Christmas 2013 TV: Martin Sheen stars in lavish BBC production, The Whale! (VIDEO)

the whale

There’s a real treat in store on BBC1 this Christmas as Aunty Beeb has lined up 90-minute offering The Whale, starring US legend Martin Sheen in the role of Old Thomas Nickerson, who tells the story of his life as a cabin boy on the ill-fated voyage of the Essex whaling ship.

Airing on December 22, this glossy BBC drama was inspired by Chase and Pollard’s real-life accounts of the ship’s sinking, and it’s those accounts that are said to have inspired Herman Melville’s historic novel, Moby Dick.

Written by Terry Cafolla, Alrick Riley directs a cast led by Sheen and featuring Jonas Armstrong as First Mate Owen Chase, Adam Rayner as Captain Pollard, Paul Kaye as Joy, David Gyasi as Peterson and Jolyon Coy as Lawrence…

It also stars Jassa Ahluwalisa, John Boyega and Ferdinand Kingsley, and introduces Charles Furness as the young Tom Nickerson.

The action-packed narrative follows Nickerson as, against all odds, he comes through the worst that nature throws at him, growing up fast in the process…

He faces the destructive force of sea storms, the power of whales, the brutal desolation of the sun and sea after the shipwreck, and finally, the grim realities of dark deeds as his only means of survival.

the whale The Whale

With breathtaking underwater shots and specialist equipment used to create storm scenes, The Whale beautifully captures the Essex caught in the treacherous sea storm.

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Made by BBC Factual Productions with Animal Planet, The Whale is BBC executive produced by Eamon Hardy and Ruth Caleb. Mike Dormer is the producer. For Animal Planet, The Whale is executive produced by Mick Kaczorowski.

The Whale the whale bbc

Here’s a look at Martin Sheen talking about the film…

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