When the Boat Comes In (1976): S02E03 – A Pillowful of Buttercups


When the Boat Comes In is a British television period drama produced by the BBC between 1976 and 1981.

Set in Gallowshields on Tyneside between the two World Wars, this story follows the life of ex-sergeant Jack Ford and the Seaton family as they deal with the aftermath of the Great War, the Great 1920s Depression and trade union activists.


Jack is approached by Ted Chater, a Sergeant who knew him in Murmansk. Chater has got his girlfriend pregnant, unaware that she was a minor. Jack hides Chater while he looks for the girl. He traces her father, Stobart, and learns that she killed herself after he told her that the regimental adjutant, Captain Barford, would put Chater in prison. Manners invites Barford and Jack to a shooting-party. Manners wants Jack to demolish a country house, Mandrake Place, to make room for a housing project. Jack stops Chater from shooting Barford, but then leaves him to shoot himself.

When the Boat Comes In Series

You can find a full index and overview of When the Boat Comes In here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 12 November 1976.
  • Rating: 12.
  • Running Time: 50 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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