Character Review - Melanie
Melanie was a rich socialite before the death, who found the subsequent privations difficult to bear, principally because her life was no longer exciting. She first arrived at Whitecross in New Arrivals. She was a member of the group of youngsters that had fled a nearby failed community which had been struck with disease. Unfortunately 'aggro-culturalist' Mark Carter was also amongst this group. He took against Charles methods and laid out a new plan to make Whitecross more efficient. Ultimately his leadership was rejected and he assumed that Mel, who must have been close to him at some point, would go with him. Mel refused presumably because she was fed up of Mark, but also because some of Whitecross's men had already taken her eye, including Alan and Greg, both of whom she flirts with soon after her arrival. She even invites Alan to move in to the Old Mill with her and the other youngsters.
By Over The Hills, Mel and Alan have developed an intimate if casual relationship. It transpires that she has been advising the other young women to avoid pregnancy by abstaining from sex with the community's men, much to Alan and later Charles's chagrin. Alan however has already taken the opportunity to sleep with Sally and she is now pregnant. Mel seems indifferent to the news in terms of Alan's involvement, but does have strong opinions about the pregnancy itself, especially when Charles jumps on to his repopulation bandwagon once more. She strongly believes that women should still have the right to decide whether they get pregnant and whether they keep the child if they do. Mel does not exactly help Sally to miscarry, but she respects her decision to take part in the dangerous rope game which leads to the miscarriage. At this point Mel very much stands as the polar opposite to Charles, as she as good as leads the youngsters whilst he leads the older generation.
In explore beyond Whitecross, as she and Alan follow New World Mel takes an opportunity to up on a postcard retrieved from the belongings of the dying Norwegian, Carlsson. They make contact with a man called Seth who tells them about the man's mission to help his fellow Norwegians, to map England and also about his daughter, Agnes. Mel and Alan return to Whitecross in an excited mood. However it is ultimately Greg and Jack who leave Whitecross with Agnes to help her people. It seems unlikely that strong-minded Mel would have remained at Whitecross having learnt so much about the new world waiting to be explored. We can safely presume that she and Alan set off soon after, for adventures of their own.
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Page last updated: 22nd November 2002 All text © Andy Priestner Screen Captures © BBC