The Pacific
GenreWar drama
Based onWith the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
by Eugene Sledge
Helmet for My Pillow
by Robert Leckie
Written byBruce C. McKenna
Robert Schenkkan
Graham Yost
George Pelecanos
Laurence Andries
Michelle Ashford
Directed byTim Van Patten
David Nutter
Jeremy Podeswa
Graham Yost
Carl Franklin
Tony To[1]
StarringJames Badge Dale
Jon Seda
Joseph Mazzello
Rami Malek
ComposersHans Zimmer
Geoff Zanelli
Blake Neely
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Executive producersSteven Spielberg
Tom Hanks
Gary Goetzman
ProducersTony To (co-executive)
Graham Yost (co-executive)
Eugene Kelly (co-executive)
Bruce C. McKenna (co-executive)
Cherylanne Martin
Todd London
Steven Shareshian
Tim Van Patten (supervising)
George Pelecanos (co-producer)
Robert Schenkkan (co-producer)
Running time47–58 minutes
Production companiesHBO Entertainment
DreamWorks Television
BudgetUS$200 million
Original release
ReleaseMarch 14 (2010-03-14)[2] –
May 16, 2010 (2010-05-16)

The Pacific is a 2010 American war drama miniseries produced by HBO, Playtone, and DreamWorks that premiered in the United States on March 14, 2010.

The series is a companion piece to the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers and focuses on the United States Marine Corps's actions in the Pacific Theater of Operations within the wider Pacific War. Whereas Band of Brothers followed the men of Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment through the European Theater, The Pacific centers on the experiences of three Marines (Robert Leckie, Eugene Sledge, and John Basilone) who were in different regiments (1st, 5th, and 7th, respectively) of the 1st Marine Division.

The Pacific was spearheaded by Bruce C. McKenna (co-executive producer), one of the main writers on Band of Brothers. Hugh Ambrose, the son of Band of Brothers author Stephen Ambrose, was a project consultant.

The Pacific miniseries features the 1st Marine Division's battles in the Pacific, such as Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa, as well as Basilone's involvement in the Battle of Iwo Jima. It is based primarily on the memoirs of two US Marines: With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge and Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie.[3] It also draws on Sledge's memoir China Marine[4] and Red Blood, Black Sand, the memoir of Chuck Tatum, a Marine who fought alongside Basilone at Iwo Jima.[5][6]


The following actors played starring roles in multiple episodes and are split by the principal character they appear with. Characters from the different plot strands do occasionally interact, while Sidney Phillips serves with Leckie and is the best friend of Sledge.


Executive producers Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg talk with veterans of the World War II Pacific theater March 11 after a ceremony honoring the men at the World War II Memorial.

The Pacific was produced by Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman in association with HBO Miniseries, Playtone, DreamWorks, Seven Network and Sky Movies.[7][8] Seven and Sky both invested in the project for the right to broadcast it in Australia and the United Kingdom respectively.[9] Nine Network has previously broadcast the HBO productions of Band of Brothers. Nine had a broadcast deal with HBO's parent Warner Bros., but then HBO started to distribute its productions separately.[10] In April 2007, the producers set up a production office in Melbourne and began casting.[11]

Originally the project was estimated at $100 million to produce,[10] but ended up costing over $200 million, making The Pacific the most expensive television miniseries ever created at the time.[12][13][14] According to the Sydney Morning Herald an estimated A$134 million was spent in Australia.[15] The Australian newspaper Herald Sun estimates that it brought 4,000 jobs and generated A$180 million for the Australian economy.[16]

Replica Type 95 Ha-Go light tank in the National Museum of Singapore, one of four constructed for the miniseries.[17]

Filming of the miniseries in Australia started on August 10, 2007,[18] and finished in late May 2008.[19] From August until November 2007[20] filming took place at locations in and around Port Douglas, Queensland including Mossman, Queensland;[21] Drumsara Plantation, Mowbray National Park[21] and beaches at Rocky Point, Queensland.[21] Production then moved to rural Victoria,[22][23] in the You Yangs near Lara (from November–December 2007),[24] then at a sand quarry on Sandy Creek Road near Geelong until February 2008.[25] Melbourne city locations were used in late 2007 and through 2008 including Central City Studios at Melbourne Docklands (March 2008);[26][27] Flinders Street (between Swanston and Elizabeth streets, February 1–4, 2008);[28][29] the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets (February 2008);[30] Flinders Street station (February 2–3, 2008).[31] Other suburban locations included Mornington Railway, Bundoora,[32] specifically the Ernest Jones Hall at the La Trobe University campus, Bundoora (late May 2008);[33] the Railway Hotel, South Melbourne (December 2007);[34] Scotch College, Melbourne (December 2007);[34] Melbourne High School (December 2007).[34][35]

The series's score was written by Hans Zimmer, Geoff Zanelli and Blake Neely and was released on March 9, 2010.[36]

Historian Hugh Ambrose, son of Band of Brothers author Stephen E. Ambrose, wrote the official tie-in book to the miniseries,[37] The Pacific: Hell was an Ocean Away (2011), which follows the stories of two of the featured men from the miniseries, Basilone and Sledge, as well as stories of Sledge's close friend Sidney Phillips and two men not featured in the series, marine officer Austin Shofner and US Navy pilot Vernon Micheel. The different cast provides a wider view of the Pacific theatre, allowing the book to include the fall of the Philippines, Midway, Philippine Sea and Luzon and expand the narrative to include depictions of life as experienced by prisoners of war, senior officers and the development of naval aviation. It was published in the UK and the US in March 2010 and Ambrose gave a webcast interview about the book at the Pritzker Military Library on April 15, 2010.[38][39]


The series premiered in the US and Canada on March 14, 2010, on HBO.[40] HBO Asia premiered The Pacific at 9 pm on April 3, 2010, with the first two episodes being consecutively broadcast in the first week. Singapore, Hong Kong, and Indonesia had dual languages available. Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the Philippines broadcasts were available in high-definition on the HBO Asia HD Channel.[41] The Pacific began broadcast on April 5, 2010, on Sky Movies in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[42] In Portugal, the series was broadcast on April 5, 2010, on AXN and in HD on AXN HD two days after the original broadcast in the US. The series broadcast commenced in Australia on Channel 7 on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at 8:30 pm.[43] In Denmark, Norway, Finland, France, and Sweden, the series began broadcasting on Canal+; in Turkey, CNBC-e on April 18, 2010; in the Netherlands, on April 7, 2010, on Veronica; and in Greece, on Nova Cinema on April 10, 2010. In New Zealand, the series began broadcasting on April 12, 2010, on TV One. In Italy, the miniseries began broadcast on May 9, 2010, on Sky Cinema 1; in Germany, on July 15, 2010, on Kabel eins. In Japan, the miniseries started July 18, 2010, on WOWOW.[44] In South Africa, the miniseries started broadcasting on May 5, 2010, on the Mnet channel. In the US, the rights to the series were picked up by Ovation and it started airing sometime in 2019.


The first official US trailer for The Pacific aired on HBO before the season 2 premiere of True Blood on June 14, 2009. It showed footage of the three main characters, including a conversation between Leckie and Sledge, Basilone's marriage, and numerous combat scenes. The trailer concluded with "2010" displayed on-screen -alluding to and confirming the series release date. A second trailer was released on the HBO website after which the date "March 2010" is displayed, giving a more specific series release date. On January 14, 2010, Comcast added on-demand content from the series, including a scene from The Pacific, interviews with the producers, and character profiles.[45] Another trailer was shown in February 2010 during Super Bowl XLIV, depicting several combat scenes. An extended trailer (3:47) of the miniseries can be viewed on the series' official website.


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
1"Part One"
Tim Van PattenBruce C. McKennaMarch 14, 2010 (2010-03-14)3.08[46]
In the weeks following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Robert Leckie attends church and runs into his longtime neighbor Vera Keller. Leckie, having enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, promises to write to her while overseas. Meanwhile, John Basilone and his fellow noncommissioned officers, Manny Rodriguez and J.P. Morgan, learn from Chesty Puller that the Marine Corps will be entering the Pacific Theater. They attend a Christmas dinner with the Basilone family. In Mobile, Alabama, childhood friends Eugene Sledge and Sidney Phillips say their goodbyes as Phillips prepares to depart for boot camp. In August 1942, the Guadalcanal Campaign began. The Battle of the Tenaru and the Battle of Savo Island are depicted.
2"Part Two"
David NutterBruce C. McKennaMarch 21, 2010 (2010-03-21)2.79[47]
Basilone and the 7th Marines land on Guadalcanal to bolster the defenses around Henderson Field. Basilone, attempting to relocate his machine gun to a better position, bare-handedly cradles the hot barrel and severely burns his arms. Despite this, he continues fighting and kills scores of Japanese troops. The following morning, Basilone discovers that Rodriguez has been killed in action.
3"Part Three"
Jeremy PodeswaGeorge Pelecanos and Michelle AshfordMarch 28, 2010 (2010-03-28)2.77[48]
The 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal is relieved and arrives in Melbourne, Australia. Battle weary, many Marines go AWOL, engaging in drunken hijinks. Leckie falls in love with Stella Karamanlis, an Australian girl of Greek descent, who invites him to stay at her parents' home. Not wanting to go through the pain of losing him, Stella breaks up with Leckie and tells him not to return. As a result, Leckie becomes belligerently drunk; when his friend Lew Juergens asks Leckie to relieve him on guard duty so he can urinate, an officer catches him, culminating in Leckie pulling a sidearm and both he and Juergens are punished and demoted. Basilone receives the Medal of Honor for his actions on Guadalcanal and is sent home to sell war bonds.
4"Part Four"
Graham YostRobert Schenkkan and Graham YostApril 4, 2010 (2010-04-04)2.52[49]
Previously limited by a heart murmur, Eugene Sledge enlists in the Marines and trains for combat, while Leckie and the 1st Marine Division are put into action at Cape Gloucester. The relentless rain and jungle environment takes its toll on the Marines. Leckie is treated for nocturnal enuresis caused by combat stress and is hospitalized for a number of weeks. The Marines arrive on Pavuvu, which serves as a temporary base for the 1st Marine Division.
5"Part Five"
"Peleliu Landing"
Carl FranklinLaurence Andries and Bruce C. McKennaApril 11, 2010 (2010-04-11)2.71[50]
Sledge is briefly reunited with Phillips on Pavuvu before Phillips departs to return home to Mobile. Sledge meets Merriell "Snafu" Shelton, R.V. Burgin, and Bill Leyden. The 1st Marine Division lands at Peleliu.
6"Part Six"
"Peleliu Airfield"
Tony ToBruce C. McKenna and Laurence Andries and Robert SchenkkanApril 18, 2010 (2010-04-18)2.38[51]
Sustaining heavy losses and fighting in exceedingly hot conditions with little drinkable water, the Marines move to capture Peleliu's vital airfield. Leckie is wounded by a blast concussion while trying to relay a message to the corpsman. With a face full of shrapnel and limited mobility, he is evacuated and sent to recuperate on a hospital ship.
7"Part Seven"
"Peleliu Hills"
Tim Van PattenBruce C. McKennaApril 25, 2010 (2010-04-25)2.55[52]
Sledge and the 5th Marines move into Peleliu's Bloody Nose Ridge to face the Japanese. In the ensuing battle, Captain Andrew "Ack-Ack" Haldane is shot and killed by a Japanese sniper while assessing the area of Hill 140.
8"Part Eight"
"Iwo Jima"
David Nutter
Jeremy Podeswa
Robert Schenkkan and Michelle AshfordMay 2, 2010 (2010-05-02)2.34[53]
Tired of selling war bonds, Basilone is transferred to the 5th Marine Division where he trains Marines for combat as a gunnery sergeant. He meets and marries Lena Riggi. Basilone lands at Iwo Jima, but is killed in action on the first day.
9"Part Nine"
Tim Van PattenBruce C. McKennaMay 9, 2010 (2010-05-09)1.81[54]
Sledge and the 1st Marine Division land at Okinawa. Cynical and exhausted, Sledge and Shelton show no compassion for the Japanese troops and struggle to lead new replacement Marines fresh out of boot camp. The Marines are horrified to discover Okinawan civilians, including women and children, are being forced to act as human shields. Sledge is nearly court martialed after assaulting a Japanese POW. As the battle concludes, the Marines hear of a "new bomb" that "vaporized an entire [Japanese] city in the blink of an eye".
10"Part Ten"
Jeremy PodeswaBruce C. McKenna and Robert SchenkkanMay 16, 2010 (2010-05-16)1.96[55]
Following the Japanese surrender, the Marines return home. Leckie takes a job with a newspaper; he starts a relationship with Vera, revealing that he never sent the letters he wrote because he believed he was not going to survive the war. Sledge, Shelton, and Burgin arrive home in the spring of 1946. Sledge is still haunted by the horrors of war, he struggles to adjust despite reassurance from his father and Phillips. Basilone's widow, Lena, visits his parents and gives them his Medal of Honor.
11 (Bonus)"Anatomy of a War"TBDTBD2010 (2010)TBD
This episode is a companion piece to the series. It uses historical footage, footage from the series, and interviews with participants, scholars, and members of the series cast and crew to try to explain the societal, cultural, and religious reasons that contributed to the ferocity and brutality of the Japanese military during World War II.[56]


Critical reception

The Pacific received widespread critical acclaim. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 91% with an average rating of 8.8 out of 10, based on 44 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "An honest, albeit horrifying, exploration of World War II, The Pacific is a visually stunning miniseries not for the faint of heart."[57] On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 86 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[58]

Time magazine's James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 TV Series of 2010.[59] IGN reviewer Ramsey Isler gave the entire miniseries an 8.5 out of 10, saying, "Although I don't think The Pacific overtakes Band of Brothers in terms of technical execution and overall entertainment value, many of the comparisons will be moot as The Pacific is a different kind of series with different goals. This series sought to look beyond the combat and it paints a full, vivid picture of the war and the people that fought in it through focused, individual stories. That's a tall order for any series to fulfill, and although The Pacific doesn't always come through with shining colors, it does make an admirable effort."[60] IGN also reviewed each episode, with Episode 9 receiving a perfect 10 out of 10 score.[61]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Movie/Mini Series Meg Liberman, Cami Patton,
Christine King, and Jennifer Euston
Won [62]
Hollywood Post Alliance Awards Outstanding Color Grading – Television Steve Porter (for "Peleliu Landing") Won [63]
IGN Summer Movie Awards Best TV DVD or Blu-Ray Nominated [64]
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards Best DVD Nominated [65]
Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Motion Picture or Miniseries Won [66]
Best Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries James Badge Dale Nominated
Joseph Mazzello Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Ashton Holmes Nominated
Best Direction of a Motion Picture or Miniseries Won
Best Writing of a Motion Picture or Miniseries Won
Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Won
Best Cinematography in a Non-Series Won
Best Costume Design in a Non-Series Nominated
Best Editing in a Non-Series Won
Best Makeup/Hairstyling in a Non-Series Nominated
Best Music in a Non-Series Won
Best Production Design in a Non-Series Nominated
Best Sound in a Non-Series Won
Best Visual Effects in a Non-Series Won
Best New Titles Sequence Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Miniseries Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg,
Gary Goetzman, Tony To, Graham Yost,
Eugene Kelly, Bruce C. McKenna,
Cherylanne Martin, Todd London,
Steven Shareshian, and Tim Van Patten
Won [67]
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special David Nutter and Jeremy Podeswa (for "Iwo Jima") Nominated
Tim Van Patten (for "Okinawa") Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special Robert Schenkkan and Michelle Ashford
(for "Iwo Jima")
Bruce C. McKenna and Robert Schenkkan
(for "Home")
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or Movie Anthony Pratt, Dominic Hyman, Richard Hobbs,
Scott Bird, Jim Millett, Rolland Pike, and
Lisa Thompson
Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Meg Liberman, Cami Patton, Christine King,
Jennifer Euston, and Suzanne Smith
Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie Remi Adefarasin (for "Peleliu Landing") Nominated
Stephen F. Windon (for "Okinawa") Nominated
Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Penny Rose and Ken Crouch (for "Melbourne") Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Design Steve Fuller, Ahmet Ahmet, Peter Frankfurt, and
Lauren Hartstone
Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or a Movie (Non-Prosthetic) Chiara Tripodi and Toni French Won
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special Jason Baird, Sean Genders, Jac Charlton,
Chad Atkinson, Ben Rittenhouse, Steve Katz,
Robert Charlton, and Greg Nicotero
Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special
(Original Dramatic Score)
Blake Neely, Geoff Zanelli, and Hans Zimmer
(for "Home")
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie Edward A. Warschilka (for "Peleliu Landing") Nominated
Alan Cody (for "Iwo Jima") Nominated
Alan Cody and Marta Evry (for "Okinawa") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Tom Bellfort, Benjamin L. Cook, Daniel S. Irwin,
Hector C. Gika, Charles Maynes, Paul Aulicino,
John C. Stuver, David Williams, Michelle Pazer,
John Finklea, Jody Thomas, and Katie Rose
(for "Peleliu Landing")
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Movie Andrew Ramage, Michael Minkler, and
Daniel J. Leahy (for "Basilone")
Andrew Ramage, Michael Minkler,
Daniel J. Leahy, and Craig Mann
(for "Peleliu Landing")
Gary Wilkins, Michael Minkler, Daniel J. Leahy,
and Marc Fishman (for "Iwo Jima")
Gary Wilkins, Michael Minkler, and
Daniel J. Leahy (for "Okinawa")
Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special John E. Sullivan, Joss Williams, David Taritero,
Peter Webb, Dion Hatch, John P. Mesa,
Jerry Pooler, and Paul Graff
(for "Guadalcanal/Leckie")
John E. Sullivan, Joss Williams, David Taritero,
David Goldberg, Angelo Sahin, Marco Recuay,
William Mesa, Chris Bremble, and Jerry Pooler
(for "Peleliu Landing")
Satellite Awards Best Miniseries Nominated [68]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials Won [69]
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television Marta Evry and Alan Cody (for Okinawa") Nominated [70]
American Film Institute Awards Top 10 Television Programs Won [71]
American Society of Cinematographers Awards Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Motion Picture/Miniseries Stephen F. Windon (for "Okinawa") Won [72]
Australian Cinematographers Society Awards Drama or Comedy Series & Telefeatures Stephen F. Windon (for "Iwo Jima") Won [73]
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Movies and Mini-Series Andrew Ramage, Michael Minkler, and
Daniel J. Leahy (for "Basilone")
Nominated [74]
Andrew Ramage, Michael Minkler,
Daniel J. Leahy, and Craig Mann
(for "Peleliu Landing")
Gary Wilkins, Michael Minkler, Daniel J. Leahy,
and Marc Fishman (for "Iwo Jima")
Gary Wilkins, Michael Minkler, and
Daniel J. Leahy (for "Okinawa")
Costume Designers Guild Awards Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries Penny Rose Nominated [75]
Critics' Choice Awards Best Picture Made for Television Won [76]
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Miniseries David Nutter and Jeremy Podeswa (for "Basilone") Nominated [77]
Jeremy Podeswa (for "Home") Nominated
Tim Van Patten (for "Okinawa") Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Miniseries or Television Film Nominated [78]
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing – Long Form Dialogue and ADR in Television Tom Bellfort, Daniel S. Irwin, John C. Stuver,
Michael Hertlein, Michelle Pazer, and
David Williams (for "Basilone")
Won [79]
Best Sound Editing - Long Form Sound Effects and Foley in Television Tom Bellfort, Hector C. Gika, Paul Aulicino,
Benjamin L. Cook, Charles Maynes,
Katherine Rose, and Jody Thomas
(for "Peleliu Landing")
Guild of Music Supervisors Awards Best Music Supervision for Movie of the Week Deva Anderson and Evyen Klean Nominated
Evyen Klean[a] Won
Humanitas Prize 60 Minute Network or Syndicated Television Bruce C. McKenna and Robert Schenkkan
(for "Home")
Nominated [80]
Imagen Awards Best Supporting Actor – Television Jon Seda Nominated [81]
Best Actor – Television Nominated [82]
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Nominated [83]
Peabody Awards A Playtone and DreamWorks Productions
in association with HBO Miniseries
Won [84]
Prism Awards Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries James Badge Dale Nominated [85]
Producers Guild of America Awards David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Eugene Kelly,
Todd London, Cherylanne Martin,
Bruce C. McKenna, Steven Shareshian,
Steven Spielberg, Tony To, Tim Van Patten, and
Graham Yost
Won [86]
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special John Sullivan, David Taritero, William Mesa, and
Marco Requay
Won [87]
Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Broadcast Program Marco Recuay, Morgan McDermott, and
Nicholas Lund-Ulrich
(for "Iwo Jima" – Battle of Iwo Jima)
Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program or Commercial Jeremy Nelson, John P. Mesa, Dan Novy, and
Tyler Cote (for "Peleliu Landing")
Online Film & Television Association Awards Hall of Fame – Television Programs Inducted [88]

Home media

In 2011, HBO aired a documentary entitled He Has Seen War with Tom Hanks as executive producer and Mark Herzog as a director about the postwar stories of and lasting effects of the war, including post-traumatic stress disorder, not only 1st Marine Division members but also the members of E ("Easy") Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, who were the subjects of Band of Brothers.

Eugene Sledge's and Robert Leckie's families both appear, as does the family of Easy Company 1st Lieutenant Lynn "Buck" Compton. Staff Sergeant William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and Technical Sergeant Donald Malarkey, both of Easy Company, also appear alongside their families.[89][90][91]



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Further reading