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Classic TV Drama: The Onedin Line – #88 – S08 E06 – “The Price of Pride”


A great Brit TV Classic – this episode

Back in Liverpool, Tom tells Baines it’s not too late to settle his argument with James, but Baines says that he has had the whole voyage home to make amends. James says it has been a long time, maybe too long says Baines, they shake hands. James finds Margarita in bed ailing from a fever and chest infection from Liverpool’s cold air but getting better. James shows an interest in a three-masted barque the Angelos, to transport a cargo of ivory. He tells Dawkins that Baines is no longer with the Onedin Line. Dawkins suggests that he take the Soren Larsson with James himself as captain. Baines receives his final pay from Dawkins including the profit from his shares in the Christian Radich and Dawkins tips him off about a possible whiskey charter. Tom tells James that he is a partner with Baines and is going on the Sea Spray’s first run. James is furious and tells him that he is in breach of his indentures and will send him on a coaling run to Swansea until he learns obedience. Tom lies to Baines and sets sail with him on the Sea Spray. Max Van Der Rheede calls on James for the repayment of his £10000 debt, sold to him by Samuel, plus £500 interest. On the way to the launch of the new Fraser ship, the William Fraser, Dunwoody lets slip that he has seen Dawkins dining with Van Der Rheede and that he is the source of the indiscretions. Tom tells Baines that he has lied to him and Baines is furious telling him that James ‘owns him body and soul’. James confronts Dawkins who says that Van Der Rheede told him he only wanted to help but James dismisses him anyway. Elizabeth receives a letter from Samuel saying he is returning from abroad and that he has remarried. James repays his debt to Van Der Rheede who says he will use it to buy the Angelos. He tells James that because of his blind greed, he ruined his brother who then committed suicide and that he made a graveside vow to beggar him. James wonders why Charlotte has not responded to his or Margarita’s letters. They learn that she has been away on tour singing in Music Hall. She is booked to open at The Pantheon in Liverpool performing under the name The Lancashire Nightingale. Samuel arrives with his new American bride Caroline. Her father is President of the New York Yankees Baseball team as well as a Long Island bank. Charlotte arrives and greets Caroline, mistaking her for James’ wife Margarita. Samuel is furious and says ‘thank you Charlotte, thank you’. In the hold of the Sea Spray a rat jumps out at the bosun causing him to drop his lamp, setting fire to the cargo of whisky. Tom tries to put out the fire but is badly burnt, Baines rescues him and they escape in the lifeboat before the ship explodes. Tragically, Tom dies from his injuries in Baines’ arms.

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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