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The West Wing’s Martin Sheen stars in true survival story.


Multiple award-winner Martin Sheen (The West Wing, The Amazing Spider-Man) is to lead the cast of BBC One’s new 90-minute film, The Whale.

Based on true events, the film, written by Terry Cafolla (Holy Cross, Messiah), tells one of history’s greatest stories of survival at sea.

Martin Sheen plays Old Thomas Nickerson, who tells a story of his life as a cabin boy on the ill-fated voyage of the Essex whaling ship.

The cast as stars: Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood, The Street) as First Mate Owen Chase, Adam Rayner (The Hunted) as Captain Pollard, Paul Kaye (Game Of Thrones, Stella) as Joy, David Gyasi (Cloud Atlas, War Horse) as Peterson and Jolyon Coy (The Hollow Crown) as Lawrence.

Also starring is, Jassa Ahluwalisa, John Boyega and Ferdinand Kingsley, and introducing Charles Furness as the young Tom Nickerson.

The action-packed narrative follows Nickerson as, against all odds, he comes through the worst that nature throws at him, growing up fast in the process. He faces the destructive force of sea storms, the power of whales, the brutal desolation of the sun and sea after the shipwreck, and finally, the grim realities of dark deeds as his only means of survival.

With breathtaking underwater shots and specialist equipment used to create storm scenes, The Whale beautifully captures the Essex caught in the treacherous sea storm.

The Whale is made by BBC Factual Productions with Animal Planet. BBC executive producer is Eamon Hardy and Ruth Caleb. Mike Dormer is the producer. Mick Kaczorowski is executive producing for Animal Planet.

The Whale completed filming in Malta earlier in the year.