Krakatoa: The Last Days

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Cover art of BBC DVD.
Genre Docudrama
Written by Colin Heber-Percy
Michael Olmert
Lyall B. Watson
Directed by Sam Miller
Starring Rupert Penry-Jones
Olivia Williams
Kevin McMonagle
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Alan Eyres
J. Gregory Smith
Cinematography Giulio Biccari
Running time 90 minutes
Distributor BBC
Budget £2,200,000
Original network BBC One
Original release 7 May 2006 (2006-05-07)
External links

Krakatoa: The Last Days (also titled Krakatoa: Volcano of Destruction in the U.S. on the Discovery Channel) is a BBC Television docudrama that premiered on 7 May 2006 on BBC One. The program is based upon four eyewitness accounts of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, an active stratovolcano between the islands of Sumatra and Java, present day Indonesia.


The series was produced by the BBC in co-production with Discovery Channel, RTL Television, and France 2.


The film was broadcast on BBC One on 7 May 2006 and drew 6.4 million viewers (27% audience share)[1]


The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa is the second greatest volcanic eruption in recorded history (after the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, only 68 years earlier), erupting more than 18 cubic kilometres of tephra in less than 48 hours, and killing about 36,500 people. The film refers to an account in the Pustaka Raja of a previous violent eruption in that area.

A subplot concerning Rogier Verbeek (played by Kevin McMonagle), a Dutch geologist who had surveyed the area two years earlier and laid the basis for modern vulcanology with his research after the eruption, adds a scientific touch and a helpful map to the computer-generated imagery that convincingly portrays the ash cloud, collapse of the stratovolcano, pyroclastic flows, and tsunamis. The eruption column collapsing sends a big pyroclastic flow over the Sunda Strait coast of Sumatra.The film also portrays a family trying to escape the devastating volcano, and a ship with more than 100 passengers trapped at sea when the final collapse of Krakatoa island at the end of the eruption generates a massive tsunami.


Historical inaccuracy[edit]

  • Just after Captain Lindeman leaves the cargo bay and heads to the ship's deck, one of the girls begins to sing a song to calm down the nervous passengers. The song is "Płonie ognisko w lesie" ("Burning fireplace in the forest"), a popular Polish scout song. It was written in 1922, 39 years after the Krakatoa eruption.


  1. ^ Sweney, Mark (8 May 2006). "Krakatoa holds its own". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2008. 

External links[edit]