As American children are taught in school, in November 1620, the Mayflower arrived in New England’s Provincetown Harbor after 66 days at sea.
This November, National Geographic Channel will go beyond what’s in the history books and delve into the world of the early settlers of that area with the ambitious scripted TV movie “Saints & Strangers.” In anticipation of the premiere, the cabler has released two behind-the-scenes teasers of the making of the miniseries exclusively to Variety.
“Growing up, we learn about the Mayflower and the colonization of America, but we never learn the whole story. The real story is an incredible survival story. ‘Saints & Strangers’ is the opportunity to tell the world about our country,” said executive producer Gina Matthews.
With an ensemble cast that includes “Mad Men’s” Vincent Kartheiser as “moral compass” of Plymouth colony William Bradford, “Pitch Perfect’s” Anna Camp as his wife Dorothy and “Black Sails'” Ray Stevenson as an adversary with a checkered past, the project plans to show the good and the bad sides of these newcomers struggling for survival. It also follows the stories of the Native American tribes who dealt with this sudden upheaval, with actors like Raoul Trujillo (“Apocalypto”) and Tatanka Means (“Banshee”) working with a coach to speak the Abenaki language.
“The Native Americans are determined to maintain their way of life just as much as the Pilgrims are determined to start theirs anew. This is one of those stories where once both groups start down a path, history is changed forever,” added executive producer Grant Scharbo.
“Saints & Strangers” premieres at 9 p.m. Nov. 22 on National Geographic Channel. It is produced by Sony Pictures Television with Little Engine Productions. Teri Weinberg is also executive producer, Eric Overmyer is executive producer/writer and Seth Fisher is executive producer/writer. The original script was written by Chip Johannessen, with revisions by Walon Green. Paul Edwards is the director and Hans Zimmer is the executive music producer. For Sony Pictures Television, executive vice president of movies and limited series is Helen Verno. For National Geographic Channels, president of original programming and production is Tim Pastore and vice president of production is Matt Renner.