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Castaways

Episode 2 of 6

Documentary series about the South Pacific islands. A look at how every one of the 20,000 islands was colonised by the Polynesians, and at the varied local fauna.

In the South Pacific there is no such thing as a deserted island. They may be the most isolated in the world, but every one of the region's 20,000 islands has been colonised, from New Guinea - home to birds of paradise and the tribe whose brutal initiation ceremony turns young warriors into 'crocodile' men - to Fiji, French Polynesia and Hawaii.

This is the story of the ultimate castaways - from saltwater crocodiles and giant eels to crested iguanas and weird frogs - who succeeded against all odds to reach islands thousands of miles apart. These journeys are no mean feat. It has been estimated that an average of one species in every 60,000 years makes it to Hawaii. Incredibly, many of these colonisers made it to the islands thanks to some of the most violent forces of nature like cyclones and tsunamis.

The voyages of the South Pacific's first people - the Polynesians - were no less remarkable. These journeys were some of the greatest acts of navigation ever undertaken, and they changed the nature of the South Pacific forever.

59 minutes

Last on

Mon 17 Sep 2018 20:00

Clip

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:30

    The Dandy Warhols

    Easy

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Benedict Cumberbatch
Producer Mark Brownlow
Executive Producer Huw Cordey
Composer David Mitcham

Broadcasts

  • Sun 17 May 2009 20:30
  • Mon 18 May 2009 19:00
  • Tue 19 May 2009 20:00
  • Tue 26 May 2009 01:15
  • Thu 28 May 2009 00:40
  • Tue 14 Jul 2009 20:00
  • Sun 30 Aug 2009 22:55
  • Thu 31 Dec 2009 12:00
  • Mon 29 Nov 2010 19:00
  • Tue 30 Nov 2010 01:00
  • Sat 22 Jan 2011 19:00
  • Sat 21 Apr 2012 19:00
  • Sun 22 Apr 2012 03:10
  • Sat 13 Apr 2013 19:00
  • Sun 14 Apr 2013 02:10
  • Tue 1 Oct 2013 16:15
  • Mon 17 Sep 2018 20:00