"Janet and I will go to Challoner first thing in the morning,
because we need our children...
" - Jenny



Hubert comes to the aid of a shepherd called Walter.


He alerts Charles and Jenny and they find Walter nearby. He appears to have hurt his
leg. Walter tells Charles about a vet who lives at a place nearby called Sloton Spencer.


A man called Philip is returning to a large manor house on horseback. He greets a young
woman inside the house. She is called Janet. They discuss the recent departure of a visitor.


They both appear to have found the visitor's ambitions and urgency amusing. Janet jokes
that the man's good looks may mean however, that he will secure the female vote.


A short time later Charles arrives and meets Philip. Charles tells him that this is
Sloton Spencer and that Janet is the vet he seeks . He takes Charles to meet her.


Janet returns with Charles and they bring back Walter to Sloton Spencer. Janet begins to
tend to the injured shepherd, whilst Jenny marvels at her collection of medicines. Janet
explains that this was her home and place of practice before the death.


Jenny is saddened to recall Paul's sacrifice for her when he ventured into Birmingham and
muses that they could have found what they needed at a place like this. Charles enters.


Charles promptly manages to offend Janet by stating that a vet is almost as good as a doctor.


Janet begins to direct Charles and Jenny in an operation on Walter's leg. She is keen that
they learn how to perform this sort of procedure themselves. Whilst they work Janet informs
them that before the death that vets, unlike doctors, were allowed to practice on humans as
well as animals.


Some time later Jenny and Charles relax with Philip and Janet in their sitting room.
They tell them about their discovery of synthesis of pethadine and their encounter
with another vet, Bill Sheridan.


When Charles begins to sound off about the importance of federating Britian's communities,
Janet and Philip can't help but smile as he sounds just like their recent visitor. However, they
just pass it off as a private joke.


Hubert goes to check on Walter. Hubert is disgruntled, believing that despite everything
that has happened some people live and act like they are his betters. His musings are
accompanied by Janet's piano playing downstairs.


Jenny comes downstairs after a hot bath. She is pleased to be clean again. However, her
thoughts soon turn to Greg. She wonders if Greg really does love her given that he has
neglected her for so long. Charles reassures her. He believes that set-ups like this one
cannot hope to last given their lack of outside support. He thinks that Greg knows this too,
which is why he has prioritised journeying around the country spreading the message of
federation over his reunion with her.


Philip shows Charles and Hubert his petrol still. They have been using the petrol to
take a car out for medical supplies. Charles restates the importance of democracy
and organisation and Philip remarks that he heard very similar remarks from the
visitor that morning.


In the sitting room, Jenny is looking through Janet's photo album. She asks about a photo
of a fair haired boy. Janet explains that he was her son.


She goes on to explain that he was away staying with his grandmother just before the death.
She also describes a foot-and-mouth outbreak that occurred at Sloton at the time. Jenny takes
a second look at the photo.


She suddenly appears startled and asks Janet what her son was called. When she replies
'John', Jenny presses for her surname. She says it is Millon. Jenny is dumbstruck for a
moment then blurts out that they have a boy at their settlement called John Millon!


Janet sits by Jenny as she goes on to quickly describe John. Janet is soon certain that it is her
son and the pair hug each other. Both women are amazed and overjoyed.


Jenny rushes to tell Charles, leaving Janet to recover from the shock. Charles is rushing to
tell Jenny some news he has heard from Philip concerning Greg. However, Jenny is too
excited to listen and talks over him with the fabulous news about John and Janet.


She hugs Charles and tells him that they must return at once to Challoner so Janet can be
reunited with her son and she can be reunited with baby Paul. Charles looks concerned as
he clearly hoped to continue after Greg, after hearing he was at Sloton Spencer as recently
as this morning.


A short time later, Charles tries to make Jenny see that they shouldn't return to Challoner now
that Greg is so close. He sees Greg's aims and their own as more important. Jenny is eventually
persuaded.


Downstairs again, Janet tells Jenny and Charles that she can't wait to see John and that they
will leave in the morning. Jenny is forced to tell Janet that she has now changed her mind.


Janet tells her that she couldn't possibly wait another night to see her son and would even
go without them if they won't co-operate. Jenny and Charles are resolute until Philip
inadvertently mentions Agnes and that he thought she was Greg's partner. Jenny flies off
the handle and Charles tries to calm the situation down.


Jenny, suddenly fearing that there is more to Greg and Agnes's relationship after all,
impulsively decides to leave with Janet in the morning to see her baby. Charles is
angry but powerless.


The next morning Charles sets off after Greg. He leaves a note which details a
rendezvous for the following evening.


Janet, Jenny and Hubert set off for Challoner. Philip has elected to stay behind at Sloton
Spencer. Janet promises to return soon.


At Challoner Jack has ventured out for the usual 4 o'clock call, but once more there is
no news of Charles and Jenny. Back at the farmhouse, Pet says how good it would be to
see them again.


Meanwhile, whilst stopping by a river, Jenny is suddenly in danger as a wild dog
arrives on the scene.


Hubert spots the dog and shoots it dead just as it launches itself at Jenny.


Later that evening, Jenny, Janet and Hubert are taking shelter at the rendezvous point. They
are discussing Jenny's close scrape earlier in the day. Jenny thanks him for saving her life and
Janet bolsters his confidence by telling him she feels safe with him protecting them.


Charles arrives and manages to give Hubert a bloody nose in the process. He tells Jenny that
Greg has moved on yet again.


Charles discusses federation again and asks Janet if it would be possible for their settlement
to join her and Philip at Sloton Spencer. He thinks Sloton is better placed than Challoner or
Whitecross as it is in central England. Janet asks how many of them there are. Jenny tells
her. Janet readily agrees to the idea. Charles suggests that those still at Whitecross could
join the settlement as well.


The next day the foursome travel on towards Challoner. As they near Seth's place, Linden,
Jenny suggests they may be in time to make the 4 o'clock phonecall to Challoner.


Jenny races ahead of the others and makes the 4 o'clock call. She is delighted to
speak to Jack and tells him they plan to be back with them very soon. She shares
the amazing news that John's mother is with them and asks that he and Pet
prepare John for the shock. Jack suggests that instead of them coming all the way
to Challoner, that the five of them will meet them halfway. After checking with
Charles and the others, she returns to the phone to agree to the plan.


At Challoner, Pet is thrilled by the news. She is concerned however as to what to
say to John. John continues to play with Lizzie oblivious of the events that are
about to enfold.


Pet engineers that Jack take Lizzie outside after dinner so she can be left alone
with John. She approaches the matter delicately, but is surprised at his low key
reaction when she finally tells him that his mother is alive and that he will see her
following day. All he asks is if Charles will be coming too.


Meanwhile, the foursome have stopped en route. Jenny and Janet discuss the impending
reunion. Janet is worried that John will have changed a lot in two years and that he may
not recognise her. Jenny tries to allay her fears.


Jack and Pet pack up a cart for the journey. They are both concerned that John seems
to be showing little emotion regarding the news. Jack is worried as to how Janet will
react. Pet tells him she talked to Janet on the 8 o'clock call and that she seemed quite
business-like and will cope with the situation. After John and Lizzie say goobye to
their animals they set off.


The two parties journey towards each other by road and track.


Eventually the two parties are reunited. Jenny runs to baby Paul and Charles and Pet
share a heartfelt hug. John meanwhile is reticent towards his mother who also hangs
back. Jack urges him forward towards her.


Janet tentatively makes her way to her son and is overjoyed to be reunited with him.
However his emotionless reaction soon makes it clear to her and the others that he
does not share her elation.


Stopping off for a rest, the reunited group discuss their next move. They all agree that they
should stick together and head for Sloton Spencer.


Arriving back at Sloton Spencer, Janet is reunited with Philip. John clearly recgonises
his old home. However, when he learns that his pony is not there anymore he is distressed
and runs inside the house.


Janet is understandably upset by John's behaviour. She can't seem to get through to him at
all. Jack enters and tells them that John won't speak and is sitting alone in the stable block.


Philip goes to speak to him. He persuades him to come out to Sam Higgins farm, where he
used to play before the death. Philip tries to explain about the foot-and-mouth outbreak that
occurred just before the death.


Philip can't get through to John. John asks to go back the house.


Back at the house, Janet suddenly remembers the letter she wrote to John's grandmother
before the death which told her about the foot-and-mouth and the need for John to stay
on there for a time. She had not wanted him to witness the destruction of his favourite
animals. She thinks John may have subsequently interpreted the situation to mean that
she didn't want him to return.


In the nearby gardens, Charles talks to John about Alistair MacFadden and also about Jenny's
belief that Greg doesn't care enough to return to her. John refutes this.


Charles goes on to say that nevertheless people believe things that are just not true. He
explains about the foot-and-mouth outbreak and why he thinks his mother didn't send for
him. John seems to take it in.


Returning to the house, John sees his mother and the pair hug. This time their happiness is
mutual.


Charles checks on Jenny who is grooming one of the horses. He tells her about his success
with John and goads her about her suspicion of Greg. She rises to the bait, trips over and
falls into his arms.


Charles comforts Jenny and promises her that he will find Greg. Meanwhile, John
begins to catch up on the time he has missed with his mother.

 

Episode Review

Reunion is a gentle episode which for once concentrates on a positive event, namely the reunion of John with his mother, Janet. Terence Dudley's careful direction ensures that the most important scenes are emotional without being sickly sweet. Jenny's initial discovery of John's photograph in Janet's album and the elation that follows is exhilarating and genuinely heart-warming. That it is the 'surrogate mother', Jenny, that relates the news of John's survival to his real mother is a nice touch, as is her sudden and related realisation that her role as mother to Paul is as important as that of wife to Greg.

It is a great relief to see Pet and Jack again. Both characters work well in the series and given the audience's familiarity with them from the Whitecross days it does seem odd that they are not used more. Their reunion with Charles and Jenny is especially welcome given the grim reality of the pair's recent experiences in the wilds.

Hubert is once more on the road to rehabilitation, this time however the message is clumsier than the bravery and selflessness he showed when dealing with the brucellosis at the Walter's farm. We are not surprised that he saves Jenny's life when she is attacked by a dog but we are made to feel we should be.

This is perhaps the most continuity laden episode of Survivors. We finally learn that series two's Whitecross settlement is still going strong and that Seth who appeared in
New World and Manhunt is still living near Challoner. Charles and Jenny also refer to the synthesis of pethadine which they learned about in Manhunt and the vet, Bill Sheridan, who they met in Bridgehead. The brucellosis outbreak and Agnes subsequent illness is also discussed. Don Shaw also ensures that we don't forget his earlier episodes by having Jenny reference Paul's death in Greater Love and Charles discusses Alistair MacFadden from Face of the Tiger with John. Of course, events as far back as Gone to the Angels are also mentioned, as the circumstances of John's stay with his grandmother prior to the death and his discovery by Jenny and Greg are related.

The proposed relocation to Sloton Spencer seems sensible, but ultimately pointless in its execution in later episodes, as neither Janet nor Philip appear again. Still its good to know that Pet and Jack won't be going back to lonely old Challoner and that like Highley in the previous episode it may become an important centre in the future.

Stephen Dudley's quiet and considered performance of John is worthy of note here. He plays the confused child just right and its nice to see the character find unexpected happiness after all this time.

Jenny's jealousy of Agnes and suspicion of Greg becomes an important theme again here. It is perhaps unintentionally hilarious when Jenny screams in frustration that Agnes "is not Swedish!". Worries about Agnes will pre-occupy Jenny for virtually the rest of the series. Thankfully however, a new quest is destined to soon replace the frustrating and fruitless search for Mr Preston.

Rating: 8/10

 


Episode 32: Reunion

writer:
Don Shaw
first broadcast:
20th March 1977


Regular Cast:

Charles Vaughan:
Denis Lill
Jenny Richards: Lucy Fleming
Pet Simpson: Lorna Lewis
Hubert Goss:
John Abineri
John Millon: Stephen Dudley
Jack Wood: Gordon Salkilld
Lizzie Willoughby: Angie Stevens

Guest Cast:

Philip Hurst:
John Lee
Janet Millon:
Jean Gilpin
Walter: George Waring


designer: Geoff Powell
director: Terecne Dudley
producer:
Terence Dudley
episode recorded:
3rd - 8th March 1977



For biographies of the guest cast in this episode click
here



NEXT EPISODE: THE PEACEMAKER by Roger Parkes



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