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


Episode List


Season 4

17 Feb. 1981
Back to Dear Old Blighty
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 ...
24 Feb. 1981
A Gift from Heaven
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 ...
3 Mar. 1981
A Medal for the Argentine
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 ...
10 Mar. 1981
Flies and Spiders
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.
17 Mar. 1981
Oh, My Charming Billy Boy
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. ...
24 Mar. 1981
Friends, Romans, Countrymen
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 ...
31 Mar. 1981
The Bright Young Things
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.
7 Apr. 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 ...
14 Apr. 1981
Comrades in Arms
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 ...
21 Apr. 1981
Roll of Honour
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 ...

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