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Warship

"This was a complete nostalgia wallow for me, as I used to like Warship when it was first screened. In the days before docu-soaps and reality TV, it was a drama series about life in the Royal Navy that was close to being a documentary, and agreeably understated in a very BBC way. And Lewis Collins! It is odd that several years of playing airhead eye-candy Gavin Rumsey in The Cuckoo Waltz intervened between this and Lew's next 'tough guy' r>The New Avengers: Obsession, soon followed, of course, by The Professionals.

"Leading Seaman Steele is what Bodie might have been if, instead of running away to sea, he'd joined the RN as a teenager, and applied his considerable talents and abilities in regular channels, instead of the highly irregular life which eventually led to young W.A.P. Bodie enlisting in the Paras.

"Steele is a stickler for rules and hierarchy, but that is exaggerated for dramatic effect in the plot. He is also a pleasant, caring character, befriending the new crew member (with his northern, "Where're you off to, kid?"), and the shipwright. He just got a bit carried away with performing well in his new rank, and lacks experience in exercising authority. Steele, like Bodie, is a fitness fanatic – a Navy champion swimmer, who took his wife hill-walking for their honeymoon. He's a bit of a loner, too, self-contained, focused on his job. Steele went butterfly collecting in the Far East, and Bodie wanted to take his butterfly net too (to catch orchids…).

"The only disappointment is that Steele only appears in the first half of the programme, spending the second half as an invisible speck in the ocean. I want more – more of Lew in uniform, pouting, smirking, grinning, looking slim, sounding northern (but a bit drama school, too).

"I just wonder about the aftermath of Steele's improbable survival – would he accept it as a risk of the job and continue to flourish in his naval career, or would he decide (for the sake of that annoyingly gorgeous and hearty-looking blonde wife) to give it up?" - Reviewed by jaycat92


"I only discovered the Away Seaboat's Crew episode of Warship recently thanks to a very kind and generous Lewis Collins fan, and I was instantly hooked. Just seeing Lewis in navy uniform.......sorry, just drifted away for a minute there! Lewis plays Leading Seaman Steele who is sent to work on HMS Hero, unfortunately with a man who bullied him in the past, Radcliffe. Determined not to let Radcliffe get the better of him or his friend, Steele tries to assert his authority. After an argument, Steele goes on deck to secure a tarpaulin just at the moment when the ship changes course, and he is knocked overboard. There follows a desperate search for him over the next 26 hours, but because he is a navy swimmer and 'one of the fittest men on the ship', (I'll second that!), he survives until he is rescued. Lewis looks so young in this, but he portrays the character of Steele perfectly, and this episode is now one of my favourite things to watch." - Reviewed by Shirl (ILWB)