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Classic TV Drama: The Onedin Line – #68 – S06 E06 – “The Reverend’s Daughter”


A great Brit TV Classic – this episode

Daniel shows the plans for the Liverpool to Manchester ship canal to Sir Norman and his business partners, noting that the Railway monopoly will fight them all the way. Meanwhile, the ladies discuss the latest fashion in the room next door; Elizabeth is extremely bored by the small talk and is concerned with what Daniel may be negotiating. He says that the canal will cost £10m to build but is a ‘small’ investment to make for future prosperity. Elizabeth says that she was born and bred in Liverpool and accuses Daniel of being a traitor for the effect the canal will have on the shipyards. She says it will be the death of Liverpool. James tells Letty, who has still not told him she is pregnant, to come to Africa with him. Still not willing to tell him she is pregnant, she says that she cannot because she has bought a shredding machine and ‘has to be there when it is delivered’! A man called Branigan, clutching his daughter, is evicted to release land for the canal. A Reverend Webster asks Baines if they can take them to Lagos. He knows James as they are related through Anne and are in fact cousins. In an orphanage, Sarah sees Branigan and his daughter and pledges all her help. Daniel tells Elizabeth that the South African Conference has thrown out the Murchison Line. Branigan signs on as ships carpenter while Sarah introduces Marcus Symmons, the director of the orphanage, to Elizabeth. They need new premises and benefactors. He flatters Elizabeth and says he needs 3–4 thousand pounds. James shows Hannah Webster around the ship and Baines looks on with slight concern, as Letty is not on the voyage. Elizabeth invites Marcus Symmons to dine with her and says that he interests her and does he try to seduce women for profit or pleasure. Symmons shows her the orphanage which has no heat or sanitation and that he would flatter any woman to get what he needs. On board ship, Branigan tells Hannah Webster about his daughter and she berates him for abandoning her, much to Baines annoyance, who says it is none of her business. Letty confides in Elizabeth that she has still not told James. Elizabeth tells Daniel that she has been entertaining herself with a young man and that a girl has been thrown out of her home because of the canal, making them beggars. Daniel denies it and says someone else is buying the land. The crew are sick due to foul water and put in for fresh supplies. Daniel suspects someone of cheating the company and buying the land near the locks to resell at an exorbitant profit. He has the name of the company and accuses Sir Norman who admits it but says it will not stand up in court. Daniel says that he will use all his wealth to prove it unless Norman agrees to sell the land to them at the same price he paid for it. While they are at anchor waiting for fresh water, the ship is boarded by bandits. James and the crew fend off the attackers and Branigan saves Hannah’s life. James tells Branigan that when they return he will give him enough money for a new start.

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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