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The Onedin Line

Season 1 Episode 1

The wind blows free

Aired Sunday 7:00 PM Oct 15, 1971 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
6 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The wind blows free
James Onedin is anxious to purchase the schooner, Charlotte Rhodes. Her owner Captain Webster refuses James’s offer. However, the captain has a daughter… The action opens in 1860. Already a seasoned seafarer at 28, Onedin is determined to command his own ship, even if it means marrying a woman he does not love.moreless

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  • These old shows don't age, but they can surprise you.

    The first episode of this classic series surprised me somewhat. I had expected that typical mixture of filmed location work and taped studio scenes (with obvious differences in quality), the meticulous attention to historical details, the perfect performances, etc. What I didn't remember was the fact that it stays very true to a sort of Dickensian flavour. The main characters are motivated by ambition and survival instincts. James Onedin and Anne Webster make a pact (i.e. a marriage contract), ignoring all emotion. James even cheats his brother into signing a contract of which Robert doesn't understand the consequences. Marriages of convenience, contracts that lead to trouble, money worries, it's all very Dickensian. Add to that dialogue that imitates the spoken language (as we know it of nineteenth-century novels) of the age. These days, they would let characters speak as if they've just walked in from the twenty-first-century's streets.moreless
Anne Stallybrass

Anne Stallybrass

Anne Onedin (1971-1972, Seasons 1 and 2)

Howard Lang

Howard Lang


Jessica Benton

Jessica Benton

Elizabeth Fraser (nee Onedin)

Michael Billington

Michael Billington

Daniel Fogarty

Brian Rawlinson

Brian Rawlinson

Robert Onedin

Mary Webster

Mary Webster

Sarah Onedin

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • James: (about his dead father) Did he leave much?

      Robert: The shop.

      Elizabeth: To Robert. And a word of advice to you.

      James: Oh?

      Elizabeth: He said, "A man who walks a twisted path may travel far, but arrives at the same destination in the end."

      James: Well, there's a man with little sense of direction.

    • Anne: I have little taste for penury. One day my father's weakness will surely deliver him to the grave and I shall be left penniless. At best I shall live off the charity of friends. At worst it will be the poorhouse. I can assure you I have little fancy for either. You understand the problem?

      James: Security?

      Anne: In return for the ship.

    • James: If men married only for beauty, there'd be a power of lonely women in the world.

  • NOTES (0)