Review: Royal Navy School | Virgin Media
Review: Royal Navy School

Review: Royal Navy SchoolAired Monday 8th February at 9pm on Channel 4 (CH 104) | Rating ★★★☆☆

09/02/2016TV

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How does one NOT address a senior officer in the Navy? By saying “Cheers Chief!” And that was just one of the invaluable insights provided in this documentary series about life and service on the high seas.

In a nutshell

It’s always strangely engrossing to get a glimpse of someone else having a really, really hard time. It’s a bit like hearing the rain hammer down on the windows while you’re curled up inside with a cup of warm tea in hand. The perverse pleasure lies in the contrast between your good fortune (inside, cosy) and everyone’s else’s bad (outside, bedraggled). It’s why the first half of Full Metal Jacket is so entertaining. And it’s why Royal Navy School is too.

You just can’t help but want to grab the proverbial popcorn and munch away, enthralled, as young recruits have a really, really bad time of it. One of them, a teenager called Harland, was quickly rendered weary by the whole ordeal of training, missing his home and not quite getting the lingo right. To be fair, it WAS the very beginning of the Royal Navy process, so things were bound to be tough. But at least an older guy called Craig relished the chance to begin his life again, and officers seemed to agree.

What's the verdict

Showing us a very different side to idyllic Cornwall, this is a fascinating look at how the Navy identifies people with the “right stuff”. And it makes the rest of us very glad we can just stay on our backsides and watch from the sidelines. 

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