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Classic TV Drama: The Onedin Line – #35 – S03 E06 – “Black Gold”


A great Brit TV Classic – this episode

Caroline’s acquaintance Henry Wickham asks Onedin to smuggle valuable rubber tree seeds out of Brazil so that he can start a plantation in India. Onedin and Caroline set sail but they fall foul of local big-wig Ortega and, for their own safety, have to return home without the seeds. Eventually they discover that they were being used as decoys by Wickham who, with Fogarty, set out on a separate expedition and obtained the seeds.


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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