Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) Poster

Paul Bettany: Dr. Stephen Maturin, Surgeon



  • [Dinner in the officers' mess. The captain is inebriated, but asks apparently seriously] 

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Do you see those two weevils doctor?

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : I do.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Which would you choose?

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : [sighs annoyed]  Neither; there is not a scrap a difference between them. They are the same species of Curculio.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : If you had to choose. If you were forced to make a choice. If there was no other response...

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : [Exasperated]  Well then if you are going to *push* me...

    [the doctor studies the weevils briefly] 

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : ...I would choose the right hand weevil; it has... significant advantage in both length and breadth.

    [the captain thumps his fist in the table] 

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : There, I have you! You're completely dished! Do you not know that in the service...


    Capt. Jack Aubrey : must always choose the lesser of two weevils.

    [the officers burst out in laughter] 

  • [the crew watch brain surgery performed on the ship's deck] 

    Able Seaman : Is them 'is brains, doctor?

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : No, that's just dried blood. THOSE are his brains.

    [the crew oohs and aahs] 

  • Dr. Stephen Maturin : Jack, I fear you have burdened me with a debt I can never fully repay.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Tosh! Name a shrub after me. Something prickly and hard to eradicate.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : A shrub? Nonsense! I shall name a great tortoise after you: Testudo Aubreii!

  • Dr. Stephen Maturin : Jack, have you forgotten your promise?

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Subject to the requirements of the service. I cannot in all conscience delay for the sake of an iguana or giant peccary. Fascinating, no doubt, but of no immediate application.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : There is, I think, an opportunity here to serve both our purposes. As I understand it, this is a long, thin island. You need to sail around it to continue your voyage. I could walk across it. I'd be on the other side...

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : I have known you to spend hours staring into a deserted bird's nest.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : I could walk briskly, pausing only to take the most important measurements. Making valuable discoveries that could help advance our knowledge of natural history.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : If wind and tide had been against us, I should have said yes. They're not. I'm obliged to say no.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Oh, I see. I see. So, after all this time in your service, I must simply content myself to form part of this belligerent expedition. Hurry past inestimable wonders, bent solely on destruction. I shall say nothing of the corruption of power or its abuse...

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : You forget yourself, Doctor.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : No, Jack. No. You've forgotten yourself. You see, for my part, I look upon a promise as binding.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : The promise was conditional.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : It never occurred to me...

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : I command a king's ship, not a private yacht! WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOUR DAMNED HOBBIES, SIR!

  • Dr. Stephen Maturin : Mr Blakeney, it would appear that you have the makings of a naturalist.

    Blakeney : Well, sir, perhaps I could combine them to be a sort of... fighting naturalist, like you, sir.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : They don't combine too well, I find. Right...

    [about to get up even though he's still recovering from injury] 

    Blakeney : Should you really be getting up, sir?

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Mr Blakeney, are you also a doctor?

    Blakeney : No, sir.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : No, you're not.

    [gets up] 

  • Dr. Stephen Maturin : By comparison, the Surprise is a somewhat aged man-o-war. Am I not correct?

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Would you call me an aged man-o-war, doctor? The Surprise is not old; no one would call her old. She has a bluff bow, lovely lines. She's a fine seabird: weatherly, stiff and fast... very fast, if she's well handled. No, she's not old; she's in her prime.

  • [last lines] 

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : I'll rest easier when I know they've reached shore. So many wounded. And only that poor, unfortunate Higgins to tend to them. Still, he's better than no doctor at all.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : [Looking surprised]  I met their doctor. I spoke to him.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : No, he died of fever months ago.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Le Vigny?

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Yes.

    [Aubrey, realizing he's been tricked, slams down a cloth] 

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : [realizing]  Ah.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : [Opens cabin door]  Pass the word for Mr. Mowett.

    Able Seaman : [Off camera]  Aye, sir. Mr. Mowett to the great cabin.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Their doctor gave me this sword.

    2nd Lt. William Mowett : Sir?

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Mr. Mowett, change of course. Southeast by east. We'll intercept the Acheron and we'll escort them into Valparaiso.

    2nd Lt. William Mowett : Aye, sir. Sou'east by east.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : And William?

    2nd Lt. William Mowett : Sir?

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Beat to quarters.

    2nd Lt. William Mowett : Very good, sir.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : [looking at his map of the Galapagos]  "Subject to the requirements of the service."

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Ah... Well, Stephen, the bird's flightless?

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Yes.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : It's not going anywhere.

  • [Stephen awakens on a stretcher, realizing that Aubrey has broken off pursuit of the Acheron and taken the crew onto dry land for Stephen's surgery] 

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Tell me this wasn't on my account.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : No, not at all. I just needed to stretch my legs.

  • Dr. Stephen Maturin : They're exhausted. These men are exhausted. You've pushed them too hard.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Stephen, I invite you to this cabin as my friend. Not to criticise nor to comment on my command.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Well, shall I leave you until you're in a more harmonious frame of mind.

    [he stands and is about to leave] 

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : What would you have me do, Stephen?

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : [turns back to him and knows what to say]  Tip the ship's grog over the side.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Stop their grog?

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Nagle was drunk when he insulted Hollom. Did you know that?

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Stop 30 years of privilege and tradition. I'd rather have them three sheets to the wind than face a mutiny.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : You see I'm rather understanding of mutinies. Men pressed from their homes, confined for months aboard a wooden prison...

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : I respect your right to disagree with me, but I can only afford one rebel on this ship. I hate it when you talk of the service in this way. It makes me feel so very low. You think I want to flog Nagle? A man who hacked the ropes that sent his mate to his death? Under MY orders? Do you not see? The only things that keep this wooden world together are hard work...

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Jack, the man failed to salute. There's hierarchies even in nature. There is no disdain in nature. There is no...

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Men must be governed! Often not wisely, but governed nonetheless.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : That's the excuse of every tyrant in history, from Nero to Bonaparte. I, for one, am opposed to authority. It is an egg of misery and opression.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy, brother.

  • [while being pursued by the Acheron] 

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : What is it with this man? Did I kill a relative of his in battle, perhaps? His boy, God forbid?

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : He fights like you, Jack.

  • Dr. Stephen Maturin : [referring to Blankeley's amputation]  I'm sorry, Jack. I'm doing everything I can. I know you were close to his father.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : His father would've understood. He knew the life. His mother, however...

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Let me take a look at that brow of yours.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : What?

    [finally realizes he's bleeding, sits down on the steps to get cleaned up] 

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Damn, he was good. Just came out of nowhere. Hit us with a full broadside, cut across our tail and took out our rudder. Damn fine gunnery. We only slipped away because of the fog. Quite fortunate, really. He may have had the weather gauge, but we had the weather gods.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : I have no idea what precisely it is you're talking about, but he did seem to come off rather well.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Seven weeks sailing, and he happens in darkness on our exact position.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Hm. Well, the French have their spies in England and elsewhere. As do we.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Indeed. If he knew we were looking for him, he could have stood to sea and passed well clear.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Well then, perhaps he was looking for us.

  • [Stephen asks how long the Surprise will stay moored off the Galapagos] 

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Oh a week, perhaps.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : A week?

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : There's no great hurry.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Mustn't we make haste for...

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : I'm not even sure it was the Acheron we sighted. And if it was, she'll be well away by now. Like looking for an honest man in parliament.

  • [the Surprise is disguising itself as a whaler to lure the Acheron in] 

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Now to lure this predator in and spring our trap.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : [in the tone of a reminder]  Jack... *you're* the predator.

    [Aubrey grins] 

  • Blakeney : Sir, I think we should be getting back.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Naval discipline doesn't operate out here, Mr. Blakeney. I must find a cormorant. And should it indeed prove flightless, you can join me at the Royal Society dinner as codiscoverer.

  • [In the Great Cabin, the rudder moves, and the officers break out into a cheer] 

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : ...Clearly, something nautical and fascinating just happened; I am at a loss.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : We have made our turn northward; we are headed back toward the sun!

  • Capt. Jack Aubrey : I'm sorry you had to leave the majority of your collection behind, Stephen.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : In actual fact, Mr. Blakeney and I did make one very interesting find.

    [Hands Jack a small stick of wood] 

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Is that right?

    [looks at it] 

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Let me guess: a stick?

    [Stephen chuckles and hands him a magnifying glass. Jack looks at the stick through the glass, then squints in wonder] 

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Tell him about it, Mr. Blakeney.

    Blakeney : It's a rare phasmid, sir.

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : A phasmid?

    Blakeney : It's an insect that disguises itself as a stick, to confuse its predators.

  • Dr. Stephen Maturin : [after amputating Blakeney's arm]  I've never seen a braver patient.

  • Capt. Jack Aubrey : This is a ship of war, and I will grind whatever grist the mill requires in order to fulfill my duty.

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Whatever the cost?

    Capt. Jack Aubrey : Whatever the cost.

  • [Deleted Scenes "SUPERSTITION" - the Doctor is getting tired of the Royal Marines shooting at the wildlife] 

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : Mr. Howard, let me beg you, if the men can't eat it or I can't dissect it, please don't shoot it.

  • [performing brain surgery on the ship's deck] 

    Dr. Stephen Maturin : May I have the coin, please?

See also

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