"You asked me if we were all going to become brutalised. Well
perhaps we will if all we think of is survival"
- Greg

Jenny has given birth to a baby boy. She wants to call him David and decides she would like
to stay on at Whitecross to raise him. Greg concedes and tells Charles and Pet that they will
stay after all. They are both very pleased.

Ruth and Paul are now together despite the social chasm that would have divided them in the
pre-death world. Ruth is called out to see Jenny who has developed a fever. Ruth fears there
may be a problem with the afterbirth.

She concludes to Greg's horror that Jenny requires an operation. Ruth requires surgical tools
and drugs which they do not have.

She suggests a trip to a city hospital to ensure the items she needs are found. Birmingham is
touted as an obvious choice. The risk of the trip is recognised as high, but nevertheless Greg
wants to go. Ruth feels he'll be more use at Jenny's side. Paul volunteers, partly to prove
himself to Ruth but also to help Jenny. He sets off at first light on horseback.

He returns the next day on foot, his horse having gone lame on the journey home. He has
brought back everything on Ruth's list but is feeling unwell. Ruth suggests he stays in one of
the barns in case he has something infectious. Ruth successfully treats Jenny and then turns
her attention to Paul who is now very sick.

Keeping a safe distance she instructs him in how to inject himself with one of the drugs he
brought  back. She is greatly distressed by the situation. Paul continues to get sicker and
develops lumps under his arms and on his neck. Ruth thinks it may be bubonic plague, but as
the drugs have not worked she concludes that this could be a mutant strain.

Ruth advises that Paul's infection could spread via animal fleas. Arthur suggests that as Paul
is dying that they should humanely put him out of his misery and burn the barn to the ground.
Greg strongly opposes the idea believing they are becoming brutalised by always putting
survival above everything else. He suggests that Paul is perhaps too ill to have injected
himself properly and makes a suit of polythene sacks to treat him personally. Ruth however
insists that she should do the job herself.

Ruth visits her love for the last time. She comforts Paul and tells him that his efforts saved
Jenny's  life.

Paul dies in her arms soon after. A dejected Ruth leaves the barn.

Ruth returns soon after to burn the barn down. John notices the fire during his birthday party
and Arthur and Jack go to investigate. Ruth has gone missing. The following day Greg locates
her in the woods during an organised search. She is extremely disillusioned and has
contemplated suicide.

The survivors plan to learn from their experience and set up a quarantine area for returning
members or new visitors to prevent the spread of infection. Jenny and Greg have changed
their minds about their baby's name, deciding to call him Paul.

Episode Review

This episode fleshes out the character of Ruth, whose distress at the loss of her love Paul is the aspect which the viewer will undoubtedly take away with them. The final days of a relatively new love affair are poignantly captured here, as ultimately Paul gives his life not only to help his friend Jenny but also to prove his worth to his lover.

Celia Gregory proves herself to be a worthy addition to the cast and her character is clearly the main protagonist here, demonstrating the increased importance of the medically trained in this new world. Chris Tranchell's means of departure is well plotted, but it is a shame that it has to come so soon after the deaths of so many of the other regulars of the first series. At one point it seems likely that Jenny may die too, but not even Survivors could be that bleak thankfully!

The danger of putting survival above love is an interesting new slant on the survivors predicament and it comes somewhat unexpectedly from typically practical Greg. This discussion takes place during a meeting around Pet's kitchen table, which is to become the perennial location of all important councils of war this series.

Thankfully the episode does not conclude with an attempt to tie everything up on an optimistic note. Yes Jenny has now recovered, but only at a terrible cost and Ruth is quite rightly thoroughly depressed when Greg finds her in the woods. Survivors is once more unafraid to portray their new life as extremely harsh and on occasion seemingly pointless.

Rating: 8/10

Episode 15: Greater Love

writer: Don Shaw
first broadcast:
7th April 1976

Regular Cast:

Paul Pitman: Christopher Tranchell
Ruth Anderson: Celia Gregory
Charles Vaughan: Denis Lill
Greg Preston: Ian McCulloch
Jenny Richards: Lucy Fleming
Pet Simpson:
Lorna Lewis
Arthur Russell: Michael Gover
Hubert Goss:
John Abineri
Lizzie Willoughby:
Tanya Ronder
John Millon: Stephen Dudley

and introducing:

Jack Wood: Gordon Salkilld

designer:  Ian Watson
Pennant Roberts
Terence Dudley
episode recorded:
11th - 16th January 1976

Visit Rich Cross's web pages on Greater Love here


Home Page   Regular Characters   What is Survivors?   Links    Recent Updates    Behind the Scenes

Page Last Updated: 25th February 2003  All text Andy Priestner   Screen Captures BBC