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Ravelled Thread, The

1 9 7 9 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes

This adventure series from Southern was set in and around the docks of Portsmouth in 1864 and told the story of how a plot which could drag England into the American Civil War was discovered.

Warehouse clerk Silas Trumble (Robert James) finds an error against the invoices of the Trading Winds Company and tells his daughter, Abigail (Julia Lewis). Silas is subsequently falsely accused of stealing by Dobbs (John Junkin), the manager, and thrown into prison.

Because of her father’s disgrace, Abigail is evicted from her lodgings but things start to look up when she is rescued from a thug by a gang of street urchins led by Gegor (Jack Wild from Oliver!).

They invite her to stay with them in a disused barge where they have made a home. The two other urchins are Billyboy (Mark Wingett) and Jennie (Debby Cumming).

Abigail tries to prove her father’s innocence by enlisting legal help, little-knowing that the solicitor she chooses would be the last person to help her.

Finding she has no-one to turn to, her new found friends join her in her quest to save her father.

Meanwhile, journalist William Sedgwick (Steven Grives from Flambards and Tom Brown’s Schooldays) has moved into a local hostelry to begin enquiries for a series of articles on the town.

Sedgwick becomes drawn into the conspiracy and teams up with Abigail and the urchins to try to prove Silas Trumble’s innocence and to unravel the mystery.

Debby Cumming
Abigail Trumble
Julia Lewis
Jack Wild
Mark Wingett
William Sedgwick 
Steven Grives
Reginald Marsh
Bert Lucks
Austin Kent
Silas Trumble
Robert James
John Junkin
Sir Daniel Maundy
John Byron
Johnny Washbrook