Captain Cook – Obsession and Discovery

Cook continues his relentless pursuit of a great southern continent, putting fable and mystery to rest.

Despite his great skills sailing and navigating across the world, Endeavour runs aground and is nearly lost. Cook commits the most controversial act of the voyage: he claims the entire east coast of New Holland for Britain, without permission from the local inhabitants. Stopping for emergency repairs in Batavia, infected water turns Endeavour into a death ship. Back in London, Cook’s maps confirm his brilliance. He is promoted and eventually given command of a new voyage that will add an incredible third of the world to the map. It makes him a great British hero but the massive responsibility is taking its toll. He is losing control; only his obsession with discovery drives him on.

Sunday 16th March at 8.35pm on Prime

Cook sets sail on the history-making adventure in search of a great southern continent.

Cook sets sail on the history-making adventure in search of a great southern continent. If Britain can find and map it, they can claim it for the Empire. Cook takes on board an additional passenger, Polynesian priest and fellow navigator Tupaia. Cook’s first encounter with New Zealand’s Maori is a disaster, so he turns to Tupaia who acts as go-between for later landings. In circumnavigating New Zealand, he proves it is not the Great South Continent. Continuing east into the unknown and landing in Botany Bay, Cook is challenged by what he encounters – Australia’s flora, fauna and Indigenous people. Cook’s landing will make him an iconic figure in modern history, but not unless he can navigate his way out of the maze of the Great Barrier Reef – the potential disaster that could kill them all.

Sunday 9th March at 8.35pm on Prime

A hero to some, a curse to others, Englishman James Cook charted more of the globe than any other explorer. In a joint collaboration between New Zealand, Australia and Canada this 4-part series follows Cook’s adventures, triumphs and tragedies.

Cook expert and bestselling British author Vanessa Collingridge searches for the man behind the legend as she traces his story in a series that is part biography, part travelogue – and completely enthralling. Tonight, James Cook journeys from life as a barefoot farm boy to commanding his own ship on one of the British Empire’s first great scientific expeditions. Influential patrons help the bright boy to an apprenticeship in the merchant navy that would make him a ship’s master. But with an eye for the main chance Cook switches to the Royal Navy. War with France propels him to Canada, where he discovers his life’s work. He revolutionises the accuracy of naval mapping and the way the world is recorded. In further adventures, his genius for precision navigation helps Britain win the war and control of North America. Cook’s reward is command of the great scientific expedition to the Pacific Ocean and the newly discovered exotic and sexually liberated Tahiti to record the 1769 Transit of Venus. When the observation is complete, Cook opens secret orders and learns he is to solve one of the world’s great mysteries. He must find the Great Southern Continent. The real challenge has just begun.

Sunday 2nd March at 8.35pm on Prime