The premise for this episode is from a small passage in the book that covers the trial, which is stretched over two hours. The story presented in “Mutiny” and “Retribution” could easily have been done in one episode and some of the other material in “Mr. Lieutenant Hornblower” could have been used for another stand-alone episode. Instead we have a somewhat forced cliffhanger with the story continuing, mostly in flashbacks, from the previous episode.
In this segment of the story, however, we see Bush fitting into Horatio’s world more. While he is a senior officer, and more experienced, he recognizes Hornblower’s ability to think on his feet and to improvise in difficult situations.
The characters of Styles and Matthews are expanded in these two episodes as well. Matthews is now Boatswain and Styles is his mate. While these characters are only mentioned briefly in one book, the inclusion of them in the movies helps the continuity and they reflect the admiration of many of the crewmen for Hornblower.