Britain’s Biggest warship
HMS Queen Elizabeth (right) is the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, and the bare facts of its size alone make it a worthy star of this three-part series following the introduction into service of Britain’s new aircraft carrier. But the 65,000ton vessel that’s longer than the Houses of Parliament and taller than Nelson’s Column would be nothing without its crew.
How the 700 men and women on board fare as the ship goes to sea is the central subject for the BBC crew who’ve filmed them for two years. A quarter of the sailors have no previous seagoing experience, and to add to the challenge they’ll be operating under conditions of ‘lean manning’ – a euphemism for replacing personnel with automation in the cash-strapped Navy.
In the opening episode we see the ship coming to life before it leaves dock for the first time under Captain Jerry Kyd. It’s an immensely stirring moment whatever the future holds.