The Onedin Line: High Price (BBC-1 5 Nov 1971)

In The High Price things are getting desperate for James, he now needs his own warehouse for storing Braganza’s empty casks. He has his eye on a building currently being used for rag sorting but first he must persuade the widowed Mrs Arkwright to rent it to him.

James offers to buy the warehouse for £200 but Mrs Arkwright wants £650. James wants Robert, who has something of a rapport with Arkwright’s companion Miss Simmonds, to use her to find out what will swing the deal with Mrs Arkwright. In the end Robert discovers that Mrs Arkwright is keen to return home to France if she can find a property – James has a plan. First though, to raise funds, he must persuade Robert to enter into a proper business partnership turning the Onedin Line into a Limited Company which will enable them to raise a loan on their assets.

Meanwhile Robert’s wife Sarah gives birth to their first child and Elizabeth following her “ultimatum” with Daniel Fogarty thinks she too may be pregnant. A scandalous turn of events if true leaving her very keen to get married as soon as possible.

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As usual James gets his own way and there is cost to be paid, in this case Miss Simmonds (played by the lovely Hilda Braid, best known as for her role in Citizen Smith) who ends up working sorting rags. The warehouse/rag sorting scene are spoilt somewhat by the over playing of Nicolette Roeg as Ada, the woman in charge of sorting.

Miss Simmonds and Robert.

There is always so much going on every episode, in a minor subplot throughout The High Price Anne’s father Captain Webster is spending up big having lent money by re-mortgaging his house (where Anne and James also live) – by the episodes end Callon has bought up the debt and has forclosed on the property. James announces that they will live at the warehouse until they get their own house!

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classic quote
“Darjeeling Mr Onedin?”
“I prefer it”

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast 5 November 1971 at 9.20pm

Writer: Cyril Abraham / Production Design: Jeremy Bear / Director: Viktors Ritelis

Series: The Onedin Line Season 1 Episode 4

Peter Gilmore as James
Brian Rawlinson as Robert
Edward Chapman as Callon
Howard Lang as Baines
Chris Gannon as Irish immigrant
Kenneth Waller as Drayman
James Hayter as Captain Webster
Anne Stallybrass as Anne
Nicolette Roeg as Ada Gamble
Mary Webster as Sarah Onedin
Heather Canning as Mrs Arkwright
Hilda Braid as Miss Simmonds
Jessica Benton as Elizabeth
Michael Billington as Daniel Fogarty
Philip Bond as Albert Frazer
Ann Tirard as Ethel
Pat Beckett as Midwife

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.