When the Boat Comes In (1981): S04E01 – Back to Dear Old Blighty


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 has made a fortune from bootlegging and lost it in the Wall Street Crash. An alcoholic and in debt to gangsters, he flees New York as a stowaway. In Liverpool he meets Canon Penfold, who gets him a room in a hostel. He has to share with Charlie Rowse, an embittered ex-teacher who forces him to drink and beats him up. Jack hits back at him and quits the hostel. Morty Black, an old business friend from New York, offers him money.

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: 17 February 1981.
  • Rating: 12.
  • Running Time: 50 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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