As originally broadcast on the BBC in 2005, To the Ends of the Earth is a miniseries adaptation of three sequential novels by Nobel Laureate William Golding: Rites of Passage (1980), Close Quarters (1987) and Fire Down Below (1989). An adventure saga, it unfolds in the same time and place as Peter Weir's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World - the high seas of the late 19th century. Against this backdrop, a young British aristocrat named Edmund Talbot (Benedict Cumberbatch) boards a British warship and undertakes a voyage to Australia, where he has been given a post in the colonial government. The program subsequently follows Edmund's adventures, in career and romance. The supporting cast includes Jared Harris, Joanna Page, Sam Neill and Charles Dance.