ARRR, me hearties! Shiver me timbers with a cat o’ nine tails and call me Davy Jones, arrgh!
Or, to put it another way, C4 is recreating the epic 4,000-mile, open-boat voyage of Captain Bligh after Fletcher Christian seized The Bounty in 1789.
It’s a decent idea for a show, called Mutiny, but, so far, hit and miss. The skipper is Ant Middleton, chief instructor on SAS: Who Dares Wins, who I’d like to say is in charge of a motley crew.
Truth is, though, his second-in-command is a veteran round-the-world sailor named Conrad and there are two embedded cameramen, leaving just five of the nine onboard as what could be considered ordinary civilians/reality TV contestants.
Four of them are likeable and have been pulling their weight since being cast adrift in the middle of the Pacific.
Thank Neptune, then, for irritating, work-shy Liverpudlian Chris Jacks who whinges constantly and has the lethal personality cocktail of an ego too big to obey orders while being uselessly disorganised, so rubs everyone up the wrong way.
So much so that Ant ended Tuesday’s second episode with a mutiny on his hands, ironically, with the crew demanding they leave their latest island stop without Chris.
If the captain cares more about crew morale than making entertaining TV, he’ll agree. But that will leave a major dent in this show.
There’s a danger the remaining seven — Ben left with a nasty hand infection — will get along famously, regardless of what the high seas throw at them.
So I sincerely hope the twonk stays. In any case, this show has bigger things to worry about.
It’s at its most compelling on dry land, very much like The Island with Bear Grylls, to the point that Ant found himself virtually copying that particular adventurer parrot-fashion: “The one key to survival is to get the fire going.”
However, much of the ocean footage feels rushed, it’s hard to follow what’s happening during a storm and dullness overwhelms when they’re in the doldrums.
Above all, though, Mutiny is at pains to stress the journey’s historical accuracy.
But unlike this crew, Bligh didn’t stop for supplies and rest in Fiji or Vanuatu, for fear of cannibals and savages.
It might well be that for C4’s nine men “your face is only ever 2ft max away from another man’s bottom”, but there were actually 19 men on the original 23ft boat.
And of course they didn’t have battery-powered head torches, metal safety clips or a support vessel with medics via emergency radio.
Which makes a nonsense of Ant claiming: “The journey is going to be tougher for me than it was for Bligh.”
Narrator Philip Glenister unravelled that claim: “Ant is leaving Tofua with a bag of coconuts and one man isolated from the rest of the crew. But when Captain Bligh left in 1789, he had much worse to deal with.
“As the crew raced for the boat, the islanders bombarded them with rocks, killing one of Bligh’s men.”
No, but you worry about that bag of coconuts and the one isolated crew member, Ant. You have it much tougher.