The Onedin Line: Cry of the Blackbird (BBC-1 7 Jan 1972)

In Cry of the Blackbird the Pampero is travelling to Australia with a cargo of passengers looking to start a new life. It’s a hard journey, still three weeks out five people have so far died on the voyage. Matters are made worse upon arrival in New South Wales too, the wool cargo that James needs for the return voyage has failed to materialise (it’s one of the worst wool seasons the new country has ever had).

Luckily the Reverend Amos McPherson turns up with an intriguing proposition. He wants James and Anne to transport a party of “natives” to a mission school in Queensland. Of course it’s not to long before we discover that the good reverend is not quite all he seems. He likes a drink and is discovered in a compromising position with one of his new charges.

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Emma Callon, played by the gorgeous Pamela Salem, makes her first brief appearance here. She will have a major impact on the next season but at this stage it’s just an introduction. Season two will also see her being played by Jane Seymour. She is being seen off at the dock by Daniel Fogarty as she heads off to Ireland but it also gives Elizabeth, who just happens to be there, a chance to act a bit green eyed monster-ish.

There is some authentic Australiana too – Judy Nunn who makes a short appearance as a drunken woman outside a pub is better known for her long running role on Australian soap Home and Away and for her role on 1970’s Australian drama The Box. Writer Bruce Stewart although based in the UK was actually from New Zealand too.

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Australian actress Judy Nunn makes a small appearance as woman outside pub.

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast 7 January 1972

Writer: Bruce Stewart / Production Design: Jeremy Bear / Director: Gerald Blake

Series: The Onedin Line Season 1 Episode 12

Peter Gilmore as James
Anne Stallybrass as Anne
Howard Lang as Mr Baines
Pamela Salem as Emma Callon
Michael Billington as Daniel Fogarty
Jessica Benton as Elizabeth
Judy Nunn as Woman outside pub
Brian Young as Gurney
Peter Jeffrey as Amos McPherson
Douglas Milvain as Hamway
Neil Kennedy as Roper
Tony Wright as Quennel
John Colcough as Joby
Clifton Jones as Eremasi
Sue Chaloner as Melua

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.