To the Ends of the Earth
Airing Sundays, October 22 through November 5, 2006 on PBS
(Check local listings; dates and times may vary)
... The performances are superb... The best TV drama of the year by a nautical mile ...
-- The Guardian
A perilous early nineteenth-century ocean voyage from England to Australia is portrayed in all its excitement, chaos, and random horror in a three-part adaptation of To the Ends of the Earth, based on the trilogy by Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding.
Benedict Cumberbatch (MI-5, Hawking) stars as Edmund Talbot, a young aristocrat bound for Australia. He books passage aboard an aging, leaking, converted man-of-war, commanded with icy detachment by Captain Anderson (Jared Harris, son of Richard, The Notorious Betty Paige, Igby Goes Down).
The passenger list includes a core sample of British society including Mr. Prettiman, a free thinking radical; Miss Granham, a down-on-her-luck governess; Parson Colley, a hapless cleric; Mr. Brocklebank, a dissipated nautical artist; and Zenobia, Mr. Brocklebank's sensuous "daughter."
The ship's crew forms its own community: Wheeler, a steadfast steward with a fear of drowning; 1st Lieutenant Summers, who becomes a friend and mentor to Edmund; and Lieutenants Deverel and Benét -- a matched pair of vain officers.
The outstanding cast also includes Sam Neill, Victoria Hamilton, Charles Dance, Joanna Page and Cheryl Campbell.