27 August 2008

Mr Monk and the submarine

Anybody watch Monk? To be specific, did anybody watch the 15 Aug episode, "Mr Monk is Underwater"? A naval officer, who is an old friend of Natalie's, has doubts about the recent suicide of his XO, and asks Monk (Tony Shalhoub) and Natalie (Traylor Howard) to come down to his boat to have a look. Monk agrees - but then has second thoughts when he discovers that the "boat" is actually a submarine. Natalie and her friend (Casper Van Dien) get Monk below, promising they will only stay for three minutes, but suddenly the boat is under way and Monk is trapped there until return to port.

My wife had great fun pointing out errors:
The boat is supposedly a "class 4" fast attack, whatever that might be. It's the USS Seattle, so it must be a 688, right?

The passageways look good - narrow enough that people must turn sideways to pass each other - but the mess decks are too roomy and hold too many people. (She said it's amazing how they could have something almost perfect, and then right afterward have something that was so wrong.)

There's direct access from inside the people tank to the ballast tanks!

There's an infirmary, with a real live medical officer (Natalie's LT) in charge. (Countermeasures space, anyone?)

Berthing is a big open space, with open racks - no curtains - that look somewhat like those on Museum Ship Nautilus.

An alarm sounds at every depth change.

I spotted a few more problems, of course:
When Monk first goes aboard, the hatches are all shut. A hatch is opened for him to go below; the hatch looks right, but there's nobody standing there opening it.

The CO (William Atherton) has gold dolphins, a nice set of ribbons (didn't get a good look at them all, but he has the Kuwait Liberation Medal) and a boomer pin, but no command pin. And the COB isn't wearing his COB badge, either.

There are only a couple of poopie suits; officers are in summer whites, chiefs in khakis, and blueshirts in utilities.

The boat is moored, of course, when Monk and Natalie come aboard. Minutes later, alarms are sounding and the CO is ordering a depth change to 250 feet. No manoeuvring watch, no casting off of mooring lines - they're still attached to the pier!

The CO gives depth change orders to the COB, not to the OOD. (At least he does say "chief of the boat," rather than "COB.") And there isn't a single repeatback!

"Niner." Gack.

The skipper and the doc (that LT) not only have personal firearms on board, but have them in their own spaces (stateroom and infirmary, respectively).

The torpedo room looks like that on a WWII boat, with a central passageway and a pair of torpedoes hanging on each side.

There were, however, some good things, too:
Most of the depth change orders, even if delivered to the wrong person, were worded almost correctly: "two five zero feet," "one five zero feet," &c. (Though he did say "three zero zero feet" instead of "three hundred feet.")

Uniforms are done well, with appropriate insignia, including name tapes and "U S Navy" tapes on the utilities.

The interior decor looks good: fake wood paneling, seafoam green paint, lockers, the weirdroom (much like that on a 688).

And I have to admit, the skipper's "I am the Lord thy God" speech did remind me of certain COs I've known....

Update 1139 28 Aug: Tweaked this a bit, with no substantive change to content.


Buck said...

I noticed that she has fairwater planes at the beginning and end of the show, but bow planes during the 'underwater' sequences.

My wife made me watch. :-)

Devid said...

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