Nantucket. The little island off the east coast of the United States is the capital of American whaling in 1850. Sailors, traders, harpooners – they all hope to make big money on land or on a whaler – and if not, then at least to have big adventures. One of them is Ishmael (Charlie Cox), who wanders through the bustling harbour in search of a whaling boat that will take him out to sea. Together with the homeless boy Pip (Daniel Gordon) and the fear-inspiring Polynesian harpooner Queequeg (Raoul Trujillo), he signs on as a crew member of the Pequod.
The commander of the whale boat is the charismatic, some would say despotic, Captain Ahab (William Hurt), an experienced seaman and whale hunter who lost his leg several years earlier in a struggle with the gigantic white sperm whale Moby Dick. Now he is obsessed with taking revenge on the legendary creature. Neither his long-suffering wife (Gillian Anderson) nor his crew suspect the true extent of his obsessive thirst for vengeance. Only Starbuck (Ethan Hawke), the First Mate of the Pequod, a very religious and level-headed man, fears that this journey will not be a regular whale-catching expedition…
On deck, Ahab finally tells his crew what the real goal of their voyage is: the death of Moby Dick. Ishmael, who is now friends with the harpooner Queequeg, is fascinated by his captain’s charisma, willpower and determination. He casts Queequeg’s dark premonitions to the winds. Starbuck, however, keeps reminding them of the blind vindictiveness of Ahab, whose madness and manipulative tactics can mean death for the seamen.
On the long and arduous journey across the Atlantic, which takes the Pequod around the Cape of Good Hope and to the South China Sea, the crew members are subjected to hunger and thirst, to the terrifying stillness of the doldrums and to naked fear. Yet Ahab unswervingly pursues his goal: the hunt for Moby Dick. When the harpooners of the Pequod kill one of the white whale’s companions, the seamen get an idea of the anger and power of their enemy. Yet their first encounter with Moby Dick is only a taste of the apocalyptic struggle between man and animal that is about to take place on the high seas, and in which not only Ahab and the white whale will meet their fates…
Duration: 2 x 60mins
Genre: Action, Mini Series
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