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All Seasons

Season 1

  • S01E01 The Wind Blows Free

    • October 15, 1971
    • BBC One

    Liverpool, 1860. James Onedin acquires the sailing ship 'Charlotte Rhodes' by marrying the owner's daughter, Anne Webster, makes his brother Robert his partner and starts competing with his former employer Callon.

  • S01E02 Plain Sailing

    • October 22, 1971
    • BBC One

    On the return journey form Portugal, James gets sick and Anne has to improvise with the navigation.

  • S01E03 Other Points of the Compass

    • October 29, 1971
    • BBC One

    Robert finds out the partnership is not a profitable to him as he thought. James' sister Elizabeth is engaged to captain-to-be Daniel Fogarty, but more interested in Albert Frazer, who owns a shipyard and thus becomes friends with James.

  • S01E04 High Price

    • November 5, 1971
    • BBC One

    Unable to pay the rent, James and Anne move to a warehouse James just purchased. Elizabeth is pregnant, but not married, quite a scandal at the time.

  • S01E05 Catch as Can

    • November 21, 1971
    • BBC One

    Mr Baines is abducted by a US ship, but James manages to rescue him.

  • S01E06 Salvage

    • November 19, 1971
    • BBC One

    The Charlotte Rhodes gets into trouble just off the coast and Callon rushes in to 'salvage' the ship (which is not insured), knowing that James won't be able to pay for it. James persuades Albert Frazer to beat them to the ship in his experimental steam boat. With success.

  • S01E07 Passage to Pernambuco

    • November 26, 1971
    • BBC One

    James and Anna finally move to a real house of their own. James convinces his client Briganza tp purchase the clipper Pampero for him, which he would have to pay off in five years or he loses it. Briganza also gets half the profits until he does. Elizabeth and Albert marry secretly.

  • S01E08 The Homecoming

    • December 3, 1971
    • BBC One

    On his first voyage with the Pampero, James has made enough profit to pay off the mortgage on the Charlotte Rhodes and the warehouse. An old suitor of Anne appears and boards the Charlotte Rhodes.

  • S01E09 When My Ship Comes Home

    • December 10, 1971
    • BBC One

    A clipper James chartered from Callon blows up, and Callon sees in this a chance to ruin him. But James manages to survive financially through a risky (and not entirely legal) weapons-run.

  • S01E10 A Very Important Passenger

    • December 17, 1971
    • BBC One

    James unwittingly transports Giuseppe Garibaldi, on a mission to oust the occupying forces of Austria and France from Italy. The crew turns out to consist of assassins. Back in Liverpool, Robert has bought a new shop, for which James proposes a third company for their partnership - Onedin Chandlers Limited. Of which, as with the other two companies (Onedin Line and Onedin Warehousing), James will hold 85% of the shares.

  • S01E11 Mutiny

    • December 24, 1971
    • BBC One

    James takes over command of a ship on which there has been a mutiny. The crew claim it wasn't mutiny, but relieved the captain of his duties because he had gone mad, and the man indeed turns out to be a religious fanatic.

  • S01E12 Cry of the Blackbird

    • January 7, 1972
    • BBC One

    James takes passengers from Papua to a missionary school in Victoria, Australia, but it turns out the parson who chartered the ship intends blackbirding (slavery) for the sugar cane plantations.

  • S01E13 Shadow of Doubt

    • January 14, 1972
    • BBC One

    Albert finds out Elizabeth's son is not his but Daniel's. James has to deal with smallpox on a voyage to Quebec.

  • S01E14 Blockade

    • January 21, 1972
    • BBC One

    James runs a Yankee blockade in the North American civil war, taking a huge chance with all the company's possessions. It almost goes wrong, but together with Albert, he manages to convince the capturing captain to release them and go into shipbuilding - steam ships, that is.

  • S01E15 Winner Take All

    • January 28, 1972
    • BBC One

    James is a rich man now, with the Onedin Line having 27,484 pounds in assets. Albert convinces him to commission a steamship, for which he issues 100,000 pounds worth of shares, into which he puts almost all his capital. But Callon buys a majority of the shares and now effectively 'owns Onedin'. On top of that, Baines, a captain now, loses the Pampero rounding Cape Horn.

Season 2

  • S02E01 The Hard Case

    • September 17, 1972
    • BBC One

    James Onedin is in need of quick profits to regain control of the Onedin Line which Callon has wrested from him. But when James sails for the West Indies he has a troublemaker aboard …

  • S02E02 Pound and Pint

    • September 24, 1972
    • BBC One

    Discontent is rapidly mounting aboard James’s clipper The Star of Bethelehem. Led by sailmaker Jessop, the crew plan a seamen’s strike on their return to Liverpool. Anne is increasingly torn between loyalty to her husband and her principles

  • S02E03 A Woman Alone

    • October 1, 1972
    • BBC One

    Anne has left James and is determined not to return. But James has warned her that she’ll not survive as a woman alone …

  • S02E04 Fetch and Carry

    • October 8, 1972
    • BBC One

    What is the mystery surrounding the voyage of the Samantha?

  • S02E05 Yellow Jack

    • October 15, 1972
    • BBC One

    A strange and enigmatic woman called Indigo Jones comes onboard the Charlotte Rhodes, with an offer for James Onedin. Her ship, the Samantha, is damaged, anchored off Cork, and she wishes him to bring her home. However, when he enquires about the cargo the ship is carrying, she becomes evasive. When pushed though, she does admit that the ship carried fever. As usual, profit blinds James Onedin, and he agrees to help the ship home, that she may discharge her cargo and return for another shipment without delay. He is also more than interested in how the young lady managed to get shipments of guano out of South America without paying the high export duties. She will not say, of course, but he plans to find out. Anne has already been dismissed from her post at the shop, due to no fault of her own, just that she is a woman, and no-one will work with her as she tries to do a man's job. Her father urges her to go back to James, but she is as stubborn as he, and refuses. James enlists Alber

  • S02E06 Survivor

    • October 22, 1972
    • BBC One

    James has chartered a tea-clipper, the Osiris, in an attempt to get the first of the new tea crop home before anyone else, and so reap, as ever, a healthy profit. Albert has a new lady in his life, a dancehall singer called Carrie, who sees him as a way to better herself, get some money and start a new life. He is marked in this tryst by the ever-watchful Fogarty, mindful of a chance to blacken Fraser's name and use it against Elizabeth if he should need to, or indeed, the Onedin Line. Or perhaps as leverage when he needs to encourage Fraser to build the Golden Nugget to the shareholders' specifications. At sea, the Osiris comes across a floating lifeboat, the men within it showing little of life, but one still alive. He is an old man, who babbles in his stupor. He is in fact quoting scripture, from Revelations, and the men see it as a bad omen, a warning of dire events to come. When he regains consciousness, the old man gives his name as John Hennessy, mate on a coalship that he

  • S02E07 Coffin Ship

    • October 29, 1972
    • BBC One

    The Charlotte Rhodes is caught in a storm, and Baines recommends they jettison cargo to enable them to outrun the tempest, but James refuses to lose profit, and they have to run against the storm. Back in Liverpool, Baines visits her sister, who was driven out of her home during the Yellow Jack fever. She is now living with her family in much reduced circumstances, and Baines promises to get her out of there. He requests a loan from James, but is turned down, and for once Baines begins to see that all the ill fortune that has befallen him is down to James Onedin and his eternal greed. Another rift is developing in the network that holds James Onedin's world together, and he is coming close to losing one of the only friends he has in the world, and a man upon whom he depends more than he would ever say. Elizabeth goes to visit Carrie, the dancehall singer, but does not tell her that she is Albert's wife. She pretends that she too has been seeing Fraser, but has only just found out tha

  • S02E08 ‘Frisco Bound

    • November 12, 1972
    • BBC One

    Elizabeth tells Albert she knows of his dalliance with Carrie Harris, and that she has been to see her. As their sniping and arguments escalate, she tells him that she is thinking of leaving him. James is heading for Frisco (San Francisco) by way of the dreaded Horn (Cape Horn), a dangerous passage feared by sailors, and with good cause. But it does afford a much faster transit time to the Americas. Albert decides to go along, to chart out the voyage and see how he would build a steamship to make the trip. The new apprentice turns up, too: the son of the head of the board of enquiry. But he is not at all dressed for the trip, and David Teale obviously has different ideas to James and Baines as to what he will be doing onboard the ship! He is soon disabused of these notions, the top hat and frock coat exchanged for seaman's garb, his pretty hands cut and chapped, the realities of life at sea making themselves known in no uncertain terms! Albert is concerned about the unnecessarily h

  • S02E09 Beyond The Upper Sea

    • November 19, 1972
    • BBC One

    Fraser is entertaining a prospective backer for his steamship, a representative from Turkey, who invites him to his country to see an engine they have built there. Albert is anxious to go, but James is annoyed, left behind and with the project seemingly back a step. Albert tells him though that this will push the project forward, not back, and seeing his chance James offers to go with Albert. Anne goes too, but Elizabeth stays behind with William, again waving farewell to her husband, a position she swore from the start she would never find herself in. Emma Callon is suspicious as to why Fraser and Onedin are going to Turkey, and directs her fiancé to find out. Cracks are appearing in the engagement of she and Daniel already, as he declares his desire for children and she wants more than just that out of marriage. She wants to hold back on setting the date, anxious no doubt to enjoy what she can of her freedom before she has to settle down. Daniel goes to visit Elizabeth, yet again,

  • S02E10 An Inch Of Candle

    • November 26, 1972
    • BBC One

    The Charlotte Rhodes comes across a seemingly abandoned ship, the Maria da Gloria, and James goes onboard to explore her. He finds the ship untended, crewless and her cargo ruined. He sets to jettisoning the spoiled sugar and taking the ship in tow for salvage. On one of her visits to Anne, Elizabeth realises that Anne is pregnant, and though James is sinking every penny into regaining control of the Onedin Line Steamship Company, Elizabeth tells her that she must get out of the warehouse and into a proper house. Once Robert finds out --- and then Sarah, of course --- there's little chance of the secret remaining so any more. Sarah does not take the news well though, seeing their chances of her son inheriting the company on James' retirement or death disappear. James of course is delighted --- an heir at last to his shipping empire! Naturally, the needs of a mother-to-be soon begin to make themselves known on the shipowner, and Elizabeth wastes no time trying to convince him to move i

  • S02E11 Goodbye, Goodbye

    • December 3, 1972
    • BBC One

    Anne is given the despairing news that she can never have a child, for to do so would be to cause her own death. She is devastated, but has little intention of telling her husband, who longs for a son. James, meanwhile, is away at sea in Zanzibar. He is attempting to sell his goods to the sheikh there, and impressing him with his knowledge of their customs and some quotations from the Koran, which always goes a long way towards changing the minds of the Muslim from seeing their counterpart as infidel to welcoming him as brother, or at least kindred spirit. Robert, meanwhile, is approached by Mitchell, a tea merchant who is also a shareholder in the Onedin Line Steamship Company. He is not very happy with his investment, and offers his shares to the highest bidder. It just so happens that he has 5000 shares, which represents the five percent James needs to regain control of the company. In an effort to gain time, Elizabeth explains to Mitchell that it is James she needs to speak to, an

  • S02E12 Bloody Week

    • December 10, 1972
    • BBC One

    Paris is in the hands of Citizen Communards who are fighting a civil war with the rest of France. Nevertheless, James insists on going to Paris to collect an old debt

  • S02E13 The Challenge

    • December 17, 1972
    • BBC One

    A tea merchant is to sell his Onedin Line shares to the highest bidder. If Fogarty can buy them he will gain control of the company

  • S02E14 Race for Power

    • December 31, 1972
    • BBC One

    James has challenged Daniel Fogarty to a race from Foochow to Liverpool. The winner will gain control of the Onedin Steamship Company. But with Anne’s news, James has another reason for a fast passage

Season 3

  • S03E01 The Ship Devils

    • October 21, 1973
    • BBC One

    It is six months since the death of Anne Onedin. How is James coping with the loss of the woman who had become so dear to him? Young Leonora Biddulph is soon to learn …Tonight: when ship devils cause a ship to sink, James comes into conflict with Samuel Plimsoll, the sailors’ friend

  • S03E02 The Stranger

    • October 28, 1973
    • BBC One

    James sights a dugout canoe in the fresh water outlet of the Amazon. Inside the canoe is the exhausted and sun-blistered figure of a woman …

  • S03E03 Echoes From Afar

    • November 4, 1973
    • BBC One

    James sails into Liverpool to find two mysteries awaiting him: the disappearance of the steamship Anne Onedin, and a strange request from Señor Braganza

  • S03E04 Amazon Cargo

    • November 11, 1973
    • BBC One

    Difficulties and danger await Captain Fogarty when he attempts to take a cargo of coal up the Amazon. Having James Onedin as a competitor doesn’t help, either …

  • S03E05 Danger Level

    • November 18, 1973
    • BBC One

    James comes into open conflict with Samuel Plimsoll, who is campaigning for a safe load-line to be painted on all vessels. The result is a hazardous voyage for both men

  • S03E06 Black Gold

    • November 25, 1973
    • BBC One

    James is to fetch a caro of rubber seeds from Brazil for the development of plantations in India. The Brazilian Government, however, guard their rubber seeds rather zealously. But Caroline has a plan

  • S03E07 Law Of The Fist

    • December 9, 1973
    • BBC One

    Captain Baines is a confirmed bachelor. Until he meets Mrs Darling and finds himself in a peculiar and rather sinister dilemma …

  • S03E08 Ice and Fire

    • December 16, 1973
    • BBC One

    In a race against time, James takes two ships to the Baltic for cargoes of pit wood. When one of the ships is caught in the ice, James challenges Captain Fogarty: how will he choose to die - by fire or by ice?

  • S03E09 A Proposal Of Marriage

    • December 23, 1973
    • BBC One

    A remarkably debonair James imports some surprising news to his sister, Elizabeth. He is to make a proposal of marriage

  • S03E10 Over The Horizon

    • January 6, 1974
    • BBC One

    Captain Baines is frustrated to learn that James is tiring of the sea and is thinking of selling his ships. But Baines’s troubles really begin when James asks him to navigate a West African river …

  • S03E11 The Silver Caddy

    • January 13, 1974
    • BBC One

    James and Captain Fogarty race their ships to Boston, the winner to secure a tea contract. Why are both men so convinced that they will win?

  • S03E12 Port Out, Starboard Home

    • January 20, 1974
    • BBC One

    When a ship strikes an iceberg, Captain Baines is not picked up with the survivors. James, determined that Baines is still alive, sets himself the seemingly impossible task of finding him …

  • S03E13 The Passenger

    • January 27, 1974
    • BBC One

    Leonora Biddulph or Caroline Maudsley? The time has come for James to make his decision

Season 4

  • S04E01 Loss of the Helen May

    • April 25, 1976
    • BBC One

    The 'Helen May is importing barrels of petroleum into Liverpool in thick fog. A barrel is leaking and the ship explodes when a seaman,holding a lantern,investigates. Baines believes more effort should have been made to look for survivors, Onedin insists there were none. One sailor,however,does survive,and gives evidence at the inquest. The ship was sailing too fast and the blame is attached to its dead captain. Elizabeth,meanwhile,learns that Albert has died in South America.

  • S04E02 A Cold Wind Blowing

    • May 2, 1976
    • BBC One

    Steam is now in the ascendancy and sail looks as if it is danger of becoming obsolete. James' main rival Briggs is investing heavily in steam-ships and Elizabeth urges Frazer to build some more for him. Briggs also buys the 'Anne Onedin' from James but James buys a fleet of six sailing ships from elderly Captain Fowey in the knowledge that a miners' strike is sending coal prices rocketing,giving sail the temporary advantage.

  • S04E03 Not Wanted on Voyage

    • May 9, 1976
    • BBC One

    Jack Frazer dies. He is angry and bitter to learn that his supposed grandchild was Fogarty's. Elizabeth becomes instrumental in running the Frazer line. She and James and Pierre Legrande,an old associate of Albert's travel out to South America in order to bring back his plans for refrigerated holds, allowing meat to stay fresh for days.

  • S04E04 Undercurrent

    • May 16, 1976
    • BBC One

    Elizabeth takes over as head of the Frazer Line. Several other owners aim to take advantage of her sex and try and persuade her to join them in a cartel but,putting into effect her know-how as a shop-keeper's daughter,she undercuts them all and starts to profit,as well as romancing Matt Harvey,one of the line captains. James is persuaded by Letty Gaunt,the nanny for his young daughter Charlotte,to spend more time with his child and the three of them have a picnic together.

  • S04E05 Quarantine

    • May 23, 1976
    • BBC One

    The 'Prince Edward', a Frazer Line ship is put in quarantine by order of strict new medical officer Dr. Darling after its captain,Corcoran,and his daughter fall ill. James is concerned that if he cannot move the ship he will be sued for breach of contact. Lucy dies but ultimately it is shown that she had the plague,caught from fleas on her pet guinea pig,and the Onedins are exonerated. The port is still closed but this is 'force majeure',beyond Onedin's control,so the contract is not broken after all.

  • S04E06 Uncharted Island

    • May 30, 1976
    • BBC One

    Baines and Onedin find an uncharted island,rich in guano,which they intend to mine without telling anybody. However,Matt Harvey learns about it and sets sail in a Frazer Line ship but fails to locate the island. Instead he returns with valuable whale-bone and claims that the guano was too acidic for use. Elizabeth believes she has got one over on her brother until she discovers that he already knew this fact.

  • S04E07 A Clear Conscience

    • June 6, 1976
    • BBC One

    Five pounds is stolen from the office of the Frazer Line and Uncle Percy Spendilow is accused,found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison. Elizabeth finds this hard to believe and so she sets a honey trap,leaving money lying around. It is taken by Drumond,a clerk,and,as a result, Uncle Percy is freed. However,he has an unpleasant surprise in store for Elizabeth.

  • S04E08 Shipwreck

    • June 13, 1976
    • BBC One

    Elizabeth and Matt are in Falmouth to buy a tug,the 'Alice',which she wants to turn into a ferry but James arrives with Robert,also interested in the boat,hopeful for a quick deal and departure. However the 'Charlotte Rhodes' gets stuck on a submerged wreck. Elizabeth buys the tug and offers to pull the 'Charlotte Rhodes' clear but,as James let the insurance lapse,he would be unable to claim the expense and finally the ship is floated off,thanks to the underwater skills of its carpenter.Matt,however, is annoyed that again Onedin places cost-cutting over the risk to human life.

  • S04E09 The Gamble

    • June 20, 1976
    • BBC One

    James is anxious to buy the Salt Line, a fleet of six ships which seem to belong to a foppish dandy,Sinclair, who does nothing with them. In fact they are owned by his aunt,captain's widow Mrs. Salt,now old and bed-ridden but reluctant to sell as she has promised them to her nephew. James discovers that Sinclair has huge gambling debts,which he pays off in return for being given the ships. He and Sinclair go to see Mrs. Salt for her approval but she has died in her sleep and so James takes over the Salt Line,putting Captain Baines in charge of it.

  • S04E10 Month of the Albatross

    • June 27, 1976
    • BBC One

    Sarah is suspicious when Robert visits mystery woman Beatie Mays,though it turns out he is only helping her regain possession of her hat shop and is not being unfaithful. Her trust in him gives him the self-confidence which he feels the rest of his family undermine. Meanwhile on a voyage home from Brazil, Matt takes over captaincy when Baines is injured and,when the ship is becalmed,the crew put it down to the presence of an albatross. However they return to Liverpool in time for Christmas. Matt accepts a partnership with the Frazer Line but Captain Baines is outraged that James has evicted his niece and her children to make way for his expansion plans and quits the Onedin Line.

Season 5

  • S05E01 When Troubles Come

    • June 26, 1977
    • BBC One

    Five years have elapsed. Onedin is a prisoner in a settlement in South America from where he is rescued by Captain Baines,and they return to Liverpool. Macaulay,a wealthy Australian,keen to invest in the shipping trade with South Africa, does business with the Onedins but when the bank crashes,the Onedins lose out as their collateral is taken. Robert loses his shop and James's ships are forfeited but he manages to get them out of port before Macaulay claims them.

  • S05E02 Rescue

    • July 3, 1977
    • BBC One

    James Onedin returns to Liverpool,his ships laden with grain from Turkey. The sale of this will pay off the interest on the debt and start him back on the road to solvency.As further collateral,he offers the house which he bought for Letty Gaunt and Charlotte,who will now move in with him. It is a business arrangement but Letty perhaps seeks more from him.

  • S05E03 Coffin Ships

    • July 10, 1977
    • BBC One

    Five ships,all carrying iron plate,have foundered - people betting on the losses,including Mr.Dunwoody,Elizabeth's clerk,who buys the company house where Robert and Sarah live,forcing them to return to live over the shop.James accepts a cargo of iron plate and discovers the ship is being sabotaged by Kirk,a sailor in the pay of Macauley,who also sunk the other five. Whilst Elizabeth's son,William is only interested in commerce,Robert's boy,Samuel,is keen to go to sea. James returns to Liverpool and finds that Letty,tired of waiting for a marriage proposal,has gone.

  • S05E04 The Trade Winds

    • July 17, 1977
    • BBC One

    Having exposed Macauley's insurance scam James proposes to Letty,who accepts. Daniel also returns to Liverpool,now a very wealthy man. Robert considers opening a department store and travels with Captain Baines and Samuel to New York,where he is robbed and very nearly press-ganged. James takes on a voyage to import some sheep but it causes him to postpone the wedding and Letty,as a consequence,declares the engagement and wedding off.

  • S05E05 The Stowaway

    • July 24, 1977
    • BBC One

    On the eve of his voyage to Montevideo Letty tells James she will marry him - in her own good time. She also gives William financial backing for his engineering schemes. Samuel meanwhile stows away on James's ship and,when caught,James sees that he is harshly treated to put him off sea-faring but the boy will not be deterred and travels on to South America,where James makes a profitable deal.

  • S05E06 Dead Man’s Cargo

    • July 31, 1977
    • BBC One

    Letty tells James she invested in William's steam engine project and he buys a flour mill in her name,sailing to Pennsylvania to buy loose grain from an ex-Cavalry officer who drives a hard bargain. James gets what he wants after a drinking bout but the grain,known as dead man's cargo, starts to shift when the ship hits a storm and needs to be moved else the ship could capsize. A man dies in the process. Daniel and Elizabeth rekindle their old flame but their decision to tell William his true parentage proves to be unwise.

  • S05E07 A Hard Life

    • August 7, 1977
    • BBC One

    William makes his peace with his parents but assures them that his interest in developing steam engines supersedes his desire to inherit the shipyard. James's failure to listen to William results in the engine blowing on the ship he is using to take Polish emigrants to New York and he puts in to Liverpool for repairs. Maritsa,one of the emigrants ,is a talented lace-maker,and Robert wants to employ her in his sweat-shop but a sympathetic Samuel advises her she would be better off going on to New York. Unfortunately another accident with the steam engine leads to the ship lurching violently,trapping Maritsa's fingers in a door and requiring two to be amputated.

  • S05E08 The Hostage

    • August 14, 1977
    • BBC One

    James and Captain Baines sail to Palermo to pick up emigrants for America. Whilst James is ashore with his Sicilian agent Benito,several Mafia bandits led by local don Ranocci take over the ship and in the subsequent gun-battle the mate is killed and Captain Baines and the crew taken hostage. They will be released if James gives Ranocci the money taken from the locals for their voyage but James has other ideas and leads the oppressed Sicilians against the Mafia.At home Letty goes into business and William is as disapproving of his parents' relationship as they are of his intense friendship with Charlotte.

  • S05E09 Uncharted Waters

    • August 21, 1977
    • BBC One

    James is importing jute from Scotland and is not happy to learn that Letty's mill-workers are repairing old jute sacks,which,given that she believes in a fair wage,is under-cutting him. They argue and she is injured but,to make atonement,he takes her on his next voyage. Daniel impresses with his generosity by buying Sarah a venue for a seaman's mission but he and Elizabeth are united in their desire to stop William seeing Charlotte. They plan to send him to London but he calls their bluff.

  • S05E10 A Close Run Thing

    • August 28, 1977
    • BBC One

    James and Letty are to be married on board ship by Captain Baines but this nearly does not happen when a group of shanghaied sailors attempt to overwhelm them,the plan being foiled by elderly Captain Jack and the marriage does go ahead. Daniel Fogarty has returned from Australia a rich man. He has begun a charity,the Albert Fund,and is knighted for his services. He marries Elizabeth at last but James's experience has prevented him from being their best man.

Season 6

  • S06E01 No Smoke Without Fire

    • July 16, 1978
    • BBC One

    Fearing unrest in South Africa Daniel asks James to bring home a large amount of gold from the country - unofficially. James naturally wants his cut. Tim,a young crew member,is subjected to a crossing the line ritual during which a man falls overboard and drowns. A cargo of wool on the ship catches fire,after which it is discovered that the gold has been stolen. Tim is responsible and speaks up to Onedin about inequality. In Liverpool Robert's son Samuel returns home whilst Elizabeth's son William declares his intention to be the richest man in the port in five years' time.

  • S06E02 Collision Course

    • July 23, 1978
    • BBC One

    William takes a Frazer ship out in fog and gets it in a collision with one of the Onedin ships. It is arranged that the elderly,weak Captain Oliphant should be held responsible. Oliphant later kills himself and William is filled with remorse. Elizabeth is relieved to see that he possesses some humanity. However he is seeing Charlotte,supposedly the fiancee of a dissatisfied Samuel,who wants a more active life than working in the family shop. At dinner Samuel's father Robert chokes on a bone and dies.

  • S06E03 Double Dealers

    • July 30, 1978
    • BBC One

    Samuel does not let sentiment cloud his father's death,proposing to Letty that her mill-workers make bed linen which he will sell through a catalogue for his store,though Letty drives a harder bargain than he had imagined. William is shocked to learn that the 'Indian Queen',a Frazer ship which he chartered to a Mr. Lillie without his parents knowing,was deliberately sunk ,with loss of life ,for the insurance money.James has his suspicions but,even with the use of a diver,cannot proved that the cargo was never loaded.

  • S06E04 Stand by to Go About

    • August 6, 1978
    • BBC One

    Daniel is anxious to break the Liverpool to Manchester railway's transport monopoly of the Merseyside docks and rail board. Elizabeth suggests that they use the canal system to beat the railways. Daniel is initially unresponsive but sees the prospect of steamers being used on the canals. Samuel continues to develop his idea of mail order trading. James accepts a cargo with no questions asked or papers only to find it is from the proceeds of a robbery in Manchester.

  • S06E05 The Upright Man

    • August 13, 1978
    • BBC One

    James and Sir Daniel combine to thwart William in his bid to buy the five ships belonging to elderly Captain Murchieson on behalf of devious banker Josiah Beaumont,whom Elizabeth sees as a bad influence on her son. William moves into his own flat,where he secretly sees Charlotte,though Letty finds out. Captain Baines is tricked into buying a piano to sell in Norway,but ultimately turns the situation to his own advantage.

  • S06E06 The Reverend’s Daughter

    • August 20, 1978
    • BBC One

    Elizabeth clashes with Daniel over his support for the Manchester Ship Canal,which she fears will weaken Liverpool as a port. Her anger is compounded when she is approached for patronage by charismatic young orphanage director Marcus Simmons,who tells her that families are being evicted to clear the land for the canal's construction. Daniel is innocent of this fact but it enables him to expose a business partner immorally buying up land to sell at a profit to the constructors and he supports the orphanage. James travels to Africa with missionaries as passengers,Reverend Webster and his daughter Hannah,relatives of Anne,his late wife. Hannah's religious zeal,however,proves to be a liability whilst Letty has still not told James her news.

  • S06E07 Highly Explosive

    • August 27, 1978
    • BBC One

    Letty tells James that she is pregnant and Charlotte gives William the same news. He is stunned and,as he does not love her,refuses to marry her - although she has confided in Samuel that she believes they will wed. Samuel takes the news badly and,when he and James,sailing to Ireland,come across a deserted steamer full of high explosives,feels sufficiently reckless to help James put the cargo overboard,though they are successful and claim the salvage rights. William turns twenty-one and inherits his mother's share of the Frazer yard,which he intends to sell.

  • S06E08 A Sea of Troubles

    • September 3, 1978
    • BBC One

    James learns of Charlotte's situation but refuses permission for her to marry William,whom he regards as worthless,and sends her out of Liverpool to have her child. He also encourages Daniel to stand against the greedy Beaumont as a councillor to thwart the banker's aim to take more land for himself if elected though Elizabeth is still unhappy about her husband's support for the ship canal. Captain Baines brings home a ship from South America,whose dying captain is an old enemy of his. Baines falls for the man's wife and considers buying the ship when her husband dies but James beats him to it.

  • S06E09 Men of Honour

    • September 10, 1978
    • BBC One

    As the council election approaches,Elizabeth,equally disapproving of her husband's interest in the Manchester Ship Canal and his rival Beaumont's plan to enrich himself with his 'new' Liverpool, ensures that each hears of,and publicizes,the other's plan so that both lose the election to her candidate,Marcus Simmons. Daniel then announces that he will be standing as a Manchester M.P. James,stuck in Ireland thanks to port inspectors with vested interests,finally returns to Liverpool for the birth of his son,though the child is weak and is not expected to survive.

  • S06E10 The Fortune Hunters

    • September 17, 1978
    • BBC One

    Newly elected to Parliament Daniel joins with Elizabeth to prevent William from selling the Frazer Line to an apparent consortium,actually a front for Beaumont. To take his mind off his son's death James sails to Africa with Captain Baines to find diamonds but they end up adrift in an open boat for three months. Letty never doubts that he will come back and,on his return,he gives half of the Onedin Line to Samuel,who has married Charlotte just in time for the birth of her son.

Season 7

  • S07E01 Liverpool Bound

    • July 22, 1979
    • BBC One

    Newly elected to Parliament Daniel joins with Elizabeth to prevent William from selling the Frazer Line to an apparent consortium,actually a front for Beaumont. To take his mind off his son's death James sails to Africa with Captain Baines to find diamonds but they end up adrift in an open boat for three months. Letty never doubts that he will come back and,on his return,he gives half of the Onedin Line to Samuel,who has married Charlotte just in time for the birth of her son.

  • S07E02 The Homecoming

    • July 29, 1979
    • BBC One

    Leaving Letty feeling adrift in their new,large country house James sails to Belfast,persuading cash-strapped Captain Seth Burgess to cut him into his steamship line. William returns from two years abroad and instantly detects the cool atmosphere between his parents. Samuel and Charlotte make it clear to him that they want nothing to do with him but feel remorseful after William dies,saving a group of children from being trampled by a runaway horse and cart. His death also goes some way to reconciling his parents.

  • S07E03 The Paddy Westers

    • August 5, 1979
    • BBC One

    William's death causes a rift between Charlotte and Samuel,not helped when they learn that William left his son twenty thousand pounds. Seth Burgess is duped by the infamous tavern-keeper Paddy West into paying him for a crew to sail to New York with James. However they are not seamen but largely European immigrants,including a Count and his pregnant wife. James is reluctant to put them ashore on Ellis island but changes his mind after the count saves him from an attack by a fugitive murderer. Captain Baines recovers the money from West by arm -wrestling him

  • S07E04 Dirty Cargo

    • August 12, 1979
    • BBC One

    Whilst Charlotte becomes bored with life with Samuel, James learns that Elizabeth is sailing to South Africa with a mysterious and dangerous cargo. She is in fact gun-running. James needs money for the repair of his steamer and sails after his sister,illegally using a bogus distress flag to get her to stop. He persuades her that she is in an awkward position and buys the guns from her as a job lot. However,when he tries to sell them to Major Nesbitt in South Africa,he makes a heavy loss,which amuses Captain Baines.

  • S07E05 To Honour and Obey

    • August 19, 1979
    • BBC One

    James takes Mr. Da Silva and his cargo of lemons to the Azores but crew members Harris and McDade bully cabin boy Tom into helping them rob his possessions and kill the bosun when he tries to stop them. Eventually Tom does the decent thing,leading to their arrest. Samuel gives Charlotte three thousand pounds but,charmed by Seth Burgess,she gives it to him supposedly as a business investment. However he intends to buy back his ship 'The Black pearl' with it and leave her behind.

  • S07E06 Running Free

    • August 26, 1979
    • BBC One

    Seth Burgess obtains a contract to take China clay to Jamaica but whilst James is transporting it Burgess elopes with Charlotte and her Onedin line shares. Whilst Samuel shows no interest in pursuing them James offers a reward for their apprehension. Having found a baby left on her doorstep,which she hands onto the orphanage,Letty plans to open her own home for waifs and strays with the money obtained from Samuel for the sale of her factory. With Daniel now permanently in London, Elizabeth meets Charles Marston, wealthy heir to a colliery and steelworks,with whom she strikes up a business deal.

  • S07E07 The Suitor

    • September 2, 1979
    • BBC One

    Whilst Charles Marston goes into partnership with Elizabeth to build a South American railway Sarah accepts a marriage proposal from steamboat captain Dampier. Captain Baines sails to France with a passenger,likeable young Thomas Bullen,who saves the life of cabin boy Tom. When Bullen is recalled to England to answer a theft charge brought about by Marston,James,who dislikes his sister's new partner,and Captain Baines are pleased when Bullen proves his innocence. Unfortunately Bullen also,unwittingly, alerts them to the fact that Dampier is a penniless fortune-hunter so James pays him off to leave Sarah.

  • S07E08 Storm Clouds

    • September 9, 1979
    • BBC One

    Letty faces opposition to establishing her orphanage from bigots who feel it will lower the tone of the area.Despite herself Elizabeth finds herself falling for Charles Marston and agrees to ship a cargo of wine over in time for his father's birthday but her ship needs repairs so she gets James to do it instead. As Marston is now in his debt James gets him to persuade the lease-holder of the proposed orphanage,a family friend of the Marstons, to sell it to Letty despite the local protests.

  • S07E09 Outward Bound

    • September 16, 1979
    • BBC One

    James pursues Charlotte and Burgess to Cyprus where he exposes the young captain's interest in his daughter as being purely mercenary,persuading a despairing Charlotte to return home with him. Samuel is smitten by charming actress Helen Doyle and she too is fond of him whilst accepting that her father Fergus is using Samuel's acquaintance to get Sarah to finance his new play. Samuel is saddened when the Doyles' touring company moves on and makes it clear to the returning Charlotte that their marriage is over. Marston is keen to marry Elizabeth and is angry when his father approaches her asking his help in finding a wife for his son.

  • S07E10 Homeward Bound

    • September 23, 1979
    • BBC One

    The Doyles return to Liverpool and Samuel declares his love for Helen but Charlotte refuses to divorce him - whilst Sarah and Fergus spend time together. Elizabeth learns that Daniel is the new ambassador to Turkey,an appointment engineered by Marston's father so that she will be obliged to leave Liverpool and join her husband . Helped by Tom,for whom he has arranged a master's apprenticeship,James tracks down Burgess,who has stolen back the ship the 'Black Pearl'. However he lets him keep the ship and returns to Liverpool,finding his house full of children following a fire at Letty's orphanage.

Season 8

  • S08E01 A Royal Return

    • August 31, 1980
    • BBC One

    Letty has died from diphtheria caught from one of her orphans and Elizabeth has returned from Turkey to ensure the orphanage remains open. Sarah is on a Cook's tour of the world, Samuel has his own ships,bought from selling the shares William left his son Robert,as well as becoming the youngest chairman of the chamber of commerce. He divorces Charlotte and is awarded custody of the children but agrees to repay the shares in the little boy's account.

  • S08E02 Revenge

    • September 7, 1980
    • BBC One

    Still in Bulgaria having dropped off the disguised,fugitive Prince Alexander Onedin and Captain Baines are captured by Tsarists,a fifty thousand pound ransom being required for their freedom. By selling off some of her shares and four of her brother's ships,Elizabeth raises the money and travels to Bulgaria with Samuel to hand it over. However the captives have already been rescued by the quick-thinking Tom and James is far from grateful to his sister for her gesture,which,he claims,will ruin him.

  • S08E03 Blood Ties

    • September 14, 1980
    • BBC One

    An ancient cannon Captain Baines believes to have belonged to Henry Morgan and spirited Margarita,daughter of South American president Juarez, join James' latest cargo but on arrival in Margarita's home country James finds that her father is about to be overthrown in a revolution by his brother-in-law. When the rebels attack James and Tom help the Juarezes to escape but the president is shot by a sniper and,as the surviving trio row back to the ship under fire,the cannon comes in very handy. Elizabeth counts the financial cost of putting up ransom money for her brother.

  • S08E04 The Honeymoon

    • September 21, 1980
    • BBC One

    James marries Margarita and they sail to Sumatra to establish trade in the East Indies,staying with Dutch ship-owning brothers Max and Theodore Van der Rheede. The brothers are not happy to learn that James has undercut them on a tobacco contract and the dominant Max suggests to his younger brother that they sell up and return to Europe.On the voyage home Margarita intercedes on behalf of a sailor she believes to be harshly-treated,influencing Baines to show him leniency. Back in Liverpool they find that Max has moved there ahead of them but his brother has drowned himself.

  • S08E05 Jonah’s Luck

    • September 28, 1980
    • BBC One

    efying the superstition that it is bad luck to set sail on a Friday,James travels to Africa and outwits a local witch doctor to establish a trading post on the Niger. However he falls out with Captain Baines,who now has his own ship,'The Sea Spray',in the process. Back in Liverpool Margarita is mugged whilst exploring the city alone and Samuel uses his uncle's debt to pay Van Der Rheede for a warehouse in New York.

  • S08E06 The Price of Pride

    • October 5, 1980
    • BBC One

    Captain Baines leaves the Onedin Line and,with Tom aboard,collects his first cargo as owner of the 'Sea Spray'. James suffers as some clients will only trust their freight to his old ship-mate and the vengeful Van Der Rheede - who is out to break him - calls in the debt sold on by Samuel,who returns from New York with a wealthy American bride. To compound matters Charlotte arrives back in Liverpool as a music-hall singer. Ultimately,though,it is Captain Baines who pays the price of pride as his ship blows up,killing Tom.

  • S08E07 Vengeance

    • October 12, 1980
    • BBC One

    Devastated by Tom's death,Captain Baines blames Onedin for hectoring the boy into running away and joining the 'Sea Spray'.With no ship of his own he allows Van Der Rheede to bail him out but Van Der Rheede,holding Onedin responsible for his brother's death,is determined to break him and plants a stolen necklace,acquired from Betsy,a fence,on James Onedin's ship. He arranges for Betsy to be sent away and James is arrested and sent for trial. The family suspect Van Der Rheede and Elizabeth accuses him to his face but they can do nothing.

  • S08E08 Guilty - In All Innocence

    • October 19, 1980
    • BBC One

    Charlotte is reunited with her father after visiting him in jail. Margarita and Samuel pursue the man suspected of planting the necklace on James' ship,only to find he is dead. However a letter arrives from Betsy,addressed to Letty,who was good to her,outlining how Van Der Rheede used her to get the necklace. Furthermore Captain Baines,now anxious to help Onedin,establishes that Van Der Rheede planted it in a chart he knew that the captain was returning to James' ship. The family confronts the Dutchman and force him to confess,whilst Elizabeth hears that Daniel is returning home to be reconciled with her.

  • S08E09 A Long Way Home

    • October 26, 1980
    • BBC One

    Max Van Der Rheede is imprisoned and James is free. He beats Samuel to the contract of transporting nitrate and sets sail with his first cargo. Against his orders Margarita accompanies him. She is pregnant and eventually gives birth to a son. James is overjoyed. Elizabeth,on the other hand,receives distressing news. Daniel's ship has sunk returning to England and he has drowned,making her a widow for a second time.