Warship on the BBC

Warship on the BBC

Warship is a popular British television drama series produced by the BBC between 1973 and 1977. It was also subtitled into Dutch and broadcast in the Netherlands as Alle hens aan dek (All hands on deck). Four series were produced, with 45 episodes made in total, and it enjoyed popularity in Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

The series dealt with life on board a Royal Navy warship, the fictional HMS Hero.

The episodes were written and filmed to reflect the reality of life in the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines in the 1970s. The primary focus for most stories was on the Captain and his fellow officers, but the series also featured life on the lower decks to portray episodes heavily featuring ratings. Episodes featured a variety of events at sea (the Cold War, smuggling, the evacuation of civilians from crisis-hit places, etc.), as well as the personal lives of officers and ratings and the impact their personal lives had on their professional lives and duties.

HMS Hero was captained by three very different officers throughout the series. Donald Burton portrayed Commander Mark Nialls, a high flying young officer in the first two series, Bryan Marshall portrayed Commander Alan Glenn, a former Fleet Air Arm fighter pilot in the third series, and Derek Godfrey portrayed Captain Edward Holt, a former nuclear submariner, in the fourth and final series.

The similarly contrasting First Lieutenants of HMS Hero were David Savile as Lieutenant Commander Derek “Porky” Beaumont in the first three series, and in the fourth and final series Robert Morris as Lieutenant Commander James Napier.

Other regular actors in the series included Andrew Burt, James Cosmo, Norman Eshley, Graeme Eton, Don Henderson, Nigel Humphreys, Frank Jarvis, John Lee, Prunella Ransome and Colin Rix.