Last night’s episode began with Abby deciding to go out foraging alone which is a pretty unlikely – not to say dumb – scenario for a woman who had a gun put to her head the last time she tried to do some five finger discount shopping at Netto. But anyway, off she went and on the way, having heard a sound like a siren going off, she got out of the car to investigate.
She saw a wind farm happily whirring away but from underneath the bridge she was on, two gun toting men ordered her to stand still and one of them promptly shot at her, even though she seemed pretty still to me, but there, that’s nutters for you. Understandably she hit the deck but in so doing, banged her head and we next saw her waking up and being watched over by government minister Samantha Willis. What a nightmare world indeed where you wake up surrounded by politicians.
However, Abby was clearly enamoured of this new found utopia where there was water, power and plentiful supplies but the man who shot at her was rather too eager to defend this new Eden and clearly enjoyed the gun play. The portrayal of this character was very clichéd and of the ‘there’s always one isn’t there’ kind, but nonetheless, you could see how it would happen.
In the meantime, we got our first glimpse of a father, daughter and son who were barricaded in at their farm house. The slightly fruitcake and manic father had a motto: “No contact with any living thing of any kind” and he was stoically determined to ensure his kids didn’t leave the house. However, his daughter Kate yearned for the outside – evidently her Wii wasn’t functioning – and she snook out of a kitchen window with her little brother David to play on the swings.
Her father meanwhile had been disposing of a dead critter and in true OCD style, then stripped off and climbed into an old bath that was full of rainwater and bleach. With reckless disregard for what might happen to his hair, he was just surfacing from a full submerge when a black helicopter flew overhead.
Greg and the brooding murderer Tom saw it too and with testosterone levels set to overload, they drove off in the general direction of the helicopter but unfortunately, they drove on to the farm belonging to Daddy Dearest. He greeted them rather too warmly with a molatoff cocktail but they escaped from their burning vehicle just before it blew up and hid in the barn. Only the daughter, Kate, had seen that they’d escaped from the car and later went to the barn to offer the daring duo some chocolate.
Then, in a rather bizarre turn of events, Greg insisted that Kate go back with them to the manor house rather than return to her father and brother, his theory being that he and Tom could be carriers and it would be wrong to potentially introduce the illness to the father and son. Tom – evidently recalling his own experience of being a prisoner and the fact that it’s not a barrel of laughs – argued that the girl should be free to go back to her family as she wanted to do and a spot of manly fisticuffs broke out, during which, Kate ran back to the farmhouse. Just as she put the key in the door, her father opened it and Greg – who was in hot pursuit – told him the score and so the father callously locked and bolted the door, leaving his daughter with Tom and Greg.
After a rather moving speech from Greg about how they’d take care of the child – but which actually came over as rather creepy and possibly paedophilic – the father threw his car keys out of the window so the trio could leave. However, Tom went back and talked the father through how he would probably die horribly of starvation or worse, and eventually, the man reneged and opened the door, deciding to stop living like a scared hermit crab and Tom and Greg left, promising to return the family’s car.
In the meantime, we saw that the black helicopter belonged to the mysterious group in the bunker and their head scientist, Sammy, announced that he’d developed a vaccine and wanted to be the first to try it. He rather pointedly alluded to the fact that as this had been all his fault, he should be the one to try out the vaccine. Later however we saw that the other man in the bunker had decided the scientist was too valuable to risk as a lab rat and we saw him injecting the vaccine into someone else. That someone else then developed the illness and so clearly, the vaccine had failed.
Back at the eco-centre, two intruders had broken in and the gung-ho Gavin – the dude who’d shot at Abby – clearly wanted to get a bit more target practice with his beloved rifle, however, when the intruders were unmasked and turned out to be a woman and a teenage boy, Samantha and Abby tried to calm the tense stand-off and talk Gavin out of his plan to lynch the pair… or so it seemed.
Samantha ordered everyone to the rooftop amphitheatre so that a ‘trial’ could be held. This, she told Abby, must be done in the interests of maintaining law and order, however, once the charges had been read out – those of breaking and entering and taking supplies – she asked the others to pass judgement; were the intruders guilty or not guilty. Guilty was the resounding verdict and in a quite truly shocking moment that was splendidly acted out, Samantha pulled out a pistol and, saying the sentence was one of death, she shot the woman clean in the head.
Everyone looked on in stunned shock as Abby ran to protect the teenage boy from the psycho politician who argued that she had no choice but to kill the woman. It was now clear that the seemingly normal, fair minded Samantha was in fact truly a politician at heart and was both a nuttier than squirrel poo and power mad. Abby, disillusioned and angry, then left the centre to return to the other survivors.
With the others at the manor house, Naj, Anya and Al were trying to build a chicken coop and making a really bad job of it while the imperious and rather pathetically girly Sarah watched and read magazines. Al tried to make a move on the shallow newcomer but she made it clear that Greg is the man she wants.
We left the original bunch at the manor house as they celebrated Peter’s birthday – albeit in his absence – and with teasing trailers for next week, that was that.
I thought you might be interested to see a few clips from the original Survivors of the 70s, and how different today’s bunch are!
The seventies Abby was a plummy well to do rich lady who only perspired gently when she got the illness and her husband David was played by Peter Bowles of To The Manor Born fame. Here are a couple of clips…
In this one, we meet the original shallow Sarah and action man Greg…
And finally, this one is where several of them meet up for the first time. They’re all frightfully posh and terribly awfully super…
Next week on Survivors…
Abby learns of a group of young boys living at a nearby mansion called Waterhouse. She leaves her new friends in order to find her son, Peter. When she arrives at Waterhouse she walks into the middle of a land dispute between an ex-army officer and an aggressive group of teenage boys. She must try and broker a truce in order to discover if Peter is at the house.
Tom, Sarah, Al and Najid are drawn to the comfort and security that Samantha’s community provides. Things quickly go wrong for Al as he is ejected from the community. Tom sees the chance to prove himself to Samantha, but will his criminal past catch up with him?
Greg and Anya have an encounter with some unwelcome visitors that provides a vivid reminder of how vulnerable they are without the group.