‘The Whale’ trailer

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The 90-minute TV film airs at 9pm on Sunday 22 December on BBC One and follows the ill-fated voyage of The Essex through the eyes of the cabin boy Thomas Nickerson who, at 14, was the youngest member of the crew and one of only eight survivors of the shipwreck.

Watch the trailer…

The Whale is set in the lonely vastness of the world’s oceans in 1819 and tells the story of young Tom Nickerson (Charles Furness) who desires nothing other than to become a whaler. As a teenager he boards The Essex dreaming of adventure and riches. But what he encounters on his first day aboard ship is the brutality needed to survive years at sea and shows Nickerson coming through the worst that nature throws at him.

Martin Sheen plays the elder Nickerson who recounts his story of survival in later life, five decades on. Jonas Armstrong plays First Mate Owen Chase and Adam Rayner plays Captain George Pollard.

Chase and Pollard’s real-life accounts of the ship’s sinking are said to have inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

Are you looking forward to The Whale? Let us know below…