RE: Onedin Polls

Forum Forums General Discussions Onedin Polls RE: Onedin Polls


Years ago I remember a BBC radio interview with Cyril Abraham, in which he
mentioned that he had intended to write the story of the shipping line right
up to the (then) present day which was the 20th century.

There's mention of this on the wikipedia page

I always wondered if any of the 20th century story was ever written down


—– Original Message —–
From: "William Murphy" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 1:21 PM
Subject: [shiponedingroup] Re: Onedin Polls

Why no Episode 10?

I worked (Music Adviser) on the last series of the show and can offer some
insights into this. The fact is that there was only just a Series 8. BBC
Drama (Series and Serials) were very reluctant to commission the last
series; they thought that the show had run its course. One problem was that
the producer, Geraint Morris, was already thinking about his next
commissioned show (King's Royal), and was also working on a new series that
was going to showcase Jessica Bentham – The Heywood Files. The Heywood Files
went all the way through the commissioning process (I was listed to write
the music) before being shot down at the very last moment. At best, Geraint
was phoning it in on The Onedin Line's last series, and frequently said so.

Series 8 was not a happy show. Geraint Morris and veteran director Gerry
Blake had a simmering feud at best, fueled largely by Geraint's shameless
nepotism and Welsh-centricity; by Series 8, the language of the control
gallery was most emphatically Welsh, with the producer, half the directors,
half the DA's (one was Geraint's nephew) and the Production Manager leaping
into Celtic-language titters at every opportunity, to the snarling fury of
all around them (and I write as a Gaelic speaker). Meanwhile, the script
editor (Mervyn Haisman) was driving the show further and further into soap
opera, to the horror of the standing cast. Merv the Scribe (as we called
him, more or less affectionately) actually drafted an Episode 10 for Series
8, but it had so many insane plot twists and character implausibilities that
it was put down long before it could be produced.

At the end of the very last dub of the very last show, just after Peter had
intoned "I've got a son," Gerry Blake turned to me and the Sound Manager and
said "Thank God that's over. If we tried to make another series of this
thing, someone would get hurt." We then all went and got very, very drunk.

Bill Scanlan Murphy

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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