The Pacific: Sam’s Diary – Scourge of the Sailor

It wasn’t just Cook, it was Cook and his crew.


Captain James Cook’s incredible epic voyages of discovery are as controversial now after 250 years as ever. In light of recent public debate in this new History commission Sam Neill re-examines Cook’s legacy delivering new contemporary perspectives from the around the Pacific cultures left in his wake.

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.

In conjunction with the 250th anniversary of the HMS Endeavour’s departure from England, actor and raconteur 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.