|Developed by||Mitchell Block|
|Directed by||Maro Chermayeff|
|Theme music composer||Edward Bilous|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Executive producer(s)||Mel Gibson
|Editor(s)||Howard Sharp, E. Donna Shepard, Jay Keuper, Maeve O,Boyle, Pam Scott Arnold|
|Cinematography||Axel Baumann, Robert Hanna, Wolfgang Held, Ulli Bonnekamp, Mark Brice|
|Running time||10 hours, 1 hour each episode|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV letterboxed),
|Original release||April 27, 2008 – May 1, 2008|
Carrier is a PBS documentary television series about the six-month deployment of the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in 2005 from the United States to the Middle East and back. There are ten Carrier episodes, and the series is supplemented by a 90-minute companion documentary film called Another Day in Paradise.
Carrier follows the deployment, from May 7, 2005 to November 8, 2005, of the supercarrier USS Nimitz (commanded by then-Captain Ted N. Branch), along with Carrier Air Wing Eleven, from her home port at North Island in Coronado, California to the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom. This character-driven, dramatic non-fiction series includes extensive footage shot aboard as well as interviews with many of the crew about their various experiences, personal concerns and fears. During the deployment, the Nimitz makes stops in Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong, Guam, Kuala Lumpur, Bahrain, and Perth.
The miniseries was produced by Icon Productions and Carrier Project, Inc. It was conceived by Mitchell Block, co-created by Block and Maro Chermayeff, and directed by Chermayeff. The executive producers were Block and Chermayeff for Carrier Project, Inc. and Mel Gibson, Bruce Davey and Nancy Cotton, for Icon Productions.
Seventeen filmmakers, including producers Deborah Dickson and Jeff Dupre as well as field producers Matthew Akers, Michelle Smawley and Pamela Yates, shot 1,600 hours of footage to create the series. The series and its companion film were the first documentaries to ever be produced on a U.S. Naval warship on active duty over an entire mission. This was accomplished by David Kennedy (Captain, US Navy, Retired) and Block who spent two years obtaining permission to embed on the Nimitz. In 2008, the series was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography Reality Programming by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of the work cinematographers Axel Baumann, Ulli Bonnekamp, Mark Brice, Robert Hanna, and Wolfgang Held did on the episode Rights of Passage.
A 26-minute preview of the series was aired by PBS on April 13, 2008. The ten 60-minute episodes began airing on April 27, 2008 with two episodes being shown each night for five straight nights. Each episode was directed by Chermayeff.
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"All Hands"||April 27, 2008|
|The USS Nimitz leaves California and begins a 6-month deployment that will take this small town to Hawaii and beyond.|
|2||"Controlled Chaos"||April 27, 2008|
|Life at sea can be hard for some, especially when living and working below a major airport and above a nuclear power plant.|
|3||"Super Secrets"||April 28, 2008|
|Information related to the ship and her mission is highly classified; secrets, however, are not only mission related.|
|4||"Squared Away"||April 28, 2008|
|Life at sea is stressful for all which creates considerable friction among crew members. As with the real world, getting along with the boss is not easy for some in the Navy.|
|5||"Show of Force"||April 29, 2008|
|Under extreme conditions, the Nimitz begins operations within the Persian Gulf, and the frustration of playing only a limited support role begins to show.|
|6||"Groundhog Day"||April 29, 2008|
|After two months of daily repetitive activity, complacency becomes a major concern.|
|7||"Rights of Passage"||April 30, 2008|
|The last day of missions over Iraq mean one last chance for the pilots to get their wish for some real action.|
|8||"True Believers"||April 30, 2008|
|There are many different expressions of faith on board: from the faith in one's self and one's shipmates, the faith in one's mission and one's country, to the faith in one's god.|
|9||"Get Home-itis"||May 1, 2008|
|The long deployment affects the men and women of the Nimitz in many different ways, including the way it can strain relationships with those back home.|
|10||"Full Circle"||May 1, 2008|
|After six months and more than 57,000 miles abroad, the men and women on board the Nimitz are ready to return to their homes and families.|
Another Day In Paradise
This 90-minute film was created from the same pool of footage used for the series. It covers many of the same themes touched on in the series, but narrows the focus to three men: a pilot, a marine, and a sailor. Not only are all three connected by the fact that they are serving on board the same ship, they are all also struggling with various family issues and the different phases of fatherhood. The film was released in the U.S. on June 16, 2008 and was directed by Deborah Dickson.
A 3-disc, 600-minute region 1 DVD version of the documentary was released by PBS on May 6, 2008. Special features include scene selection, the preview episode, deleted and extended scenes, closed captioning and 16:9 anamorphic widescreeen.
During filming in the Persian Gulf, Seaman Apprentice Robert D. Macrum of the escorting cruiser USS Princeton (CG-59) fell overboard sometime during the night of September 12, 2005, or the early morning of September 13. Despite a 5-day search that covered a 360-square-mile (930 km2) area, Macrum, who was 22 and from Sugarland, Texas, was never found.
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