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Classic TV Drama: The Onedin Line – #56 – S05 E04 – “Trade Winds”


A great Brit TV Classic – this episode

Daniel Fogarty (now played by Tom Adams) has returned from Australia a rich man, and reveals that Macaulay is his business partner. James has invited Letty to dinner at a restaurant. He is nervous and awkward, and clumsily builds up to a proposal. Fortunately, Letty is amused by his characteristic bluntness, and accepts his offer. Fogarty now considers himself a partner in the Frazer Line and is alarmed when he realises the extent to which Elizabeth has indentured the company to Macaulay. He offers her a cheque for the £40,000 she has already spent of Macaulay’s investment – she is reluctant to accept, but he insists she takes it to protect herself should Macaulay decide to call in his debt. It is clear that Daniel has already heard enough about Macaulay’s activities to have doubts about his erstwhile partner. Both James and Fogarty want rid of Macaulay, and Elizabeth sets up a meeting between them. They agree on a price for the signed confession that accuses Macaulay of sabotaging ships. Presented with the evidence against him, Macaulay hands over everything that he has acquired in Liverpool. Fogarty returns Robert’s voting rights to James.

Robert is still angry at the way his house was sold, so chooses to travel to New York rather than be best man at the wedding between James and Letty. In New York, his own foolishness leads to him being shanghaied, but fortunately he is spotted by Baines before another captain can claim him. A week before the wedding, James leaves to sort out one of his ships, which has run aground on a sandbank. Letty is frantic that he won’t make it back in time, but James assures her that he will be back in a few days. Instead, he delays his return in order to take advantage of a contract to transport sheep, and contacts Letty, telling her to postpone the wedding. Letty tells him that there will be no wedding.

The Onedin Line is a BBC television drama series, which ran from 1971 to 1980. The series was created by Cyril Abraham.

The series is set in Liverpool from 1860 to 1886[1] and covers the rise of a fictional shipping company, the Onedin Line, named after its owner James Onedin. Around this, it depicts the lives of his family, most notably his brother and partner Robert, a ship chandler, and his sister Elizabeth, giving insight into the lifestyle and customs at the time, not only at sea, but also ashore (mostly lower- and upper-middle-class). The series also illustrates some of the changes in business and shipping, such as from wooden to steel ships and from sailing ships to steamships. It shows the role that ships played in such matters as international politics, uprisings and the slave trade.


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