If you thought life in the early Royal Navy was nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash - think again!
The Hornblower TV series, produced for ITV between 1998 and 2003, proves that while there was obviously the need to thrash the occasional blaggard, and a tot of rum never hurt anyone, the lot of a Midshipman was mostly about derring do and giving it to Frenchie where it hurts!
Some might say that good old Horatio Hornblower (played splendidly by the Fantastic Four's Ioan Gruffudd) is insufferably upright and moral, but don't let such talk put you off - Hornblower is simply a man of unimpeachable honour.
This series has production values second to none, especially when it comes to the spectacular tall ships, and was reputably so expensive that it's no longer economical to make!
With a truly amazing ships, decent acting and lashings of Boy's Own fun, Hornblower is the thinking man's Sharpe!