Welcome to TheOnedinLine.com web site

>> Home page  The Onedin Line story  The actors  Videos  Sitemap  About us  Links

Howard Lang / Captain Wiliam Baines from The Onedin LineWelcome to our website

The Onedin Line actor details:

Actor name: Howard Lang / Born Donald Yarranton
Date of Birth: 20 March 1911
Passed away: 12 December 1989 (aged 78)
Role played: Captain Baines
Image: The image source currently not known

Howard Lang (20 March 1911 12 December 1989) was a British actor best known for playing Captain Baines in the BBC nautical drama The Onedin Line. He served for seven years in the Royal Navy during World War II.

For his role as seafaring Captain Baines in The Onedin Line (1971-1980) Howard Lang gained international attention. In a 1977 interview in Radio Times, Howard Lang recalled a personal appearance in Norway: 'When the Onedin Line TV series was first shown in Norway I was asked to make a personal appearance in a small shipbuilding town. As I was brought into Grimstad by sea I caught sight of huge crowds - all of 3,000 townsfolk out on the quay to greet me. I learned afterwards that I had been received as family because almost every home had an ancient photograph of an uncle, cousin or grandfather dressed and side burned precisely as I appear on the TV series The Onedin Line.

Howard Lang's movie & stage career
Howard Lang's other parts included roles in The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970), Z-Cars, Softly, Softly, The Vise, and an appearance as caveman Horg in the second, third and fourth episodes of the first Doctor Who story, An Unearthly Child. Howard Lang also played the role of Bert Hudd in the first production of Harold Pinter's The Room.

Captain William Baines of The Onedin LineThe character William Baines:

Captain William Baines is a supporting character from the 1971 BBC television series The Onedin Line. The series revolves around James Onedin, the ruthless owner of a shipping line The Onedin Line in early 1860s Liverpool. In the Onedin Line pilot episode James Onedin is shown employed as a merchant captain for the Callon shipping line, with Baines as his first mate. The ambitious Onedin becomes frustrated as a servant to Mr. Callon and quits his employ, only to purchase his own ship and snatch a Portuguese wine contract out from under him. Baines is then shown as James Onedin's first mate aboard his own ship, the Charlotte Rhodes. Presumably James Onedin hired Baines to work for him after buying his own ship. This would not have been unusual, since shipping lines in those days did not have permanent employees, and captains were responsible for recruiting their own crews for each voyage.

Baines is a gruff and rugged professional seaman who, despite his expertise in sailing, has never risen above the rank of first mate due to his inability to read. Captain James Onedin is taken ill during his maiden voyage as owner of the Charlotte Rhodes, and Baines is forced to take command of the ship at a critical time. He quickly falls into a dispute with James Onedin's wife, Anne Webster, over which course to set while her husband is incapacitated. Anne strikes a bargain with Baines and agrees to teach him to read and write in exchange for him steering the ship on the course that she has charted, rather than the one he prefers.

Subsequent episodes show the gruff and craggy seaman sounding his way through children's books as he struggles with the written English language. Finally, after having learned to read and write with the help of Anne Onedin, Baines sits for the master's exam, and qualifies as a ship's captain himself. James Onedin then gives him command of his best clipper, the Pampero, which Baines drives too hard in an effort to make a good first impression, and sinks on his first voyage as master. James Onedin, while outraged by the loss, decides to keep Baines in his employ, feeling that his guilt over the incident will make William Baines even more eager to please in the future.

Baines' first name, William, is rarely heard until the final episode when he assists James Onedin's third wife, Margareta, in the birth of James Onedin's only son aboard ship. Margareta asks the stunned and humbled sailor for his Christian name so that they can name the son and heir to the Onedin Line empire after him.

Baines is depicted as an un-ambitious seafaring man, who is loyal and deferent to his employer. As a simple-minded and honest sailor he is also used as a foil to contrast the character of the sharp, cunning, and ruthless James Onedin. Occasionally, however, Baines is also shown rising above his station to tell James Onedin when he is acting foolishly, or childishly.

Source: www.imdb.com by Belle Lunette
Welcome to TheOnedinLine.com    Web hosting by Mad Dog Web Hosting    Web promotion by Mad Dog Promotion

All logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners