Sunday, June 7, 2015

"Survivors" 40th Anniversary: Episode 10 ("The Future Hour")

This is the tenth 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 created a major set-back for our group of survivors (Abby Grant, Jenny Richards, Greg Preston, Tom Price, Emma Cohen, Charmian Wentworth, Arthur Russell, Paul Pitman, Vic Thatcher,. Wendy, and Barney; along with children John Milton and Lizzie Willoughby). The group was suffering from post-apocalyptic ennui, so Abby decided to organize a May Day Celebration. Unfortunately, Tom Price got drunk, leading to the rape and murder of Wendy at his hand. The rest of the group gathered and decided that Barney -- a mentally disabled man with limited intellect, memory, and communication skills -- was convicted of Wendy's murder and was sentenced to death. Abby and Greg later learned that Tom Price was the actual murderer. They decided to shield the rest of the group from this information, but vowed to keep Tom on a short leash.

Greg discovers at the beginning of "The Future Hour" that there is a camp set up fairly close to the Grange. He and Paul meet up with an intimidating man named Bernard Huxley. Huxley has a small group of workers. They have been scouring the local towns and villages, gathering everything from food to cigarettes to tools to clothing. Huxley's scheme is to travel to all of the new settlements 2-3 times annually, trading goods for gold. He figures that gold will regain worth eventually and he was to be rich when that time comes!

Greg and Paul think that Huxley is nuts because of his fixation on gold.

But they really get turned off by Huxley when they witness him flipping out once he discovers that his wife -- a woman named Laura Foster (played by Caroline Burt) -- has run away with one of Huxley's men -- a guy named Norman (played by Denis Lawson). Worse yet, they took some of Huxley's gold with them!

Greg and Paul decide against leaving their address with Huxley. Unfortunately, they discover that Huxley might not be that difficult to get rid of once they return home. Who let these two through the gates??

Laura Foster // Norman
It turns out that Laura is pregnant. Like, give-birth-any-day-now pregnant. She had been wandering alone for weeks when she came across Huxley and his men. She agreed to stay with Huxley and become his wife, but she had to agree to give up her baby once it was born. Huxley wasn't going to care for another man's child, after all! Now she can't bear to give up her baby.

Unfortunately, Norman stupidly grabbed Huxley's gold when they left and he's a man who won't let go of either his wife or his gold.

Our survivors are left in a tricky position. Do they kick out a very-pregnant woman in order to protect their group? Or do they hide Laura and Norman until Huxley moves on? They opt for the latter option.

The next morning, they notice Huxley approaching the Grange. They lock our newest members down in the basement. Then Abby gives Huxley a tour of the facility and convinces him that they're Laura-free.

Unfortunately, they should have locked Lizzie and John away in the basement also. John told Phil, one of Huxley's henchmen, that he felt the pregnant lady's belly! Oh, brother!

That leads to a late night break-in. Huxley was unsuccessful in his efforts at stealing back Laura, but at least he got his gold back. But he promises the group that he will be back -- in force!

Huxley and his men then engage in a series of terrorist attacks on the Grange. For example, they overwhelm Arthur and burn a haystack that he'd been working on. They then ambush Paul and kill all of the group's sheep.

Laura goes into labor right around this time, taking away any opportunity for her to sacrifice herself for the larger group.

Greg decides instead to lead a group of men to attack Huxley's camp and steal all of their guns, ammunition, and explosives. He figures that they will ambush the group so stealthily that nobody will get shot. Fortunately for us, Tom Price gets shot within seconds of arriving!

A short gunfight begins and it's pretty clear that Greg and his men would have all gotten themselves killed, except for Abby and Laura arriving in the land rover. Laura has made her decision. She's returning to Huxley.

As easy as that, the grudge match is over.

Except that Tom Price isn't quite dead. Now that the battle is over, he decides to rise up from the edge of death -- and take Bernard Huxley with him!

As Greg put it, "He did worse things." Which is true.

Anyway, this is how the survivors finally rid themselves of Tom Price for good. Not only that, but our group absorbed two new adult members, plus a brand-new baby girl!

Baby Girl X
Actually, these new additions proved interesting. Both Laura and Norman end up fading into the background after joining up in this episode. Personally, I think the producers just wanted a baby to dote over when the mood hit them.

We learn that the nearby communities are pretty oppressive when it comes to the smell. Huxley and his men have been using gas masks to make their supply runs more manageable. Even so, most of the stores have been picked clean by other scavengers by this time.

We will meet up next week with a familiar face on next week's episode, titled "Revenge."

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