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Classic TV Drama: The Onedin Line – #86 – S08 E04 – “The Honeymoon”


A great Brit TV Classic – this episode

James and Margarita have married, but Elizabeth is not happy. James has decided to go the East Indies to find cargo to solve their financial problems. The main problem is that the Dutch have a monopoly there. He plans to go to Sumatra and asks Margarita to go with him as a honeymoon. He leaves Elizabeth to buy two old ships to store tobacco in the East Indies and to start a new company and raise £20,000 to do so. She asks Samuel but he refuses saying that he has no money as his mills are on strike. At the dock, Captain Baines is signing on crew and turns away a union man. Margarita tells James that this will deprive his family so James tells Baines to hire him. He also engages a bosun that everyone hates, they say that every voyage he does someone dies. He is a brutal man. They arrive in Sumatra and meet Max Van De Rheede a shipping owner living there. He is very charming to Margarita.

James meets Max’s customers and undercuts his prices. They also meet Max’s brother Theodore. James sets sail to Java to get custom there but Max believes that he won’t succeed because the Dutch have all the business. Later Max tells his brother that James has ruined them and they will have to leave Sumatra. Meanwhile, at home Elizabeth tells Mr Dawkins and Mr Dunwoody that the company James has created is called Rotterdam Onedin and has 40% Dutch shareholders, this has enabled him to trade in The East Indies. When they arrive home, Elizabeth greets them and says she has a surprise dinner guest. It turns out to be Max. He tells them all that his brother killed himself because they had to leave and that he is starting a company in Liverpool.


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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