Cast member Gillian Anderson first came to fame playing Dana Scully on the TV series The X-Files (1993). It was mentioned several times throughout the run of the series that Scully and her family were big fans of Herman Melville's book 'Moby Dick': her nickname for her Naval officer father was "Captain Ahab;" his nickname for her was "Starbuck;" and her dog, which she named Queequeg, was, like its namesake, also an eater of humans (the dog ate the body of its previous owner).
This is the first production of "Moby Dick" since the 1930 film version with John Barrymore to have a leading female character.
This is the second time William Hurt and Donald Sutherland have worked together on a miniseries. The first was in 2004's Frankenstein (2004).