Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Year: 1976 | 1977 | 1981

Season 1

Season 1, Episode 1: A Land Fit for Heroes and Idiots

8 January 1976
In 1919 Jack Ford returns to Gallowshields on Tyneside after service in the great war and becomes friendly with the Seaton family, parents Bella and Bill and their children Jessie, a school teacher to whom Jack is attracted, and her brothers Billy, a medical student and Socialist, and Tom, who is getting married to his sweetheart Mary. Mary's young brother was killed in the war and Jack tells Tom in confidence that he died in the arms of another man. Billy and Jessie try to involve Jack in the local Labour party against the Liberal candidate and magistrate, former Major Pinner, who is against votes for women. Pinner not only wins the election but makes himself unpopular by trying Will Scrimgour, a shell-shocked war hero who got into a fight whilst he was confused and scared.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
Susan Jameson ... Jessie Seaton
James Garbutt ... Bill Seaton

Jean Heywood ... Bella Seaton
John Nightingale ... Tom Seaton
Michelle Newell ... Mary Seaton

Edward Wilson ... Billy Seaton

Malcolm Terris ... Matt Headley
James Bate ... William Scrimgour
Valerie Georgeson ... Lucy Scrimgour

Roger Hammond ... Maj. Reginald Leslie Pinner
Jeffry Wickham ... Dr. Lang

Richard Griffiths ... P.C. Price
David Hartley ... Clerk of Court
Alec Sabin ... Defence
Trevor Ainsley ... Prosecution
Alan Snell ... Francy

Season 1, Episode 2: Say Hello...... Say Tirra

15 January 1976
Billy, Tom and Matt, Jack's old army pal, try to involve him in the Labour movement but he seems disinterested. Bella takes in Harry, a young boy whose mother has died, leaving him an orphan. Father Keenley, the local priest, tells Bella that she could adopt but this would put a strain on resources and it might be better if she allows the boy to be sent on an emigration scheme to Australia, to which she reluctantly agrees.

Season 1, Episode 3: Fish in Woolly Jumpers

22 January 1976
Times are hard as the miners strike over a pay claim and Tom, now with a son to keep as well as Mary, who has tuberculosis, borrows money from the seemingly flush Jack. Jack meets Matt's sister Dolly Mather, a war widow with whom he has an affair. Tom, aware that Jack is involved in some sort of scam, threatens to expose them unless Jack counts him in so Jack and Matt take Tom on their nocturnal 'fishing trip', in reality stealing sheep. They have a narrow escape after a run-in with a policeman but Jessie, against Jack's expectations, condones his activities.

Season 1, Episode 4: Swords and Pick Handles

29 January 1976
Jack visits Sir Horatio Manners, father of his late commanding officer and gives him a present of a sword. Manners knows this is a ploy for Jack to ingratiate himself but is impressed by his guile and offers him a job at his new factory, supervising non-Union workers. This angers Jessie, who sees Jack as betraying his kind but they are reconciled after Jack has rescued Tom, in need of money and working as a 'black-leg' or strike-breaking miner, from being beaten up by his striking colleagues.

Season 1, Episode 5: Coal Comfort

5 February 1976
The strike continues and Bill approaches an old friend, Sep, regarding the location of a coal mine which was closed down fifty years earlier. Billy decides to quit his studies and, whilst Bill initially offers no opposition, he belittles the lad in the hopes that he will change his mind. However Billy successfully finds coal by digging under the house. Tom pursues two children who have stolen leeks from his allotment but, on discovering that their mother, Elsie, is a war widow with no pension, makes a gift of leeks to them.

Season 1, Episode 6: Empire Day on the Slag Heap

12 February 1976
The strike ends with no concessions won by the colliers. Jack does well at the factory and Manners suggests that he could do better than marry Jessie. Jessie goes on a date with the older, formal Mr. Ashton, who proposes to her, though she turns him down. Matt tells Jack that Dolly is pregnant and so he agrees to marry her. Bill is injured at the pit and is offered a payment by the mining company but at the expense of admitting his own liability. Jack bitterly opposes this and holds out for a better settlement, winning Jessie's admiration.

Season 1, Episode 7: A First Time for Everything

19 February 1976
Encouraged by French onion seller Pierre, Bella turns the front of the house into a shop, using some of Bill's compensation. Bill, still in a wheel-chair, is initially hostile but sees the need for an income. Jessie is impressed by the intelligence of fourteen-year-old pupil Ronnie and tries to dissuade him from working in the mine but his mother is a widow and he wants to earn 'man's money'. He goes to work in the pit and is killed, causing Tom, who was looking after him, to quit his job. Jessie gets engaged to Mr. Ashton whilst Jack marries Dolly at the registry office.

Season 1, Episode 8: Paddy Boyle's Discharge

26 February 1976
Mary dies. Jack is in a pub when he meets an old army colleague, Sid Hepburn, still a professional soldier who suggests that Jack reenlists and returns to Ireland as a soldier's pay is very good. Paddy Boyle, an Irish member of Jack's sheep-stealing gang, is convinced that Hepburn and his friend Bartram are the two British soldiers responsible for rape and murder back in Cork. Jack realises that Paddy is a member of Sinn Fein. Having considered Hepburn's offer he decides against rejoining the army but is too late to stop carnage when Bartram and Hepburn are shot by Paddy and his Sinn Fein comrade Lynch. Despite a warning cry from Jack, Paddy is also shot by a British soldier.

Season 1, Episode 9: Angel on Horseback

4 March 1976
Nurse Rosie Trotter returns to Gallowshields and is mutually attracted to Tom, though, out of respect for Mary, they agree to postpone their wedding for a year. Mick Murphy, Bella's uncle, takes ill and dies in hospital, having first placed a bet on a horse in Bella's name. To make up the money for his funeral Bella does cleaning work and is pleased to feel independent, which Bill resents. Mick's funeral is well-attended and the horse he backed won but unfortunately the bet was never placed as the bookie was operating illegally and was arrested by the police.

Season 1, Episode 10: King for a Day

11 March 1976
Dolly is pregnant and Jack jobless so he agrees to a proposition to make money, from Manners, who wants to buy a house from Lord Calderbeck. Jack, posing as a parvenu car parts tycoon, will act as front man. At the house he meets Freddy, Calderbeck's nephew and heir, though his Lordship resents him as he survived the war, unlike Calderbeck's sons. Freddy is suspicious of Jack but the merry widow Jane Cromer, Freddy's fiancée, is partial to a bit of rough and climbs into Jack's bed. Ultimately Jack persuades her to marry Freddy and, thanks to inside information from Billy, who is working on his Lordship's land, gets a good sale for the house with a healthy commission for himself. However he learns that Dolly has had a miscarriage.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
James Garbutt ... Bill Seaton

Jean Heywood ... Bella Seaton
John Nightingale ... Tom Seaton

Edward Wilson ... Billy Seaton
Madelaine Newton ... Dolly
Basil Henson ... Sir Horatio Manners

Lesley-Anne Down ... Jane Cromer

John D. Collins ... Freddy Calderback

John Welsh ... Lord Calderbeck

John Lee ... Major Rupert Routledge

Helen Lindsay ... Lucinda Routledge
Sylvia Barter ... Lady Calderbeck
Edward Dentith ... Doctor

Season 1, Episode 11: Happy New Year, Some Say

18 March 1976
It is New year's Eve and Glaswegian socialist lecturer Sandy Lewis joins Jack, whom he tells that the Labour party is in the ascendancy, at the George Hotel, where Billy is a bar-man and Tom avoids capture, having stolen from the cloak-room. They join Bill and Bella at a New Year party given by Jessie and Arthur Ashton, to whom she is now married. Next day the Seatons are summonsed for allowing their shop to remain open in the evening. Bill suspects they were grassed up by rival shop-keeper Davidson so Sandy throws a brick through his window with a note tied to it reading 'Happy New Year'.

Season 1, Episode 12: Heads You Win, Tails I Lose

25 March 1976
To the annoyance of her husband Arthur, Jessie has been nominated for the Labour Party executive and Jack antagonizes Dolly - who sees an ulterior motive - in backing her. Jessie's nomination is successful. She has a bright pupil, Robert, for whom she is seeking a scholarship and romance seems to be in the air between Robert's mother Lizzie Armstrong and Matt. However Lizzie is independent and turns Matt down after securing a well-paid cleaning job. Tom is on the run, wanted for theft and illegal gambling, and Jack, having patched things up with Dolly, plans to help him escape to London.

Season 1, Episode 13: Kind Hearted Rat with a Lifebelt

1 April 1976
Tom is caught and remanded in custody. Jack becomes the deputy branch secretary of the union, getting the miners on side to dissuade them from strike action. The widow Downey - who actually informed on Tom - is facing eviction as she cannot pay the rent and is locked out of her house by the landlord. Jack goes to her aid by breaking down the door and hiding her furniture for her. Both he and Tom appear in court. Tom is sentenced to three months in prison and Jack to one, but Jack is released to a hero's welcome.

Season 2

Season 2, Episode 1: Ask for Twopence, Take a Penny

29 October 1976
Jack is now the union's district secretary, a paid position with Matt as his deputy and his own office and typist. Jack's late predecessor has left a note in which he instructs Jack to ask two-pence an hour extra on the weekly wage but to expect a penny. Jack sees that if he cannot deliver he will lose his job to his rival Les Mallow so he uses his acquaintance with Sir Horatio Manners, now chairman of the Lewis Bishop shipyard, to secure the extra penny. He can now afford to move to a better area but is annoyed with Jessie when he learns that Mallow approached her to divulge his relationship with Manners. Billy, now a qualified doctor, visits Tom in prison though the meeting is negative.

Season 2, Episode 2: Tram Ride to the Bluebell

5 November 1976
Jack and Dolly move, with Matt, to their superior new house though Dolly, unable to bear children and anxious to adopt, is heart-broken to find that Jack's prison record will prevent this. Tom is released to his parents' shop where Bill, initially hard on him, unbends as his son makes himself useful. Tom is threatened by Big Mac, whom he and Jack exposed as a tobacco baron when they were in prison, resulting in the Scot being flogged. Mac says he will harm Tom's son Tommy if he does not steal from the shop for him. However, whilst the Ashtons look after Tommy, Jack sets a trap and gives Big Mac a good beating, retrieving Tom's money. Matt is critical as he and Jack are trying to get compensation for injured Harry Duffy and Matt feels that their positions as union executives would have been in jeopardy if they had been caught fighting.

Season 2, Episode 3: A Pillowful of Buttercups

12 November 1976
Jack gets a visit from former army colleague Ted Chater, now a Regimental Sergeant Major, but on the run from his regiment. He had impregnated his girl-friend, Jenny, unaware that she was a minor, and she has disappeared. Jack hides him whilst enquiring after Jenny, only to find that she has killed herself whereupon a despairing Chater also commits suicide. Billy returns to work locally despite Bill's view that he should not squander his talents but specialise. Bill also believes Billy should pay him back the money spent on his training, causing Billy to lodge with Arthur and the pregnant Jessie. Manners employs Jack to demolish a country mansion in order to make room for a housing project.

Season 2, Episode 4: Roubles for the Promised Land

19 November 1976
Billy is unable to get medical work due to his socialist principles and moves back to help his parents. Tom, who finds it hard to cope with shop work, moves into a hostel. Here he befriends Kaganovich, a Russian Jew from Archangel, hoping to travel to Palestine and looking for Jack, whom he says can help him. When the two meet Kaganovich accuses Jack of stealing money from his late father during the Russian revolution though Jack claims he was given the money as a bribe in exchange for helping the old man escape. In any case it is 'Kerensky money', old currency which is out of date and worthless, though Kaganovich is still determined to go to Palestine. Jack does however persuade Tom to go home to his mother.

Season 2, Episode 5: Some Bulbs to Keep the Garden Bright

26 November 1976
Les Mallow wants Jack to expose seed merchant Sanderson, whose brother is on the housing committee and sells plants to council tenants at outrageous prices, on pain of eviction if they refuse. If Jack declines Les threatens to reveal that he took a bribe from Kaganovich's father, a fact he learned from a drunken Matt. Opinions of Jack's behaviour are divided, temporarily causing a rift between locum doctor Billy and Tom, now a self-employed gardener. However Jack is able to call Les's bluff by unearthing a shameful secret in his own family, courtesy of Jessie, who also asks him to employ Billy as the union's doctor in deciding compensation cases.

Season 2, Episode 6: God & Love & Wellesley Street

3 December 1976
Billy gets a job with the altruistic Dr. Stoker, helping poor patients for precious little financial return. All his family disapprove, especially upon learning that he turned down Jack's job offer. Tom meets Charlotte Courtnay, a glamorous novelist from London, looking for her father, a Catholic priest, who is also working with Dr. Stoker. He gets on well with her but Jack is suspicious that she is toying with him as a bit of rough and persuades her to return to London before he gets hurt. To her credit she leaves Tom money and a note saying that he would have been 'too nice' for her.

Season 2, Episode 7: Whatever Made You Think the War Was Over?

10 December 1976
Manners reminds Jack that he owes him and charges him to close down production for a week at Buell-Hodge, a small family firm which makes motor car parts and also pays the workers handsomely. Jack is able to highlight safety deficiencies which do the trick but finds Buell a decent man and is angered to find that Manners is using him to bankrupt Buell and allow an easy take-over of a potentially thriving firm. He therefore beats Manners at his own game to save Buell-Hodge whilst discharging the debt. Bella, distraught at the rift between Billy and the rest of the family, gets drunk and makes a play for Jack, who, helped by Arthur, sobers her up in time to attend the birth of Jessie's baby.

Season 2, Episode 8: Ladies, Women, Sweethearts & Wives

17 December 1976
Bill opens a second shop. Jessie returns from hospital with her baby son, Arthur William. Her husband Arthur feels they should visit his childless, wealthy aunt in Kent in the hopes that she will bestow financial favour on the child. Jack and Dolly prepare for a dinner party with the Duke of Bedlington, where Jack will negotiate for land from the duke, upon which Manners plans to build a trading estate. Manners warns Jack not to take Dolly to the party as she will be out of her depth and he is right as catty society women pick on her lack of sophistication, though she finds an ally in pleasant Lady Caroline. Tom later offers her a shoulder to cry on, observed by Jack.

Season 2, Episode 9: After the Bonfire

7 January 1977
Seeing the disastrous dinner party as the final proof that she should never have married him, Dolly leaves Jack to move in with Tom. Jack gets them both jobs on the duke's staff, rather enjoying the fact that they are now his inferiors as he becomes increasingly friendly with Lady Caroline, the duke's widowed daughter. He buys land from her to spite Manners and ends up kissing her though both are aware that they are only having a fling. Billy finally accepts Jack's job offer but surprises the family by saying that the money earned will be split between repaying his debt to them and finances for the clinic, with nothing for himself.

Season 2, Episode 10: A Wreath with Our Names On

14 January 1977
Billy is shocked that Stan Mather, a cousin of Dolly's late husband, is still going to work at Manners' shipyard despite having pleurisy, but Stan cannot afford time off and keeps working. When he is fatally injured in an accident, Jack leans on Billy to support him in his efforts to get compensation for the widow. Lady Caroline offers to give Dolly and Tom the money to move into a cottage together on her father's estate but they get it from Bill instead. Jack comes to make his peace with Dolly and they send Stan's widow a wreath with both their names on it.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
James Garbutt ... Bill Seaton

Jean Heywood ... Bella Seaton
John Nightingale ... Tom Seaton
Madelaine Newton ... Dolly Ford

Isla Blair ... Lady Caroline
Tim Healy ... Reilly (as Tim Healey)
Basil Henson ... Sir Horatio Manners
Alan Hockey ... Clegg
Susan Jameson ... Jessie Seaton
Susie Johns ... Nurse
Don McKillop ... Sergeant Storey
Beryl Nesbitt ... Mrs Mather
Isobil Nisbet ... Mrs Armstrong (as Isobel Nisbet)

Fred Pearson ... Stan Mather

John Ringham ... Mr Armstrong

Catherine Terris ... Miss Laidlaw

Malcolm Terris ... Matt Headley

Edward Wilson ... Billy Seaton

Season 2, Episode 11: The Way It Was in Murmansk

21 January 1977
The local Labour party ask Jack to speak on behalf of their candidate Geordie Watson, a good man but a less impassioned orator than Jack, at the up-coming elections. Seeing how desperately the party wants his support Jack agrees on condition that Matt is made a councillor and gives a rousing speech, turning Dolly's desertion of him to his advantage and bribing voters to ensure Watson's victory. The elections cause a rift between Jessie and Arthur with their opposite political views whilst Matt's new girl-friend Sarah becomes house-keeper for him and Jack.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
Susan Jameson ... Jessie Seaton
Brian Appleton ... Jimmy Thoburn
Roger Avon ... Stan Liddell
Rosalind Bailey ... Sarah Lytton

Ian Cullen ... Geordie Watson
Alan Fox ... Mr. Purdie
Cilla Mason ... Mrs. Burns
Lizzie McKenzie ... Mrs. Thoburn
Geoffrey Rose ... Arthur Ashton

Catherine Terris ... Miss. Laidlaw

Malcolm Terris ... Matt Headley

Season 2, Episode 12: In the Front Line You Get Shot At

28 January 1977
A hard-nosed factory owner called Colfax refuses to allow his workers to join a union. Manners has had a bet with him that Jack will make him change his mind. For his own, ethical reasons Jack tries to persuade Colfax by calling strike action but has to back off when Colfax brings in the Chief Constable to read the Riot Act to Jack about the strikers assaulting the black leg replacement workers. The strike is off but Jack sees through Manners' hidden agenda and gets one over on him. Bella is rushed to hospital with appendicitis.

Season 2, Episode 13: The Simple Pleasures of the Rich

4 February 1977
Bella, discharged from hospital, and the rest of the Seatons welcome Dolly, unexpectedly pregnant by Tom. Jack announces that he is retiring as Union secretary and handing the role to Matt. He will also move out of the house to allow Matt and Sarah privacy when they marry. Manners refuses to buy the land that Jack obtained from Lady Caroline but Jack believes he can reel him in if he demolishes Mandrake Place, leaving the land clear. There is opposition to the plan as the building is by Vanbrugh, but Jack goes ahead, helped by Tom, in return for Jack agreeing to be the respondent in Dolly's divorce.

Season 3

Season 3, Episode 1: A House Divided

8 September 1977
Matt and Tom rescue the injured Jack from the ruins of Mandrake Place but Arthur, considering the demolition an act of vandalism, contacts the Association for the Preservation of Great Houses, whose representative, James Channing, threatens to prosecute Manners. Manners, however, claims that Jack went behind his back to blow up the house and Jessie goes to warn Jack, offering an alibi, for which he is grateful. Thanks to Lady Caroline, Jack discovers that her brother-in-law Roddy and Channing are more than just friends, a fact he uses to stave off prosecution, though it ultimately ends with him arguing with Lady Caroline.

Season 3, Episode 2: A Tiger, a Lamb & a Basket... of Fruit

15 September 1977
Jessie calls a family meeting to ensure that Matt and Tom are not arrested for their part in the demolition of Mandrake place. It ends in disagreements though Bill offers Dolly a job managing his new shop and Arthur tells Jack he knows that Jessie still carries a torch for him. Jack is beaten up by two thugs employed by Roddy. He gets his own back on one of them and then faces Roddy, telling him he will ensure he is sent to prison for being gay unless all charges are dropped.

Season 3, Episode 3: My Bonnie Lass, Goodbye

22 September 1977
Jack prevails upon Channing to support his story that the destruction of Mandrake Place was an accident as he was only planning to detonate the disused mine beneath it. This comes back to bite him when Manners, claiming to believe the account, then refuses to pay him. Jessie is dismayed when Arthur tells her that they are moving to Kent where he has a better paid job. She feels he is trying to isolate her from other socialists but Jack, after sharing a kiss and a farewell drink with her, arranges an introduction with the Fabian Society in Kent, so that she can carry on with her political principles. He then sets about arranging grounds for divorce so that Dolly can marry Tom.

Season 3, Episode 4: A Ticket to Care for the Wounded

29 September 1977
With Jack taking his time in Scarborough Dolly fears that time is running out for the divorce and persuades Tom to leave the duke's estate so they can run Bill's new shop. Matt finds his position threatened by passionate Left-winger Eddie Morton, so he makes him his deputy, aware that Eddie is terminally ill. Eddie alerts Matt to the fact that Friedrich Peltzer, the duke's German nephew, has persuaded Manners to invest in his factory in Stuttgart and Matt threatens strike action unless the offer is withdrawn. As a way out Manners and Peltzer decide they need a go-between - who is of course in Scarborough.

Season 3, Episode 5: Travel Light, Travel Far

6 October 1977
Riddled with cancer, Dr. Stoker takes an overdose and dies, leaving an exhausted Billy to run the free clinic with only Father Courtnay to help. Jack returns from a few days in London, not Scarborough and supplies Dolly with a solicitor, who tells her that she and Tom must live apart to appear blameless. Manners pays Jack to front Pioneer Enterprises, a 'nominee company' to act as go-between with Peltzer and buy the materials the German needs. Matt finds out and threatens a strike but Jack uses the situation to force Manners to take on more fitters and guarantee their jobs. Jack then moves out of his house, leaving it to Matt and Sarah.

Season 3, Episode 6: Requiem for a Loser

13 October 1977
Jack learns that the witness to his staged infidelity has died. Dolly, told by her solicitor that her own adultery jeopardises her case, accuses Jack of deliberately stalling but he agrees to repeat the exercise. Matt marries Sarah with Jack, at Sarah's request, as their best man, rather than Eddie Morton, to whom Matt had promised the role. Drunk and abusive at the wedding reception, Eddie accuses Jack of selling out before dropping dead. Billy also collapses through stress at work and returns to his parents' house to recover. With Father Courtnay leaving the area, Jack puts in a bid for the building in which the clinic is housed in Wellesley Street.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
James Garbutt ... Bill Seaton

Jean Heywood ... Bella Seaton
John Nightingale ... Tom Seaton
Madelaine Newton ... Dolly Seaton

Malcolm Terris ... Matt Headley
Rosalind Bailey ... Sarah Lytton

Edward Wilson ... Billy Seaton
Lois Baxter ... Lady Caroline #2
Vernon Drake ... Hotel Porter
Nora Fulton ... Mrs Lytton (as Norah Fulton)
Neville Jason ... Pritchard
Susie Johns ... Janet
Ralph Michael ... Father Courtney
Bobby Pattinson ... Eddy Morton
Sheri Shepstone ... Nellie
Lewis Teasdale ... Mr Lytton

Season 3, Episode 7: Debts Owed, Debts Paid

20 October 1977
Jack returns from Scarborough, his mission accomplished, and moves into a hotel, where Lady Caroline visits, asking him to a ball as her father's guest, which they know will annoy Manners. Jack also reminds Geordie Watson that he reneged on his offer to make Matt a councillor and forces him to make amends, else he will make public the fact that some votes were bought. Tom goes back to gardening whilst Billy follows up the possibility of his father being able to walk again.

Season 3, Episode 8: The Empire Builders

27 October 1977
Having secured the run down Wellesley Street for a song, as part of Geordie Watson's debt discharged, Jack sees the chance to get back at greedy factory owner Colfax, who wants to demolish the street to expand his factory. He tells Colfax's agent he wants five grand for the sale. He also encourages Bill to emulate a rival shop-keeper and introduce loyalty savings stamps, the pair of them splitting the profits. The Seatons plan to move to a better area though Bella is not keen for Bill to have an operation as Billy suggests.

Season 3, Episode 9: Look Up & See the Sky

3 November 1977
Colfax visits Jack, hoping to haggle with him over the sale of Wellesley Street but Jack knows that Colfax has already invested in expensive new plant for his expansion and holds out for the full five thousand pounds. In addition he leads Colfax to believe that he could still sell to Manners unless Colfax signs a clause agreeing to employ union members and so Colfax is cornered. Unlike the other Seaton family members who are concerned about his health, Billy is angry with Jack for demolishing his clinic to make way for Colfax's new factory.

Season 3, Episode 10: Letters from Afar

10 November 1977
Jack is in London, meeting a banker friend of the duke and is later joined there by Lady Caroline. Dolly feels nervous as her time draws nearer and lashes out at Tom. Matt finds himself caught in the middle when Regan, a far left union man at Manners' shipyard, threatens a strike unless a sacked worker is reinstated and Manners refuses to back down. Matt also resorts to trickery to get information about Ryders, a local engineering firm. Billy, however,is hopeful that, due to the intervention of an acquaintance of his father, Mr. Ryder may give him an old warehouse to use as his new clinic.

Season 3, Episode 11: The Father of Lies

17 November 1977
Returning from London with Lady Caroline Jack finds Matt worried that communist Regan is trying to bring out the workers at Lewis Bishop shipyard. Jack is unperturbed, having used his nominated company to buy majority shares, along with Manners and Caroline, in Ryders, a small engineering company whose philanthropic owner has given Billy new premises for his clinic. Matt is outraged that Jack could callously buy a well-liked business purely for profit but, as usual, fails to see the bigger picture. Dolly gives birth to baby Matthew a month early, before the divorce, and it looks as if Jack's name will be on the birth certificate.

Season 3, Episode 12: Diamond Cut Diamond

24 November 1977
The divorce in the bag, Tom's name can finally go on the birth certificate and Matthew is christened. Regan calls a strike at Lewis Bishop. To assume total control of Ryders' shares Manners needs the duke's block vote but, at a public meeting stage managed by Jack, the duke, who likes Ryder, fails to deliver and, with news of the strike threatening confidence in Lewis Bishop, the proposed take-over fails, securing a safe future for Ryders. Jack and Lady Caroline do well, having sold their shares when bidding was high but Manners ends up at a loss, thus giving Jack his final revenge for Mandrake Place.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
James Garbutt ... Bill Seaton

Jean Heywood ... Bella Seaton
John Nightingale ... Tom Seaton
Madelaine Newton ... Dolly Seaton

Malcolm Terris ... Matt Headley

Edward Wilson ... Billy Seaton
Lois Baxter ... Lady Caroline #2
William Fox ... Duke of Bedlington
Basil Henson ... Sir Horatio Manners
Geoffrey Cousins ... Shareholder
Colin Douglas ... Ryder
Su Elliot ... Nurse (as Su Elliott)
Murray Hayne ... Hodges
Harry Herring ... Gatekeeper
Eddie Key ... Lorry Driver
George Little ... Accountant
William Maxwell ... Regan

Peter Michael McGowan ... Len Laidlaw (as Peter McGowan)
Ken McKenzie ... Ambulance Man
Andy Mulligan ... Reporter
Roy Pattison ... Jones
Tony Shaw ... Ambulance Man
Richard Steele ... Sam Cross

Ann Way ... Mrs. Coppit

Season 3, Episode 13: A Marriage & a Massacre

1 December 1977
Bill has his operation and returns home, able to walk with a stick but Tom is frustrated working in the shop, feeling inferior to Dolly's managerial skills, and regrets giving up work for the Duke. Billy and his assistant, medical student Isobel, alert Matt to the case of Mr. Dixon, mentally unsound after an accident at Lewis Bishop, for which Manners paid his hospital bill but Jack did not refer to Billy. Jack visits the Duke to find out who is sending him threatening letters and killed a number of animals on his estate. During the visit Lady Caroline tells him she is engaged.

Season 3, Episode 14: High Life & Hunger

8 December 1977
Murcheson, Isobel's reactionary father, tries to ban her from working at the clinic. He is Bill's wholesaler and threatens to cut off his credit, causing a huge row between Billy and Bill, who suffers a fall. Bella asks Jack to intervene. Told by Matt about Dixon's accident, Jack, angry that Manners did not inform him about it, visits Dixon, who considers the matter closed and sends him away. Jack befriends a group of homeless unemployed, including upper class con man High Life DeVere, whose help he solicits to catch the person threatening the duke. All the evidence points to the culprit being Dixon.

Season 3, Episode 15: Please Say Goodbye Before You Go

15 December 1977
At a charity ball where he meets Lady Caroline's betrothed, guards captain Mostyn, Jack hits it off with Isobel, who confirms that Dixon is quite mad. Billy is angry to see Jack flirting with her but it is Jack's way of forcing Billy to declare his feelings for her. Isobel's mother supports Billy as he persuades Murchison to renew business with Bill, who now owns five shops. Jack and High Life catch Dixon breaking into the duke's house to destroy a picture of the duke's wife. It is his revenge because the duke's late son seduced Dixon's daughter and Manners, feeling responsible for Dixon, agrees to look out for him and his family if no charges are pressed. Having lent Tom money for his own market garden Jack meets Matt for a last drink before setting sail for America.

Season 4

Season 4, Episode 1: Back to Dear Old Blighty

17 February 1981
Six years have passed. Jack has lost his wealth from boot-legging in the Wall Street Crash and, in debt to gangsters, flees New York as a stowaway on a cargo ship. Arriving in Liverpool with little money he meets the kindly Canon Penfold, who gets him manual work and a room in a hostel. However he has to share with Charlie Rowse, a bullying, embittered ex-teacher who forces him to drink and beats him up. Finally Jack hits back at him and quits the hostel. A chance meeting with Morty Black, an old business friend from New York, gives him the means to head back to Gallowshield.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford

Jeremy Child ... Canon Penfold
Steven Crossey ... Foreman docker
Bill Dean ... Stobbs
Tom Georgeson ... Captain Moore

David Graham ... Morty Black
Stacey Gregg ... Trudi Black

Bernard Horsfall ... Rowse
Colin McCormack ... Starkie
Lionel Stevens ... Head waiter

Season 4, Episode 2: A Gift from Heaven

24 February 1981
Jack returns to a Gallowshield gripped by mass unemployment and lodges with Sarah and her unpleasant younger brother Harry, who tell him that Matt drowned in a row boat accident. Knowing of Matt's fear of water, Jack learns from the boat's owner, Doughty, that Matt killed himself as he had stolen union funds to support his mistress Thelma, who is now dating Harry. Harry has taken photographs of Doughty's smuggling activities with which to blackmail him but Jack steals them and sells them to Doughty, who runs Harry out of town after beating him up. Jack also burns Matt's love letters to Thelma to convince Sarah that her late husband was not unfaithful.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
Rosalind Bailey ... Sarah Headley
Jim Barclay ... Lenny Philips
Myrtle Bruce-Mitford ... Trio #3

George A. Cooper ... Tommy Price
Neil Daglish ... Harry Lytton
Arthur Day ... Trio #1 (as Art Day)
Joanne Hall ... Housekeeper
Neville Hughes ... Trio #2
Caroline Hutchison ... Thelma Clark

Bryan Pringle ... Doughty
Derek Storey ... Barman
Kevin White ... Joe

Season 4, Episode 3: A Medal for the Argentine

3 March 1981
Jack meets Margaret Carter-Brown, who, despite being the niece of Lewis Bishop's former managing director John Hartley, is a Socialist researching the plight of the unemployed on Tyneside. He takes her to see Danny Lockhart, who is struggling to keep his family after the shipyard's closure rendered him unemployed and has sold his war medal. Hartley learns that the Argentine navy want a warship building and asks Jack to use his American contacts to broker a deal that will reopen Lewis Bishop. The deal falls through but Jack is able to supply another order for an American millionaire and uses his advance to buy back Danny's medal, winning Margaret's admiration. Jack also learns that Billy has married and moved to London while his parents have moved to a wealthy area and now vote Conservative.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
Rosalind Bailey ... Sarah Headley
Arthur Blake ... Ossie Edwards

Ian Cullen ... Geordie Watson
Michael Gunn ... Tommy Leybourne
Richard Henry ... Danny Lockhart
David Lynch ... Page
Richard Robson ... Head waiter
Veronica Sowerby ... Freda Lockhart

William Squire ... John Hartley
Ann Thornton ... Margaret Carter-Brown
Tanya Young ... Lockhart's daughter

Season 4, Episode 4: Flies & Spiders

10 March 1981
Smuggler Doughty introduces Jack to his supplier, German Captain Bauer, who offers Jack work guarding an air-strip in South America against local tribes. However, on learning that Bauer wants the locals killed for the oil on their land, Jack refuses. Nonetheless he buys a warehouse full of fire damaged bankrupt goods from Bauer which he and Sarah sell in Gallowshield market. He is able to repay Matt's debt and make a handsome profit though he is less fortunate in love when Margaret, for whom he has fallen, returns to London to get married.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
Rosalind Bailey ... Sarah Headley
Jim Barclay ... Lenny Philips
Mark Barratt ... Bob Minton
Hugo Bower ... Steward
Steph Bramwell ... Mrs. Potts
George Mikell ... Werner

Bryan Pringle ... Doughty
Paul Shelley ... Bauer

William Squire ... John Hartley
Ann Thornton ... Margaret Carter-Brown

Season 4, Episode 5: Oh, My Charming Billy Boy

17 March 1981
Jack is visited by former schoolmate, teacher Sid Meek, who is in touch with Bill Pierce, Matt's nephew, now a brilliant law student at Oxford and in financial trouble. Sid, secretly in love with Bill, asks Jack to investigate which takes him to Oxford where he meets Bill at a charity dance given by Labour philanthropist Violet Laurence, who occasionally pays Bill for 'favours'. Bill is heavily in debt and considers dropping out of his course to take manual work with his girl-friend's father but Jack loans him the money he needs, attracting the attention of Mrs. Laurence's niece Imogen Lorrimer, who is visiting from London.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
Rosalind Bailey ... Sarah Headley

Paul Antony-Barber ... Bill Pierce

David Daker ... Sid Meek

Sabina Franklyn ... Imogen Lorrimer
Vilma Hollingbery ... Mrs. Dawson
Maeve Leslie ... Guest at party
Angus MacKay ... Bonnington
Lizzie McKenzie ... Mrs. Pierce
Bobby Pattinson ... Alf Dawson
Roy Pattison ... Joe Pierce
Louie Ramsay ... Violet Lawrence
Kevin Stoney ... Mr. Reamer
Clare Walker ... Annie Dawson

Season 4, Episode 6: Friends, Romans, Countrymen

24 March 1981
Jack has been living in London for three years with Imogen, but, despite still having feelings for him, she leaves him to avoid scandal as her aunt is standing as a Labour member for Gallowshield. The Tyneside hunger marchers arrive in town as Jack, tipped off by Geordie Watson that there is North Sea oil, buys cheap land in Gallowshield to sell to the interested company. At a toga party given by Mrs. Laurence for the hunger marchers Jack meets Jessie, still married to Arthur and with three children, but seeing upper class socialist Robin Cunningham. She opposes his land deal but Jack buys her silence by threatening to tell Arthur about Robin. Sarah comes to visit and is pleased to be part of the deal.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
Susan Jameson ... Jessie Ashton
Rosalind Bailey ... Sarah Lytton

Edward Wilson ... Billy Seaton
Roger Avon ... Stan Liddell

Ian Cullen ... Geordie Watson
Mischa De La Motte ... Footman

Sabina Franklyn ... Imogen Lorrimer
Coleridge Goode ... Quartet Member
John McKenzie ... Quartet Member
Mike McKenzie ... Quartet Member

Christopher Neame ... Robin Cunningham

Jeremy Nicholas ... Frank Truett
Louie Ramsay ... Violet Lawrence
Johnny Shannon ... Taxi driver
Al Timothy ... Quartet Member
Ralph Morse ... Guest (uncredited)

Season 4, Episode 7: The Bright Young Things

31 March 1981
Having made a huge sum from his deal with the oil company, Jack is mixing in London high society. He is asked by his land agent Frank to help him broker the sale of an expensive emerald necklace to Morty, Jack's old American colleague, on behalf of wealthy Philip Martin, with a commission for them both. Martin's sister Jane takes a shine to Jack but proves to be an unbalanced psychiatric case who will kill to get the necklace for herself. The sale goes ahead and when Jack learns that Morty paid off the mobsters who were threatening him he waives his half of the price.

Season 4, Episode 8: Action!

7 April 1981
Lady Caroline invites Jack to visit her and her family back in Gallowshield. He finds Sarah about to marry Geordie Watson's agent Stan Liddell, who is involved in anti-Fascist politics as the Blackshirts whip up hysteria against Jews. Jack steps in to help persecuted shop-keeper Manny Goldstein before attending a function given by Lady Caroline's husband, Edward Mostyn, who, although he hates Fascists, needs to invite their leader Smith-Jameson to improve his chances of political candidacy. Jack tells Smith-Jameson just what he thinks of him and walks out, supported by socialist guest Tania Corley. Before returning to London he buys Manny's shop so that, when Fascist thugs attack it, he forces Smith-Jameson to pay Manny full compensation or risk prosecution. He also exposes the Blackshirt as having paid money to a Jew.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
Rosalind Bailey ... Sarah Headley
Lois Baxter ... Lady Caroline

Roy Alon ... Fascist
Roger Avon ... Stan Liddell

Timothy Carlton ... Edward Mostyn
Geoffrey Davion ... Orator

Judy Loe ... Tania Corley
Charles Milward ... Puckering (as Charles Millward)

Ray Mort ... Manny Goldstein

John Rowe ... Hector Smith-Jameson

Season 4, Episode 9: Comrades in Arms

14 April 1981
Jack is dating Tania, whose mother, the communist Lady Leamington, gives a party to raise funds for the victims of Franco in the Spanish civil war. At his London practice Billy treats Bob Randall, son of Jack's old army sergeant Fred, wounded fighting for the Spanish Republicans. Aware that Jack considers himself in debt to Fred, who once saved his life, Jessie and Billy get Fred to act as go-between in persuading Jack to smuggle guns past Franco's blockade to help the Republicans. With Tania, Jessie - who has left Arthur - Billy and Left Wing journalist Nigel Scott-Palliser, Jack sets sail under the guise of a pleasure cruise.

James Bolam ... Jack Ford
Susan Jameson ... Jessie Ashton

Edward Wilson ... Billy Seaton
Kevin Brennan ... Rufus
Lesley Daine ... Barmaid
Colin Douglas ... Fred Randall
Harry Fielder ... Fascist
David Gillies ... Bob Randall

Pat Gorman ... Porter

Paul Gregory ... Irish guardsman
Steve Ismay ... Fascist

Phyllida Law ... Lady Leamington

Judy Loe ... Tania Corley
Michael Melia ... Savory

Clive Merrison ... Nigel Scott-Paliser
Andrew Seear ... Roger
Guy Standeven ... Passenger
David Wood ... Ceddie Corley

Season 4, Episode 10: Roll of Honour

21 April 1981
Jack learns that Scott-Palliser is planning to have him arrested for gun-running. He sends Tania home and gets the ship's captain to put ashore elsewhere to avoid the Nationalist gunboat, taking loyal ship's steward Raoul Savory with him. Jessie is shocked to discover that Scott-Palliser has been financed by Stalin's government and plans to give the guns to the Communists and not the Socialists, whom he sees as traitors. Whilst keeping it from him she and Jack talk over old times. Raoul, however, learns of Scott-Palliser's deceit and diverts the Communist convoy though Scott-Palliser escapes. Jack, Jessie, Billy and Raoul outrun Franco's Moorish cavalry to get the guns through to the Socialists but Scott-Palliser is lying in wait for Jack...

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