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Classic TV Drama: The Onedin Line – #37 – S03 E08 – “Ice and Fire”


A great Brit TV Classic – this episode

James Onedin plans to sail to Sweden with iron rails and bring home a cargo of timber for use in the Biddulph mines. Leonora, piqued at the attention James is giving Caroline, agrees to part-finance the trip and accompanies him. In Sweden, Count Ericson plays hard to get, haggling for a high price for his timber but James knows he must give in else the ice floes will form and block the return voyage. Leonora persuades the count to drop his price. When the ship is in danger of ice James uses dynamite from the ship’s cargo to blast its way out. On return to Liverpool Caroline awaits James and they end up kissing.


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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