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New Light on a Cook’s Tour

1 September 2005

Media Release

New Light on a Cook’s Tour

A major new documentary series that chronicles the travels and achievements of Captain James Cook is in the works, for screening on Prime, thanks to funding from NZ On Air.

“Captain Cook – Obsession and Betrayal in the New World is an ambitious project, and we are delighted to be able to help make it happen,” said NZ On Air’s Acting Chief Executive Bernard Duncan.

The four-part series will be produced by South Pacific Pictures, the company responsible for Whale Rider, Shortland Street and Interrogation.

Mr Duncan said South Pacific Pictures had an excellent track record in a variety of screen genres, and an enviable reputation. He added that the Captain Cook project was an exciting one, and was likely to become appointment viewing for a large number of New Zealanders.

“Our research over recent years has indicated that New Zealanders generally have a quickly growing interest in this country’s history, and a healthy appetite for well made documentaries,” Mr Duncan said.

“We expect this series to meet with those audience needs in a number of ways.”

Captain Cook: Obsession and Betrayal in the New World is based on the writings of Vanessa Collingridge, a geographer, broadcaster and author, who has long been fascinated by Cook and his exploits.

“The book offers an intriguing perspective on Cook’s life and voyages, and in particular on the effects his landfalls had on the people he encountered,” said Mr Duncan. “The series will draw on that to, in some ways, cast new light on Cook’s influence on New Zealand history.

“We consider this to be an important television event and a documentary series that will resonate strongly with New Zealanders from many different walks of life,” he said.


This media release is available on the Internet at

Funding details:

Captain Cook: Obsession & Betrayal in the New World $1,000,000
4 x 1 hour
Broadcaster: Prime
Producer: John Barnett
South Pacific Pictures

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