Monday, February 15, 2016

"Survivors" 40th Anniversary: Episode 31 ("Bridgehead")

This is the thirty-first 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.

I have to admit it. I've struggled to sit down and write something up about this latest episode, titled "Bridgehead." I was sick last weekend, so I decided to take a break. But I really struggled this past weekend to sit down and write up something. It's not a bad episode. It's just all over the place.

First, you have Edith Walters and her two sons Owen and Steve. We met this family back during "Law of the Jungle." They end up in Brod's camp after their older brother Tom went off for supplies and never returned. Steve and Owen got caught up in Brod's hunter/adventurer lifestyle and now Edith just sits around complaining because the boys don't want to live on the farm and because she's afraid that they plan to run away.

Agnes and Charles are invested in making this farm functional again. It's one of the few farming communities that has been mostly successful. They have plenty of livestock, plenty of wool, and plenty of cheese. They don't have a lot of grain though they do have a functional mill.

It's also worth noting that most of the Walters family survived the Death. Back during the first and second season, it was practically unheard of for more than one family member to survive the Death. Now we've met up with the Walters family, Abby Grant and her son, Eagle and his sister. We will witness another family connection in our next episode also.

Then Charles arrives back at the farm after his first abortive search for Tom. He makes it back to the farm just in time to discover that the cows are infected with brucellosis! This prompts him and Jenny into boating off to seek help from a homeopathic healer named Bill Sheridan and his wife Alice.

While traveling, Charles and Bill discuss the fact that all of the people are scattered, scared, and unorganized. They make up a plan to meet up at the nearby Highley train station and introduce the concept of some sort of market. Which they do. And the people slowly warm up to trading their honey for his pigs for her wool for his cows, etc. Plus, they plan to set up a medical clinic and a weekly school eventually.

This is one of the things that has bugged me the most about "Survivors." I have a hard time imagining that it would be this difficult to get people to create new communities and to share resources. It's not like "The Walking Dead" or "Night of the Triffids" where you have food supplies slowly dwindling away and monstrous creatures trying to consume what's left of humanity. This is a world where most of the people died and left a tiny percentage of survivors with tons of canned and boxed foods and empty buildings. I have a hard time imagining that the survivors would work so hard to take each other down instead of trying to rebuild into something that approximates what they lost.

Anyway, Edith was reunited with Tom at the end of this episode. He's now a train conductor! And this train will connect this portion of England with another portion of England. Interstate commerce!!

Plus, we saw our first functional car in many, many episodes! It seems that Greg managed to get his methane gas project functional -- and then left before Jenny had the opportunity to reunite with him! Maybe they'll meet up next episode?

Next time, we will check out "Reunion."

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