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Series: Bluestone 42
Bluestone 42 (2013-) is an eight-part comedy drama about a British bomb disposal detachment in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick. It is a series about a bunch of soldiers who love being soldiers, and the camaraderie, bonds and banter they share, even though they are risking their lives defusing hidden bombs. The name of the drama refers to the unit callsign.

A second season began airing on 27th February 2014, and a third has been confirmed.

Has a Character page in need of more love.


  • Action Dad: Tower Block, who mentions he has a one-year-old child back home.
  • Asshole Victim: Colonel Randall Carter, an American CIA field officer that is riding along with them who gets shot after taking off his helmet while the team are dealing with a bomb.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Rocket is mourning the death of a pet. Simon snaps him out of it by reminding him that there's pizza.
  • Backstory of the Day / Compressed Vice: Mary, having been persuaded into a card came, turns out to be not just a Card Sharp but a former Gambling Addict to boot.
  • Berserk Button: Do not mess with the CO's tulips (aka his 'girls'). A rat hiding in them was summarily executed and militants shooting them up was enough to get the CO to leap out of cover and return fire with a shotgun.
    • Tower Block is very proud of being from Oop North. When Mac points out this still makes him an "English poof", Tower Block responds by punching him in the face and wrestling him to the ground.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Millsy has shades of this. For example, when local pervert Mac steals a photo of Millsy's sister, using a nice bit of Loophole Abuse to justify him hoarding a picture of a 14-year-old, Millsy's first reaction upon getting the picture back is to punch him in the face.
  • Brits with Battleships: It is about a group of British Army soldiers.
  • Black Comedy: Despite being a comedy, the show does not ignore the fact it is set in a war zone, with an on-screen fatality in the first episode.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Oddly, played straight. Despite snipers picking off personnel and someone getting three toes blown off their foot, blood is hardly ever seen. The only real exception are the remains of the Afghan tiger lizard.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The general feel given off by the team. They're effective enough in combat, but are eccentric off it.
    • Mac and Rocket will mouth off, play pranks, and undermine what little authority Simon has over them, but when the bullets start flying they shut up and follow his orders.
  • Butt Monkey: Lansley is the butt of everyone's jokes.
    • Millsy gets more than his fair share as well
  • California Doubling: The series is shot in South Africa, which, while a little greener than Afganistan, does at least have the right mountainous grandeur.
  • The Chessmaster: The Lieutenant Colonel knows every berserk button of every soldier in his command and knows how to press them to get what he wants without anyone knowing they're being manipulated.
  • Cliffhanger: The end of the second season.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Mac, in his own way. He's memorized the age of consent in every country in the world.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Tower Block and his skill with the gantry.
  • Christmas Special: Aired during Christmas 2013 following the first series.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Millsy doesn't appear in the Christmas special, which introduces new arrival Tower Block. No explanation is given, through given that they're in the middle of a warzone...
  • Darker and Edgier: The show normally cuts its life and death situations with with a heavy dose of gallows humor. But in series 2, we see Nick start taking the threat of a recurring bomber absolutely seriously and his efforts in tracking down said bomber culminate in a nighttime raid that is played absolutely straight, with no jokes and Nick emotionally drained after seeing how young his adversary actually is.
  • Eagleland: Col. Carter is a Type 2.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The characters wear patches marked IFAS (instead of ISAF, the International Security Assistance Force).
  • Finger in the Mail: After Graham is stolen by the Taliban, his parts are used in future bombs. Corporal Bird refers to this trope as they poke through one of these bombs.
  • Friend in the Black Market: The source of Farooq's merchandise.
  • Handsome Lech: Medhurst, although he strenuously denies accusations of being a lothario;
    Medhurst: If I was, I'd be shagging you and Bird! And Millsy too probably, he seems like he'd be up for it?!
  • Hidden Depths: Mac may be a huge sleaze, but when Simon is drunk and crying over breaking up with his fiancee, Mac is the first to sit with him and comfort him.
  • I Call It Vera: Corporal Bird is very attached to the team's bomb disposal robot, whom she names Arthur.
    • Series 2 robot is called Graham
  • Informed Attribute: A rare In-Universe example - Medhurst is claimed by the others to be quite good at poker, but the only times we see or hear of him playing, he's taken to the cleaners.
  • Knocking on Heathens' Door: Captain Softly's first option to gain access to the Taliban bomb factory. Option two is blow the doors and pile in, guns blazing.
  • The Lancer: Millsy.
    • Tower Block in Series 2.
  • Last Minute Hookup: Medhurst and Mary at the end of season 2
  • Magic Feather: Medhurst and his Fishermans' Friends.
  • Matter of Life and Death: Medhurst is not amused when Lansley makes light of having mistaken a plant for a tripwire, after having foolishly stepped off the path. As he rightly points out, if it had been an IED, he could have blown his legs off and taken a huge chunk out of the rest of the team!
    • Smith's reaction to Tower Block lighting a flare to simulate the Star of Bethlehem during the Nativity Play, which immediately brings their base under fire and destroys the cooking area containing their Christmas turkey.
    • In Series 2, Medhurst's increasing frustration as everyone continue to mess around, despite the team making no progress on figuring out how the "Orange Wire" bomber operates. Especially after they screw up recovering a device for forensics in episode one, Mac and Simon's near-miss in the episode two and news come in about a soldier from another bomb disposal team being killed by the same bomber in episode three.
  • Medal of Dishonor: Played with. The Jockstrap of Joy should be this, given as it is to the filthiest bastard on the base, but is instead hotly contested for.
  • Metaphorgotten: The Lieutenant Colonel:
    "You know the best soldiers are the ones that go unnoticed. Like waiters. Until they kick the door down and shoot everyone. [ Beat ] Not like waiters.
  • Mood Whiplash: Given the setting, it's not exactly surprising when this turns up, usually in the form of something suddenly going wrong whilst on patrol, such as when Colonel Carter gets shot, or Nick gets blown off his feet by an IED, saved only by the suit he's in the middle of bitching about having to wear. Also in the Series 2 Finale where the team starts out doing their usual schtick while heading out to a call only to have their vehicle hit by an IED.
    • During the incredibly bad Nativity Play, Tower Block lighting a flare and causing the base to come under fire.
    Smith: Who the fuck did that?!
  • Naughty Nuns: Much to the disappointment of the men on the team, Rev (Major) Mary Greenstock isn't. Medhurst doesn't seem to care though.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Captain Softly, leader of the recon platoon, is an aggressive and foul-mouthed individual.
  • Not so Above It All: The CO expressed outrage at his soldiers gambling on pubic lice racing, only for it to be revealed that he not only knew about everything all along, but has placed bets and is coming out on top.
  • Oh Crap: In the Christmas Special, Tower Block's reaction after notices that he has an undetonated RPG imbedded in his body armour.
  • Only Sane Man: Millsy frequently comes across as this.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Medhurst and Bird. He claims that the key to their strong friendship is due to having removed any possible trace of sexual tension by hooking up during basic training.
  • Rescue Sex: Played with - the kidnapped Danish aid worker offers this to Medhurst, even though Simon was the one who actually rescued her. He initially refuses, but then goes through with it.
  • Running Gag
    • The Lieutenant Colonel's "Rule Number One first rule", which changes each episode - occasionally, even within an episode.
    • References to "the Afghan tiger [insert creature here]".
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: In the second episode, an Afghan Tiger Gecko, aka "The distracting lizard".
    • Mac and Lansley.
  • Shout-Out
    LTC Smith: I am shocked, SHOCKED, to find that crab racing is going on in here!
    Faruq: Your winnings, sir.
    Smith: Oh, thank you very much.
  • The Reliable One: Bird and Millsy, almost in competition with one another.
  • The Scrounger: Farooq.
  • The Spock: Millsy is so buttoned down and focused on his job that, when the Scots and Lansley are bemoaning the chance of losing Bird, he pipes up that they'll receive someone else with the same training, so the squad will function in the same way. He only remembers to be sad about a friend leaving after they remind him.
  • The Squadette: Bird, of the Ladette variety.
  • Teach Him Anger: Bird attempts this with Millsy during episode three. It works terribly, terribly well.
  • Those Two Guys: Mac and Rocket.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Col. Carter, who is a veteran of Desert Storm and Fallujah takes off his helmet in an active war zone. He promptly gets shot by a Taliban sniper.
    • Lethally Stupid: Tower Block lighting a flare during the Nativity Play, causing the base to come under mortar fire. No-one dies, but they end up losing the cooking area and the Christmas Turkey as a result.
    • Everyone in episode three of the second series, when the rooftop "clubhouse" comes under enemy fire, leading them to realise that the "Keep Out" sign posted on the stairway leading up to it was put there for a very good reason.
  • Too Soon: Invoked when one of the team does an mocking impersonation of the annoying Colonel Carter who just got killed.
    • Invoked in Series 2 when Mac makes light of the death of a soldier in another bomb disposal team, killed by the same bomber they're dealing with.
  • Worthy Adversary: Nick initially believes that the orange wire bomber in series 2 is a veteran militant and makes as if his having to defuse the bomber's devices is more a challenge to his intellect rather than a life or death game of cat and mouse. But as the bombs keep on coming Nick's attitude becomes more serious. Nick is completely shocked when it turns out that the bomber is only 17.
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