Captain Cook

HISTORY CHANNEL – Sundays from 2 January, 8.30pm

He is one of the most important men to have ever walked the earth but between the ages of 12

Co-produced in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, this four part series features high adventure, triumph and tragedy as we journey around the world in the wake of one of the greatest explorers of all time – James Cook. A hero to some, a curse to others, this son of an English farm labourer described more of the globe than any other man in three incredible voyages. Geographer, historical consultant and bestselling 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.

7:30pm Saturday, May 29 on Prime

Documentary

Northwest Passage

Cook’s obsession with discovery continues tonight as he searches for the mythic North West Passage, but it is a journey too far. Now retired and promoted to Post Captain, James Cook is bored. He jumps at the chance to take on a third great voyage: to find a fast route to China to secure Britain’s place in the lucrative tea trade. To do it, he must sail across the world and then over the top of the North American continent, pushing against a wall of Arctic ice. But it’s too much for the ships of the day, and Cook is forced to return to the Pacific. When his ship snaps a mast and he returns to Hawaii (the island group he discovered on his way north) the inhabitants who once greeted him with open arms turn hostile – they have already given Cook all they have. As relations deteriorate, Cook takes a Hawaiian chief hostage in retribution for a stolen boat. In the confusion that follows, he is needlessly killed on the beach. The man who has become an icon of the British Empire is about to be swept up by history.

7:30pm Saturday, May 22 on Prime

Documentary

Beyond Speculation

Cook continues his relentless pursuit of a great southern continent tonight, 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.

7:30pm Saturday, May 15 on Prime

Documentary

Taking Command

In part two of this four-part series we follow Captain Cook expert and best-selling author, geographer and historian Vanessa Collingridge as she searches for the man behind the legend and traces Cook’s legendary travels in the 18th Century. Tonight, 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.

7:30pm Saturday, May 8 on Prime

Documentary

A Likely Lad

In this four-part series we follow Captain Cook expert and best-selling author, geographer and historian Vanessa Collingridge as she searches for the man behind the legend and traces Cook’s legendary travels in the 18th Century. What was it like to navigate uncharted and unknown waters in search of a legendary Great Southern Continent? And imagine being among the first Europeans to visit exotic Pacific islands like Tahiti! Relive this journey with Vanessa as she recounts the three incredible voyagers of Captain James Cook that changed the world.