THE WRONG WAR
(AKA: THE FROGS AND THE LOBSTERS)
Don't make me come over there!
I should start by assuring you: I like The Wrong War. I really like it. It is perhaps the "heaviest" of all the first series episodes, thematically speaking. It explores contemporary issues like sacrificing lives in a very murky and ideologically dubious war, interference in the affairs of other nations, fifth columns, etc. It raises timeless questions such as the conflict between duty and conscience, divided loyalties, what constitutes true courage, and so on.
This episode also features the most battle action thus far, and more humor than we've seen in quite some time. It introduces us to Major "My Lord" Edrington -- who, if they gave Emmys for Cool, would have won in 1999, hands down. Horatio does some painful growing up.
Archie continues his own personal journey, still occasionally stumbling, but ultimately heading in the right direction. In fact, he even proves himself capable of his own kind of heroism.
In short, The Wrong War contains an embarrassment of riches. Except ... it also contains an embarrassment of another kind.
Mariette. The Frogette. By all rights, she should have clicked: lovers on opposite sides have made for compelling drama at least since Romeo and Juliet. But no. Portrayed (to be charitable) by an ex-model with a monotone voice and an unchanging, dully surprised facial expression, who can't even cry convincingly, who can't even manage a complex line like "Horatio!" (or, in her inimitable pronunciation, "Howe-WAY-sho!") without cue cards ...
No. Just no. Fast forward buttons were made for this.
AN EXTREMELY LONG SUMMARY
This episode almost defies even a lengthy summarization, because there is so much jumping back and forth between brief little scenes. However, I shall do my best.
Some nasty guys stalk a lieutenant. Captain Pellew tolerates the presence of Admiral Lord Hood, who comes across as a sort of mutant offspring of Colonel Bogey and serial murderer John Christie. Horatio makes the momentous decision to forgo silver buckles on the shoes of his new lieutenant's uniform. Lord Hood informs Pellew that Britain is going to help a French general named Charette lead a Royalist army back to France to restore the monarchy. The nasty guys attack the lieutenant and steal the plans for the French invasion from him. The dying lieutenant staggers into the Admiralty. Lord Hood announces with impeccable logic that even though the plans have been stolen they're going to go ahead with the invasion anyway.
I believe that covers the first five minutes.
Horatio and a perturbed Pellew head back to the Indy, where the normally sane Lt. Bracegirdle tries the old "there's-a-splash-of-mud-on-your-jacket" number (you know) with Horatio's new uniform. Indeed, Horatio's new uniform comes in for quite a bit of mickey-taking, and its next tormentor is -- Archie!!
Horatio goes down to the wardroom to fetch the Indy's senior officers for a meeting called by Pellew. Archie is among them, looking and sounding perkier than we've seen him since his "we few, we fortunate few" speech way back in The Duel. "What is this?" he says now. "Gentlemen, it appears we have a stranger in our midst. No, no -- it's Lieutenant Hornblower! From top to toe a new man!" Amidst the general hilarity we learn that Archie himself has been promoted to Acting Lieutenant.
Unfortunately for Archie, even being an acting lieutenant doesn't stop Pellew from biting his head off during the meeting. Pellew explains that four British ships, including the Indy, will be transporting General Charette and his Royalist Frog army to France. To which Archie (quite reasonably, to my mind) asks, "An invasion, sir?" Wrong question! "Mr. Kennedy!" Pellew barks, "Four ships can hardly constitute an invasion!!!!" Well, excuse me. The only consolation for Archie is that Pellew is chewing out everybody (and the scenery isn't altogether safe, either). It would seem that he has more misgivings about this mission than he's letting on ...
Next we see Horatio, Archie, Styles, Matthews, Oldroyd, and some other seamen loading things on to boats. Drums sound: the Royalist army ("Frogs!" Styles exclaims indignantly) has arrived, along with its two leaders. One is General Charette, who evidently hasn't bathed since the storming of the Bastille as some sort of mark of respect for his dead sovereign. The other is the Marquis de Moncoutant, who is the closest thing to a villain this episode provides. Well, he tries hard: it's certainly not for a lack of eye-bulging, leering, guillotining, and chauvinistic-pigging on his part that he just can't cut it. Definitely no Jack Simpson. (But then, who is?)
"What do you make of them, Horatio?" Archie asks as they watch the Frogs attempting to muster into ranks. "They seem a little disorderly," Horatio waffles. "The word 'shambles' might be more appropriate," Archie replies. Oh, yes, he is in fine form here!
Then a jaunty march sounds: the British infantry ("Look out for the Lobsters!" Oldroyd helpfully heralds) has arrived, along with its leader. This is Major Edrington, a kew-el cucumber if ever there was one, a man who would never say simply "yes" or "no" when a little smirk or sarcastic remark would do just as well. Indeed, he is perhaps the only character in the series who can match Archie in terms of quirky humor.
Archie must recognize a kindred spirit, for he immediately comments, "Your men look very fine, Major. Almost too good for battle." But Major Edrington immediately "ups" him: "Really. I have always found that the more able the officer, the better turned out the men." A perfectly timed pause as the camera cuts to the disheveled seamen. Then, "At least in the army." Horatio, presumably wanting to avoid getting scorched by any resultant flying sparks, tells the Major that all is ready to transport his men to the Indy. "By the by," says (or rather, smirks) the Major, "it might be better if you were to address me as 'My Lord.' I am in fact the Earl of Edrington."
"You see, Horatio?" says Archie. "Had you been rich enough to buy a commission as well as a new uniform, you could have joined the army instead." So at least Archie manages to get the last word! Too bad Edrington has already left ...
Then we have a very long Archieless spell, the most important developments being: 1) it turns out that Moncoutant is taking a guillotine with him to France (one of his "villain props" -- hey, Jack Simpson didn't need any props ...); 2) the plan is for General Charette to land at Quiberon Bay and lead his Frog army on a triumphant march to Paris, while Moncoutant holds the bridge at the village of Muzillac to prevent Republican artillery from attacking Charette; 3) Moncoutant and Edrington do not like each other; 4) Pellew has yet more misgivings about the mission which he tries to impart to a heedlessly gung-ho Horatio; and 5) -- by far the most important -- Styles tries desperately to prevent a Royalist Frog from making off with one of the ship's chickens. "Put the chicken back, Styles," Horatio says wearily. (Are we to take it that this is a fairly common occurrence?)
We finally see Archie again when the Lobsters and some of the Frogs disembark on the beach at Muzillac. The Indy sails off to take Charette to Quiberon Bay, but let's stay here for a bit: Archie is rigged out in what appears to be the 18th century equivalent of cowboy duds, and he's rarin' to go! When Horatio asks him how it feels to be back on this side of the Channel, Archie replies, "Better with a pistol and cannon to hand." Whoa! And he's all business, too, pointing out that they will need transport for their cannon and gunpowder. Edrington and Moncoutant have another argument, but Moncoutant finally unveils the "transport" -- a dung cart.
The "dung cart" scene may do nothing to advance the plot, but it is so utterly charming on all levels that I feel the need to dwell on it at length. Styles and Oldroyd get the lucky job of removing the cart's, er, cargo, accompanied by vigorous complaints from Styles. Archie, very much the Acting Lieutenant, orders, "Styles, let's have less griping!" -- and at that precise moment (entirely unintentionally, of course) Styles heaves a pitchfork full of "stuff" onto Archie's wonderful cowboy boots. But Archie shows he's a patient and tolerant sort of officer: just a few discreet brushes, a little grin, and "Just be glad you're not carrying those cannons all the way to the village." Then Horatio happens by, and Archie utters one of his best lines, still grinning: "From Acting Lieutenant to commander of a dung cart in no more than a step. My career is looking up!"
But wait, there's more! The delights of the dung cart scene are far from exhausted, for who should arrive next but Major Edrington! "Mr. Hornblower," says he, "As you and I are the senior British officers, I think we should advance together." Which is all very fine in theory, but then Horatio gets a look at his own "transport" -- a ... horse. Horatio's very obvious discomfort at the prospect is not missed for a moment by Edrington, who smirks, "Come, sir! Unless you prefer the dung cart." Horatio looks to Archie for moral support. Archie is still grinning, and although he has no dialogue his expression says it all: you're on your own, pal! Horatio gingerly approaches the beast and makes a fool of himself hopping about on one foot like one of Monty Python's silly walks. Another perfectly quirky comment from the Major: "I see now why you chose the navy."
Ah, the dung cart scene. I could watch it forever. And cripes, the flippin' horse has more charisma than Mariette ...
Sorry! Back to the story. The Indy arrives at Quiberon Bay, and General Charette's Frogs set off on their triumphal march to Paris. Even though they're heading to Paris, the Indy is supposed to wait in the bay. Well, it's not like she's got anything better to do, right? Oh, and the other three British ships are supposed to leave. Well, it's not like they've got anything better to do, right? Pellew thinks there's something rotten in the state of France, and it's not just Charette's unwashed uniform. He (Pellew) orders his sailing master, Mr. Bowles, to accompany Charette and send back regular reports on their progress.
Back at Muzillac, Horatio and friends arrive at the bridge they are supposed to defend from Republican artillery. Archie and the men are told to stay at the bridge while Horatio, Edrington, and Moncoutant head for the village at Muzillac. "Aye aye, Mr. Hornblower!" Archie says brightly. Ah, all is bliss ...
In the village, Moncoutant bulges his eyes at the state of his ancestral home, which frankly looks like a post-Keith Moon hotel room. Those uppity Republicans have dared to use his furniture for firewood, put his paintings in a closet, and even -- gasp! -- let a chicken run loose! (What would Styles say?) Moncoutant does some more eye bulging and ranting and shoots the village's Republican mayor. Maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but I can't help suspecting that this may have something to do with why the villagers don't seem particularly pleased to see him again. They start singing the Marseilles, and his eyes bulge. He comes near to shooting a singing child, who is being unsuccessfully restrained by a young woman. This is (ugh) Mariette.
Incidentally, whenever we see Mariette she is usually holding a child, picking up a child, carrying a child, or putting down a child. Apparently this is our tip-off that she is supposed to be a sympathetic character. I mean, how else would we know?
In any case, Horatio falls in lust at first sight and successfully intervenes with Moncoutant. The Marquis doesn't shoot the kid, but he gets in one more eye bulge and stomps back into his house. Sorry, Moncoutant, but even with your fake beauty mark you're no Jack Simpson.
From this point on, we are basically following several different story lines -- and I can see I'm going to be here until Memorial Day if I try to account for every scene. So ... this being a site devoted to Archie, I'm just going to provide brief synopses of those story lines and then give the Archie scenes the full treatment they deserve.
One story line concerns the Indy: while agonizing with Bracegirdle over the fate of Charette and the men at Muzillac, Pellew gradually deduces that the Admiralty fully expected the mission to fail. The reports from Bowles cease and no further trace of Charette's army can be found. Pellew decides to disobey his orders and race back to Muzillac to rescue the others, but the wind dies and they are "as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean," Pellew growls (in what I think may be a tiny bit of an anachronism). Anyway, he resorts to having the Indy towed by rowboats.
Meanwhile another story concerns Charette's army: they land, are triumphantly welcomed by as many as three peasants, and make camp. Then they're slaughtered by ... Republican artillery! Hey -- isn't that why Horatio and the guys are at Muzillac, to prevent the artillery from reaching Quiberon? Well ... yeah. But we'll learn more about that later. Anyway, Charette dies nobly, and Bowles escapes by killing a Frog and donning his uniform. Luckily they're the same size, which -- if you've seen Mr. Bowles -- must count as a fortune of war, indeed.
Then there's Horatio, who periodically does the rounds in and about Muzillac. He pops by Edrington's camp, from where His Lordship quirkily maintains that his "mama could beat them off with her parasol." He drops in on Moncoutant, who does more eye-bulging and guillotining but still is no Jack Simpson. He sympathizes with Mariette, who has been put to work waiting at Moncoutant's table. She declares that she is not an animal. (I was going to make a crack about her auditioning for the role of the Elephant Man without requiring special prosthetic makeup, but that's too mean even for me.) With a single painted-on tear she gets Horatio to spill the beans about his mission in the space of approximately ten seconds, and then they (ugh) kiss. What I want to know is, did Ioan Gruffudd (who plays Horatio) get incentive pay for this scene? Egad, I hope so. Anyway, Horatio also occasionally remembers that Archie and the men are at the bridge and sometimes puts in an appearance there, too.
OK, got all that? Good, because now we're moving on to the important stuff: Archie's scenes.
* The bridge is to be held at all costs, and the men rig it with casks of gunpowder. Matthews points out that from their position they'll never be able to get back to the beach if the bridge is destroyed. Archie, his earlier good spirits evaporating quickly, has noticed this technical difficulty as well: "Matthews is right, Horatio. If we have to blow the bridge, we will be cut off." "I know," Horatio answers usefully. Archie says, "A fine thing to die in someone else's war." A very prescient observation on Archie's part -- and what does he get for it? Why, a rather impatient and disgusted look from his good buddy Horatio, who stalks off in something very much like a hissy fit! It is to Archie's eternal credit that he never once says "I told you so ..."
* Later that evening, while Horatio is off at the village attempting to decipher Mariette's pronunciation, Archie stands meditatively on the bridge. Matthews asks if everything is all right. "Fine," he replies a little too earnestly. "Fine; thank you, Matthews." He looks very much like he's falling into one of those lost-in-thought-trances we remember from The Duel, which is not a good sign ...
* The next morning, unseen Republican Frogs launch a surprise sniper attack on the bridge. Archie is everywhere at once, yelling "Fiyah!" and "Do as I tell you!" -- but, however panicky, not having a fit. Horatio arrives just in time from an evening with Mariette (no, it's not what you -- and Major Edrington -- think) and tries to get a coherent report from Archie. Major Edrington, cool as a meat locker, defuses the situation with an authoritative and decidedly non-quirky, "Cease fire." No actual attempt has been made upon the bridge; the most serious blow has been to Archie's self-esteem. Edrington and Horatio puzzle over the lack of Republican artillery ...
* A little later, Horatio decides it's time he must be going and leaves Archie in charge at the bridge once more. "Horatio," Archie says in a slightly wobbly voice, "when they started shooting, I panicked. I knew I was doing it, but I couldn't stop myself. It was the suddenness of it, you see -- " Horatio, still rather impatient, cuts him off: "I think it was the same for all of us, Ah-chie!" But Archie feels he's failed a test of character: "An officer, even an acting lieutenant, has no business to panic." Horatio reassures him with some unintentionally laughable platitudes, culminating with the patently absurd "You have nothing to fear from the enemy." But Archie's no dope, and he immediately spots the fallacy of that argument: "They mean to kill us, Horatio!" Nevertheless, Horatio's heroic illogic eventually gets Archie to calm down a bit, and at last Horatio is free to do his rounds yet again.
* While everyone else gets to have various kinds of fun, Archie and the men endure further sniping from the unseen Republican Frogs. Oldroyd carries on a bit until one of his pals gets shot right in front of him. "Fire, but don't waste the powder!" Archie orders. Then he pauses to look at the dead guy, his face managing to convey regret and resignation even in profile. Too bad Horatio's not around. What was he saying about nothing to fear from the enemy?
* More sniping, more carrying on by Oldroyd -- who is immediately hauled back down to safety by Archie. "Keep your head or you will lose it!" he shouts. "Is that understood? Do you understand, Oldroyd?" Oldroyd nods, rather abashed. It's a feeling Archie can certainly identify with, and he has the sensitivity to add something no one told him after his own panic attack: "Good man."
* While doing his usual rounds, Horatio finds some wrecked cannon and an artillery cap. This leads to an argument with Mariette (even her anger is monotonous) until she finally reveals that -- surprise! The Republican artillery had already passed through Muzillac three days earlier. Horatio and the Royalist Frogs prepare to defend the village, while Edrington orders a retreat to the other side of the bridge. There is no sarcastic battle of wills anymore; Archie has clearly come to respect Edrington's authority and competence. "At once, My Lord," he says. Then, "What of Mr. Hornblower, My Lord?" Edrington says they'll give Horatio as long as they can.
* Archie orders Matthews, Styles, and Oldroyd to spike the cannon. They ask what will happen if the Frogs attack the bridge. "You heard the Major," Archie replies calmly. "We blow it up." And then what, Styles wants to know. "Then, Styles, we withdraw to the beach and -- " a slight, thoughtful pause -- "we hope for the best." A fine thing to die in someone else's war ...
* Edrington orders Archie to lay the fuse and light it. There is still no sign of Horatio. Archie takes a loooooong time to carry out these orders, with many anxious glances across the bridge. Still no Horatio. Edrington does not seem to be insensible to Archie's dilemma, for he suggests that no doubt Horatio will find some way to surprise them. "Aye, sir," Archie chokes, "if he's alive."
* Unbeknownst to Archie, Muzillac has been overrun by Republican Frogs. They guillotine Moncoutant, who even in death manages to bulge his eyes and majorly slice the ham -- and yet he's still no Jack Simpson. Back at the bridge, Archie hesitates so much at lighting the fuse that Matthews does it for him. Back at the village, Horatio and Mariette escape by jumping out of a window. Predictably Mariette hurts her ankle, but instead of sensibly throwing her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, Horatio supports her as she hops along (she can't even do that convincingly). The Republican Frogs are right behind them, the fuse on the bridge is burning fast -- and at that moment Archie catches sight of them.
"Hold your fire!" he yells to the Lobsters. Too bad the Frogs weren't listening as well, 'cause they shoot ol' Mariette in the back. Wait a minute -- did I say "too bad" ? I should be saying our long nightmare is over! Alas, Horatio doesn't see it that way and he does a Marlon Brando number over her dead body (she can, at least, do that convincingly). Archie runs across the bridge and, although clearly terrified himself, manages to convey a quiet but urgent message to his stricken friend: "It's no good, Horatio, she's gone. Come on. Come on." Horatio hears and heeds, and they run back across the bridge just as it blows. Interestingly, Edrington directs his next orders to Archie rather than to the senior officer Horatio: they are to withdraw to the beach. "Aye, My Lord," Archie replies almost automatically: in spite of everything, he's on his way to becoming a true officer. Then Edrington adds, "Mr. Kennedy." Archie turns to him. Edrington indicates the grief-stricken Horatio and without a trace of a smirk commands, "Just look after him." Despite initial appearances, our Cool Major is also a compassionate soul. As the retreat begins, Archie immediately starts to follow his orders: "Come, Horatio. You did all you could."
* On the beach. The empty beach. Miles from nowhere, not a soul in sight. (Sorry; this is a Cat Stevens fan doing the summarizing here.) "That's lovely!" Styles gripes. "Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea!" Oldroyd adds, in one of his few intelligent utterances in the entire series. "I believe our old friends are upon us," Edrington remarks, which is his cool way of announcing that the Republican Frogs are advancing on them -- and with the sea at their backs, there's nowhere to go. Suddenly Mr. Bowles arrives in his Frog uniform -- and is nearly shot dead by Styles until Oldroyd (who is really on a roll now) admonishes, "That frog is a good frog!" Amidst the cheers of the men, Archie exclaims, "Mr. Bowles!" Which, sad to say, is his last spoken line in the episode -- and, by extension, the first series.
The Frogs continue to advance. Edrington orders his Lobsters to fire, but their shots seem to pack far more punch than they should. The men look about in confusion. Oldroyd (who really is on a roll!) spots the source of the blast: "It's the Indy!" Remember that bit about Pellew having the ship pulled by rowboats? Well, here he is! A few more blasts from the Indy's cannons, and the Frogs leap away. "I think we are well done with this place," Edrington observes, cool to the last. "Aye, My Lord," a heartbroken Horatio says, "well done, indeed."
* Back on the Indy, Pellew at once orders Horatio to his cabin for a report. Archie, adapting well to his unaccustomed role of the Strong One, gives him a quiet look of moral support and a small but reassuring smile. Horatio, the same guy who had earlier assured Pellew that "we have God on our side" now blubbers about the senselessness and death and waste of the mission. A fine thing to die in someone else's war ... Pellew points out that Horatio is making a mess of his new "un-ee-form" and then counsels that theirs is a life of adventure and adversity, and above all of duty. Which is all very well, but a Kleenex might come in handy too.
Then the final scene: a really glorious shot of Horatio and Archie on top of one mast, and "The Three" (Styles, Matthews, Oldroyd) on the top of the mast behind it. (OK, so I don't know the names of the masts. So sue me.) Horatio finally proves that he can smile as well as Archie when he puts his mind to it, and the Indy sails off into the horizon. At last, the end.
I've got blisters on my fingers!
ARCHIE BY THE NUMBERS
Scenes: 20 of 98 (a little misleading: many brief scenes and much cutting back and forth between three different story lines in this one)
Smartass remarks: 5
Nose scrunches: 8
Lip licks: 4
Loose hair scenes: 0
Lost-in-thought trances: 2
Times Horatio says "Ah-chie": 6
Noble friendship gestures: 3
(NOTE: for particulars, see the Observations pages.)
(?) UNSOLVED MYSTERIES
* How can a French actress have such an atrocious French accent?
* Why doesn't Horatio carry the injured Mariette, who must weigh about sixteen ounces with rocks in her shoes? He managed to lug Archie to the infirmary in Episode 3!
NOTE 7/4/01: On the other hand, if Horatio had carried Mariette the Frogs wouldn't have been able to shoot her in the back. So I guess we should be grateful things turned out as they did!
(Thanks to Jan W. for pointing this out!)
NOTE 7/16/01: Come to think of it, maybe Horatio permanently wrecked his back because of his exertions in Episode 3. Still no quarrel with the final result, though.
(Thanks to Jen for the suggestion!)
* How does the Indy always appear at exactly the right place and the right time?
* So, the penultimate "adventure and adversity" scene -- is Horatio dribbling mucous in front of Captain Pellew, or isn't he? Feelings run high on this issue. All I'm going to say is: as far as I'm concerned, if it looks like snot, runs like snot, and quacks like snot, it's snot.
* What the HELL does Horatio see in Mariette?
* Is there ANYONE who actually likes Mariette?
* The friendship of Archie and Horatio took a complicated turn in The Duchess and The Devil, but in The Wrong War it comes full circle. If we recall the two way back in The Duel, Archie was then rather giddy and gung-ho, while Horatio was more reflective. But during the course of this episode, they almost appear to have traded personalities. Horatio believes God is on their side and makes little attempt to hide his impatience with Archie's misgivings. Archie, although he's got his sense of humor back, perceives very quickly that the whole Muzillac/Quiberon Bay mission is a disaster waiting to happen. These personality changes are not arbitrary; they are a natural progression. His prison experiences have taught Archie more than he could ever want to know about futility, while Horatio's seemingly endless run of good luck would almost inevitably foster a sense of misleading optimism. Horatio was able to pull Archie out of his despair in The Duchess and The Devil. One leaves The Wrong War with the impression that Archie will now be able to return the favor in full.
Of course, there's one other rather huge favor Archie returns in this episode. Horatio had saved his life; here Archie repays that debt. He might not go about it as methodically as Horatio would, but the end result is the same. Further comment on this would be superfluous.
* Major Edrington, despite his limited role, has captured many a viewer's imagination. It is a tribute to him that he's almost enough to compensate for Mariette and Moncoutant combined.
* The line "Put the chicken back, Styles" has led to much viewer speculation as to why Styles seems so protective of the ship's fowl population.
* Although Quiberon Bay was the site of an actual (and unsuccessful) French Royalist invasion in July of 1795, its depiction in this episode suggests parallels with Vietnam. And perhaps that is why Archie's doubts and fears resonate: they're not cowardice, and really they're not just panicking either. They are a very realistic assessment of a hopeless situation. Of course, one can argue that this doesn't make for inspiring leadership -- that's Horatio's department. But it's no crime for an officer to be careful with his men's lives, and I can see Archie growing into the sort of officer that would always put that consideration first. Maybe he's not destined for greatness, but he and his men probably won't go down in flames either. I can imagine Archie as an old man some 50+ years later, shaking his head over "The Charge of the Light Brigade." I can't imagine him ever telling his men that theirs is not to reason why.
* If I recall correctly, the actual "commander of a dung cart" in the book was Bracegirdle -- an image which does not even bear contemplating ...
* If I mention Mariette one more time, I'm gonna throw up.
* This is probably the episode where Archie undergoes the most personal growth -- yet he looks about twelve years old in almost every one of his scenes! (Must have something to do with being outdoors.) Although I think he looks his best in The Duel, the Archie-on-the-bridge advocates have made a powerful case for their preference ...
Speaking of which, Archie's "land" uniform has attracted quite a bit of attention, mostly on account of the trousers and the boots. But what most charms me is the hat: a sort of quasi-tophatty-type-thingee which we've seen Horatio wearing in earlier episodes but without quite the same effect. On Archie, the hat looks ... jaunty. As I said in the summary, like a cowboy. I am very partial to cowboys (the Dallas variety, at any rate). Very fine, indeed.
* The final shot of the guys on the masts even sets the heart o' this determined landlubber racing. I can think of few more inspirational images in a television film. Again, having said that, there seems to be nothing left to add.