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Monday, October 29

DVD Review: Jack London's Sea Wolf: The Complete Mini-series



Mill Creek Ent., 185 mins; Not Rated; Amazon

Does anyone remember the countless miniseries that aired on network television and cable channels throughout the 1990s?

Well, I remember them. Miniseries were the big "events" for television back then. Nowadays, miniseries have long since disappeared, except for the few campy ones on cable. 

Recently, I watched Jack London's Sea Wolf: The Complete Mini-series DVD, which was released earlier this year from Mill Creek Entertainment. Directed by Michael Barker, the two-part miniseries stars Sebastian Koch, Neve Campbell, Stephen Campbell Moore, and Tim Roth. 

Based on the 1904 novel The Sea-Wolf by Jack London, the 2009 miniseries centers on the harsh captain of the seal hunting schooner the "Ghost," Wolf  Larsen (played by Sebastian Koch), who rescues a castaway poetry critic, Humphrey Van Wyden (played by Stephen Campbell Moore) from the high seas. Humphrey quickly learns that Wolf is a horrible captain, who puts him and the rest of the crew through hell.

The Ghost comes across another castaway, a beautiful woman named Maud, who had barely escaped the clutches of Wolf's crazed brother, Death (played by Tim Roth). After falling in love, Humphrey and Maud escape on a rowboat in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, they will once again intertwine with both Wolf and Death in a final confrontation.



Jack London's The Sea-Wolf is an incredible novel and I highly recommend it to any reader. I first read the book after I had watched the 1993 made-for-TNT film adaptation, which isn't as good as the 2009 version. 

The Sea Wolf: The Complete Mini-Series is split up in two parts on DVD, just like it was originally aired on television. There are no special features or bonus extras; though the DVD comes with a digital code that can only be redeemed at www.millcreekent.com/redeem. The picture and sound quality is pretty decent for a DVD release.

Just a little side-note or nitpicking on my part. The description on the back of the DVD jacket refers to Wolf's schooner as the "Sea Wolf." I guess whoever wrote the description never actually watched the miniseries. The schooner is called the "Ghost," just like it is in the original novel.

Overall, Jack London's Sea Wolf: The Complete Mini-series is one of the better adaptations of the classic Jack London tale. The acting is superb, especially from Sebastian Koch as Wolf. For the most part, the script does follow the book, though a few things have been changed for television.



*Note: I received a review copy from Mill Creek Entertainment.
All opinions are my own.

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