Captain Cook's Pacific with Sam Neill

Resolution and the Great Southern Continent

Series 1 - Episode 4 Resolution and the Great Southern Continent



When Captain Cook set off in HMS Resolution in search of the fabled Great Southern Continent, he had no navigational aids (not even stars) to help him cross the uncharted waters of the South Pacific. Sam Neill’s tracing of the 18th-century explorer’s three attempts to find this land mass has many delightful, and occasionally surreal, moments.

The giant tortoise Cook gave Tonga’s royal family gives Neill a fit of the giggles, while on the tiny island of Tanna he good-naturedly but solemnly accepts a penis sheath gift from the locals, many of whom call their males Captain Cook. Even odder, he learns the tribe revere Prince Philip as a sacred deity.


The accomplished actor retraces Cook's second voyage around the Pacific as he boarded the Resolution in search of the Great Southern Continent, a mythical land thought to balance the Earth. He also mirrors what many consider to be Cook's greatest achievement as he ventures onto Norfolk Island.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Sam Neill
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