‘Uncharted with Sam Neill’.
Production has begun on Uncharted with Sam Neill, a six-part factual series for Foxtel’s History Channel that charts Captain Cook’s three voyages to the Pacific.
Produced by Essential Media & Entertainment and Frame Up Films, the series, described as “deeply personal”, will see actor Sam Neill trace Cook’s expeditions across the Arctic and Antarctic, Tahiti, Australia and New Zealand. Along the way Neill explore Cook’s impact on the people he encountered.
Essential Media & Entertainment and Frame Up Films’ previously collaborated on 2015’s Why ANZAC with Sam Neill for ABCTV and Maori Television. The director of that series, Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, Australia Day), will also shoot Uncharted, along with Sally Aitken (David Stratton: A Cinematic Life, Streets of Your Town, Getting Frank Gehry). Aline Jacques and writer Owen Hughes are producing, with Neill, Chris Hilton and David Alrich serving as EPs.
“While there is no question that Cook was one of the greatest explorers and navigators of all time, every place he ‘discovered’ had been discovered hundreds if not thousands of years before, everywhere unknown was already known, every place he claimed for the crown was already occupied,” said Neill.
“Everywhere he went he was quickly followed by others who had mostly an utterly devastating effect on those who had gone before – those who had found and settled in this vast Ocean.
“Of particular fascination to me are those initial awkward, often funny, sometimes tragic first encounters. We are looking at Cook, but we are also looking at the before and after of Cook. We are People of the Pacific, and this is our story as well.”
Foxtel’s GM for factual Jim Buchan said: “Captain Cook’s three epic voyages contain some of the most incredibly fundamental events that changed the world, especially our collective history in both Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re thrilled that Sam Neill, a brilliant storyteller with a lifelong passion for Cook’s story has teamed with Essential Media and us at the HISTORY channel in bringing our audience this timely contemporary series.”
Uncharted with Sam Neill has been supported by Screen Australia and NZ On Air.