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Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin: Master & Commander & Other Adventures cover art

Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin: Master & Commander & Other Adventures

By: Patrick O'Brian
Narrated by: Richard Dillane, Michael Troughton, Adjoa Andoh, Nigel Anthony, Patrick Malahide, David Robb, full cast
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Summary

BBC Radio productions of the first seven books in Patrick O'Brian's hugely popular Napoleonic naval series - plus bonus material.

Widely regarded as the most engaging historical novels ever written, the 21 books in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series have garnered millions of fans since the publication of the first volume over 50 years ago. Included here are BBC radio adaptations of the first seven thrilling stories.

Master and Commander - Gibraltar, 1800. Newly commissioned Commander Jack Aubrey anxiously awaits the verdict in his court martial for the loss of his ship.... Michael Troughton stars as Aubrey, with Nigel Anthony as Stephen Maturin.

Post Captain - 1802. Following the Treaty of Amiens, England is at peace. Returning home for a short spell as country squires, Jack and Stephen meet two beautiful women who will change their lives forever.... Read by Patrick Malahide.

HMS Surprise - 1804, and the dauntless duo face sea battles, political intrigue and romantic rivalry, as Aubrey tackles a secret mission. Starring David Robb as Jack Aubrey and Richard Dillane as Stephen Maturin, with other cast including Adjoa Andoh.

The Mauritius Command- 1809. Promoted to Commodore, Jack prepares to lead a squadron of ships against the French. David Robb and Richard Dillane star as Aubrey and Maturin.

Desolation Island - 1811, and Jack Aubrey sets sail for Australia. His mission: to transport a group of convicts to Botany Bay. Starring David Robb and Richard Dillane.

The Fortune of War - 1812. Britain is at war with America and France - and the two friends find themselves caught in the crossfire.... David Robb and Richard Dillane star in this three-part dramatisation of Patrick O'Brian's novel and its sequel, The Surgeon's Mate.

Third Ear - Patrick O'Brian talks to fellow novelist Alan Judd about his work and his fascination with the historical novel.

Bookclub: Patrick O'Brian - Master and Commander - James Naughtie discusses the novel that sparked the much-loved series with author Allan Mallinson and an audience of invited readers.

Text copyright © The Estate of the late Patrick O'Brian CBE 1970 (Master and Commander), 1972 (Post Captain), 1973 (HMS Surprise), 1977 (The Mauritius Command), 1978 (Desolation Island), 1979 (The Fortune of War), 1980 (The Surgeon's Mate).

Cast and credits:

Written by Patrick O'Brian.

Master and Commander

Dramatised by Roger Danes. Directed by Adrian Bean. Music by Roger Danes and performed by Trevor Allan Davies. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 6th April - 11th May 1995.

Post Captain

Read by Patrick Malahide. Abridged by Roger Danes. Produced by Patrick Rayner. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 15th - 26th February 1999.

HMS Surprise

Produced and directed by Bruce Young. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 8th - 10th October 2008.

The Mauritius Command

Dramatised by Roger Danes. Produced and directed by Bruce Young. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 3rd - 17th April 2011.

Desolation Island

Dramatised by Roger Danes. Produced and directed by Bruce Young. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 21st - 28th July 2013.

The Fortune of War

Dramatised by Roger Danes. Produced and directed by Bruce Young. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 18th November - 2nd December 2018.

Third Ear

Presented by Alan Judd. With Patrick O'Brian. Produced by Ed Thomason. First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 10th March 1992.

Bookclub: Patrick O'Brian - Master and Commander

Presented by James Naughtie. With Allan Mallinson and an invited audience of readers. Produced by Dymphna Flynn. First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 7th December 2014.

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin: Master & Commander & Other Adventures

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Hit and miss, but mostly hit

A shame that the first dramatisation suffers from terrible casting, with Jack Aubrey sounding like a feeble old man at times, and a shame that the second is a quite average abridged reading, but the four starring David Robb and Richard Dillane are wonderful and more than make up for the shortcomings of the earlier efforts. The characterisation comes through strongly and the plots are adapted intelligently to fit the radio drama formula. Subtle touches and jokes stand out after a second listen (or even a third). The supporting cast members are excellent, with Sam Dale's performance as Lord Clonfert a particular highlight for me. As for the extra bonus features... I suppose you'll like them if you like that sort of thing...

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Superb

really enjoyed this. fabulous performance, the production and sound effects really do set the scene.. I've listened to this three times now

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great listen!

Really good full cast drama, really entertaining. This is great for listening to chilling or a long car journey. 30 min episode mean you can easily listen in short goes also.

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I am addicted!!!!

Love the books, loved the film, love the serialisation!!!! Bravo O'Brian!! Great sense of history

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good productions

I enjoyed these dramatic adaptations immensely and the supplementary material was very interesting too. A pity they didn’t do the whole 20 books.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Just wonderful.

My third time of listening. It takes me away to the sea and swashbuckling adventure.I so wish there was more. Absolutely wonderful. I love it.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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what a fantastic listen

from start to finish, you are fully immersed in the wooden ships of the Royal Navy during the time of Nelson

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Great for fans of Aubrey/Maturin

If you have listened to / read the Aubrey/Maturin series, you are likely to enjoy this collection of dramatised (though abridged) stories from the series.

The collection does not cover the full arc of Stephen and Jack’s lives, but it was certainly enjoyable. It made me want to return to the books again.

Generally the performances are of good standard, although there is some inconsistency as to who plays which characters. Jack is generally well cast, but Stephen’s personality as performed changes much more readily with the change in actor voicing him.

The discussion with O’Brian and also the book club at the end of the collection was a fascinating listen.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Not as good as the books

I found that these stories had been shortened so much that some of the most exciting parts had been removed.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great other than Post Captain

The once hard-to-find BBC radio drama adaptations of the Aubrey-Maturin series; at long last, however...Post Captain is not one of them, rather an audiobook read out by a single narrator it seems! Audible, what gives?

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