Character Review - Alan
Alan is first introduced in an early scene of By Bread Alone, in which he provides a strong contrast to Lewis Fearns as they dig a drainage ditch at Whitecross. Alan is strong, masculine and capable and therefore called upon to carry out the tougher jobs at Whitecross. Like all of the youngsters who pass through the second community Alan wants something more. However unlike Judy and Phillip and later Mel, who all want to strike out to explore the new world created by the death in order to find a better way of life, Alan appears to be content with finding a lover and spending time with people that are closer to his age.
In New Arrivals the coming of a group of youngsters provides a breath of fresh air to Whitecross and Alan wastes no time in becoming acquainted with the newcomers. He even moves in with them in the old mill, despite the possible danger that they are carrying infection. It is clearly Mel who has caught Alan's eye. From the outset, Mel strings Alan along in style. She likes the attention she receives from him, but it is obvious that in the old world she wouldn't have looked at him twice.
With Mark Carter soon out of the picture, it seems that there is a good chance that he and Mel will pair up. But Sally's pregnancy by Alan in Over the Hills, suggests that she has still been playing hard to get most of the time, so he has found his pleasures elsewhere. He spends much of the early part of this episode trying to persuade Mel to sleep with him, but she has no intention of becoming pregnant and rejects his advances. His fathering of Sally's baby is treated in a celebratory manner by most Whitecross members. Indeed, Alan's lack of commitment to Sally is cast aside as unimportant. The impending birth is seen by Charles particularly as a vital step forward. He sees no reason why Alan should pair up with Sally, in fact it is only Daniella who mistakenly treats the midsummer party as a wedding breakfast for the pair.
Alan goes out of his way to impress Mel during the rope game in Over the Hills and she hates the fact that he is successful in his aim. She seems inconsistent in repelling Alan and by the time we reach their final episode, New World, it appears that she has given in to him and he has become a constant presence at her side. How much further he has gone with her in the bedroom department is left unsaid, but the pair definitely seem more comfortable with each other, especially during their trip to Chipping Camden. By this point, Alan has been converted to Mel's ideals and also dreams of a world beyond Whitecross. After Greg's departure by hot air balloon, which is the last we see of Alan, it seems ever more likely that he and Mel will leave the settlement for pastures new to explore the new world together...
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Page last updated: 22nd November 2002 All text © Andy Priestner Screen Captures © BBC