Britain’s Biggest Warship: Series 1
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest and most advanced warship ever constructed in Britain. As she embarks on gruelling sea trials we see ship and crew pushed to breaking point. With unprecedented access, this series – three years in the making – tells the behind-the-scenes story of what makes HMS Queen Elizabeth so unique and how her crew are working together to breathe life into Britain’s biggest warship.
Part 1: Crewing Up
In this first episode, Film-maker Chris Terrill captures an intimate and personal portrait of life on board ultra-modern super aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, as its crew learns the intricacies of a warship that will change the way Britain goes to war. In this first instalment, early 2016 sees sailors begin to arrive in Rosyth dockyard in Scotland where the ship is still in construction, but nearing completion. Captain Jerry Kyd and his 700 sailors are assembling to take the prototype warship to sea for the first time. These trials herald what should be 50 years of service.
Part 2: In at the Deep End
HMS Queen Elizabeth goes on dangerous sea trials for the first time in the North Sea, where every part of the vessel is put to the test and the first aircraft lands on the deck. After a few days at sea, the first problems start to emerge, including an explosion, a dangerous fuel leak, and some strange noises. Meanwhile, a crew member reveals how the Navy helped him make a fresh start from a life of crime, and the ship’s Muslim chef works out how to cook pork without offending his religion.
Part 3: Out with the Old in with the New
HMS Queen Elizabeth approaches the climax of her sea trials in the North Sea. The automatic flight deck fire-fighting system is a major innovation on board but must now be tested for the first time. The new super carrier makes a special and poignant visit to Scapa Flow in the Orkneys to mark an astonishing naval centenary – it is 100 years to the day that an aircraft was successfully landed on a moving vessel but with ultimately tragic consequences. The Queen Elizabeth then moves at full speed to rendezvous with American carrier USS George Bush and a major battle group of international warships.