THE BOAT COMES IN
- PART TWO
- THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Ford - James Bolam
Seaton - Susan Jameson
[William] Seaton - James Garbutt
Seaton - Jean Heywood
Seaton - John Nightingale
Seaton [nee Routledge] - Michelle Newell [until Paddy Boyle's
Seaton - Edward Wilson
Headley - Malcolm Terris
[Mather?] - Madelaine Newton [Introduced in Fish and Woolly
Horatio Manners - Basil Henson [Introduced in Swords and Pick
Ashton - Geoffrey Rose [Introduced in Empire Day on the Slag Heap]
Created by James Mitchell
Music - David Fanshawe - Sung by Alex Glasgow
Editor - William Humble
by- Leonard Lewis
Day on the Slag Heap
TX date: 12/2/76
- James Mitchell
- Peter Brachacki
eight weeks, the miners' strike is over, but the pitmen have settled
without gaining anything. ("It was either that or starve",
Day ("the day that we remember our Empire. The British Empire. The
greatest the World has ever seen") is celebrated at Jessie's school:
the headmaster, Mr Ashton, leads the children in a spirited, patriotic
rendition of Land of Hope and Glory.
is feeling better, and hopes that Tom will be allowed to return to work
still resents Jack working for Sir Horatio. Bill warns that "Jack is
only one side, pet, his own... I can't say I blame him". Although
engaged to Jack, Jessie has arranged to go to dinner with Mr Ashton
("an old man").
is pleased with Jack's progress, although voices some concern that Jack is
dating "local girl" Jessie, believing that Jack will soon
outclass her. Jack tells Manners that he loves Jessie very much, and that
he won't find any better.
visits Bill and Bella, who evade Jack's question about Jessie's
whereabouts. Bill and Jack have reached an understanding. Bill realises
that, although Jack will be one of the bosses he despises, he'll be able
to offer Jessie security and a chance to escape her humdrum life.
dinner, Mr Ashton, who still refers to Jessie as "Miss Seaton",
asks Jessie if she will marry him, offering her "respect, admiration,
and, if I may say so, devotion".
defends her decision to have dinner with Mr Ashton, telling Bella that he
made her feel special, telling he that Jack: "is very kind, but he
doesn't think I'm that important". Bella warns her about diverting
her attention from Jack. Jessie tells her that Ashton asked her to marry
visits Matt, who is becoming slightly resentful that Jack is getting on so
well with Sir Horatio, Jack's "fairy godfather". Matt tells Jack
that Dolly is pregnant: "it was you who was waving his magic wand
over my sister". Jack is the father. Dolly had asked Matt for money
for an abortion (a very dangerous proceedure). Jack tells Matt that he
will accept responsibility, offer to marry Dolly, and break up with
and Tom return to work. A pit prop collapses, breaking Bill's back. Bill
is taken to the hospital, where he is attended by Bella and Jessie.
Ashton offers Jessie his support, and his savings, but Jessie politely
representative from the mining company arrives offering a settlement for
Bill's injury: one hundred pounds, if Bill will sign "a receipt"
(which is actually an admission of blame, and absolves the company from
any further claims). Jack arrives, calling the man a "ghoul" and
a "vulture". Bill, taking Jack's advice, refuses to sign. Later,
bella admits that they'd be lost without Jack, boss or no boss.
returns to Gallowshield. He still wants to leave University, and is using
Bill's accident as an excuse. She updates Billy on Jack's progress,
telling her brother that she intends to marry him.
visits Mr Crawford. Bill's Area Secretary. Jack wants to know why Crawford
wasn't there to support Jack. Jack and Tom shame Crawford into action. Tom
begins taking statements from the miners who witnessed the accident.
visits Dolly, and tells her he'll marry her. Dolly admits she's not sorry
about her condition: "I wanted you the minute I laid eyes on
you". He gives Dolly an engagement ring, a ring he'd bought for
Jessie. This new situation puts Jack's ambitious plans in jeopardy.
breaks the news to Jessie: "I've got a girl into trouble and I'm
going to have to marry her...you could wait, I couldn't, I'm sorry".
Jack says that he'll have to stay in Gallowshield: "there's
work to be done here, and I can do it better than most". Jessie is
upset, but is also pleased that Jack is staying to fight for the
- Lewis Teasdale
Owners Representative - Richard Butler
- Keith Morrison
- Pete Marshall
- John Cannon
are references to Tom strike-breaking (Swords and Pick Handles),
the sheep rustling (Fish In Woolly Jumpers) and digging in the
front room for coal (in Coal Comfort).
episode introduces Mr Ashton, the headmaster at Jessie's school, first
mentioned in Swords and Pick Handles. He was born in Kent. He was
stationed in Gallowshield during the war, where he met his wife, who is
now deceased. He is 43, and holds a second class honours degree in history
from the University of London, and earns £370 per annum.
Jessie is 25.
Irwin is a pupil at Jessie's school. Mr Huxpeth (presumably a teacher)
plays the school piano. Two teachers were killed in Flanders: Mr Smithers and Mr
Watson. Other teachers include Mr Gregg [sic?]. The deputy headmaster is Mr
Turnball, who fought in South Africa.
and Dolly's parents are still alive.
First Time For Everything
TX date: 19/2/76
- Fanny Taylor
is visited by a French onion seller, Pierre. Bella has an idea to
open a shop, using the front room, and some of the money they've received
for Bill's accident. Bill is due home from the hospital, but doesn't know
of her plan.
Jessie's best efforts a talented fourteen-year-old pupils, Ronnie
Fairburn, is leaving the school to start work down the pit. Jessie and Mr
Ashton visit Ronnie's mother, a widow. Jessie tells her that she's trying to
get him a job as an apprentice draftsman. Her eldest son had left for America. Ronnie is looking
forward to doing "grown-up" work. Jessie tells Ronnie to call on
Tom at 3.30am the next morning, and he'll walk Ronnie through his first
and Dolly have made arrangements for her wedding, at the registry office,
the next morning.
and Bella make a "clippie mat" out of scraps and rags, for sale
in the shop. Bella's also bought some cheap linen, to make hankies, and
some surplus kitchenware. They're visited by a rather sheepish Jack, who
notes that Mary is looking gravely ill. Bella asks Jack to put some
shelves up for her. Jack is currently "on the dole". Bella
offers Jack five pounds, "two week's wages". Jack tells her that
the shelves will be "as solid as the Moritania". Bella shows
Jack how to get rid of fleas (using a candle and a plate of water). Jack
slyly suggests that for another five pound, he and Dolly could emigrate to
Australia, to help spare Jessie's disappointment.
returns home, wheelchair-bound. He's furious with Bella, who threatens
"It's either the shop, or I walk through that door and don't come
back". Bill has to admit that they need a steady income. Later, Bella
lovingly washes Bill's feet for him, something she hasn't done for twenty
Ashton apologises to Jessie, for proposing to her. Jessie invites him to
ask his question again.
and Ronnie arrive at the pit. Tom negotiates with the deputy for a decent
job for Ronnie, but has to settle for carrying water. Tom is concerned
that he won't be able to keep a close eye on Ronnie, who'll be working
twenty yards away. Tom tells Ronnie to watch out for the "chummins"
- empty coal carts that speed by on the tracks, telling him that before they
pass, there's a warning rap on the pipes. Ronnie is enthusiastic, and asks Tom how
he can join the union.
has her first customer, Sarah Robinson, and sells her some matches. Later, Bella
sells her the clippie mat for three and a tanner.
dodges the chummins, but is startled by a rat. He falls onto the line, and
is killed. Tom is shattered, and vows not to return to the pit. He asks
Jessie to break the news to Ronnie's mother.
and Dolly nervously wait for Jack at the registrar's office. Jack arrives
at the last minute, bearing a bouquet. Later Jack tells Matt and Dolly
that he was delayed by a broken-down tram, and that had to hitch a ride
with a passing rag and bone man. Jack gives Dolly the five pounds - the
first five pound note Dolly has seen, telling her it's a wedding present
(although he declines to tell her from whom). Matt and "Mr and Mrs
Ford" share a bottle of champagne.
Fairbairn - Tony Nelson
Fairbairn - Margaret Heery
- André Maranne
Robinson - Lyn Douglas
- Roy Pattison
Jack's intervention, Bill received £300 compensation for his accident
(three times the company's original offer).
episode's title comes from Bill's admission that he was wrong about Bella's idea
about the shop.
Wilson (Billy) does not appear in this episode.
Maranne appeared regularly on TV during the sixties, seventies and
eighties, and was almost invariably cast as a Frenchman. His roles include
appearances in Doctor Who (The Moonbase, 1967), Jason King
(Wanna buy a television series?, 1971) and Lord Peter Wimsey (Clouds of
Witness, 1972). He's probably best known as French chef André in the Fawlty
Towers episode Gourmet Night (1975), and for the recurring role
of François in the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies.
TX date: 26/2/76
- James Mitchell
is joined at the pub by an old army friend, black and tan soldier Sid
Hepburn. Jack is surprised to hear that he's being paid ten bob a day, all
found. Tom and Bill arrive, and Jack hears about Mary's death. Bill calls
Jack a "fornicating bastard". Jack leaves. Sid is joined by a
loutish colleague, Harry Bartram. Another man eavesdrops, Paddy Boyle [one
of Jack's sheep-rustling gang in Fish in Woolly Jumpers].
Dolly and Jack are decorating. Dolly is being especially argumentative.
Jack gets a letter, inviting Jack to a meeting.
Hepburn wants a discharge from the army, and has been offered this if he
can recruit a suitable replacement.
eavesdropping man, Paddy Boyle, is joined by a like-minded Irish
colleague, Michael Lynch. They plan to track down and execute the two
soldiers, who, back in Cork, have committed rape, arson and
wants to invite Jack to Mary's funeral. "If he goes, I won't",
Jessie threatens, "I couldn't bear to be in the same room with him
ever again". Mr Ashton, who is now engaged to Jessie, calls to pay
Boyle visits Jack, enquiring after Sid Hepburn. Jack is suspicious,
realising that Paddy is a member of
Sinn Féin. Jack "accidentally" paints a yellow streak on the
arm of Paddy's coat. Tom visits, to explain that he wants to invite him to
Mary's funeral, but it will be awkward. Jack says he understands.
and Bartam report to Captain Leslie. Bartram says that Sergeant Ford had a
reputation for being soft, and that there were half
the charges in Ford's platoon, compared to others. Hepburn tells Leslie
that, on the contrary, Ford was ruthless, but only if you crossed him.
Leslie expresses an interest in recruiting Jack.
shares a drink with Sid Hepburn, dressed in civvies. Sid offers him a job
in Ireland: and "twelve bob a day, plus kit, rations,
allowances". Sid invites Jack to a meeting with Captain Leslie. They
are followed from the pub by Paddy Boyle, but he is spotted, and
confronted. Jack stops the soldiers from giving him a serious
the hotel, Jack is being waited for by both Manners and Leslie. Jack
apologises in person for turning down Manners' job offer. Manners tells
him there's a local property deal brewing, and that there might be
something in it for him.
meets Leslie, who offers him a Warrant Officer Class 2 position, with
special responsibility for interrogating political prisoners. Leslie
tells Jack he also has a job for Matt and Charlie Stobbs, if they want it.
Jack says he'll think it over, and let Leslie know the next
and Matt discuss Leslie's offer. Jack will be turning it down, to Dolly's
disappointment. Matt tells Dolly that Paddy once saved their lives, by
throwing back a German stick bomb.
visits Paddy, returning a medal
that Paddy lost in the struggle with Hepburn and Bartram. Jack is
buttonholed by Lynch, who wants to know where Leslie, Hepburn and Bartram
can be found. Paddy saves Jack from being attacked.
Mary's wake, Jessie is told that Jack might be joining the black and tans.
Jessie leaves, intending to talk him out of it.
tells Jack that he visited Paddy the night before. Jack realises that Matt
can be loose-tongued once he has a drink or two in him, and may well have
told Paddy where Bartram, Hepburn and Leslie might be found. Jessie
arrives, and is reassured to find that Jack has no intention of joining
and Matt rush to the railway station, but they are too late. Lynch and
Boyle shoot the two black and tans, but are themselves shot by Captain
Leslie, despite a warning shout from Jack. "At least Sid Hepburn got
his discharge. Pity poor Paddy had to get his 'n all".
Boyle - Ralph Watson
Leslie - Terrence Hardiman
Hepburn - George Irving
Bartram - Patrick Durkin
Lynch - Eamon Boyce
- Gordon Faith
members of B Company who pledged never to go hungry again were Jack, Matt,
Charlie Stobbs, Sid Hepburn and Paddy Boyle.
is reading an unbound copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
had been seconded to an intelligence unit in Murmansk, as an interrogator.
episode does not feature Edward Wilson (Billy), and is the last to feature
Michelle Newell (Mary).
believe this is the first episode to mention Mr Ashton's Christian name:
Watson reprises the role of Paddy Boyle, who first featured in Fish in
Hardiman (Captain Leslie) has built a solid body of work since the
mid-70s, mostly playing upper class, stiff-upper-lip-type roles in TV
series like Bergerac (Avenge, O Lord, 1985), Inspector
Morse (Last Bus To Woodstock, 1988), Jonathan Creek (The
Eyes of Tiresias, 1999), and as Major Hans Dietrich Reinhard in Secret
Army (1977). He also appeared as
Hauptmann von Bulow in the Enemy
at the Door episode The Prussian Officer in 1978. In the
mid-90s he gained a new generation of fans in the title role in the
popular BBC children's series The Demon Headmaster.
TX date: 3/3/76
- Sid Chaplin
- Michael Young
- Bill Hays
Ralph Murphy has been off work, following an accident with a full coal tub, but he's well enough to be visiting the pub,
and is moonlighting as an illegal
bookie's runner, to Matt and
Tom's disapproval. Tom asks Ralph to visit Bella's uncle, Mick Murphy, a
widower who left his position as secretary of the union following
accusations of embezzlement.
is staying with his parents while his roof is being fixed. The Seatons are
visited by Rosie Trotter, a young nurse, who has been summoned back to
Gallowshield by one of the local hospitals (at Westbourne). Rosie had been
taught by Jessie, and, despite her mother being their next door neighbour,
Tom hasn't seen her for many years. Tom is attracted to her, but Bella
warns him that it's too soon after Mary's death.
Mick Murphy passes on racing tips to his neighbour, Jimmy. Soon afterwards
Mick keels over with a stroke.
few days have passed. Bill is jealous when Bella goes to visit Mick in
hospital: Mick has been a rival for Bella's affections.
Bella is joined
at the hospital by
a dapper-looking Ralph. Mick places a five bob accumulator with him, despite the long odds: "If I have to gam, I'll gam with a bang, like
an angel on horseback". Since he doesn't expect to be around to
collect his winnings, he places the bet in Bella's name. Soon afterwards
Mick dies, with Bella at his bedside.
a train journey Tom and Rosie discuss getting married.
makes arrangements for Mick's funeral with the undertaker, Mr Cribb. His
"first class for every class" funeral will cost fifteen pounds.
Mick's insurance policy will only cover ten pounds. Bill reluctantly
offers the balance from his compensation money, but Bella refuses. She
takes a cleaning job, working for the boss's wife, and relishes the
independence it gives her. Bill is furious, but his overriding emotions are
feelings of helplessness, self-pity and despair.
tells his mother that he plans to marry Rosie, and move to Edinburgh for a
fresh start. Rosie tells Tom that both their mothers are against the
marriage, and that their opinion carries a lot of weight. Rosie tells Tom he must wait for a
year: "I'll never forget me pitman".
funeral is well-attended. It is partly funded by the union, who also provide
evening Ralph, who didn't attend the funeral, visits the Seatons,
explaining that he and the bookies he worked for had been locked up and,
although Mick's combination bet was a winner, he wasn't able to place
Bella's bet, and returns her stake money.
Trotter - Judi Lamb
Michael ["Uncle Mick"] Murphy - J.G.Devlin
["Ralphie"] Murphy - John White
Benson ["Jimmy"] - Alan Hockey
Cribb - Patrick Newell
- Cameron Miller
Murphy is Bella's uncle (Tom and Jessie's great uncle).
gives her full name to the undertaker as Isabella May Seaton.
is a rather confusing episode, with odd narrative jumps in order to
progress the rather forced relationship between Tom and Rosie. Rosie seems
too old to have been taught by Jessie, and
although the age difference between Rosie and Tom is supposed to weigh
against their chances of having a successful relationship, she doesn't
appear to be substantially younger than Tom, either!
Bolam (Jack Ford) and Madelaine Newton (Dolly) do not appear in this
actor J[ames].G.Devlin (Mick Murphy) had a career that spanned five
decades, but it seems he never progressed from playing supporting
character roles. His appearances include TV favourites The Sweeney (Nightmare,
1978), The New Avengers (Faces, 1978), Dad's Army (Absent
Friends, 1970) and The Champions (The Body Snatchers,
1969). However, he'll probably be best remembered for his role as an escaped
convict, alongside Leonard Rossiter, in the Steptoe and Son episode The
Desperate Hours (1972). He was born in 1907 and died in 1991.
actor Patrick Newell (Mr Cribb) was a familiar face to TV viewers during
the sixties and seventies, and gained a degree of fame playing the
eccentric "Mother" in almost twenty episodes of The Avengers (he
also played two other characters, in earlier episodes). His other credits
include episodes of Danger Man (Battle of the Cameras,
1965), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (The Man From Nowhere,
1969), The Persuaders (That's Me Over There, 1971), Doctor
Who (The Android Invasion, 1975), Nigel Kneale's Kinvig (1981)
and two episodes of The Young Ones (Boring and Oil,
1982). He also gave a memorable performance as the twitchy Blessington in The
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes story The Resident Patient, in
1985. Newell evidently had an affinity for Holmes roles: he also
appeared in Barry Levinson's movie Young Sherlock Holmes (1986), in
the little-seen 1982 Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson TV series (as
Inspector Lestrade), and in the 1965 Holmes / Jack The Ripper movie A
Study In Terror. Newell died in 1988, aged 56.
four episodes of When The Boat Comes In are available on
Acorn Media UK's When The Boat Comes In - Empire Day on the Slag Heap DVD