SWAGGERING BRINY proto-soap unpicking the ruthless ructions and steamy schemings that went on behind that seedy world of slimy shagging and shopping, the boatbuilding fraternity of the River Hamble. Step forward eponymous hero and “best boat designer on planet” Tom Howard (MAURICE COLBOURNE), who stages Telford’s Change style stunt, defies odds, logic, etc. and leaves comfortable, well-paid employee status to set-up in partnership with maverick regular at “The Jolly Sailor” Jack Rolfe (GLYNN OWEN). Cast of thousands then sail in to provide intricate plot interweaving: Ken Masters (STEPHEN “XYY” YARDLEY), rival boatbuilding bastard with inability to retain genitalia in pants whose dirty deeds are eclipsed only by cross-eyed moneyman Edward Frere (NIGEL DAVENPORT) and his piece-of-shit son Charles (TONY “PROTECTORS” ANHOLT). Light relief in the form of Tom’s wife Jan (JAN HARVEY) who runs a clothes emporium (badly) and her wooden mother (DULCIE GRAY) whose purpose is unclear. There’s more. Appalling, buck-toothed Howard son (Leo) and daughter (Lyn) ensure continual parental angst due to exam failure, career indecision, unwise choice of foreigner as partner, etc, etc. Untimely demise of Colbourne brings whole edifice crashing to ground but not before hastily rewritten final series is plucked from the jaws of oblivion thanks to arrival, over the horizon, of KATE O’MARA and PAUL JERRICHO. Toe-tapping ‘Always There’ Simon May theme tune was, well, always there, ditto grizzled men wearing V-necked blazers over bare chests sporting Ford Knox-quantities of jewellery and clinking tumblers full of ice cubes and “the sauce”.