Band of Brothers, the epic HBO miniseries had come and gone in 2001. Then, nine years later, the team that brought us Band of Brothers, delivered something new. From Easy Company and the war in Europe, we now joined the Marines and the war in the Pacific.
Premiering on March 14 2010, this ten part series serves as a companion piece to Band of Brother. It focuses on the United States Marine Corps and their campaigns in the Pacific War.
It is “The Pacific”.
This unique piece of television, pivots between 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.
While Band of Brothers reference guide started with Stephen Ambrose’s book of the same name, The Pacific took their source material from 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. There are some elements included, that are drawn from ‘China Marine’, another of Eugene Sledges books, as well as ‘Red Blood, Black Sand’, the memoir of Chuck Tatum, a Marine who fought alongside Basilone at Iwo Jima.
The Pacific had Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg at the helm. Add into that, HBO miniseries, Playtime, Dreamworks, Seven Network and Sky News, and the dream team was born. The association of Seven and Sky permitted the right to broadcast in Australia and the United Kingdom.
The cost for a project of this size, was originally estimated at $100 million but ended up to be double that at over 200million dollars. The Pacific earnt the title of the most expensive miniseries ever created. To put it into context with other popular shows, The Pacific is approximately $21.7m per episode. Band of Brothers was $12.5m per episode. Game of Thrones spent $10m per episode. The Crown spent $13m per episode. E.R. cost $13m per episode. Of the high spending for The Pacific, it is estimated that A$134m of it was spent in Australia. Four thousand jobs, and A$180m entered the Australian economy.
On August 10 2007, filming commenced and went through until late May of 2008. Queensland locations included Port Douglas, Mossman, Mowbray National Park, Rocky Point beaches and Drumsara Plantation. The state of Victoria played proud host too. Production moved from a sand quarry to rural Victoria. From Flinders Street Station to Mornington Railway. The Railway Hotel in South Melbourne as well as Melbourne High School were also willing hosts for the production.
With a score by the acclaimed composer Hans Zimmer, along with Geoff Zanelli and Blake Neely, the series was almost complete. Post production and editing commenced with the show coming to the nation on March 14 2010. The Pacific was here.