The new Channel 4 series Mutiny will see nine men re-live the voyage of Captain William Bligh and his loyal crew following the Mutiny on the Bounty in 1789

10 March 2017

The much anticipated television programme, Mutiny has now started on Channel 4.

The series recreates the gruelling journey of Captain Bligh and his eight crew following the Mutiny on the Bounty.

In a replica 23-foot wooden boat, the nine men will have the same rations and face the same conditions.

Playing the role of Captain Blight is Anthony Middleton of SAS: Who Dares Wins.

Among his crew is round the world yachtsman Conrad Humphreys, who has completed two Whitbread Round the World Races, the BT Global Challenge and has sailed solo in the Vendée Globe.

Men in a boat in the Pacific while recreating the Mutiny on the Bounty voyage

The crew face a storm

Humphreys said he signed up for the project because he had never sailed “in a little wooden boat like this before”.

He said it was very different to the yachts he is used to.

“It has no keel, very simple sails, so you’re really at the mercy of the wind and the waves, which adds some risk,” he explained. “But it was a simple boat, so there was very little to go wrong, very little to break, and easy to repair.”

Humphreys admitted he had to do some homework ahead of the journey.

“I brushed up on positional navigation, and learned some of the techniques that Bligh would have used. I put on a bit of weight in readiness.”

A small boat in the cast Pacific ocean

Calmer conditions

Much of his time was spent preparing the crew.

“A lot of them had very little sailing experience. I taught them basic techniques about raising the sails, trimming the sails, how to move carefully around the boat without tipping it over,” he said.

“Personally, I had to prepare my family, as you often do with these sorts of trips, for what could be the worst. This was a dangerous trip. There are always dangers when you go to sea,” reflected the sailor.

Humphreys said his biggest worries was the fear of losing somebody overboard.

“As a professional sailor who has made a career out of sailing, the biggest fear is always losing somebody over the side, and in this boat it would be very, very difficult to go back and recover someone,” he explained,  adding that he was also worried about the lack of food and coping with the intensity of being on board with a small group of strangers.

A small wooden boat on the sea

Many of those who took part had little sailing experience

Humphreys said the experience of taking part taught him “the art of followship”, especially as on this voyage he was’t in charge.

“I would go so far as to say it ranks alongside the Vendee Globe and winning the BT Global Challenge and some of the other big events I’ve done,” he stated.

“I’ve learned patience, I’ve learned to trust other people’s judgement, I’ve learned to be very content with very little around me. Great happiness can come from the very simple things in life. When we are stripped completely bare, there’s a lot of fun to be had,” said the Mutiny skipper.

Also on board is the sailor Chris Jacks, who sailed solo around Britain as part of preparations for the Golden Globe Race 2018.

Mutiny is on Channel 4 on Tuesday nights, starting at 9pm.


4 January 2017

In a unique experiment, Mutiny will see nine men undertake the gruelling journey of Captain William Bligh and his eight loyal crew following the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty.

The TV series has been commissioned by Channel 4 with the aim of challenging “21st century men to re-live one of the greatest feats of maritime adventure and endurance in naval history.”

Following the Christian Fletcher led mutiny on 28 April 1789, Captain Bligh and his men were cast adrift in the Pacific Ocean and left for dead.

Incredibly, they made it safely across 3,500 nautical miles of ocean from Tonga to Coupang harbour in Timor, arriving on the 14 June 1789, with a makeshift Union Jack hoisted.

The recreation of the voyage will use a replica 23-foot wooden boat, with similar equipment and the same rations of food and water that Captain Bligh’s men had.

An engraving of Captain William Bligh

William Bligh, pictured in his 1792 account of the mutiny voyage, A Voyage to the South Sea. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The crew will use the 225-year-old diary kept by Captain Bligh during the voyage as a survival handbook.

Like Captain Bligh’s men, they will face sudden storms, treacherous reefs and the challenge of landing on isolated tropical islands to hunt for vital supplies.

Replica of HMS Bounty

A replica of HMS Bounty. Credit: Dan Kasberger/Wikimedia Commons

Anthony Middleton, of SAS: Who Dares Wins is assuming the role of Captain Bligh and will lead the Mutiny expedition.

His crew is made up of sailors and complete novices – the ship’s carpenter is an odd job man and the ship’s surgeon a GP.

Commenting on the series, Channel 4 said: “Mutiny is a hugely bold and ambitious project. It’s not only an intense survival challenge in its own right, with jaw-drop locations and stunning visuals – it’s also an exciting new way of getting under the skin one of history’s great adventure stories in a way that feels genuinely distinctive.”

Filming began in July 2016.

Mutiny is scheduled to be shown in Spring 2017.