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Masterpiece Theatre; To The Ends Of The Earth: Close Quarters


WGBH Packaged show, part two

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Masterpiece Theatre
To The Ends Of The Earth: Close Quarters
Program Number


Series Description

Program premiered in 1971 with The First Churchills. Hosted by Alastair Cooke. Intended as a showcase for the best of British television drama. Spawned MYSTERY! in 1980. Current executive producer Rebecca Eaton. All promotion of program done by Frank Goodman & Associates (see below). Synopsis, cast information and producers listed by individual title. Series release date: 1971

Program Description

Episode Two: Close Quarters Tensions continue to grow within the close confines of the ship. The safety of the passengers on board the increasingly dilapidated ship is by no means assured and the situation is made worse when the foremast is damaged.

The ship is becalmed in the doldrums; another vessel is sighted in the fog. The assumption is that it is French, and excited preparations are made for imminent engagement, but to the disappointment of all those who were hoping for the thrill of battle, the other ship, the Alcyone, turns out to be English. From the commander of this ship it is learned that the war with France is over. The two ships are fastened together and passengers from each vessel are introduced. A ball is planned and preparations generate much excitement. Talbot meets Marion Chumley, with whom he falls instantly in love. They flirt and his hopes are raised. But Deverel, again drunk, also pursues her.

When the time comes for the ships to part, Talbot is distraught at the thought of never seeing Marion again. With the Alcyone gone Talbot can only pine. The troublesome Deverel has also gone, exchanged for one of the Alcyone's officers, Benet, who is handsome and urbane and something of a risk-taker. Edmund grows closer instead to the more cautious Summers.

The sea is up again. Gloom and terror pervade the ship as there is now a serious danger that it will break apart. A rivalry begins between Summers and Benet as to the best method of preventing the ship from disintegrating. Benet has become Captain Anderson's favorite and his plan is adopted. The radical thinker Prettiman has had a bad fall in the storm and is tended by an unlikely nurse in the shape of the governess, Miss Granham. Talbot sails on, wondering if he will ever see Marion again.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “Masterpiece Theatre; To The Ends Of The Earth: Close Quarters,” 10/29/2006, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed January 21, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_E8EAEF2DC4B6426AB6573CE5C931686E.
MLA: “Masterpiece Theatre; To The Ends Of The Earth: Close Quarters.” 10/29/2006. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. January 21, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_E8EAEF2DC4B6426AB6573CE5C931686E>.
APA: Masterpiece Theatre; To The Ends Of The Earth: Close Quarters. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_E8EAEF2DC4B6426AB6573CE5C931686E
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