Home Television Drama Warship


1 9 7 3 – 1 9 7 8 (UK)
45 x 50 minute episodes

This BBC drama about life on the (fictional) Royal Navy frigate HMS Hero debuted on 7 June 1973 and ran for five series until 1978.

As the series opened, Commander Nialls (Donald Burton) arrived in Gibraltar (where many spectacular sequences of the series were shot) to take command after Hero had been left for six weeks without a captain or first lieutenant. Both had left in disastrous circumstances.

The series then featured the routine and not-so-routine operations of the Hero, amid much naval banter and many stiff upper lips, as the frigate visited places as far and wide as the Mediterranean and the Far East, sticking loyally to its chores which involved anything from NATO exercises to Cold War face-offs, policing fishing wars or picking up defecting spies.

Most of the attention focused on the commissioned ranks. In the final season, journalist Zoe Carter (Prunella Ransome) was also featured.

The series was made with the full cooperation of the Royal Navy which initially lent its star frigate F42, HMS Phoebe, to play the Hero.

Six other warships were also used in the filming – HMS Danae, HMS Dido, HMS Diomede, HMS Hermione, HMS Juno and HMS Jupiter – all of which were repainted with the pennant number F42 for continuity.

HMAS Derwent, a River-class destroyer escort of the Royal Australian Navy, was also used as HMS Hero for some scenes filmed in 1976 in Hong Kong and Singapore.


Commander Mark Nialls
Donald Burton
Lt. Commander Beaumont
David Savile
Lt. Peek
Andrew Burt
Leading Regulator Fuller
James Cosmo
Lt. Commander Kiley
John Lee
Commander ‘Murky’ Murton
Malcolm Terris
MAA Heron
Don Henderson
MAA Burnett
Frank Jarvis
Lt. Last
Norman Eshley
Lt. Tagg
James Leith
Lt. Wakelin
Graeme Eton
Commander Alan Glenn
Bryan Marshall
Captain Edward Holt
Derek Godfrey
Lt. Commander James Napier
Robert Morris
Zoe Carter
Prunella Ransome