Carrier (2005) PBS

Carrier, Ep. 1: All Hands

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Video Description


Episode 1: "All Hands"

On a bright May morning, 5,000 sailors and Marines bid farewell to their loved ones before the mammoth USS Nimitz pulls out of Coronado, California, and sets a course for Hawaii and beyond. Among the men and women who live and work on board are an airman who describes the ship as a small town; a pilot who considers the ship a powerful instrument of diplomacy; a sailor who questions “why we’re fighting to defend someone else’s freedom when we barely have our own”; a cook who dishes out 15,000 meals a day; and an airman who has just learned that his girlfriend is pregnant.



Chapter 1: "Haze Gray and Underway" (15:56)

As the USS Nimitz sets off for the Persian Gulf, the ship’s crew prepares for life on board a small, floating town.

Chapter 2: "Nimitz High" (13:12)

With a crew of 5,000, some say the ship is nothing more than a floating high school -- always filled with drama.

Chapter 3: "Mess Decks" (12:33)

The danger of the sea is real: when a man overboard alert goes out, the crew scrambles into action.

Chapter 4: "Rules of the Road" (7:50)

Sea men (and women) learn quickly what can happen when they don’t follow the rules of the ship.

Chapter 5: "Start Now" (7:34)

As the Nimitz pulls into port at Pearl Harbor, the crew pays its respect to those who died for their country there.

Documentary Description


CARRIER, a 10-part series filmed aboard the USS Nimitz, is a character-driven immersion in the high- stakes world of a nuclear aircraft carrier. The episodes follow a core group of characters as they navigate their jobs, families, faith, patriotism, love, the rites of passage and the war on terror. An Emmy Award-winning the television series is about a six-month deployment of a United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in 2005 from the United States to the Middle East and back.



Making the film CARRIER required 17 filmmakers to take a six-month journey aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz during its deployment to the Gulf in support of the Iraq War. They disembarked from Coronado, California on May 7, 2005 and returned there November 8, 2005 with stops at Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong, Guam, Kuala Lumpur, Bahrain and Perth, Australia.



The trip proved an evolution for the film crew who spent the early weeks trying to find their place while the 5,000 sailors and Marines around them were too busy to take notice. Eventually, the film crew discerned the ebb and flow of life on a carrier, and began to feel more at home on board. The ship’s crew not only accepted them but also took a vested interest in the project, making suggestions on the best places to film and providing access to missions that helped capture the full experience of the deployment.



Jammed into their own staterooms, the crew that once felt apart now felt kinship as they shared both trepidation and jubliation awaiting the safe return of the carrier’s jet fighters. When the huge emotional surge of seeing home hit in November, the filmmakers knew how the Nimitz crew must feel. But back on land, their own mission of editing and production continued for nearly three more years before the film CARRIER docked at PBS on April 27, 2008.

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