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Classic TV Drama: The Onedin Line – #28 – S02 E13 – “The Challenge”


A great Brit TV Classic – this episode

James travels to Zanzibar, where he meets Said Ben Salim, a sheikh who asks him to take some Islamic pilgrims to Mecca. However, it soon transpires that these are not pilgrims but slaves and James puts them ashore in Africa, enabling them to return home. On his return to Liverpool, he issues an unusual challenge to Daniel Fogarty; to race each other to Foochow in China and back with a cargo of tea, the winner assuming the overall control of the Onedin Line.

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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