12 certificateMaster and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a Film programme that first aired in 2003 and has been classified a 12 certificate.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a 4 star programme

Image for the Film programme "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"

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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

Directed by
Peter Weir

Peter Weir's rollicking epic set on the high seas is based on Patrick O'Brian's successful novels. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, it stars Russell Crowe (pictured) as Captain Jack Aubrey, captain of HMS Surprise.

Stationed off the coast of Brazil, he is tasked with stopping the French privateer Acheron but it is the French ship that surprises the Surprise, outgunning Aubrey's ship. Slipping away under cover of fog, Aubrey repairs the Surprise and sets off in pursuit of the Acheron across the Atlantic and round the Cape of Good Horn into the Pacific. And when the two meet in battle, Aubrey must use all his seamanship and cunning to defeat his enemy.

The two battles bookend the film, with the pursuit (and a terrifying typhoon off the Cape) the key action scenes, but Weir weaves in two other gripping elements. The first is a realistic look at life on board a fighting ship, using the research O'Brian incorporated into his novels to produce a more genuine picture of the conditions and deprivations than, say, Pirates of the Caribbean. The second is the casting of Paul Bettany as Dr Stephen Maturin, the ship's surgeon and scientist, and Aubrey's less volatile counterpart, his best friend. Their relationship allows both plot exposition and character development, adding a weight to the action sequences - by the final battle, the viewer knows Aubrey as a rounded figure rather than an all-action seafarer.

Superbly shot by Russell Boyd, this is as accurate account of life on board a 19th-century ship that the cinema is likely to see.

Written by ,

Genre: Film

Production Year: 2003

4/5 Stars

Classification: 12 Certificate

Filmed in Colour

When is Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World next on TV?

It's next showing on Film4 October 23rd, 9:00pm and on Film4 Plus 1 October 23rd, 10:00pm. See more...


Image for Russell CroweRussell Crowe...Capt. Jack Aubrey
Image for Paul BettanyPaul Bettany...Dr. Stephen Maturin Surgeon
James D'Arcy...1st Lt. Tom Pullings
Edward Woodall...2nd Lt. William Mowett
Chris Larkin...Capt. Howard
Max Pirkis...Blakeney
Addison Randall...Boyle
Max Benitz...Calamy
Image for Lee InglebyLee Ingleby...Hollom
Richard Pates...Williamson
Robert Pugh...Mr. Allen
Richard McCabe...Surgeon's Mate
Ian Mercer...Boatswain
Tony Dolan...Carpenter
Image for David ThrelfallDavid Threlfall...Cap.'s Steward