Having fulfilled his Admiralty brief Captain Cook opted to tale the long way back to Britain so he could chart the East Coast of Australia and explore the mysterious land. The Aboriginal people showed more caution than their Polynesian counterparts upon the Endeavour’s arrival seemingly indifferent to the strangers and wishing them gone.
This understandable reticence was misinterpreted and later led to the myth of Terra Nullius Sam travels from Botany Bay up the east coast to Cooktown, learning about a country that far from being nobodies’ land was comprehensively inhabited by a well-established culture.
The Pacific In The Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill ep. 3
250 YEARS AFTER Captain James Cook began his epic exploration of the Pacific, Sam Neill journeys in the wake, uncovering stories that resonate from those times on both sides of the beach. Visiting the islands and lands where Cook went and meeting the descendants of the people Cook met, Sam hears their stories from oral tradition. What did Cook’s arrival mean to Pacific island cultures then and now?
Across six stunning episodes without a re-enactment or fake quill in sight, Sam takes an epic and thoroughly modern look at 250 years of Pacific history. Sam begins with a disclaimer – he is merely an actor – but the story of Cook, and the impact he has had on the Pacific in the 250 years since his first voyage, has always fascinated him.
“The Pacific made Cook and it killed him too… they are forever bound together. He stitched its islands, its continental borders and its indigenous peoples into the fabric of the global community we know today. Admire him or abhor him, James Cook cannot be banished from its history even now, as peoples of the modern Pacific, we make our own history,” Sam Neill said.