Thursday, March 27, 2014


Today on Far Future Horizons we are proud to present a docudrama starring Michael Gambon (as John Harrison)  and Jeremy Irons (as Rupert Gould) based on Dava Sobel's best selling book – Longitude.   

In the early 18th century, John Harrison struggles to build a practical marine chronometer for determining longitude (east/west position) at sea. 

Painting of John Harrison- Behind stands his 1726 pendulum clock while his H4 watch lies to his right on the table

This is a docudrama I can wholeheartedly recommend. As one reviewer put it:

Longitude is an example of the very best in television drama. Based on a true story, meticulously acted and directed, this is the type of movie that the British do better than anyone else in the world.

The performances of the two principals, Michael Gambon and Jeremy Irons were awe inspiring; the excellent supporting cast did not let them down.

What on the surface sounds like a dry story - the search for a means of accurately determining longitude at sea - and the obsession many years later of a returned WW1 soldier (Rupert Gould) with locating and restoring the devices invented for that purpose - was turned into a genuine cliff-hanger by the producers. Initially I found the switching from one story to another somewhat disconcerting, but it was done so well that it soon felt quite comfortable.

This is the story of one man's lifelong trial and error search to perfect his devices and to win the prize offered for the solution to the longitude problem. Against all odds and at great damage to his health he and his son eventually succeeded. Interspersed with this is the story of another man centuries later who was determined to locate & restore the devices and to ensure their preservation for future generations.

I can really recommend this show to anyone with an enquiring mind, who enjoys a fascinating story, excellently told.

This docudrama and Dava Sobel’s best selling book are both available from

Longitude - Staring Michael Gambon and Jeremy Irons

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