Onedin Line was fun to work on as, like Warship and Treasure
I had possibly a greater knowledge about things seafaring than some other
directors - Had some adventures making the episodes.
Did a diving sequence
and spent lots of time underwater directing it - some of the crew thought it was
the best place for me. Really enjoyed the boats and sailing sequences.
Such a professional cast and well established series for a director there was
little to do except it is always helpful on a production if you have some
specialised knowledge - sailing - scuba diving etc - a very young looking me in
the 'porthole' on the left clutching a script with Peter in a lifejacket!
Did a big pirate boat attacking sequence and on the
morning of the shoot lost all the 'pirate' extras who were to have been black
guys from the local US military base.... Nothing daunted (and with little
choice) I doubled the Onedin crew as pirates! Did all the shots of them
'blacked up' attacking James's lot.
Did singles of them fighting and dieing etc
then changed them back into their own costumes and had them defending.
Some confusion and worry reigned in case we got the continuity wrong and had the
same person fighting himself!
Peter is a charming man - really good to work
Never played the important actor. In fact he did not want or seek close
ups - he felt the audience saw almost too much of him so preferred not to
dominate every scene.
He was really not interested in boats or the sea
but that did not stop him from being prepared to do quite risky things whilst
We were filming in a gale once and I needed a shot of him climbing out
on the bow sprit - he and 'Baines' were meant to be sailing the ship home, with
just the two of them to crew it.
Peter went out on the bowsprit and furled the
sail - and it was rough and windy!
line was one of those shows that relied on it's leading man.
Like most truly
talented people he was modest and self effacing and was only interested in
making the production as good as possible.
'Onedin line' could not have existed
without Peter at the helm.
Peter and I discuss the script or more likely what we will have for dinner!