Director Franc Roddam and co-scripter Anton Diether adapted Herman Melville's 1851 classic for this four-hour TV miniseries sea adventure. Ishmael (Henry Thomas
) ignores the warnings of dockside prophet Elijah (Bruce Spence) and joins the crew of the whaling ship Pequod. Ismael befriends Polynesian harpooner Queequeg (Maori actor Piripi Waretini), hears a sermon by Father Mapple (Gregory Peck, star of the 1956 Moby Dick
), and meets the obsessed Captain Ahab (Patrick Stewart), who lost his leg to the great white whale Moby Dick and now seeks vengeance on the looming leviathan. For effects, Roddam used a three-sectioned Moby Dick, added computer graphics, and shot Pequod footage in a tank at an Australian military base. TV Guide
described Stewart's performance as "mesmerizing and passionate." The $20 million production aired March 15-16, 1998 on the USA Network.