A lifelong work colleague of cartoon pirate Captain Pugwash has described the BBC’s dramatisation of his exploits on the high seas as "complete fantasy" and "so unfair on other members of the Black Pig crew and all who sailed in her".
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, Tom who was cabin boy aboard the pirate ship during the Pugwash captaincy said: 'The BBC show just makes me so angry. The trouble is that people, especially in America, believe it to be completely true.'
The cabin boy added that the Pugwash character as depicted by the BBC was "not true to life" and totally misrepresented what it was like to be a blood thirsty pirate on the ocean waves. He also said high-seas rival Cut-Throat Jake had not plundered more treasure than Captain Pugwash as suggested during series two of the BBC dramatisation, and that The Flying Dustman crew were no match for the thieving blaggards aboard The Pig.
Tom confirmed he no longer watched Pugwash on TV saying the new BBC dramatisation had crossed a line and was only interested in ratings and not telling the true story about pirates. ‘It’s descended into crude sensationalism and dishonours all those that sailed under the skull and crossbones,' he said.
Dominic East who plays Pugwash in the BBC cartoon series defended the adaptation saying people should not be quite so sensitive about the show. ‘Some people are asking for a "fictional dramatisation disclaimer" to be added at the end of the show…. but quite honestly I think it’s a big fuss about nothing.
'Pugwash often used terms like "blistering barnacles" and "kipper me capstans’" and had a genuine west country accent to go with it. It is entirely accurate and not exaggerated for dramatic purpose. He really did talk like that.’
Filming for the cartoon series was suspended following the death of Queen Elizabeth II while the country observed a period of mourning throughout September. But production has resumed and show runner John Ryan confirmed the latest series will be aired on the BBC early in the new year.