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Classic TV Drama: The Onedin Line – #91 – S08 E09 – “A Long Way Home” Final Episode


A great Brit TV Classic – this episode

Max Van Der Rheede is imprisoned and James is a free man. Samuel discusses his supply of nitrate with James and agrees a price of £25000, payable in 6 months. Baines is told to prepare the Soren Larsson for a long trip, James reveals he is going to South America for 10–12 months. Margarita says she will go as well but James says no as they will be rounding The Horn twice and she would be an encumbrance. James tells Elizabeth he wants to sell 18 small ships to fund a few bigger ones. He has bought half a million tons of Nitrate from Samuel and he will sail out with coal and back with nitrate. James needs a further £25000 to finance his operation and Elizabeth agrees to the loan, again spread over 6 months. He says he will have 20 years to sell it at a profit of £2 million. James and Baines set sail and discover that Margarita has stowed away. Samuel has received his official nomination for parliament after being recommended by Daniel. Elizabeth asks if it is Caroline’s idea for him to go into politics. Samuel asks Charlotte to dinner to discuss their children; ‘we’ve both changed’ he says. Baines says that James has made a mistake as the river is silted up and that the nearest they can get to the nitrate is by rowing boat. James reveals that he has brought timber with them to build a jetty. James turns down Alf Scrutton’s offer to load the nitrate and is threatened by him, saying he will destroy the jetty if it is built. Margarita tells James she is five months pregnant. He says she will have it in Buenos Aires. Margarita bargains with the locals to build his jetty in return for ten boats. We learn that the Charlotte Rhodes, James’ first ship, has been sold as part of the liquidation of Onedin ships. Samuel has lost the election and Elizabeth receives a telegram saying that Daniel is missing at sea, presumed drowned. She is widowed for the second time. On board ship, James wakes with a premonition about her. James placates Scrutton by offering him a job for £10 a month to organise the loading of the nitrate, paid 6 months in advance. They set sail with the first load of nitrate and Margarita goes into labour. James tells Baines that he will give him all the help that he needs. A bemused Baines says he has never delivered a baby, ‘neither have I’ says James. Simon the cook confides that he has delivered three and successfully delivers Margarita’s baby. An overjoyed James thanks him and shakes his hand. It is a boy, named Will after captain Baines. On deck James takes the wheel declaring, ‘I’ve got a son’.


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[ 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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