Horatio Hornblower (1998-2003)   Leave a comment

Ok, I know I said in my About page how this blog wasn’t going to be all about me ogling totty British actors, but the thing is, dear reader….I lied.

No, seriously. Doing the post about Jamie Bamber the other day got me thinking about what an amazing series Hornblower was, and how I wish they had made more of them.

Although he had had small roles in other films, being cast as Horatio Hornblower was a godsend for the then 23 year old Welsh actor, Ioan Gruffudd. He was perfect in the role as a socially awkward but honourable young man who joins the British Navy as a 17 year old midshipman, and steadily rises up the ranks.

Beginning with ‘The Even Chance’ in 1998, the series ran as 8 separate tv movies until the final episode ‘Duty’ aired in 2003. Surprisingly, though, it wasn’t the BBC who commisioned the series to be made, but an American production company, A&E. 

As well as the exotic locations, rollicking good story lines and lavish costumes, Hornblower featured a stellar cast of veteran and up and coming actors. Alongside Ioan and Jamie, of course, there was Robert Lindsey, Paul McGann, Anthony Sher, Dennis Lawson, Samuel West and David Warner to name a few.

There has really been nothing else of this calibre on tv before or since, so this is my little tribute to great television-making and the people who made it happen.

PS. For any of you die-hard Ioan fans out there, does that picture of Ioan holding a gun immediately make you start singing:”I’m quick on the trigger..”?

PPS. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, see the video below. You’ll be glad you did!

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