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Classic TV Drama: The Onedin Line – #34 – S03 E05 – “Danger Level”


A great Brit TV Classic – this episode

Samuel Plimsoll MP enters Liverpool and raises concerns about the ships’ safety. He advocates the use of his Plimsoll line to mark the safe cargo loading level for the ships in port. James is reluctant to use it, but eventually accepts the use of the Plimsoll Line after he realises it won’t make his ships uneconomic and Mr Plimsoll realises he was being too harsh on James (and ultimately his rivals) after all.


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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