Set in Gallowshields on Tyneside between the 2 World Wars, this story follows the life of ex-sergeant Jack Ford and the Seaton family as they deal with the aftermath of the Great War, the Great 1920s Depression and trade union activists.

Creator:

Reviews

Watch Now

on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Episodes

Seasons


Years



4   3   2   1  
1981   1977   1976  
5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

New Tricks (TV Series 2003)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three retired police officers are drafted in to solve cold cases, with a touch of comedy and drama

Stars: Dennis Waterman, Amanda Redman, Alun Armstrong
Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The trials of the British aristocratic Bellamy family and their household staff.

Stars: Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh
Secret Army (1977–1979)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

In this series, inspired by real events during World War II, the kind, intelligent and worrisome Albert Foiret runs both a café, which is the only notable public house in a small Belgian ... See full summary »

Stars: Bernard Hepton, Angela Richards, Clifford Rose
Only When I Laugh (1979–1982)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A rather naive, middle-class man is admitted to a hospital ward and finds that he is sharing it with a working-class layabout and an upper-class hypochondriac. All three of them cause headaches for the hospital staff.

Stars: James Bolam, Peter Bowles, Christopher Strauli
The Onedin Line (1971–1980)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

James Onedin marries Anne Webster in order to get his hands on a ship. However the marriage turns out to be one of true love. James is ruthless in his attempt to get a shipping line started... See full summary »

Stars: Peter Gilmore, Jessica Benton, Howard Lang
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The trials and misadventures of the staff of a country veterinary office in 1940's Yorkshire.

Stars: Christopher Timothy, Robert Hardy, Peter Davison
The Likely Lads (1964–1966)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The adventures of two "likely lads" ostensibly set in the North East of England (but filmed in Willesden Junction, London). Terry and Bob have been friends since childhood. Bob is the ... See full summary »

Stars: James Bolam, Rodney Bewes, Don McKillop
Flambards (TV Mini-Series 1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In the early 1900's in England, young Christina is orphaned and goes to live with her Uncle Russell, who owns the country estate of Flambards, and has two sons. Mark, the elder, is a ... See full summary »

Stars: Christine McKenna, Rosalie Williams, Steven Grives
Danger UXB (TV Series 1979)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Brian Ash (Anthony Andrews) is a young lieutenant who is assigned to a UXB unit in the early days of World War II. UXB (UneXploded Bomb) is the signal that an aerial bomb has not exploded. ... See full summary »

Stars: Anthony Andrews, Maurice Roëves, George Innes
Piece of Cake (TV Mini-Series 1988)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Stories of the men of the RAF Hornet Squadron during the early days of World War II.

Stars: Neil Dudgeon, George Anton, Boyd Gaines
Island at War (TV Mini-Series 2004)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Period: Second World War. A quiet channel island community is thrown into turmoil by the invasion forces of Nazi Germany.

Stars: Saskia Reeves, Owen Teale, Julia Ford
Taggart (1983–2010)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The Maryhill CID investigates gruesome murders against the bleak backdrop of the city of Glasgow.

Stars: Blythe Duff, Colin McCredie, John Michie
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Jack Ford (48 episodes, 1976-1981)
James Garbutt ...
 Bill Seaton (39 episodes, 1976-1977)
Jean Heywood ...
 Bella Seaton (39 episodes, 1976-1977)
John Nightingale ...
 Tom Seaton (39 episodes, 1976-1977)
...
 Billy Seaton (35 episodes, 1976-1981)
Malcolm Terris ...
 Matt Headley (34 episodes, 1976-1977)
Susan Jameson ...
 Jessie Seaton / ... (30 episodes, 1976-1981)
Madelaine Newton ...
 Dolly / ... (30 episodes, 1976-1977)
Basil Henson ...
 Sir Horatio Manners / ... (25 episodes, 1976-1977)
Rosalind Bailey ...
 Sarah Lytton / ... (23 episodes, 1977-1981)
Edit

Storyline

Set in Gallowshields on Tyneside between the 2 World Wars, this story follows the life of ex-sergeant Jack Ford and the Seaton family as they deal with the aftermath of the Great War, the Great 1920s Depression and trade union activists.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 January 1976 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando llega el barco  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(51 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

They don't make `em like this anymore!
19 December 2003 | by (Adelaide, Australia) – See all my reviews

I was thrilled to find this series on video at my local library, so I borrowed all copies. I'd been rapt in this series in the late 70's when it was shown on local TV, and again during its many repeats. This is superb television - excellent writing, acting, evocative locations, authentic sets

  • I could go on!




The characters of the members of the Seaton family are beautifully written and acted, and again, as 25 years ago, I feel that I know them. Jack Ford, played by James Bolam, is a subtle balance of strength and ambition, morality and compassion, but you wouldn't want to cross him! Bolam has a long list of credits to his name, but to me Jack Ford is his finest creation.

The producers brilliantly captured the struggle and destitution and stark inequalities of the post-World War l era in northern England. The Tyne-side accents, the `bonnie lads' and `tirra's' were like music in my ears - (even though I've never left the shores of this fair country!)

It was a pleasure to watch a story unfolding without extreme close-ups or hand-held cameras, which today simply interfere with the story-telling. I enjoy a TV program most when I feel I'm a priveleged, but unseen observer. "When The Boat Comes In" provides this level of enjoyment.


40 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
History Lesson Needed carl-133
Jack Ford: One Of TV's Most Memorable Villains? MickAstonDavies
Cut TV screenings on the Yesterday channel duke-verity
The official James Mitchell Website writerjamesmitchell
Isla Blair flashgordan
Discuss When the Boat Comes In (1976) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?