In Longitude, an 18th-century clock-maker named Jon Harrison (Michael Gambon) begins what is to become a 40-year task to invent a system for determining longitude at sea with a nautical timepiece. Meanwhile, 200 years in the future, naval officer Rupert Gould (Jeremy Irons) discovers Harrison's neglected chronometers and sets out to restore them. Directed by Charles Sturridge, Longitude is a high seas saga of passion, determination and discovery.
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A triple bill of television dramas. 'Sword of Honour' is an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Second World War trilogy. Guy Crouchback (Daniel Craig) seeks purpose in the British army following his shattering divorce from Virginia Troy (Megan Dodds). However, the ups and downs of military life at the height of the war at times prove too much for Guy, especially when he renews his acquaintance with his ex-wife. Ultimately he begins to find his sense of duty tested to the limit by the strength of his renewed relationship with Virginia. 'Shackleton' is writer-director Charles Sturridge version of Sir Ernest Shackleton's epic South Pole adventure. Setting out in 1914, Shackleton (Kenneth Branagh) and his crew set sail for Antarctica, but get into trouble when their ship, the Endurance, becomes stuck in pack ice. Abandoning the doomed vessel, Shackleton then takes the only course of action available, and sets out on foot, determined to lead his ailing crew to safety. Whilst in 'Longitude', another Charles Sturridge production, in 1714 Parliament offer a £20,000 prize for anyone who can provide an accurate means of measuring longitude at sea. John Harrison (Michael Gambon) flies in the face of popular opinion by saying that the stars do not provide the answer, and provides his own solution with the invention of a mechanical clock. However, it takes Harrison forty years to prove his theory, and he is eventually forgotten in the mists of time. Centuries later, Robert Gould (Jeremy Irons) attempts to restore Harrison's reputation by tracking down and repairing the four clocks he originally constructed.
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