"If you want to get to Alec, get to Jenny first" - Frank



Charles, Jenny, Hubert and Frank are now also accompanied by Alec as they
continue to journey North. Whilst Alec is racing on ahead, Frank is lagging
behind as his heart is playing up. Charles promises a concerned Jenny that
he will keep an eye on him


By a mine, Jenny meets a man called Sam who tells her of a place they
can stay for the night, which isn't far away. Sam leads them to a settlement
in an old country club which has been named the Tollbar.


Arriving whilst it is still light, Jenny and Charles are welcomed by a man called
Leonard Woollen who promises them 'a beer and a warm-up'.


Community life at the Tollbar is centred around a lively bar where residents enjoy
games of skittles and darts. The new arrivals tuck into the food and drink.


Frank observes from Leonard's scars that he used to work as a miner. Leonard
in turn bullies Sam to show off his scars.


Despite his partner's protestations Sam explains to Charles and Frank that he
was a heroin addict before the death. He believes the death plague saved him.


Sam goes on to tell Frank that he thinks the death plague saved all of them as the
old system was finished. Leonard warns him to leave it there reminding him that
this isn't the place for any 'pulpit stuff'. Alec watches Jenny closely as she and
Frank leave the bar to go to bed.



Charles joins Leonard in a game of darts and tries to spark a discussion about
social co-operation. He is warned that it is a rule that he can't discuss politics or
religion in the bar. Charles complains that he is in fact talking about basic
survival.


Leonard takes him to one side and accuses him of being a fast-talking
politician. Charles denies he is this but Leonard replies that he knows a
tub-thumper when he sees one and tells him to watch it.


Alec helps Frank to get ready to turn in. Alec is concerned that Frank's
heart is playing him up. He tells him that he's been listening to Jenny too
much and that if anything Jenny has the heart trouble given the continued
absence of Greg.


Charles tells Leonard that the atomic battery on Frank's pacemaker is running
out and that it would be for the best if they could stay for a while rather than
continue straight on up North. Leonard says there is plenty of work to be done
if Charles is looking for excuses to stay. Given that Alec worked as a transmission
field engineer they decide he could take a look at their broken generator.


Meanwhile, Jenny and Alec are discussing Frank, but it soon develops into an
argument over her desire to get on after Greg.


Charles talks to Frank about the possibility of persuading Alec to work on the
generator. He suggests that he should get to Alec through Jenny. He believes
that their squabbling, the role Jenny played back at the church as Alec's wife
and Alec's confused guilt all adds up to a close relationship between the pair
which Alec would like to see go further.


During a game of billiards, Charles tries to persuade Jenny to chat Alec up. She is
amazed that he expects her to 'prostitute' herself in this way. She brings up Greg
and tells him that he still counts. Charles is not so sure and refers to recent
events when Jenny chose to see her son at Challoner rather than meeting Greg.
The conversation turns to Agnes. Jenny states that Agnes and Greg have not been
'together' but that instead she has just been influencing Greg and keeping them
apart. Jenny eventually flees the room in a rage.


Hubert comes away from the skittle alley and joins Sam and his wife Mary-Jean.
Mary-Jean wants Hubert to leave, especially when he starts to talk to Sam about
his drink problem before 'the death'. She becomes more uncomfortable as his
words encourage Sam to once more dwell on his experiences before 'the death'.
Mary-Jean leaves the room.


Sam tells Hubert that the trouble with him before the death was the treatment.
He believes now that he needed discipline and authority but instead received
the soft option. He cites visits from social workers who got him so choked up
with self pity that he couldn't do anything for himself and welfare handouts as
the main problems. Sam thinks that their children have to be pioneers taking
a different path. Hubert and Sam drink to 'the death'.


Charles asks Alec if he finds Jenny attractive and goes on to explain
her worries about Agnes and Greg. He also relates the fact that Jenny
chose not to see Greg back at Sloton, describing her as having half-
accepted that something is wrong with their relationship.


Mary-Jean tells Sam that she doesn't like the new arrivals at the Tollbar.
Sam reassures her and tells her that they are welcome to check out
the generator even if it is his job.


Alec apologises to Jenny for his earlier words. Jenny is uncomfortable with
his presence and tells him there is nothing more to say. Nevertheless he
comes over to sit on the bed with her.


He starts to talk about her and Greg being in a different situation to that
which he had thought and also starts to talk about Agnes. Jenny is
furious and tells him he doesn't know what he's talking about. Alec
asserts that it can't just have all been pretence back at the woodpile
when she talked about coming alive again and leaving the past behind.
She exclaims that he has confused her pity for something else. Alec
leaves enraged.


Jenny leaves her room and confronts Charles in front of everyone who is still up. She
calls him a 'Welsh bastard' and tells him that she knows he told Alec that her and Greg
are finished.


Charles responds by asking her to think why he did it, namely to keep Alec here to work
on the mine so Frank could rest. Charles tells here she should be in Alec's bed now! Alec
overhears the confrontation.


The next morning Charles comes to see Frank who appears to be much weaker.
Charles, who is worse for wear after the drinking of the night before, tells him
how Alec has decided to stay and work on the mine but he doesn't know what
swayed the man. He leaves to visit the mine with the others.


Jenny arrives and scolds Frank for the elaborate farce to get Alec to stay.
Frank counters her by telling her he realises that the farce was really
all about letting him have a rest not the mine. Jenny admits that they are
worried about his health and that there's no point in him playing silly heroes.
Frank knows that there is only a tiny chance of getting a replacement
battery and besides that no-one could perform the necessary surgery so
he is resigned to his fate. Jenny suggests Janet Millon but he is unconvinced.


Sam shows Alec and Charles the generator. As Alec gets started, Sam looks
more and more uncomfortable.


Back at the Tollbar, Alec tells the men that he thinks the generator can be fixed and
that the problem is with the fuel injector. Meanwhile Jenny tells Charles about Frank's
condition and that he has finally admitted he is in trouble.


Charles orders Hubert to ride back to Sloton Spencer to bring Janet to tend to
Frank. Hubert is initially more interested in his pint of beer, but he is given no
option and departs.


Frank is being visited by Sam. Sam is telling him about his views on the next
generation and how they should work out things for themselves and must leave
the past behind. Frank, who is growing steadily worse, replies that you can't
condemn the whole heritage of knowledge and experience. However, Sam
is quite insistent and states that it has to be their decision not ours.


Charles is talking to Leonard about the means by which he motivates his
men to work. Leonard seems dubious about the idea of the mine working
again. He observes that it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.


Frank is still being badgered by Sam who reveals that he couldn't allow the
mine to become operational again and that he has removed a vital component.
Frank tries to reason with Sam. He asserts that Sam wants to destroy all
machinery in the land because he wants to block out his own past. Sam denies
this and says that he has reached a new understanding of the world which has
nothing to do with the past.


Leonard tells Charles that what really 'gets his knickers in a twist' is what
happens when the dangers they face are no longer real and obvious, like
the dog packs and disease. He thinks the real enemy may become boredom
and nostalgia. Charles assures him that despite the fact there is no longer
a siege economy and no real crisis that this a beginning not an end. Leonard
warns him not to rush things and asks him to think about what happens to
people like Sam when industry is running again.


Sam meanwhile, is not letting up on Frank who is now in agony. He doesn't seem
to be aware of Frank's condition and continues to harass him, demanding that he
must persuade Alec not to continue with the mine and further action to restore
industry in the country. Suddenly Sam realises Frank is in real health trouble and
leaves the room to get help.


Alec reveals to Leonard and Charles that a vital component is missing from the
generator which he thinks must have been taken.


Charles and Jenny come to see the failing Frank who tries to let them know
about Sam's intentions. His words mean nothing to them.


Jenny goes to see Alec, who is feeling guilty for rushing them off up North
without thought for Frank. Jenny tells him that he shouldn't blame himself.
He also feels guilty for what he sees as his selfishness back at the church,
having grieved for three years. He worries that it was just self-pity, Jenny
assures him that instead it was his love of his late wife.


Charles enters and tells Alec and Jenny that Frank has passed away.


Later, Alec successfully gets the generator working again. He, Charles and Leonard
are delighted.


After a slight hiccup the generator continues to work perfectly and there are
further congratulations all round.


Charles asks a despondent Sam if he would consider joining them on their trip
to Scotland. He thinks that he, Alec and Greg, when they meet up with him, will
make a formidable team of engineers.



Sam tells Mary-Jean that he is going to Scotland. She thinks this flies in the face
of all they believe in about the next generation. Sam reveals that his intention is
not to help them to restore power but to stop them once and for all.


Leonard jokes with Charles about getting the railways working again and
tells him "you'd talk a rabbi into eating a pork pie". The pit wheels are
now turning again.


Alec is telling Jenny about his ideas for future projects which include running a
diesel engine off coal gas and getting the North Sea gas rigs running again. She
remarks that he is a changed man from the 'zombie at the woodpile'. He explains
that he now has a debt to pay off to the late Frank. Hubert has returned with the
news that Janet was away treating someone, but that Agnes was there having met
up with Greg again.


Apparently Greg had looked for them at Challoner, had later gone up to Sloton
and was now looking for a Dr Adams.


It is also explained that Agnes has arranged a rendezvous for them all at a place
called Swaffham on Friday. Jenny is angry that Agnes is still 'controlling' Greg. Alec
too looks uncomfortable on hearing Greg discussed again.


Leonard and his men descend the mine shaft as the pit wheels continue to turn.


Episode Review

Series three of Survivors has more than its fair share of disjointed narratives. The Enemy is once again an uneven episode which undeniably lacks a certain something. One thing it doesn't stint on is name calling. Charles is termed a 'Welsh bastard' by Jenny, whilst Alec is called 'McSporran' by Charles. There is also much talk of Northerners and Southerners. It seems the death has done nothing to heal the North-South divide!

Certain scenes do seem somewhat improvised, which either implies little time for rehearsal or a deliberate attempt to engender spontaneity on the part of the director, Peter Jefferies. The scene at the billiard table in which Lucy Fleming has a very bad time of it indeed is a perfect example of this. Robert Gillespie also suffers a bad stumble during Sam's discussion with Hubert. Line fluffing is quite rare in Survivors, so these examples stand out a mile.

A scene which almost passes the viewer unnoticed clearly signposts the end for Survivors. Leonard recognises boredom and nostalgia as the real enemy once the more obvious dangers are no more. These are not just the enemy of the survivors but of the series as a whole. Now that the initial crisis and aftermath, dog packs, warrior chiefs and disease have been covered by the series there is nowhere else for the series to go. The return of power and moves toward federation necessarily spell the end for our heroes as the world of the survivors becomes less and less distinguishable from our own.

One of the best things about this episode is the emphasis upon character development. We learn that Jenny has deep seated fears about Agnes and Greg and that she has affection for Alec. Alec on the other hand is revealed to be dynamic and rash, whilst Charles is never more chauvinistic than here. Of Hubert, we learn that the death saved him from being a drunk and that he believes that 'Squire Vaughan' is also responsible for his deliverance.

Edward Underdown gives another fine performance here and is a definite loss from here on in. If a lesser actor had been given the part of Frank, this and the previous two episodes would have been a very serious nadir for the series. As it is Roger Parkes series three trilogy which concludes here is a thought provoking amble before the final sprint to the finish line.

Rating: 6/10



Episode 35: The Enemy

writer: Roger Parkes
first broadcast: 11th May 1977


Regular Cast:

Charles Vaughan: Denis Lill
Jenny Richards:
Lucy Fleming
Frank Garner: Edward Underdown
Alec Campbell: William Dysart
Hubert Goss: John Abineri

and introducing:

Sam Mead: Robert Gillespie

Guest Cast:

Leonard Woollen: Bryan Pringle
Mary Jean Mead:
Frances Tomelty
Harper: Terence Davies
Grant: Martyn Whitby
Mrs Jay: Peggy Ann Wood
Baby: Joseph Sumner


designer: Geoff Powell
director: Peter Jefferies
producer: Terence Dudley
episode recorded: 24th - 30th April 1977



For biographies of the guest cast in this episode click
here



NEXT EPISODE: THE LAST LAUGH by Ian McCulloch



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