Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond on LOST) plays Darwin in a 2-hour special, presented by NOVA and National Geographic Television, airing on PBS tomorrow, Tuesday, October 6, 2009, at 8:00 PM. The program will also be available online starting on October 7.
The drama, which is set in 1858 when Darwin was 49 years old, focuses on the time when Darwin struggled to decide whether or not he should go public with his theory of evolution.
In an interview posted on the NOVA website, Cusick was asked if he was surprised by anything he learned about Darwin or his theory while working on the film. Cusick answered:
Yes. You know, for all the creationists out there, Darwin’s just an atheist. But he was actually agnostic. There’s a passage in the film in which he says that he doesn’t know where the initial spark of life came from, you know? He thought that that spark of life came to Earth, and then from that one spark all these other things were created. And I think that’s a very honest and open view….
The passage in the script, from Darwin’s own writing, goes: “I think there’s beauty—and grandeur—in a view of life having been originally breathed into perhaps a single form, and that from so simple a beginning, endless forms, most beautiful and wonderful, have been and are being evolved.”
I think that’s lovely. That is my favorite speech of the film. It seems like a very intelligent way of looking at how we arrived here. His view, to me, seems very plausible and very simple.
Here are two promos:
More information: Official site for “Darwin’s Darkest Hour”