Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery (2007– )

TV Series  -   -  Documentary | History
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 45 users  
Reviews: 6 user

This documentary tells the real story of the life & times of Captain James Cook; the greatest explorer in history who discovered Australia & New Zealand. His 3 great voyages of discovery ... See full summary »

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Season:

1

Year:

2007
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 James Cook reenactment (4 episodes, 2007)
Bridget Bezanson ...
 Elizabeth Cook (4 episodes, 2007)
Vanessa Collingridge ...
 Herself (4 episodes, 2007)
Huw Lewis-Jones ...
 Himself (4 episodes, 2007)
Andrew Lambert ...
 Himself (4 episodes, 2007)
Sophie Forgan ...
 Herself (4 episodes, 2007)
John Gascoigne ...
 Himself (4 episodes, 2007)
Samuel Laurie ...
 Young James Cook (4 episodes, 2007)
...
 Captain Cook (4 episodes, 2007)
Cliff Thornton ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 2007)
Robert Clancy ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 2007)
Penelope Edmonds ...
 Herself (3 episodes, 2007)
Peter Stanley ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 2007)
Jay Gallagher ...
 Joseph Banks (3 episodes, 2007)
Andrew Hunt ...
 Dr. Solander (3 episodes, 2007)
Victor Suthren ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2007)
Ray Williams ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2007)
Barney Tupara ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2007)
Gordon Kanakanui Kahawai Leslie ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2007)
John Maynard ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2007)
Steve Cafferty ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2007)
Pulou Vaituutuu ...
 Tupaia (2 episodes, 2007)
Adam Crouch ...
 Joseph Banks (2 episodes, 2007)
Russell Healy
(2 episodes, 2007)
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Storyline

This documentary tells the real story of the life & times of Captain James Cook; the greatest explorer in history who discovered Australia & New Zealand. His 3 great voyages of discovery pushed the borders of the British Empire to the ends of the Earth. Written by Joyce M

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Release Date:

28 October 2007 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

I apostoli tou Captain Cook  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

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User Reviews

 
The thoroughly modern, politically correct guide to Cook's voyages.
16 December 2007 | by (Eastern Australia) – See all my reviews

I am interested in history. I am interested in the history of discovery and navigation by the great Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and English/British navigators from the 15th to the 19th centuries. I am interested in British imperial history. Are these my passion or my obsession? Vanessa Collingridge in the documentary series, 'Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery', so often expresses the character of Cook and his deeds in his voyages of discovery in these fashionably emotive terms that I had trouble remembering that this was the narrative of actual historical events, of historical facts, the words 'obsession' and 'passion' and their derivatives being repeated so often in this series.

Cook, according to Collingridge, is obsessed by (and obsessive about) discovery: not merely occupationally interested as a British naval officer and professional navigator, nor motivated by a desire for fame or fortune, nor by national-imperialist sentiment in the race for new worlds to conquer by Britain as the world's premier imperial power. No, none of these. He was obsessed. And his voyages of discovery were motivated by his passionate obsessiveness drawn out of passion and obsession for their own sake, and on it all goes. Does any of this make sense? Not a great deal--and it is on this basis the series goes on, too.

I am afraid that the word 'passion' and allied words such as 'obsession' have been enjoying some sort of vogue among the young and fashionably modern over recent years. And Vanessa Collingridge, in a valiant effort to show the world that she is as modern and as in touch with the times as the next woman, not only bangs these words into her narration at every opportunity, no matter how remote the connection is to 'passion' and 'obsession', but ensures she gets the attention of the thoroughly modern world by banging 'obsession' into the title of the series. (Another example: we are told of a certain English clockmaker, that presented Cook with a chronometer for one of his voyages, that 'clocks were his (i.e. the clockmaker's) passion'. Again it is shown in this instance that anyone who does anything as an historical personage in this series has a 'passion' and/or an 'obsession'.) Add to this the all-too-evident politically correct bias of the series, and it is easy to see that this production is the work of a combination of a thoroughly modern author-broadcaster in the person of Vanessa Collingridge, who wrote and narrated it, and the Australian state-owned, state-run, institutionally left-wing, national broadcasting service, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Another example of the thoroughly modern credentials of this series, and so of the politically correct bias which pervades it, is Cook's wife, Elizabeth. We learn that Elizabeth Cook, in raising the Cooks' children and having to bury some of these that had died in childhood during James Cook's protracted absences at sea, some onerous and sad tasks to be sure, had performed such prodigious feats of lone child-raising and child-burying that she was fully the equal of the great navigator 'in her own way', according to Collingridge. Without wishing to upset some of the feminism-inclined politically correct, I can only say that this statement from Collingridge is plainly absurd. As tough as it was for Elizabeth Cook and strong woman though no doubt she was, her life and tasks at home in England cannot in any way be equated with or compared to those of Captain James Cook RN who was exploring vast new worlds in exceedingly hard and harrowing conditions, which involved a constant and unremitting life-and-death struggle with the sea and the elements and the command of a vessel and crew in these harsh conditions. Such are the ridiculous lengths Collingridge goes to in this series in trying to demonstrate her adherence to political correctness, which in this instance is manifested as trying to demonstrate an equality between the sexes by falsely equating Cook and his wife's respective tasks and accomplishments.

The interviews with those academically and historically expert on Cook's history were the only redeeming features of this otherwise strained and politically correct historical overstatement. We are given certain facts about and certain insights into Cook's life and voyages that are not usually treated in history books. And it is because of this interesting factual content that I have given the series a rating of 4/10. If I were to give the series a rating based solely on the emotive narration of Vanessa Collingridge as the writer-narrator, it would have got 1/10 or less.


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