The Onedin Line: The Hard Case (BBC-1 17 Sep 1972, Jane Seymour)


In The Hard Case, the opening episode of the second season, after floating his company to build a steam ship with Albert Frazer, James has lost control of The Onedin Line to the scheming Callon. He needs to raise some money quickly to try and gain the 6% of the shares he needs to gain back control. James charters a new boat The Star of Bethlehem to raise money on a quick trip to The West Indies but malcontent crewman Jessop, who has a grudge against the Onedin Line, is soon causing trouble.

Trouble flares when Callon’s warehouse catches fire with Albert, Callon and his son still trapped inside. James manages to rescue Albert but Callon and his son perish (offscreen) in the blaze. An excellent opening episode to the season, the fire is a reasonably big budget affair and it opens the door for the arrival of Emma Callon (now played by Jane Seymour in place of Pamela Salem) who inherits the business.

Onedin Line The Hard Case

Godfrey James as agitator Jessop, he holds a major grievance against the Onedin Line over the loss of life on The Pampero when it sank around the Cape. Baines doesn’t want to hire him for the trip to The West Indies but there is no one else suitable and James okays it. Jessop sees it as an opportunity to spread dissension.

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast 17 September 1972 at 7.25pm

Writer: Cyril Abraham / Production Design: Oliver Bayldon / Director: Peter Graham Scott

Series: The Onedin Line Season 2 Episode 1

Peter Gilmore as James
Anne Stallybrass as Anne
Philip Bond as Albert
Howard Lang as Baines
Nigel Lambert as Tranter
James Hayter as Captain Webster
Michael Billington as Fogarty
Godfrey James as Jessop
Thomas Heathcote as Fletcher
Brian Rawlinson as Robert
Mary Webster as Sarah
Jessica Benton as Elizabeth
Jane Seymour as Emma Callon
Jenny Laird as Ellen Jessop
Peter Childs as Clay