The Pacific (miniseries)
The series is a companion piece to the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers and focuses on the United States Marine Corps's actions in the Pacific Theater of Operations within the wider Pacific War. Whereas Band of Brothers followed the men of Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment through the European Theater, The Pacific centers on the experiences of three Marines (Robert Leckie, Eugene Sledge, and John Basilone) who were in different regiments (1st, 5th, and 7th, respectively) of the 1st Marine Division.
The Pacific was spearheaded by Bruce C. McKenna (co-executive producer), one of the main writers on Band of Brothers. Hugh Ambrose, the son of Band of Brothers author Stephen Ambrose, served as a project consultant.
The Pacific miniseries features the 1st Marine Division's battles in the Pacific, such as Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa, as well as Basilone's involvement in the Battle of Iwo Jima. It is based primarily on the memoirs of two US Marines: With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge and Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie. It also draws on Sledge's memoir China Marine and Red Blood, Black Sand, the memoir of Chuck Tatum, a Marine who fought alongside Basilone at Iwo Jima.
The following actors played starring roles in multiple episodes and are split by the principal character they appear in relation to. Characters from the different plot strands do occasionally interact, while Sidney Phillips both serves with Leckie and is the best friend of Sledge.
The Pacific was produced by Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman in association with HBO Miniseries, Playtone, DreamWorks, Seven Network and Sky Movies. Seven and Sky both invested in the project for the right to broadcast it in Australia and the United Kingdom respectively. Nine Network has previously broadcast the HBO productions of Band of Brothers. Nine had a broadcast deal with HBO's parent Warner Bros., but then HBO started to distribute its own productions separately. In April 2007, the producers set up a production office in Melbourne and began casting.
Originally the project was estimated at $100 million to produce, but ended up costing over $200 million, making The Pacific the most expensive television miniseries ever created by any network. According to The Sydney Morning Herald the series cost $270 million, with an estimated A$134 million of that spent in Australia. The Australian newspaper Herald Sun estimates that it brought 4,000 jobs and generated A$180 million for the Australian economy.
Filming of the miniseries in Australia started on August 10, 2007, and finished in late May 2008. From August until November 2007 filming took place at locations in and around Port Douglas, Queensland including Mossman, Queensland; Drumsara Plantation, Mowbray National Park and beaches at Rocky Point, Queensland. Production then moved to rural Victoria, in the You Yangs near Lara (from November–December 2007), then at a sand quarry on Sandy Creek Road near Geelong, Victoria until February 2008. Melbourne city locations were used in late 2007 and through 2008 including Central City Studios at Melbourne Docklands (March 2008); Flinders Street (between Swanston and Elizabeth streets, February 1–4, 2008); the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets (February 2008); Flinders Street station (February 2–3, 2008). Other suburban locations included Mornington Railway, Bundoora, Victoria, specifically the Ernest Jones Hall at the La Trobe University campus, Bundoora (late May 2008); the Railway Hotel, South Melbourne (December 2007); Scotch College, Melbourne (December 2007); Melbourne High School (December 2007).
Historian Hugh Ambrose, son of Band of Brothers author Stephen E. Ambrose, wrote the official tie-in book to the miniseries, The Pacific: Hell was an Ocean Away (2011), which follows the stories of two of the featured men from the miniseries, Basilone and Sledge, as well as stories of Sledge's close friend Sidney Phillips and two men not featured in the series, marine officer Austin Shofner and US Navy pilot Vernon Micheel. The different cast provides a wider view of the Pacific theatre, allowing the book to include the fall of the Philippines, Midway, Philippine Sea and Luzon and expand the narrative to include depictions of life as experienced by prisoners of war, senior officers and the development of naval aviation. It was published in the UK and the US in March 2010 and Ambrose gave a webcast interview about the book at the Pritzker Military Library on April 15, 2010.
The series premiered in the US and Canada on March 14, 2010, on HBO. HBO Asia premiered The Pacific at 9 pm on April 3, 2010, with the first two episodes being consecutively broadcast in the first week. Singapore, Hong Kong, and Indonesia had dual language available. Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Philippines broadcasts were available in high-definition on the HBO Asia HD Channel. The Pacific began broadcast on April 5, 2010 on Sky Movies in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In Portugal, the series was broadcast on April 5, 2010 on AXN and in HD on AXN HD two days after the original broadcast in the US. The series broadcast commenced in Australia on Channel 7 on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at 8:30 pm. In Denmark, Norway, Finland, France and Sweden, the series began broadcasting on Canal+; in Turkey, CNBC-e on April 18, 2010; in the Netherlands, on April 7, 2010 on Veronica; and in Greece, on Nova Cinema on April 10, 2010. In New Zealand, the series began broadcasting on April 12, 2010 on TV One. In Italy, the miniseries began broadcast on May 9, 2010 on Sky Cinema 1; in Germany, on July 15, 2010 on Kabel eins. In Japan, the miniseries started July 18, 2010 on WOWOW. In South Africa, the miniseries started broadcasting on May 5, 2010 on the Mnet channel. In the US, the rights to the series were picked up by Ovation and it started airing sometime in 2019.
The first official US trailer for The Pacific aired on HBO prior to the season 2 premiere of True Blood on June 14, 2009. It showed footage of the three main characters, including a conversation between Leckie and Sledge, Basilone's marriage and numerous combat scenes. The trailer concluded with "2010" displayed on-screen -alluding to and confirming the series release date. A second trailer was released on the HBO website after which the date "March 2010" is displayed, giving a more specific series release date. On January 14, 2010, Comcast added on-demand content from the series, including a scene from The Pacific, interviews with the producers and character profiles. Another trailer was shown in February 2010 during Super Bowl XLIV, depicting several combat scenes. An extended trailer (3:47) to the miniseries can be viewed on the series' official website.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||US viewers|
|Tim Van Patten||Bruce C. McKenna||March 14, 2010||3.08|
|Robert Leckie and the 1st Marines land on Guadalcanal and take part in the Battle of the Tenaru. Eugene Sledge persuades his parents to allow him to join the war. The Battle of Savo Island is briefly portrayed.|
|David Nutter||Bruce C. McKenna||March 21, 2010||2.79|
|John Basilone and the 7th Marines land on Guadalcanal to bolster the defenses around Henderson Field. Basilone, attempting to relocate his machine gun to a better position, bare-handedly cradles the hot barrel while in action, severely burning his arms, and continues fighting.|
|Jeremy Podeswa||George Pelecanos and Michelle Ashford||March 28, 2010||2.77|
|The 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal is relieved and arrives in Melbourne, Australia. Leckie falls in love with Stella Karamanlis, an Australian girl of Greek descent, who invites him to stay at her parents' home. Basilone receives the Medal of Honor and is sent home to sell war bonds.|
|Graham Yost||Robert Schenkkan and Graham Yost||April 4, 2010||2.52|
|Eugene Sledge enlists in the Marines and trains for combat, while Leckie and the 1st Marine Division are put into action at Cape Gloucester. After their action on Cape Gloucester, Leckie and 1st Marine Division arrive in Pavuvu, which serves as temporary home to the 1st Marine Division. Leckie is treated for nocturnal enuresis caused by combat stress.|
|Carl Franklin||Laurence Andries and Bruce C. McKenna||April 11, 2010||2.71|
|Sledge is reunited with an old friend, Sidney Phillips. Leckie integrates himself back into the front-line lifestyle. Sledge and Leckie land with the 1st Marine Division at Peleliu.|
|Tony To||Bruce C. McKenna, Laurence Andries, and Robert Schenkkan||April 18, 2010||2.38|
|The Marines move to capture Peleliu's vital airfield. Leckie is wounded by a blast concussion during the battle while trying to relay a message to the corpsman. With a face full of shrapnel and limited mobility, he is evacuated and sent to recuperate on a hospital ship as the fighting continues.|
|Tim Van Patten||Bruce C. McKenna||April 25, 2010||2.55|
|Sledge and the 5th Marines move into Peleliu's Bloody Nose Ridge to face the Japanese. Andrew "Ack-Ack" Haldane is shot and killed by a Japanese sniper while assessing the area of Hill 140.|
|David Nutter |
|Robert Schenkkan and Michelle Ashford||May 2, 2010||2.34|
|Basilone is transferred to the 5th Marine Division where he trains Marines for combat. There he meets and marries Lena Riggi. He then lands at Iwo Jima but is killed in action.|
|Tim Van Patten||Bruce C. McKenna||May 9, 2010||1.81|
|Sledge and the 1st Marine Division land at Okinawa. Sledge, now a seasoned veteran, becomes more cynical and no longer shows any compassion for the Japanese. The men are horrified to discover Okinawan civilians, including women and children, being forced to act as human shields. As he and others prepare to return home from Okinawa, they hear of a "new bomb" that "vaporized an entire [Japanese] city in the blink of an eye".|
|Jeremy Podeswa||Bruce C. McKenna and Robert Schenkkan||May 16, 2010||1.96|
|Sledge and Leckie return home after the Japanese surrender. Sledge is still haunted by the horrors of war. Leckie starts a relationship with Vera. Basilone's widow, Lena, visits his parents and gives them his Medal of Honor.|
The Pacific received widespread critical acclaim. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 91% with an average rating of 8.32 out of 10, based on 43 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "An honest, albeit horrifying, exploration of World War II, The Pacific is a visually stunning miniseries not for the faint of heart." On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 86 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Time magazine's James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 TV Series of 2010. IGN reviewer Ramsey Isler gave the entire miniseries an 8.5 out of 10, saying "Although I don't think The Pacific overtakes Band of Brothers in terms of technical execution and overall entertainment value, many of the comparisons will be moot as The Pacific is a different kind of series with different goals. This series sought to look beyond the combat and it paints a full, vivid picture of the war and the people that fought it through focused, individual stories. That's a tall order for any series to fulfill, and although The Pacific doesn't always come through with shining colors, it does make an admirable effort." IGN also reviewed each individual episode, with Episode 9 receiving a perfect 10 out of 10 score.
Awards and nominations
The Pacific won a Peabody Award in 2010 for "reminding us of the necessities—and the costs—of service." It also won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film.
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Miniseries||Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Tony To, Graham Yost, Eugene Kelly, Bruce C. McKenna, Cherylanne Martin, Todd London, Steven Shareshian, Tim Van Patten, George Pelecanos, Robert Schenkkan||Won|
|Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special||David Nutter & Jeremy Podeswa (for "Iwo Jima")||Nominated|
|Tim Van Patten (for "Okinawa")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special||Robert Schenkkan & Michelle Ashford (for "Iwo Jima")||Nominated|
|Bruce C. McKenna & Robert Schenkkan (for "Home")||Nominated|
|Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or Movie||Anthony Pratt, Dominic Hyman, Richard Hobbs, Scott Bird, Jim Millet, Rolland Pike, Lisa Thompson||Won|
|Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special||Meg Liberman, Camille H. Patton, Christine King, Jennifer Euston, Suzanne M. Smith||Won|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie||Remi Adefarasin (for "Peleliu Landing")||Nominated|
|Stephen F. Windon (for "Okinawa")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special||Penny Rose, Ken Crouch (for "Melbourne")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Main Title Design||Steve Fuller, Ahmet Ahmet, Peter Frankfurt, Lauren Hartstone||Nominated|
|Outstanding Make-up for a Miniseries or Movie (Non-Prosthetic)||Chiara Tripodi, Toni French||Won|
|Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special (Original Dramatic Score)||Blake Neely, Geoff Zanelli, Hans Zimmer (for "Home")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Prosthetic Make-up for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special||Jason Baird, Sean Genders, Greg Nicotero, Jac Charlton, Chad Atkinson, Ben Rittenhouse||Won|
|Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie||Edward A. Warschilka (for "Peleliu Landing")||Nominated|
|Alan Cody (for "Iwo Jima")||Nominated|
|Alan Cody & Marta Évry (for "Okinawa")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special||Tom Bellfort, Benjamin L. Cook, Daniel S. Irwin, Hector C. Gika, Charles Maynes, Paul Aulicino, John C. Stuver, David Williams, Michelle Pazer, John Finklea, Jody Thomas, Katie Rose (for "Peleliu Landing")||Won|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or Movie||Andrew Ramage, Michael Minkler, Daniel Leahy (for "Basilone")||Won|
|Andrew Ramage, Michael Minkler, Daniel Leahy, Craig Mann (for "Peleliu Landing")||Nominated|
|Gary Wilkins, Michael Minkler, Daniel Leahy, Marc Fishman (for "Iwo Jima")||Nominated|
|Gary Wilkins, Michael Minkler, Daniel Leahy (for "Okinawa")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special||John E. Sullivan, Joss Williams, David Taritero, Peter Webb, Dion Hatch, John P. Mesa, Jerry Pooler, Paul Graff (for "Guadalcanal/Leckie")||Nominated|
|John E. Sullivan, Joss Williams, David Taritero, David Goldberg, Angelo Sahin, Marco Recuay, William Mesa, Chris Bremble, Jerry Pooler (for "Peleliu Landing")||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Miniseries or Television Film||The Pacific||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Awards||Best Picture Made for Television||Won|
|AFI Awards||TV Program of the Year||Won|
|American Cinema Editors Awards||Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television||Marta Évry, Alan Cody (for "Okinawa")||Nominated|
|American Society of Cinematographers||Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Motion Picture/Mini-Series Television||Stephen F. Windon (for "Okinawa")||Won|
|Australian Cinematographers Society||Telefeatures, TV Drama & Mini Series||Stephen F. Windon||Won|
|Casting Society of America||Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Movie/Mini Series||Meg Liberman, Cami Patton, Christine King, Jennifer Euston||Won|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Movies and Mini-Series||Andrew Ramage, Michael Minkler, Daniel J. Leahy (for "Basilone")||Nominated|
|Andrew Ramage, Michael Minkler, Daniel J. Leahy, Craig Mann (for "Peleliu Landing")||Nominated|
|Gary Wilkins, Michael Minkler, Daniel J. Leahy, Marc Fishman (for "Iwo Jima")||Nominated|
|Gary Wilkins, Michael Minkler, Daniel J. Leahy (for "Okinawa")||Nominated|
|Costume Designers Guild Awards||Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries||Penny Rose||Nominated|
|Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television/Mini-Series||David Nutter, Jeremy Podeswa (for "Basilone")||Nominated|
|Jeremy Podeswa (for "Home")||Nominated|
|Timothy Van Patten (for "Okinawa")||Nominated|
|Gold Derby Awards||TV Movie or Miniseries||The Pacific||Won|
|TV Movie/Mini Actor||James Badge Dale||Nominated|
|Guild of Music Supervisors Awards||Best Music Supervision in Movie of the Week||Deva Anderson, Evyen Klean||Nominated|
|Hollywood Post Alliance||Outstanding Color Grading – Television||Steve Porter, Riot (for "Peleliu Landing")||Won|
|Humanitas Prize||60 Minute Category||Bruce C. McKenna, Robert Schenkkan (for "Home")||Nominated|
|IGN Summer Movie Awards||Best TV DVD or Blu-Ray||The Pacific||Nominated|
|Image Awards||Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special||Jon Seda||Nominated|
|International Film Music Critics Award||Film Composer of the Year||Hans Zimmer||Nominated|
|Motion Picture Sound Editors||Best Sound Editing – Long Form Dialogue and ADR in Television||Tom Bellfort, Daniel S. Irwin, John C. Stuver, Michael Hertlein, Michelle Pazer, David Williams (for "Basilone")||Won|
|Best Sound Editing – Long Form Sound Effects and Foley in Television||Tom Bellfort, Katherine Rose, Jody Thomas, Hector C. Gilka, Paul Aulicino, Benjamin L. Cook, Charles Maynes (for "Peleliu Landing")||Won|
|Peabody Award||Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television||Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Eugene Kelly, Todd London, Cherylanne Martin, Bruce C. McKenna, Steve Shareshian, Steven Spielberg, Tony To, Timothy Van Patten, Graham Yost||Won|
|Prism Awards||Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries||James Badge Dale||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Miniseries||The Pacific||Nominated|
|Television Critics Association Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials||Won|
|Visual Effects Society Awards||Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special||John E. Sullivan, David Taritero, William Mesa, Marco Recuay||Won|
|Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Broadcast Program||Marco Recuay, Morgan McDermott, Nicholas Lund-Ulrich (for "Iwo Jima")||Won|
|Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program or Commercial||Jeremy Nelson, John P. Mesa, Dan Novy, Tyler Cote (for "Peleliu Landing")||Won|
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