning episodes without a re-enactment or fake quill in sight, Sam takes an epic and thoroughly modern look at 250 years of Pacific history. Sam begins with a disclaimer – he is merely an actor – but the story of Cook, and the impact he has had on the Pacific in the 250 years since his first voyage, has always fascinated him.
“The Pacific made Cook and it killed him too… they are forever bound together. He stitched its islands, its continental borders and its indigenous peoples into the fabric of the global community we know today. Admire him or abhor him, James Cook cannot be banished from its history even now, as peoples of the modern Pacific, we make our own history,” Sam Neill said.
Cook first set sail to the Pacific in 1768. These vast waters, one third of the Earth’s surface, were uncharted – but not unknown. A rich diversity of people and cultures navigated, traded, lived and fought here for thousands of years. Before Cook, the Pacific was disconnected from the power and ideas of Europe, Asia and America. In the wake of Cook, everything changed.
On the 250th anniversary of the HMS Endeavour’s departure from England, actor Sam Neill takes a deeply personal, present-day voyage to map his own understanding of James Cook, Europe’s greatest navigator, and the immense Pacific Ocean itself. Setting sail on a great ocean tanker as well as many a smaller craft, Sam crosses the length and breadth of the largest ocean in the world to experience for himself a contemporary journey in Cook’s footsteps.
Group General Manager, Factual, Jim Buchan said “Foxtel is delighted to have acclaimed actor Sam Neill, a brilliant raconteur with a lifelong passion for Captain Cook’s story, hosting this epic series for Foxtel’s HISTORY channel.”
“It couldn’t be more timely, as Australia as a nation debates what has become a very controversial topic – the apparent discovery of Australia by Cook, his legacy in terms of the Indigenous peoples left in his wake and our national day being associated with settlement.”
Shot in high definition with lush aerial photography, the series will excite the mind and senses with an untold story of our own backyard.
The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill will premiere exclusively on Foxtel’s HISTORY channel, Mondays 7.30pm (AEST) from August 27.