'The Real Story: Master and Commander'
(DVD / PG-13 / 2018 / PBS)
Overview: The historians and experts who worked behind the scenes of 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World' will now share the real story of how they brought their recreation of the 19th-century seafaring adventure to the big screen.
DVD Verdict: Though it is a work of fiction, few films have been meticulously researched as 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.'
Here in 'The Real Story: Master and Commander,' the historians and experts who worked behind the scenes lovingly share their thoughts and, most importantly, observations of how they helped bring this stunning recreation of the 19th-century seafaring adventure to the big screen.
Inclusive of tales of brutal conditions at sea, and stories of the real-life swashbuckling captain who inspired the Hollywood character, Lucky Jack Aubrey, running at just a scant 45 minutes, it still manages to enthrall, trust me.
Indeed, we learn that as much as Sir John "Jack" Aubrey, JP MP FRS is a fictional character in the Aubrey–Maturin series of novels by Patrick O'Brian, the fact he was based on a more nefarious captain of the high seas just adds to that character portrayal.
The series portrays his rise from lieutenant to rear-admiral in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and, moreover, showcases his remarkable early success that indeed earned him the nickname "Lucky" Jack Aubrey.
In the film, during the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Jack Aubrey of HMS Surprise is ordered to fight the French privateer Acheron. Acheron ambushes Surprise, causing heavy damage, while remaining undamaged by the British guns.
The ship's boats tow Surprise into a fog bank to evade pursuit. Aubrey's officers tell him that Surprise is no match for Acheron, and that they should abandon the chase.
Aubrey points out that the Acheron must not be allowed to plunder the British whaling fleet. He orders the Surprise refitted at sea, rather than returning to port for repairs.
Shortly afterwards, Acheron again ambushes Surprise, but Aubrey slips away in the night by using a decoy raft and ship's lamps.
The film, which cost $150 million to make, was a co-production of 20th Century Fox, Miramax Films, Universal Pictures, and Samuel Goldwyn Films, and released on November 14th, 2003. The film grossed $212 million worldwide. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.