New Zealand actor Sam Neill has just been announced as joining the cast of highly anticipated new TV drama series Crusoe.

The show is billed as an epic and ambitious take on Daniel Defoe’s legendary tale of Robinson Crusoe. The show follows the dashing and resouceful Crusoe (played by Philip Winchester) after being a castaway on a desert island for many years. His companion Friday has yet to be cast.

Neill joins Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings), Joss Ackland (Lethan Weapon 2), Philip Winchester (Thunderbirds) and Anna Walton (Hell Boy: the Golden Army).

Sam Neill has had a huge film and television career with roles in The Piano, Jurassic Park, winning an Emmy for his role in Merlin, winning three Golden Globes for his roles in Merlin, One Against the Wind and Reilly: Ace of Spies. He has most recently been on HBO’s critically acclaimed The Tudors.

Crusoe is written by Stephen Gallagher (Eleventh Hour) and directed by Duane Clark (CSI: NY) and will be filmed in the UK, South Africa and the Seychelles.

Like Lost, the show will feature flashbacks of Crusoe’s life before being on the dangerous and adventure-filled island. We will meet his tragic childhood with widower father James (Bean), the blossoming relationship with the love of his life, Susannah (Walton) and his endeavor to transform entrepreneurial aspirations into a business empire under the watchful eye of family friend, Jeremiah Blackthorn (Neill).

Overcoming marauding militias, hungry cannibals, wild cats, starvation and apocalyptic lightning storms on his seemingly idyllic island, Crusoe dreams of the day he will be reunited with his beloved family. The show is promised to be distinctive, dramatic and daring story, laced with humor and plenty of high-octane action.