Sunday, May 10, 2015

"Survivors" 40th Anniversary: Episode 6 ("Garland's War")

This is the sixth in a series of blog posts dedicated to the 40th anniversary of BBC's "Survivors" television series. Survivors followed a core group of characters who managed to survived a devastating viral outbreak -- one which managed to kill off somewhere between 95-99% of humanity. Society has crumbled and now those who remain must relearn the old way if they have any hope of surviving much longer.

Our last episode ended with our group of "survivors" (Abby Grant, Jenny Richards, and Greg Preston) being joined by two young children (John Milton and Lizzie Willoughby). Our group also learned that they are carriers of the Sickness and inadvertently infected three men who had literally gone to the hills to avoid the plague.

This episode (titled "Garland's War") begins with our group arriving at a farm. Abby had heard that a a man and a boy were living there and she needed to see if her missing son Peter was that boy. She was temporarily elated when she heard that the boy is named Peter -- and then crashed when she met the boy and discovered that he is not her son.

Jenny learn of a settlement called Waterhouse that has a few young boys while Abby is away moping. Increasingly impatient with Abby's obsessive search for Peter, Greg encourages Jenny to wait a while before telling her about Waterhouse. Jenny doesn't listen and Abby ends up slipping away into the night to see if Peter is there.

Almost immediately, Abby finds herself in the midst of a war between a young earl named Jimmy Garland and a man named Knox. Knox and his men expelled Garland from his ancestral estate and Garland wants back his property so that he can lead the community in his own way. He now lives off the estate and performs frequent acts of sabotage to keep Knox rattled.

Jimmy Garland
Abby spends the night with Garland, treating his wounds and learning about him. The sparks between these two are quite evident.

The next day, Abby is captured by Knox, who informs her that Peter Grant is not living at Waterhouse. He also tries hard to convince Abby that Garland is aggravating an already tense situation. He tells her that he wants to end this battle. In the meantime, Garland kidnaps one of Knox's women in an effort to barter for Abby's safety. Knox releases Abby and asks her to persuade Garland to negotiate with him and his men.

Abby does a good job of convincing Garland to talk with Knox, but it was all a ruse. He and his men immediately ambush Garland. They plan to torture him for the location of the missing woman and will then execute him. Abby is expelled from Waterhouse and told to never come back.

Garland eventually relents and agrees to lead him to the shed where he's stashed the missing woman. Once there, Knox and his men are ambushed by Greg. Abby had found her two friends and convinced them to help Garland. They originally planned to barter for Garland's release with the missing woman, but decided instead to go with the whole armed ambush approach. Fortunately, this was an effective strategy.

Garland is released and Abby assumes that the homeless earl will join her little band of roving survivors. But Garland is committed to his war. He remains determined to regain Waterhouse from Knox and his men.

Which leaves a lonely Abby Grant and her friends traveling off for parts unknown. No fears. I anticipate that this isn't the last we've seen of Jimmy Garland...

I really enjoyed "Garland's War." I like Jimmy Garland as a character and wish that he could have been more of a presence within the overall series. Second, I really like Jimmy Garland with Abby as a couple. They make a great pair. And he provided Abby a focus besides her haunting quest for her son. For her own sanity, Abby really needs a new focus.

Next week, we look at Episode #7 ("Starvation").

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