About the show
On the 250th anniversary of Cook leaving Plymouth, Sam Neill visits Tahiti in the first of six episodes to follow Cook’s journey around the Pacific, and hears from Tahitians about what Cook means 250 years on. Through the intercession of Joseph Banks, the expedition’s botanist, Cook takes on board the high priest and navigator Tupaia whose significance, attributes and influence will develop along the voyage but not be fully registered until the end of the 20th century. Much of Tahiti’s centrality to the settlement of Oceania by Polynesians, people of the ocean, was not fully understood until recently. Sam encounters ardent enthusiasts and practitioners of Tahiti’s vibrant culture. Some of the traditions are old, some new and when lost, he learns, the Tahitians are happy to make them up.