Jack Ford returns the North East from the First World War. Clever, ruthless with an eye to the main chance, Jack is also loyal to those he cares for. Indeed sometimes it is hard to tell if Jack is a hero or a villian. On the whole however he is a likeable rouge who always comes out on top. Before appearing in this series James Bolam was best known as half of the Likely Lads. In this James Bolam, who is perfect as Jack, plays a different type of working class fiqure, at time cruel,at others kind and willing to put himself out to help others but always the cleverest person in the room. He is supported by a host of actors giving top class performances in paticular Susan Jameson as Jack's true love, Jessie and James Garbutt and Jean Heywood as her parents Bill and Bella Seaton.
Top class writing and acting is backed up by realistic settings both interior and exterior. You do get the feel of 1920's working class life.
As well as a top class popular drama When the Boat Comes In could be used in schools to show children what life was like in the 1920s. Everything from the home life to the clothes to the food to the pubs appears to me to be as realistic as has ever been shown in a TV series.
If you have never seen it you have a treat in store.