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


Episode List



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 ...
8 Sep. 1977
A House Divided
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 ...
15 Sep. 1977
A Tiger, a Lamb & a Basket... of Fruit
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.
22 Sep. 1977
My Bonnie Lass, Goodbye
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 ...
29 Sep. 1977
A Ticket to Care for the Wounded
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 ...
6 Oct. 1977
Travel Light, Travel Far
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...
13 Oct. 1977
Requiem for a Loser
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, ...
20 Oct. 1977
Debts Owed, Debts Paid
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.
27 Oct. 1977
The Empire Builders
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.
3 Nov. 1977
Look Up & See the Sky
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.
10 Nov. 1977
Letters from Afar
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 ...
17 Nov. 1977
The Father of Lies
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, ...
24 Nov. 1977
Diamond Cut Diamond
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...
1 Dec. 1977
A Marriage & a Massacre
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 ...
8 Dec. 1977
High Life & Hunger
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 ...
15 Dec. 1977
Please Say Goodbye Before You Go
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 ...

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See also

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

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