Special Sub-Topic: A&E's "Hornblower" - "The Fireship"
|What rank or position does Hornblower hold at the beginning of this episode?|
acting lieutenant. On an 18th century British Man-O-War, the midshipmen were considered "officers-in-training". When one showed enough promise that he might be considered for promotion to lieutenant, he first served as an "acting" lieutenant for a time, to show his mettle and determine his readiness for the lieutenant's exam.
To those that feel they got this wrong because of the British pronunciation of "leftenant", please be aware: Regardless of its pronunciation, the word is still spelled "lieutenant". This has to do with the actual meaning of the word. It is from the French, lieu, meaning a place or location, and tenant, meaning one who holds. In other words, a lieutenant is one who holds a position or territory under someone else's authority... he is acting in place (or in lieu) of his commander.
|What new enemy does England acquire as this episode unfolds?|
Spain. Although the Spanish were completely uninvolved at the start of the war with France, during this episode they officially "neutral". Contrary to what one would imagine, this is only a short distance from being at war with England, and indeed, the Spanish do open fire on the English fleet. The English port of Gibraltar, where the Indefatigable is headed, is literally surrounded by Spanish territory.
|While they lie at anchor during this episode, how many fireships do the British have sent in after them?|
2. Although the British pioneered the use of fireships against the Spanish Armada in 1588, the Spanish learn quickly. They send two against the British fleet during this episode; one that destroys the supply ship and one that Hornblower daringly boards and diverts.
|After 'Dreadnought' Foster's loss of a badly needed supply ship, Captain Pellew is forced to cut rations in half to make them last. Unfortunately, this leads to the death of one of Hornblower's men, from the ravages of scurvy. Which one?|
Finch. Poor old Finch. With too little food and poor health, he succumbs to scurvy and dies in his hammock. He had saved Horatio's life in the prior episode, and Hornblower was deeply saddened by his loss. However, seaman Bunting took the loss even harder...
|When Mr. Cleveland informs the singing crew that "Mr. Hornblower requests a little less gusto in the chorus, if you please", which man begins singing even louder?|
Bunting. Bunting believes that the cutting of rations is unfair, and is further distraught by Finch's death. He sings out even louder to what he sees as an injustice. As for the others... Oldroyd is too meek to do something like that, and he's loyal to Hornblower. Simpson is long dead by this time, and Mr. Hunter hasn't appeared on the ship yet.
|Hornblower and Mr. Tapling sail to Oran to purchase supplies for the fleet, but once there, they make a horrible discovery. What frightening thing do they find in Oran?|
plague & the plague & black death & the black death. The discovery shakes Mr. Tapling more than Hornblower, for he has seen the effects of the plague tearing through a fleet at anchor, and fears that they will never get the supplies now. Hornblower insists that there is something they can do about it.
|What is the name of the transport brig that Hornblower gains temporary command over?|
caroline & the caroline. Ever resourceful, Hornblower suggests that he and his men can load the supplies on the Caroline and serve their three weeks quarantine at sea, in the hopes that the fleet will still get their supplies.
|While collecting fresh water ashore, another British ship comes alongside Hornblower's command and recklessly appropriates some of the supplies. Who was in command of this ship?|
Captain Foster. The ship was the Dreadnought, commanded by Captain Foster. Captain 'Black Charlie' Hammond was captain of the Calypso, and sat in on Hornblower's examination for Lieutenant, and later on his court martial (in a future episode, and future quiz). Captain Sawyer is captain of the Renown, and doesn't appear in Hornblower's life until much later. Captain Keene was the captain of the Justinian, Hornblower's first ship, and died in the last episode.
Trivia note: Denis Lawson, who played Captain Foster, also appeared in the original "Star Wars" trilogy as Wedge Antilles, the only other X-Wing pilot besides Luke to survive all three movies!
|While waiting for his Lieutenant's Examination, Hornblower enjoyed (suffered?) the company of several other hopefuls. The first to be tested had failed, and told the rest about his test. What was the first thing that unlucky midshipman had been asked to define?|
a rhumb line & rhumb line. A rhumb line is a line on a chart that always maintains the same angle with respect to north. It passes through every median at the same angle... it allows a navigator to plot bearing without constantly having to refer back to a compass rose. On a flat chart, a rhumb line looks like a perfectly straight line. On a globe, it is actually a gradual curve.
|Albeit narrowly, Hornblower successfully passed his Lieutenant's Examination in this episode.|
f. In fact, he performed horribly. His very first question caused him to stammer about searching for the answer... it was only the warning rocket and approaching fireship that prematurely ended the examination. Hornblower ends this episode with the same rank he started... "Acting" Lieutenant.
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