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The Adventures of Horatio Hornblower: Quick Radio Guide

Updated on September 06, 2010

Quick Guide to Horatio Hornblower : The Radio Series

Horatio Hornblower was a 1952-53 syndicated Radio Serial starring Michael Redgraves as "That indomitable man of the sea", Horatio Hornblower. The series was based on C.S. Forester's novels and like the novels, were shown out of chronological order. The consequence of this is that we see the episode featuring the death of Hornblower's old friend Captain Bush before we actually meet Captain Bush.

This is a pity as the episodes set earlier in Hornblower's career help establish a likability for the character that doesn't exist when we first meet him as he's parlaying with a Latin American Man who has declared himself god and with whom he's been ordered to form an alliance. Much more likable are young Horatio's Adventures as a young Lieutenant struggling to find his way, and the amazing adventures he has serving on and commanding a variety of vessels with variable sea worthiness.

The stories of Horatio Hornblower have been cited as a source for Star Trek and there are many similarities as Hornblower, like Kirk has to represent his government with little or no guidance, and occasionally outdated guidance. Unlike Kirk, even as he garners more accolades, Hornblower remains somewhat unsure of himself and awkward in a way that gives the character a measure of humility.

If you can wrap your mind around the show's timeline (or lack thereof), Horatio's self-doubts and occasional moral failings, then this is a fine adventure on the high seas. The show's 52 Episodes were made as a syndicated set. Each episodes runs about 20-23 minutes with the remaining time left for local commercial inserts. 

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