Armchair Sailors discussion


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message 1: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse So, I happened to catch the first episode of the tv series of Hornblower last night.

Overall, pretty decently done--although the actor playing Hornblower seemed old even for a seventeen-year-old midshipman! lol

But the battles. Oh, dear, the battles. I know they must have had a much smaller budget than Master and Commander, but oh dear....

They didn't even beat to quarters until the enemy ship was like two/three feet away! And none of the ships ever moved! They just sat in the water, sails set, not moving at all. Models!

Sometimes it's better not to do a thing at all than to do it so badly.

I had to go read some O'Brian to cheer myself up!

message 2: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 2 comments Oh but I enjoyed the series immensely lol!! Are we talking about the same one, with the actor with an unpronounsable Welsh name as Horatio?

message 3: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Probably we are--I didn't namecheck the actor, but I can't see there being two such series.

I enjoyed it well enough; it's only the battles that didn't convince. If you enjoyed it that much, you should see the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, if you haven't already. I promise you the battles are much more realistic! lol

message 4: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 2 comments I have seen it, and liked it, as well as all the POTC movies... I guess I didn't pay that much attention to the detail, or the battles. :) I bought the Hornblower dvd boxset a while back but sent it on later... It's not been showing here, not yet at least. I'm guessing it was the lack of money what made the scenes so poor...

message 5: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Yeah, I think the budgetary constraints are likely responsible. It's a shame, as they'd clearly put a lot of care into the production.

message 6: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 8 comments I've seen several of the Hornblower TV episodes, and liked them pretty well despite the low-budget production. It's a lot like watching the Richard Sharpe TV series where the land battles are fought with an army of approximately 20 people and the dreaded French column always seems to be approaching from around a bend.

Btw, Hornblower is played by Ioan Griffudd, pronounced YO-an GRIFF-ith. I saw him recently playing the abolitionist William Wilberforce in the movie Amazing Grace, which was pretty good.

message 7: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Same as the way helicopters disappear behind a hill before they crash :D.

message 8: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse It wouldn't have killed them to have put a little more thought into the battle scenes, even if they didn't have any more money to spend. Just having them beat to quarters and then showing a couple of masts shoved up above the horizon would have been better than "oh we finally spotted the enemy now they're only feet away"!

message 9: by Alex (new)

Alex (alex_beecroft) I agree. I also found all the over-emotionalism of it rather off-putting. They had a guy running the gauntlet and everyone standing round doing 'OMG! This is so terribly brutal!' faces - and yet he ended up with about three red stripes on his back, and from the effort everyone put in it looked like it would feel like being gently tapped with wet spaghetti.

One of the reasons I like O'Brian's books is that you never get superimposed 2Oth Century reactions on a scene that would have been quite normal for the time.

message 10: by Coalbanks (new)

Coalbanks | 16 comments Sailors of the day hated & feared the lash and while many were ashamed of taking part few actually refused (to do so was to invike punishment at least as harsh & likely worse) but many were willing to lay on the lash with vigour, perhaps out of fear of punishment for being accussed of failing to carry out orders properly or maybe it was a release for their frustration & a chance to settle old scores with the sailor being flogged.
Anachronisms & imposing latter-day political correctness on a period, place & situation detracts from the story & takes us out of the scene. Sometimes you have to take it as it was, warts and all. Rum, Sodomy & the Lash should not be bowdlerized to: Cocoa, Consensual Sex Between Consenting Same-sex Adults & A Serious Discussion with the Bosun Regarding Your Possibly Justifiable Alledged Transgressions Against the King's Regulations.

message 11: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse lol @ second para

message 12: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 8 comments Even in the excellent Master & Commander movie, Jack and Stephen argue over the punishment administered to a crewman for insubordination (12 lashes). The argument itself was faithful to the books - but not over something as commonplace as a whipping. It was the seriously cruel punishments (of other captains, not Jack) that Stephen objected to. Twelve strokes wasn't anything to get disturbed about.

message 13: by Coalbanks (new)

Coalbanks | 16 comments 12 strokes ain't nutthin", eh? So sez someone who has had the pleasure??

message 14: by pete (new)

pete | 1 comments Coalbanks wrote: "12 strokes ain't nutthin", eh? So sez someone who has had the pleasure??"

i have to agree with jamie,

it was the **excessive** use of brutal discipline that stephen most objected to (as did jack) as well as the unquestioned life and death authority permitted the captain that put stephen off as much as anything. 12 lashes didn't seem excessive to him tho it was obviously distasteful. do you remember when stephen wanted to leave the ship because of the stuff happening between he and jack concerning diana? or was it dillon?... anyway, remember jack saying with a sideways glance something to the effect of: do you know i can force you to remain? have you clapped in irons for wanting to desert? at this point, i think, stephen truly realised the power of the captain over him and everyone else on board. it also seemed to be at this point that his philosophical nature took over and he realised he needed to make his peace with the circumstances that he had commited himself to. not that that stopped him from becoming outraged when he wasn't allowed his explorations at the galapegos.

message 15: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 40 comments Are you talking about the tv show only or is this thread for the books too ?

I became C.S Forester and Horblower dec 08 when i read Beat to Quarters/The Happy Return.

I have seen the tv show when it was shown on tv, wasnt impressed and forget it even existed. Until i got Mr Midshipman Hornblower Omnibus. The books are great read, the hole historical feel of the times,the character,the adventure awed me.

I cant now believe they could do such a bad tv show on such strong stories.

message 16: by Joey (new)

Joey (joeygibson) I actually quite enjoyed the series of Hornblower shows/mini-movies. Sure they didn't have huge budgets, but the acting was pretty good. I bought the 8 DVD kit after watching the first two episodes.

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