A little while ago I was made aware of the existance of a BBC mini series from 2005 called To the Ends of the Earth. I had never heard of this series before, but was left in no peace about it until I watched it! 😉 And when finally saw it, I was so glad I did! I loved it! So thank you Andrew for telling me about it and insisting I watch it!
Based on a trilogy of books by William Golding this series is set in 1812, and it’s the story of passengers on a ship. A ship leaving England to travel the long and dangerous journey down to Australia. We think it is a long journey even in this day and age, but really it’s not! Not when you think about it. Back then such a journey took months! Months of being cramped on a ship with no opportunity of stepping ashore even for a short time. The perils of the sea were enhanced by the threat of the enemy, since war was still on, and there certainly was no guarantee of reaching your destination safe and alive.
With that in mind I felt full of admiration for the people who actually undertook such a journey. Leaving their homes and families behind and setting off for something completely new, hoping to make a better life for themselves and with no real hope of ever returning again. It must have taken some guts!
One thing I loved about this series was that it focuses mainly on the passengers on the ship. So compared to something like for example Hornblower which is about the navy, the war and which has a lot of fighting scenes, this has more of a focus on the civilians onboard. Now don’t get me wrong here, I absolutely love Hornblower and think it is an brilliant series, but I thought it was fun to see this slightly different angle too!
The passengers whom we get to followe here are the somewhat more wealthy people onboard. Like Mr Talbot for example, the main character and the, when it comes to social status, highest ranking passenger. It is mainly from his perspective that we get to see the story.
The way all these people have to live together in such a small space for such a lenght of time, sharing in many dangers together creates a very special atmosphere amongst them. For good and bad.
I think this is a wonderful series, I enjoyed it greatly and found myself getting very much into the story as I watched it. And it’s not all dangers and hardships, definitely not! There is even a point where they have a ball, on the ship, in the middle of the ocean! That is now a new dream of mine, to one day attend a ball on a ship out at sea… *sigh* A girl is allowed to dream, right?
There is in the cast, as in most of these British series, a few familiar faces to the student (or obsessed?) of period dramas. Benedict Cumberbatch has the main role, but there is also the well known Victoria Hamilton, seen in so many of these period dramas, and our very own Mr Tilney (JJ Field)! Though I have to say he is not nearly as charming here as when he plays the fantastic Mr Tilney… 😛
I’m not going to give any more of the story away, I’ll just say that the series is well worth watching, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes period dramas and the Napoleonic era!