"Look, I know we've got precious little here. But I'm not prepared to risk any part of it to
keep her and I don't think you should ask any of the others to take that risk either!"
- Greg

A woman called Laura, who is heavily pregnant, and a man called Norman are on the run
from a man called Huxley. Nearby, Greg and Paul have spotted an encampment of vehicles
on a road near the Grange. Investigating further they find a large van full of supplies.

They belong to Huxley, a trader who has been scavenging around the country taking gold in
exchange. He believes this will make him a rich man when civilisation returns. Huxley
discovers that Laura and Norman have gone and he orders his men to search for them. Greg
and Paul return to discover Laura and Norman have arrived at the Grange.

Greg wants to turn them away but the others think he is being melodramatic about the threat
that Huxley poses. Laura left Huxley because he does not want her to keep her child when it
is born. Huxley had taken her under his wing under the  condition she gave up the child to a
settlement. Abby refuses to turn them out, agreeing to hide them until Huxley gives up the

The next day Huxley turns up at the grange and Norman and Laura are hidden in the cellar.
Abby is hospitable with him and almost pulls the wool over his eyes.

Unfortunately John and Lizzie, who are very excited about the prospect of Laura's baby, give
the game away to one of Huxley's men. Huxley breaks in to the grange that night.

However he is soon disarmed. Norman returns the gold he stole. Huxley swears he'll be back
for Laura. The next day they find Arthur tied up and some of their crop burned. Arthur passes
on a message that they have until the next morning to return Laura. Abby and Greg argue
and she wins out again. Laura will stay.

That night Laura and Norman leave of their own accord fearing Huxley's intentions. Abby
accuses Greg of ordering them to leave, but he denies it. He does admit to telling Laura about
Huxley's ultimatum and letting her make up her own mind about what action to take. Abby
is livid and hits him.

Norman comes running back to tell them Laura has gone into labour in a nearby field. Greg
finds Laura and comforts her.

They bring her back to the grange and a baby girl is delivered. Paul is ambushed by Huxley
and his men whilst tending the sheep and the flock  is slaughtered.

The community prepares for a siege. After setting off an explosion, Huxley gives them a final
ultimatum of the next morning before he uses his explosives in earnest. The community
decide that the only course of action is a pre-emptive strike on Huxley's camp. At dawn they
reach the camp and are spotted by Huxley's men.

Tom is shot and a gunfight begins. Abby and Laura arrive. Laura has decided to leave the
child and go with Huxley.

Tom shoots Huxley before he is shot dead himself. With Huxley dead, his men decide to leave
the matter and go. Laura and her baby stay with the community.

Episode Review

The Future Hour is undoubtedly the weakest episode of the first series. The best it has to offer are Greg and Abby's arguments over Huxley's intent, which for Abby appear to be shows of power rather than genuine concern for Laura. The episode's main problem is that it follows the excellent Law and Order and its issues are uninvolving by comparison.

The guest cast are passable but fail to light up the story, which apart from the detailed portrait of Huxley, with his own take on the opportunities the death has provided, does not feel like it comes from the pen of Terry Nation.

The demotion of Jenny to supporting cast is disappointing here. My suspicion is that this is purely a result of swelled numbers. Lines are necessarily spread more thinly amongst the regulars and with the obvious exception of Abby and Greg, character development is grinding to something of a halt all round.

Rating: 6/10


Episode 10 :  The Future Hour

writer: Terry Nation
first broadcast: 25th June 1975

Regular Cast:

Abby Grant:
Carolyn Seymour
Greg Preston: Ian McCulloch
Jenny Richards: Lucy Fleming
Tom Price: Talfryn Thomas
Vic Thatcher: Hugh Walters
Arthur Russell: Michael Gover
Paul Pitman: Christopher Tranchell
Emma Cohen: Hana Maria Pravda
Charmian Wentworth: Eileen Helsby
Lizzie Willoughby: Tanya Ronder
John Millon: Stephen Dudley

Guest Cast:

Bernard Huxley: Glyn Owen
Laura Foster: Caroline Burt
Norman: Denis Lawson

designer: Richard Morris
director: Terence Williams
Terence Dudley
episode recorded: 
20th - 24th May 1975

For biographies of the guest cast in this episode click here



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