Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Survivors" 40th Anniversary: Episode 15 ("Greater Love")

This is the fifteenth 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.

In our last episode, the Grange burned to the ground, killing several of the first season survivors. Those who survived (Greg, Jenny, Paul, Arthur, John, & Lizzie) relocated to Whitecross. This settlement is headed by Charles Vaughan. He lives there with his new wife Pet and several others adults and children. They are soon reunited with Dr. Ruth Anderson, who plans to deliver Jenny's unborn son into the world.

We are introduced to Greg and Jenny's new son towards the beginning of this latest episode (titled "Greater Love"). Funny-Face Preston appears to be healthy, though his parents have discussed the need for a kinder name. They initially settle on David. Meanwhile, Jenny is complaining of occasional headaches, but isn't too concerned.

Meanwhile, romance is brewing between Ruth and Paul. They mutually agree that their relationship would never have survived in the pre-Death world. They were too different back then. She was a doctor-in-training and he was a working class man. But things are different now. The old class distinctions no longer matter. For now, the two are enjoying each others' company, as well as this new opportunity at romance!

Sadly, their romance is interrupted. Jenny's headaches are getting worse. Ruth realizes that her blood pressure is beginning to drop. There were complications from the delivery and Ruth needs to perform surgery in order to save Jenny's life.

They don't have the surgical supplies out in the country. That means, somebody needs to travel into one of the cities and get them from the hospitals. Paul volunteers -- despite Greg's reservations. The mission is successful -- mostly. Paul manages to get all of the surgical supplies and Ruth is eventually able to perform the surgery and save Jenny's life.

But Paul also brought back some form of illness. It is noticed upon his arrival. He is quarantined to one of the outlying shelters and given a strong regimen of antibiotics and other meds. Sadly, this treatment is ineffective. Ruth believes that he has a mutant form of bubonic. Paul continues to deteriorate and eventually dies.

Ruth burns Paul's body and the building that he died within. She then goes hiding for a while so that she can mourn in privacy.

Charles, Greg, Ruth, Pet, Jenny, Arthur, and Jack later gather and use this tragedy as a learning opportunity for their group. They turn away from their initial reaction, which was to ban their group from going back to any city. Instead, they decide to build an isolation building. That way, individual members can still go to the city in the future if they need to (for medicine or for some other needed supply), but they will then have the ability to isolate themselves from the others in case they come back with something deadly in their system.

Lastly, Greg and Jenny finally decide on a permanent name for their new baby boy: Paul -- in honor of the man who sacrificed his safety and his life in order to Jenny to live on.

Baby Paul
There were a few other developments. Arthur started the task of resuming Charles' census efforts from way back in season one! It makes sense! I have often pondered the need for a census if such a Plague ever struck this world. There would be a need to know who's left and what skills those survivors possess. That way, we can make sure there are enough doctors or teachers or farmers around -- or at least know where to find them should the need arise!

Arthur's census efforts lead to an interaction, where we viewers get to meet a new cast-member, Jack Wood (played by Gordon Salkilld). He's a carpenter by trade, with experience in electric wiring and union organizing.

Jack Wood
We also get a chance to see several of the older children that live at Whitecross -- though none of them are explicitly introduced -- besides Lizzie and John, of course!

Next week, we begin the first of a pretty cool two-part episode: "Lights of London Part 1!" See you then!

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