Bluestone 42 BBC 3 TV Series

Let's be honest, the RLC doesn't have the world's greatest reputation on either these forums or more widely. Whilst the work they do is, in reality, pretty important there isn't very much glory in being a chef, stores specialist, driver or even pioneer (until they were disbanded in 2010). Certainly 'Bravo-G1033' and 'Apache-Brunch' have failed to reach the bookshelves of any shops near me!

What they do however have is Ammunition Technical specialists, those incredibly brave individuals who are responsible for the vast* majority of the 'bomb disposal' effort in theatre. Along with medics and even the humble infanteer, they're one of the group of people I consider to be the real heroes of Afghanistan. High casualties levels, lots of guys missing limbs and near-routine appearances in the gallantry lists provide ample testimony to this. Possibly not something you'd instinctively think as natural material for a comedy though?

Bluestone 42.jpg

You could argue that neither are a field hospital in Korea or the trenches of World War One yet MASH and Blackadder series 4 remain some of my favourite comedy programmes. Kudos to the BBC then for persevering in the face of the Daily Mail outrage bus and taking the risky decision to base a comedy series on guys involved in the counter IED effort in Afghanistan. The series will be arriving on BBC 3 in March and follows a six man Counter-IED as they get on with the daily grind of surviving the conditions, fighting the enemy, avoiding the chain of command and trying to get into the Padre's knickers. Yes, I did say the Padre's knickers but more of that later.

Along with a small select gang of other ARRSErs I've watched two of the eight episodes of "Bluestone 42" and overall we've been pretty impressed. First and foremost it was funny, but I was also surprised that a writing team that credits 'Miranda' and 'Secret Diary of a Call Girl' amongst its credits was able to so accurately convey the banter that exists in small close knit military teams. Perhaps they enjoyed the freedom and, at the press screening, they certainly talked about the joys of releasing their inner squaddie!

Despite being filmed in South Africa and lacking any support from the MoD, the set looks pretty good with most things having an air of authenticity about them. Leaving aside some questionable tactics and a few discrepancies with uniforms, the characters also mainly behave in what seems to be a realistic manner. Certainly I doubt the general population will pick up the padre (Major) saluting the ATO (Capt) whilst not wearing headress.

Although clearly she's in there as the love interest, the one element that seems out of place to me is the female padre. Whilst I'm told that there are two in the forces, I've certainly never met one and I strongly doubt that either of them is as stunning as Kelly Adams - best known for playing Emma Kennedy in the BBC 1 Series Hustle. Having said that I certainly think that this is a cleary an angle that would probably work very well for the RAChD and one I think they should seriously consider. The bottom line is that this isn't a documentary, the character works really well and she's a babe so I'll stop being pedantic!

I really enjoyed the episodes of Bluestone 42 that I watched. It's pretty funny, contains characters we'll all recognise (less the padre) from our time in green and does a good job of presenting the human face of the military machine to the general public. What must be really galling for the RLC though is that Bluestone 42 are not shown as being part of them. Instead they are actually shown as members of an entirely fictitious regiment! I guess they'll just have to go back to hoping that a publisher picks up Stacker Two-Zero........

* Yes i know there are some frankly ridiculous rules that mean the Sappers, RAF, Royal Navy and Mrs Miggin's pie shop also have their own teams and that high threat operator is now an all arms game ..... work with me please!


Book Reviewer
oi, why didnt you identify yerself at the screening ? We could have made an ARRSE of the evening grin.
I thought personally that the show was very good and I bet it takes off after two or three with calls to make another series .
The civy population wont spot any odd things about the production and it will help them to sleep well at night knowing our lads are getting up to such mischief .


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I put myself forward to star in the next series. I got a look from the writers that said '**** off you bald headed freak'. Still had to ask.

As for some of the discrepancies, I found them to be slight. I spotted the Maj saluting the Capt and thought it was a clever bit of detail about a padre getting it wrong. However, I didn't spot the ISAF badge until after it was mentioned.

If Gary Tank Commander can get a few series', I'm sure this will be a winner.
oi, why didnt you identify yerself at the screening ?
I went to the one in the morning as I had to get back home for the evening. Pity as I'd have enjoyed a beer or two?

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
Well I'll try and sort out the search function asap, any more of this and people will start using it.

That express article is just drivel. Talk about desperately trying to kick start the outrage bus.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
I thought the ads for it looked good. 'Bout time we had another Soldier,Soldier kind of thing. I've met one of the female Padres and she was very nice. Personality wise that is, I couldn't comment on whether she would get it or not cos I was busy oggling a ******* lush navy chick
Desperately want a BBC series set in a military setting to work and for the record I think Gary did well.
The BBC can suck the fun out of any script/production in many ways unknown to those who don't sup with the Devil.
Fingers crossed.
It doesn't matter if you get det cord or safety fuse the wrong way round. It will detonate or burn from either end. ;-)
How about a modern series of soldier soldier

I think this is a winner. With Jerome Flynn as embittered old LE Major (QM) Paddy Garvey MBE MC and Robson Green as a passed over acting Corporal in the Bn Sports stores.

I think Jerome Flynn's character in Ripper Street could slot directly into this role. Bare knuckle fighting, rule and regulation averse, whore chasing moody old dinosaur.

I'll go halfs with you.
Curious to see how the Padre bit is handled. Despite their ability to give and take a certain amount of banter they are very definite about defending their beliefs and their pastoral role.

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