HORNBLOWER, ROUND TWO
And the hype goes on ...
This page was originally included to track the gathering storm of publicity preceding the airing of Horatio Hornblower: The Adventure Continues in April 2001. But even though its original purpose has long since become obsolete, I've decided to hang on to most of it ... You didn't really think I'd scrap all these Archie images, didja? J
Thanks to Marianne and Beth for most of the information here!
A&E aired at least three different commercials for HH2, but I only saw one -- and I had to sit through an episode of Investigative Reports about morgue procedures to get it on tape. (The things we do for love.) Now, at first glance, this ad appeared so brief as to be almost subliminal. However, word quickly spread among the Hornblower faithful that when viewed in slow-motion, it was packed with intriguing images. Including ... drum-roll, please ... a shot of ARCHIE in full nose-scrunching glory:
You talkin' to me? You talkin' to ME?
(Many, many thanks to Alice for kindly allowing me to use this image!)
By early April there was a more elaborate (estimated length: 5 minutes) ad, which I regret to report I have never seen. However, transcripts posted on the various Hornblower lists and message boards gave me a pretty good clue that I would definitely like the "new" Archie. Case in point: this snippet of dialogue:
HH: "Captain Sawyer's just weary, Archie."
AK: "Weary? The man's bedeviled, Horatio."
HH: "The man's a national hero. He's earned a place in history."
AK: "It's not the history that concerns me. It's the future."
It may or may not be revealing plot-wise, but it is VERY revealing character-wise. As I said when I first launched this site: I've always felt that Archie would never be the kind of officer to tell his men theirs is not to reason why. Nice to see that feeling validated!
Any Archie fan can't help but notice that Our Guy was woefully underrepresented in A&E's early Hornblower marketing efforts. The companion book The Making of Hornblower contains exactly one (1) picture of him while providing more images than is healthy for human sanity of the universally reviled Mariette. And on the video packaging, he appears in just one (1) tiny, tiny group shot -- on the back of the box and on the back of The Fire Ships tape, of all things. (To appreciate the irony of this, see the Archieological Episode Guide, under "Episode 2: The Fire Ships.") Not that I'm blaming A&E at all, of course. That The Sidekick would become such an integral part of the Hornblower phenomenon ... well, who'da thunk it?
But the times, they are a-changin' !
When A&E unveiled its packaging for HH2, I was pleased as punch to see in the lower right-hand corner on the front of the package a most impressive view of a quite nicely grown-up Archie! He's also on the side (upper right), although it may be a little hard to see:
What a difference two years makes ...
(These images are -- well, nicked. From the Signals online catalog. I'm trying
to feel guilty about this, but somehow I don't think Signals is suffering unduly...)
THE OFFICIAL SITES
A mere two days after this site was launched, A&E's partner Meridian Television updated their own Hornblower web site -- including adding synopses of the two new episodes. Originally the synopses contained major plot spoilers (they gave away just about everything except the location of the lost city of Atlantis), but after what I imagine must have been a storm of protest the content was made considerably more innocuous. The new site contained interesting behind-the-scenes info and interviews with the cast, including Jamie Bamber. However, this site has now been superseded by a completely Archie-excised version to publicize Hornblower 3. Grrr. Anyone still interested despite this revisionism can find the site here:
In late March 2001, A&E launched a new version of their Hornblower site, and it didn't disappoint. There was mucho information there, including a new interview with Jamie Bamber in which he was as perceptive and loquacious as ever. He appeared several times in the "Videos" section, and (although you had to get past a lot of other stuff first) in the "Photos" section. Of the latter, the "Actors" slide show was especially pleasant: there is simply no price to be placed on shots of Archie's alter ego clowning around on a Menorcan roof top, sleeping (!), cradling a most peculiar umbrella (?), and grinning his patented grin.
However, like Meridian, A&E has purged their site of all Archieness and replaced it with a new one to promote Hornblower 3:
Never fear: me being the weasel that I am, I have in anticipation of the HH3 purge copied and preserved both Jamie's 1999 and 2001 interviews here, and also this piece de resistance from the now-vanished HH2 site:
I'm just curious to know: WHO was holding the camera here?!
(This image nicked, obviously, from A&E.)
THE FOURTH ESTATE
By early April 2001, the media had gotten well and truly into the act. Writeups appeared in various publications and sites, the most impressive being a feature story in TV Guide. This article used to be online but now seems to have been wiped out of the TV Guide website. However, I've manage to salvage this picture of Archie:
Thank GOD he's not wearing that dorky hat! (More
to say about this in the HH2 episode guide...)
(Image filched from TV Guide. I seem to be getting quite brazen about this sort of thing!)