When the Boat Comes In (TV Series 1976–1981) Poster


Episode List


Season 2

29 Oct. 1976
Ask for Twopence, Take a Penny
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...
5 Nov. 1976
Tram Ride to the Bluebell
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 ...
12 Nov. 1976
A Pillowful of Buttercups
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 ...
19 Nov. 1976
Roubles for the Promised Land
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 ...
26 Nov. 1976
Some Bulbs to Keep the Garden Bright
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 ...
3 Dec. 1976
God & Love & Wellesley Street
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 '...
10 Dec. 1976
Whatever Made You Think the War Was Over?
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 ...
17 Dec. 1976
Ladies, Women, Sweethearts & Wives
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...
7 Jan. 1977
After the Bonfire
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 ...
14 Jan. 1977
A Wreath with Our Names On
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.
21 Jan. 1977
The Way It Was in Murmansk
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.
28 Jan. 1977
In the Front Line You Get Shot At
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.
4 Feb. 1977
The Simple Pleasures of the Rich
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 ...

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See also

Episode Cast | Rated Episodes (by date / vote)| TV Schedule

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