“This has been a journey of discovery, a love letter to my part of the world. It’s the story of an ocean as much as a story of people. It’s as much about the present as it is about history.” Sam Neill
“Written with sparkle by Anastasios… Neill comes across as the ideal travelling companion with whom to follow in the footsteps of Captain Cook.” The Australian.
So, what now feels like a lifetime ago, but was actually only 2018 (thanks for that, 2020—the year that seemed to stretch on forever), a TV series I worked on as scriptwriter was released. Oh, and there was the book I wrote for Harper Collins to accompany the series as well. Working on it was—and I really don’t say things like this very often—a truly transformative experience.
Anyway, aforementioned series aired in various places internationally, but in Australia it appeared on Foxtel. Which is all very well if you subscribe to cable TV. But for most of my friends—who do not—The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill was the proverbial falling tree in a forest. If a TV series airs and nobody sees it, did it ever really exist?
But now, it’s being released on Free-To-Air TV… on good ol’ ABC Australia. So now, Australian friends, you’re out of excuses. It’s a rollicking good series helmed by the incomparable Sam Neill that tells the story of the people who had been living in The Pacific for thousands—and in the case of Australia’s Aboriginal people, tens of thousands—of years when Cook’s ships arrived in Antipodean waters. Sam speaks with First Nations people from one corner of the Pacific to the other, and hears from them what Cook’s arrival meant for their way of life. It’s a new way of looking at a story that, for those of us who are descended from new-ish arrivals in the region, is unfamiliar, but all the more important for it.
I don’t always plug the shows I work on. But I’m actually quite proud of this one.
The series is screening at 9.35pm over the next five Monday nights (first ep was Monday this week) and all episodes can be accessed on iView after they screen: https://iview.abc.net.au/…/pacific-in-the-wake-of…
As for the book, you can pick that up here: https://www.harpercollins.com.au/…/the-pacific-in-the…/