For my sins I watched that on C4 last night.
Here be spoilers if you haven’t seen it but then if you haven’t you ain’t missed much so I don’t care.
It was an amateurish production. My wife pointed out a major flaw. The bit where Harry is made to speak to camera by AQ has him say something like, “They tell me we must remove all troops from Afghanistan” whilst beards with big knives prowled. Not the AQ way. If they release propaganda videos of hostages the hostages at least are made to sound like it was their own invention. Harry is also not dressed in pilot gear but in infantry garb. Negotiations are also conducted via his mobile phone (which has the number of the embassy in Kabul). I would be surprised he’d be allowed to take it on missions. I was also staggered at it’s battery life and the fact it could get a signal in “restive” Helmand. I want that phone. I can’t get three weeks out of mine or even reception where I live in suburban Cheshire. It’s a wonder phone (there must be an app for that!). It also of course featured the discussions in COBRA (Cabinet Briefing Room A) and the only woman present (portraying the foreign sec) was the one who, due to her having a womb you understand, continually advocated a deal at any cost to, “Return the Queen’s grandson safe”. Yes, of course women and especially mothers are all like that. Margaret Thatcher was and she introduced our doctrine of paying ransoms and freeing murderous scrotes… Oh, wait! She didn’t did she? Quite the reverse. But then in media-land Margaret Thatcher isn’t really a woman for she lacks the “feminine” qualities that women ought to have.
But all of that is not the big point here. Before broadcast C4 had been hyping the show as “controversial” (which it wasn’t really) which shows how far C4 has slipped from it’s original mandate which was to be – I paraphrase – “a bit like BBC2 but less ‘stuffy’ and owned by ‘The Man’”. Well, this wasn’t a C4 disgrace in the sense that some of that network’s output is. Like many mongers of the “challenging” they do have a defective dictionary in which the definitions of “challenging” and “revolting” are transposed. Who indeed can forget the Jade Goody “kebab” incident? Call me “square” but I want a challenge to my intellect and not to the part of my nervous system that controls the destination of my stomach contents or indeed, at times, my very will to live.
I suppose Davina would call me to the diary room for such heresy.
Anyway, back to “The taking of Prince Harry”. Before the opening credits rolled the C4 announcer warned that it, “May concern scenes that some viewers might find disturbing.”
I didn’t find it disturbing. I wonder what Her Majesty thought? Or The Duke of Edinburgh, or Harry, or William, or Charles, or his uncle Andy (who of course flew ‘copters in wartime in the Falklands War).
If Prince Harry wants to go back to the ‘stan and qualifies as an Apache gunship pilot then fair play to him. I’d love to do it myself because the Apache Longbow is a mean machine (for a ‘copter) and the best CAS aircraft in theatre and the Taliban fear it more than they fear Allah Himself. You seen what that 30mm gun can do? It’s not pretty.
Disclaimer: I played Sid Meier’s “Gunship” to death on my Speccy. On tape!