Coming Soon

This new, six-part observational documentary
series is filmed on board the strike carrier HMS
Illustrious during a four-month deployment. The
mission is fraught with danger, as the ship
journeys through the Strait of Gibraltar, onto
Malta, through the Suez canal, into the Middle
East and finally into the Indian Ocean.
The series documents the often perilous and
stressful professional lives of the crew as well as
the personal stories of the men and women –
some as young as 18 – who are thousands of
miles from home. Illustrious, nicknamed ‘Lusty’, is sailing with six Merlin helicopters that hunt out and destroy submarines. Also joining the ship in the Indian Ocean are four Harrier Jump Jets, whose crews are training on board the ship in preparation for the war in Afghanistan.
Among the many characters on board Illustrious are Captain Steve Chick, who has never commanded an aircraft carrier before, and 19-year-old twins Michael and Rachel Wright. Rachel is new to the Navy, so her brother will be showing her the ropes. But Rachel also has a soft spot for one of the engineers and their relationship blossoms over the course of the series, despite the constraints of the Navy’s strict ‘No Touching’ rule.
There is also a father-and-son pairing aboard, consisting of 46-year-old Kevin and 19-year-old Olly Stocker –who compete with each other to get fit. Then there is 20-year-old Jason Farnsworth, who joined to play for the football team. But Jason has drawn the short straw on this deployment, having been assigned a three-month stint in the ship’s rubbish dump.
In the first episode of the series, there is a catalogue of technical difficulties that delays deployment. Then, members of Lusty’s crew fail to make the grade during a test to see if they are battle-ready, meaning that Illustrious cannot leave British waters. Meanwhile, deep in the bowels of the ship, there are more problems brewing, which could threaten the entire deployment.

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