|Written by|| Charles Sturridge, |
Dava Sobel (book)
|Directed by||Charles Sturridge|
|Starring|| Michael Gambon |
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||4 (2 DVDs)|
|Executive producers||Pippa Cross, |
|Running time||250 min (UK)|
200 min (US)
|Production companies|| Granada Television |
|Original network||Channel 4|
|Original release||2 January –|
3 January 2000
Longitude is a 2000 TV drama produced by Granada Television and the A&E Network for Channel 4, first broadcast between 2 and 3 January 2000 in the UK on Channel 4 and the US on A&E. It is a dramatisation of the 1995 book of the same title by Dava Sobel. It was written and directed by Charles Sturridge and stars Michael Gambon as clockmaker John Harrison (1693–1776) and Jeremy Irons as horologist Rupert Gould (1890–1948).
Longitude presents the story of Harrison's efforts to develop the marine chronometer and thereby win the Longitude prize in the 18th century. This is interwoven with the story of Gould, a retired naval officer, who is restoring Harrison's four chronometers and popularises his achievements in the early twentieth century.
|18th Century||20th Century|
In 2001, Longitude was nominated for the British Academy Television Awards in ten categories, winning in five, including Best Actor (Michael Gambon) and Best Drama Serial.
John Harrison was a self-educated English carpenter and clockmaker who invented the marine chronometer, a long-sought-after device for solving the problem of calculating longitude while at sea.
The longitude rewards were the system of inducement prizes offered by the British government for a simple and practical method for the precise determination of a ship's longitude at sea. The rewards, established through an Act of Parliament in 1714, were administered by the Board of Longitude.
The Commissioners for the Discovery of the Longitude at Sea, or more popularly Board of Longitude, was a British government body formed in 1714 to administer a scheme of prizes intended to encourage innovators to solve the problem of finding longitude at sea.
Sir Michael John Gambon is an Irish-English actor. Having trained under Laurence Olivier, he started his career on stage at the Royal National Theatre. Gambon is known for portraying Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter film series from 2004 to 2011.
Charles B. G. Sturridge is an English director and screenwriter. He is the recipient of a BAFTA Children's Award and four BAFTA TV Awards. He has also been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards.
David Matthew Macfadyen is an English actor who has appeared in film, television, and theatre. He is known for his performance as Mr. Darcy in Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice (2005), and Daniel in the Frank Oz comedy Death at a Funeral. He also portrayed John Birt in the political drama Frost/Nixon and Detective Inspector Edmund Reid in the BBC series Ripper Street. In June 2010, Macfadyen won the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work on Criminal Justice.
Barrow upon Humber is a village and civil parish in North Lincolnshire, England. The population at the 2011 census was 3,022.
The 2001 British Academy Television Awards were held on Sunday 13 May 2001. The ceremony took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London and was broadcast live on BBC One.
Rupert Thomas Gould was a lieutenant-commander in the British Royal Navy noted for his contributions to horology. He was also an author and radio personality.
Cecil Hilton Monk Gould was a British art historian and curator who specialised in Renaissance painting. He was a former Keeper and Deputy Director of the National Gallery in London.
A marine chronometer is a precision timepiece that is carried on a ship and employed in the determination of the ship's position by celestial navigation. It is used to determine longitude by comparing Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the time at the current location found from observations of celestial bodies. When first developed in the 18th century, it was a major technical achievement, as accurate knowledge of the time over a long sea voyage is necessary for navigation, lacking electronic or communications aids. The first true chronometer was the life work of one man, John Harrison, spanning 31 years of persistent experimentation and testing that revolutionized naval navigation and enabling the Age of Discovery and Colonialism to accelerate.
Jonathan Betts MBE is Curator Emeritus at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, a horological scholar and author, and an expert on the first marine timekeepers created by John Harrison in the middle of the 18th century. He was formerly Senior Specialist in horology at Greenwich. Between 2016 and 2019 he served on the board of trustees of the Institute of Conservation.
The history of longitude is a record of the effort, by astronomers, cartographers and navigators over the centuries, to discover a means of determining longitude.
Lia Williams is an English actress and director, known for stage, film, and television appearances. She is noted for her role as Wallis Simpson in The Crown.
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time is a best-selling book by Dava Sobel about John Harrison, an 18th-century clockmaker who created the first clock (chronometer) sufficiently accurate to be used to determine longitude at sea—an important development in navigation. The book was made into a television series entitled Longitude. In 1998, The Illustrated Longitude was published, supplementing the earlier text with 180 images of characters, events, instruments, maps and publications.
Pierre Le Roy (1717–1785) was a French clockmaker. He was the inventor of the detent escapement, the temperature-compensated balance and the isochronous balance spring. His developments are considered as the foundation of the modern precision clock. Le Roy was born in Paris, eldest son of Julien Le Roy, a clockmaker to Louis XV who had worked with Henry Sully, in which place Pierre Le Roy succeeded his father. He had three brothers: Jean-Baptiste Le Roy (1720-1800), a physicist; Julien-David Le Roy (1724–1803), an architect; and Charles Le Roy (1726–1779), a physician and encyclopédiste.
Nostromo is a 1997 British-Italian television drama series directed by Alastair Reid and produced by Fernando Ghia of Pixit Productions, a co-production with Radiotelevisione Italiana, Televisión Española, and WGBH Boston. The music is composed by Ennio Morricone. It stars Claudio Amendola, Paul Brooke, Lothaire Bluteau, Claudia Cardinale, Colin Firth and Albert Finney. It is described as "an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's epic story Nostromo of political upheaval, greed and romance in turn-of-the-20th-century South America."
Richard Dormer is an actor, playwright and screenwriter from Northern Ireland. He is best known for his role as Beric Dondarrion in the HBO television series Game of Thrones and Dan Anderssen in Sky Atlantic's Fortitude.
David Blair is a British film and television director. He has received a BAFTA award for The Street.