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National Maritime Museum

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Episode Premiere: THURSDAY April 18th at 9PM. Repeat broadcast: Friday 19th at 7PM, Saturday 20th at 8PM

The National Maritime Museum collection allows visitors to trace the origins of British sea power, its accomplishments in the age of empire, and its consequences in the world today.

In this episode we fire musket balls at Lord Nelson to discover who really killed him.  We join an anti-piracy commando raid, then board Captain Bligh’s dingy to discover how he and his fellow castaways made it home alive.  We search for Franklin’s lost arctic expedition, then find out how to survive a lightning strike at sea.  And finally, we investigate how to defuse a mine without getting blown out of the water.

Secrets revealed in this episode

Captain Bligh's Ball

When Captain Bligh was set adrift by mutineers, what role did this musket ball play in saving him and the lives of his fellow castaways?

Franklin Expedition Balloon

When John Franklin’s Arctic expedition failed to return, the British people tried many outlandish ways to save them. Why were Britons so determined? And why were their rescue attempts doomed to fail?

Lightning Rod

Lighting has always been a danger to ships at sea. How can we protect ships and crews against it?

Naval Mine

How do you defuse a mine without getting blown out of the water?

Nelson's Uniform

This jacket has a hole through it where Nelson took a musket ball during a battle at sea. Historians agree he was shot by a French combatant. But was the shooter aiming for him, or was it a random lucky shot?

Pirate Sword

This sword was once owned by a pirate, but in the 21st Century the tools of the trade are motor launches and assault rifles. Will new tactics and technology sweep modern pirates from the sea?