Episode 6 - Operation Sparrowhawk 18 out of 50 recruits now remain, including a "new" character. Adam Collins is a former stuntman using the Royal Marines to further his stunt training... just watch for that fiasco.
This episode is officially titled 'Enemy Contact', but I prefer my title, Cheeky Bastards! This is the first episode where we see Afghanistan footage - we follow the Royal Marines (with an officer that we saw pass out in Episode 4, Bertie Kerr) as they go on a recon mission. It's about halfway through the training for troop 924, with 32 out of the original 50 already gone. Being an 'original' is a source of pride for Marines all the way through their careers and even the rest of their lives. My husband is an original, and still knows the names of the other originals and where they are and what they are doing today.
And also, I want you to remember... it's all about the Star Wars baby.
Tears & Fears In this episode we are introduced to a new character and hear his parents point of view. I do wish that the day in training, or week even, would be shown on the screen so I had a better knowledge of where they were in the 32 week process. Though I guess I could just go to their fancy new site pages about the training course...
For anyone that has been following the British Commando: On the Front Line series, and even if you haven't, this is a fascinating watch. Really it's like a bonus show! The55 Year Old Commando is the counterpart to the Commando: Onthe Front Line show in that it concentrates almost completely on Chris Terrill the (obviously) 55 year old filmmaker. Even more specifically it concentrates on the four famous Commando tests at the end of training which you have to pass to graduate. Terrill went through the whole 32 weeks of training (minus the shooting, which is a pity) to become an honorary Royal Marine Commando. He then followed the same troop when they were sent to Afghanistan straight out of training.
The guy deserves all the credit in the world for [don't hate me but] being his age and having this goal and really going for it. His mental toughness was definitely a huge asset, and certainly outweighed many of his age issues. But let's face it, the guy was already in shape! You get to know him much more, see some detail in the tests and hear more from the training team. It's especially sweet seeing him become so emotional about the green beret, and how he wishes he could go back to when he was younger and really become a Royal Marine Commando. There is a language warning.
It's that time again! This episode is labeled 'The Lost Patrol' and there is a bigger language warning thanks mostly to a special forces guy. I thought this episode was more fun to watch, the guys are shown joking around more, bonding. I so wish Royal was around because I know he would have so many great tidbits about the survival training!
1:44 ish - 'Oppo' is the military term for really good mate 3:30 ish - This does explain why Royal does not get all wussy at the thought of tampons. I hate guys that do that. I'll never forget the first time I came out to England to visit Royal after we met and stayed with his parents. He has a sister that's four years younger, so I guess she was about 15 then. She had not flushed the toilet after dealing with that issue and Royal had found it. He goes to the top of the stairs and yells in what I can only describe as a very mature adult way "Alex! Alex you left a mess in the bathroom go clean it up" And that was it, no whining, no complaining about 'women this and women that'. I love that man.
These cover weeks four to ten in three parts. I very much wish they were even more in depth. More impressed with this episode in terms of toughness - but less impressed with the caliber of men going through the training (though I am in no way an expert of that kind of thing). Have not heard from Royal in several days which is not unusual, but does mean that the notes below the videos are from just me and are either not technical or they are coming from my memory. Y'all enjoy!
1:49 ish - 'Crack on' is one of my favorite British/Marine terms, and one I hear all the time at home! It means just get on with it, tough through it. 2:44 ish - You can't help but notice the half-naked/naked ladies on the walls. Funny thing is, Royal had no naked ladies... just a poster of Arnold. Or Arnie as he fondly calls him. He once joked about placing that poster in our bedroom. Once.
Took me a bit to find it, but ain't that always the way. (Update - background posts with articles & sites: here and here) Lucky for you, kind reader, Royal and I watched it "together"* before he deployed and he gave me a few notes. These will be listed underneath the vids. There are five parts and do contain questionable language.
6:33 ish - Those nods (Marines-in-training) that do require a haircut had to pay for it on the spot 8:50 ish - When Royal was in training they did not receive those tracksuits, they walked around in civvys (civilian clothes) he's heard that the lads with the tracksuits have to give them back after the first two weeks.
1:02 ish - About this time and for the next three minutes all I heard was Royal mumbling about how "we never had any bloody quilts!!" Or duvets, or duvet covers. All he received was a couple of sheets, a pillow, a pillowcase, and two "itchy" blankets. 2:55 ish - The music playing for the next minute or so is 'A Life on the Ocean Wave', a very important song to the Royal Marines. Also the ringtone for Kath's mobile while she was in Britain. (Good Commando wife that I am!)
Just one here: 6:17 ish - Royal actually has a photoshopped version with all the lads that didn't make it through blacked out. Only ten men passed out (graduated) of Royal's troop.
No special notes for this segment
3:25 ish - The dreaded mud run. Usually only used if - like in the video - the guys are late or slacking in some other way. Royal's troop did not have to do a mud run until week 21 and even then it was not for any particular offence, just to "give the lads a good kick up the arse" in Royal's words. [Royal's mud run story here.] Royal was not impressed that the troop in the video had to go through one so early in training.
Altogether, Royal thought it showed as much as it could have within an hour. Mostly he thought it seemed soft and had no trouble laughing (a lot)at the Caribbean bloke that seemed to have so much ... to whine about. Royal unfortunately will not be able to see the rest of the episodes as he is deploying tomorrow. He's pretty bummed about that. But let's be honest, he's gonna go live the show! I will be hopefully finding 'Commando: On the Front Line' on you tube each week and posting. That's right, you can see them here. Or You Tube. But also here. HERE!
* By "together" I mean over the phone, saying one, two, three to start it at the same time and all that. Great fun.
** Update ** Thank you to Uncle Jimbo from Blackfive and Mrs. Greyhawk from Mudville for posting and for all the readers for visiting! Hope this series helps y'all understand the making of the Royal Marines that much more (hell, speaking of understanding the RMs, I'm still learning and I'm married to one of them!)