fifth in the Hornblower series is a double-episode that has our
Horatio (Ioan Gruffudd) facing the likelihood of swinging at the
end of a rope.
You ask. Well, our favourite sailor has got himself involved in
a mutiny that has seen a famous colleague of Nelson, Captain Sawyer
(David Warner), having his command taken from him.
is as mad as a cut snake but, under regulations, that doesn't mean
he can't command a warship of 800-plus men.
Hornblower and his fellow officers decide to take over and risk
a courtmartial in Jamaica, rather than certain death under the deranged
tale is told in a series of flashbacks and is one of the most action-filled
and fast-paced movies I've seen for quite a while.
only is there the bullying and mutiny on the vessel, but also the
added drama of seemingly continual fights with the local Spanish.
The attack on an enemy fort is exciting and bloodthirsty, as is
a brutal hand-to-hand battle to control the British warship.
are a number of first-rate actors in this episode - aside from the
regulars - and they include Paul McGann as Lieutenant Bush, Nicholas
Jones as Lieutenant Buckland and, of course, David Warner.
is superb as the paranoid Sawyer and switches effortlessly between
being a cruel commander, who is easy to loathe, and a former hero
whose illness merits a great deal of sympathy.
Jones also puts in a stirling performance as the dithering Lieutenant
Buckland, a man who fears command.
of the nasties on board is Hobbs (Philip Glenister), who disapproves
of the "weak" new officers and their lack of loyalty towards
his captain. His character may be flawed, but the acting is spot
on and he almost steals the show from Warner.
McGann plays Lieutenant Bush, an ambitious officer distrustful of
the people on his new ship, but who eventually agrees to the right
sort of action.
action there is - by the bucketful. This is the most swashbuckling
of the series to date and will have you hanging (er, poor choice
of words) out to find out what happens.