Horatio Hornblower is excellently played by Ioan Gruffudd, and the strong supporting cast includes such British stalwarts as Jamie Bamber, Robert Lindsay, and Paul Copley, to name a few.
The Duel starts out on 17-year-old Hornblower's first day in the navy, which doesn't go particularly well. He is assigned to the Justinian, under the command of Captain Keene. Horatio arrives during a storm, soaked, cold, and unused to the rough seas. Although the Justinian is in port, Horatio is seasick, much to the amusement of the other midshipmen.