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Survivors (1975 – 1977) Review, Part 6

Series 2


A guy shows up on a barge looking to trade. He has a lot of stuff he found in: “an abandoned lorry in a lay-by off what was once the A40.” His name is John, Mina likes John. She is pleased when he says he’ll come back the next day. Mina’s baby seems to have vanished. In fact a lot of characters aren’t in this ep, it is explained that they are off on “salt detail”.

Greg continues being a sexist burk. Then John’s barge returns but it is now crewed by two wideboys. Charles and co are stupid. The stupid kids play with a shotgun obviously having learnt nothing from ep 5.

Mina who walks around in an ironed pink nylon shirt dislikes the wideboys and suspects they killed John and stole his barge. She’s right but it takes ages for the rest of the Whitecross idiots to catch on. This was a slow moving dull ep. Lewis the parson tries to mediate with the wideboys and is shot dead for his efforts. No-one seems to care. The wideboys die via karma.

How are the Whitecross idiots washing their hair? Where do they get their endless changes of clothes from? What happened to the horses?

Best Line:
They’re all here pretending its some jolly outward bound camp.”

New Arrivals
There have been no reoccurring antagonists in this series, the London gang and the fascist settlement would have been good ones. Anyway new arrivals come to Whitecross and they’re young hippies. Shock! Horror!

Once again the 10 day quarantine rule is ignored. Mark, one of the new arrivals knows all about farming and points out all the stuff Charles and co have being doing wrong. It’s all about communal living and long term survival now. No-one seems upset that Lewis is dead.

Pet is rude and unwelcoming to Mark and co. Arthur, who has done nothing in two series, but sit on his ass moaning dies. The stupid kids are snotty and stupid. It’s never been explained on this show, what they are doing about loos. Or where they get their sugar. Or how the men shave.

Greg cures meat. Mark draws up a five year plan for Whitecross and decides to wander the land spreading the gospel of farming. This was okay.

Best Lines:
Murderers, that’s what they are. Giving us their diseases.”

“A cow’s got legs, it’s got teeth. It’s a mobile mowing machine.”

Over The Hills
Where do the Whitecross lot get their plastic bags from? Greg wants to get a tractor. Alan and Melanie court. Pet and Sally who is one of the new arrivals, discuss their “monthlies”. Sally is pregnant by Alan. So begins a look at the fact there is no contraception and the need to repopulate.

Charles has a child out there somewhere that he doesn’t seem too concerned about. Pet finds out about this and gets upset because she is probably infertile. Greg goes on about his superior mental acumen. Sally is upset because Alan doesn’t care. Alan is upset because Melanie won’t sleep with him as she wants to avoid pregnancy.

Melanie wants to go to Paris; Greg dismisses it, the days before the Channel Tunnel. Alan wants to leave Whitecross, there is no sign of the five year plan being implemented and Charles doesn’t seem too concerned about the possibility of Sally dying in childbirth,

Sally doesn’t want the baby. Charles is outraged. Ruth points out a few things to him, he doesn’t listen and stomps off. Glad to seem TPTB remember his series 1 views. Pet is insecure. Greg ignores his crying son as he’s a man. The fields are not overgrown. Whitecross residents named Maggie, Elsa and Norma are mentioned. Who are these people?

It’s obvious Greg and Jenny are miserable. Pet hits on Greg and then reconciles with Charles. Sally’s unhappiness is ignored. This was good which covered a lot of attitudes and concepts in this dead world.

But where did the drum set come from? How did Danielle perm her hair? Where did they get the long table cloth from? Who cleaned up after the party? Is Charles not the slightest bit interested in his child?

Best Lines:
Sally’s the kind of girl whose father would have turned her out of the house if that had happened in the old days.”

“Who’d want a baby in this dump?”
“Oh, there are other dumps?”

“Phil and Judy got away.”
“And I wonder what happened to them.”

“There must be somewhere the plague didn’t reach.”

“That lad ought to be gelded.”

“Before the plague your ideas of self sufficiency made you a crank in the eyes of the supermarket society.”

New World
The global plague left the world a wasteland but now things are moving on from year zero. Greg the angry farmer is the first to see it, the symbol of change. Then everyone else sees it and stands there in shock: a hot air balloon flies over Whitecross.

Greg and co follow it only to find it has crashed and the balloonist is dead. They go through his stuff and learn he was from Norway and charting settlements. Greg and Charles, who still haven’t implemented the five year plan, study the man’s notes thanks to a convenient English/Norwegian dictionary and talk of federation and trade.

But Greg has a different idea. Then Agnes shows up, she is the daughter of Lars the dead balloonist. She reveals news of the outside world: Denmark is desolate and Norway is starving. She is from Bergen where they have hydro-electrical power and a dormant industrial plant. Agnes and her father came to propose a trade pact. Greg’s eyes light up.

Pet snots. Jenny whines about needles and glue. Jenny hasn’t stopped whining throughout series 2. The Whitecross settlement is about to break up. Agnes will return home taking Greg and Jack with her to restart the dormant industrial plant. The wider world beckons.

Greg desperate to get away from methane, the rival alpha male Charles, the whining Jenny and the son he obviously does not care about can’t get into the balloon fast enough. Somehow there are enough crash helmets for three people. How they will eat and pee isn’t gone into.

Jenny blubbers and the rest of Whitecross wave as the balloon flies away from the boring commune. The wider world beckons and Greg wants away from the lack of pace, drama and confrontation at Whitecross. This was good and a signal that series 3 would differ from series 2.

Series 3


Once again TPTB took note of problems with series 2: everyone was too clean and farming life at Whitecross could get boring. So they give us what the show’s concept was all about: the end of the world with mud.

Its six months since ‘New World’ and Jack is back in the UK and has been attacked by dogs. Those dog packs mentioned all during series 1&2 have finally shown up. Charles, Jenny and Hubert have left Whitecross and live somewhere else. They look dirty, cold and there’s a lot of mud.

Pet’s now a brunette and Jenny’s son Paul is not seen. Jenny doesn’t care about her son, that poor neglected child. What she does care about is that Greg and Agnes are also in the UK. They got the plant going and are somewhere nearby setting up trade.

Jenny whines and moans about why Greg hasn’t come back to her. Thinking that he’s ditched her for Agnes, she gets on a horse and sets out to find him. Charles and Hubert accompany her. Paul is forgotten, Greg and Jenny have the parental instincts of wolf spiders. Pet still doesn’t like Hubert.

Charles, Jenny and Hubert stumble across an army camp. Charles is suspicious, yells a lot and is highly annoying. Jenny doesn’t know what a junkie is and is really stupid. This was annoying and the ending was weird.

Best Lines:
There are still decent and reasonable people left.”
“Oh, yes. Enough?”
Tags: scary 1970s tv, survivors

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