Terry Malloy dreams about being a prize fighter, while tending his pigeons and running errands at the docks for Johnny Friendly, the corrupt boss of the dockers union. Terry witnesses a murder by two of Johnny's thugs, and later meets the dead man's sister and feels responsible for his death. She introduces him to Father Barry, who tries to force him to provide information for the courts that will smash the dock racketeers.
Tong Bo Wan and Chang Yi are two expert martial artists who protect the famous Whampoa wharf in Guangzhou from gangsters who are expoiting the dock workers.
A sailor and his wife become involved in a murder investigation.
Two filmmakers, eager to make a feature film that will improve the tarnished reputation of the longshoreman's union, meet with union officials.
On the Waterfront was a BBC Saturday morning children's programme, filmed at Brunswick Dock, Liverpool. It was hosted by Andrew O'Connor, Kate Copstick, Bernadette Nolan and Terry Randall. The programme ran for two seasons in 1988 and 1989, and consisted of comedy sketches interspersed with cartoons, competitions and music. The writer Russell T Davies, later a BAFTA Award-winner for his work on programmes such as Queer as Folk and Doctor Who, worked on the series, writing the script for a comedy dubbed version of the children's drama series The Flashing Blade.