"Reincarnation. Mankind died and has to be born again,
born again to a new life!
" - Henry



Charles, Jenny and Hubert have left Sloton Spencer behind them and are still searching
the countryside for Greg.


They come across a settlement which is based around a working mill. They are cryptically
warned by some other travellers that they will find the place 'disarming'.


Upon arrival they are met by a man and a boy in what look like monk's habits. They soon
discover what the travellers had meant by disarming when they learn that the people there
have a no guns rule. Jenny and Charles hand their guns over, but Hubert holds on to his by
pretending he doesn't carry one.


Charles asks if Greg has passed through the area, but they haven't heard of him. Learning this,
Jenny is keen that they only stay the night. A man called Henry, who appears to be in charge,
leads them further into the settlement and offers them a barn to bunk down in.


An older man called Frank arrives on the scene and states that Henry lacks finesse as a host
and won't hear of them sleeping in the barn. He offers them berths in the main building and
a hot bath.


Jenny and Charles eagerly take Frank up on his offer, but Hubert elects to stay behind with
the horses. As he leads them to the barn, he is welcomed by a middle aged woman who is
also wearing a habit.


As Henry shows Jenny her room, they are observed by a young Indian woman. Charles
meanwhile is shown his by Frank, who seems anxious to talk to him about something.
However, when Henry enters he seems to change tack and starts to talk about the mill.


Charles suggests he sees the mill that night, but Frank is not keen and makes an excuse about
the prevalence of rats at night. Charles tells them that he has another job for the morning
which he thinks is more important than being shown the workings of the mill. He promptly
produces a telephone out of his bag.


Later that evening Charles goes to the barn to see how Hubert is getting on. Hubert complains
about the settlement and its 'Chinese ideas', which angers Charles. Jenny enters to tell them
the evening meal is ready, and that by the smell, that curry is on the menu.


In the main hall everyone has gathered for the evening meal. Jenny, Charles and Hubert
are sat opposite Frank, Henry and the man they first met, Grant. They are served by the
woman who greeted Hubert earlier. She is called Blossom. Hubert complains about the
meal, which is vegetarian. Jenny talks about Greg's trip to Norway, the electric power
there and also the Norwegians' need for food.


Hubert is told that meat makes for aggression and that Rutna has told them that meat is
only eaten by lower castes or 'untouchables'. It transpires that Rutna is the young Indian
woman who observed Jenny and Henry earlier.


Henry tells Charles and Jenny about their beliefs, stating that 'mankind has died and has to
be born again, born again to a new life, a better life'. Grant shares his beliefs, which are
based around reincarnation. Henry goes on to say that they were little better than cavemen
when they first set up the settlement at the mill, but Frank arrived and sorted them all out.


Frank will only admit to having got a 'therapy thing' going. He seems to believe that the real
credit is due to Rutna.



After the meal, Jenny asks Blossom about her Hindu prayer mark. She explains that it is
about a frame of mind and that it is serenity above all else that Rutna has taught them. That
and the idea that everything is pre-destined. Jenny suggests that Rutna seems hostile and
maybe even frightened. Blossom explains that she has been though a lot and was even
stoned shortly after the death by some people who believed the death was down to 'her
kind'. Blossom also explains that Rutna has 'worked out' from his birth date that Frank is
the reincarnation of the guru 'the Maharajah G' and calls him 'the Master G'.


Elsewhere, Frank is telling Charles about his life before the death as a head-hunter, working
for a personnel selection firm, which explains why he is so clued up about psychology. He
claims that his techniques were ineffective at the settlement until Rutna came along, mainly
because she had a realistic sense of values, probably because her people had experienced
generations of plague and famine.


Rutna meets secretly with Jenny and begs her to leave soon. She describes Charles as her
guru, but Jenny tells her he isn't and that hers is taller with a blond halo. Rutna explains
that Frank will wish to show Charles a dream to which he must close his ears and that they
'must only leave here', as there is danger. Jenny questions this and Rutna suggests that Frank
may not let them leave.


Frank is meanwhile telling Charles of the need to establish a new social organisation. Charles
questions whether this is possible with a basis in peace, love, fatalism and pre-destiny. He
thinks this philosophy is too way out for 'the man on the street'. Charles goes to bed. Henry
criticises Charles to Frank, but Frank makes it clear that he is not sold on these bases either.


Hubert is woken by Rutna who has come to warn him that the horses are sick. Hubert goes to
check on them.


Charles and Jenny arrive and Hubert reveals that the horses have been poisoned with yew
sprigs. He knows that linseed oil will cure the horses but that they will be stuck there for at
least another day whilst they recover. Jenny tells them about her strange conversation with
Rutna the previous evening.


Frank arrives with the much needed linseed oil which has been provided by Rutna. Frank
states that this situation will give them more of a chance to talk. Charles reminds him that
it will if his shadow lets him (i.e. Henry).


Charles and Henry test the telephone system a little way off from the settlement. Henry sings
Frank's praises, but reveals that Frank thinks fatalism and pre-destiny is 'cobblers'!


Meanwhile, Jenny is washing clothes with Rutna. Jenny admires the fact that within a year
Rutna has converted all of the inhabitants of the settlement to be vegetarians and to her
gods. Rutna corrects her saying that it is not about worshipping gods but a way of life and the
one hundred percent wish of the Master G which they came to together, through asking and
leading.


Charles gets through to Pet at Sloton Spencer on the rigged up phone system and tells her
they plan to go to the Norfolk coast after Greg. Pet tells him that Agnes is on the mend and
will come to Sloton from the Walter's farm as soon as she is fit to travel. She also reveals
that five more of their old friends from Whitecross have joined them there. She adds that he
should tell Jenny that the kids are well. She seems concerned that they are heading for the
Norfolk coast, but the line is too bad for the conversation to continue.


Charles disconnects the phone line. He and Henry go to look around the mill instead. Henry
points out the striking chain outside which puts the windmill in gear. He explains that it is
all automatic and takes him through the various processes that go on in inside.


Meanwhile, two men have arrived on a cart. Grant meets them and asks for their guns. They
refuse to hand them over so the alarm is sounded by Mike.


Grant runs to ensure the safety of the striking chain and removes it from the windmill. The men
shout for him to leave the chain. Charles and Henry take the chain off him, whilst Grant and one
of the men who Charles and the others met as they made their way to the settlement the
previous day, go to the place where the guns are stored. Grant tells him he mustn't use a gun
against the men.


Safely inside one of the buildings, Charles tells Henry that these sort of people live by the gun
and that if they don't use force against them then someone could get killed. Jenny tells Charles
that Hubert is somewhere outside.


One of the two aggressors fires a peel of shots and yells that they have ten seconds to bring
the chain out to him or he will torch the mill. Hubert hears the shouting and goes to
investigate. The two men find a cart full of grain sacks and look as though they are about to
settle for this booty, when they are interrupted by one of the mill's visitors who holds them both
at gunpoint.


Charles tells Henry that he 'is opting out' and abdicating authority. He leaves the building
to resolve the situation despite Henry's protests and initial refusal to get out of his way.


Outside, Hubert is being pursued by the first gunman, when Charles attacks him from
behind by swinging at him from a tree branch. Whilst Charles and the man wrestle
for possession of the gun, Hubert comes into danger from the other man, who knocks
him out from behind.


Charles manages to get the gun, but his efforts are in vain as he soon is made aware
that Hubert's prone form is being held at gunpoint by the other man.


The situation is saved by Henry who is carrying the chain. He drops it on the ground
before the two men. The men make it clear that they will be happy with some grain
and peace is restored.


Blossom tends to Hubert, whilst Charles considers Henry's actions.


Charles and Frank take some time out to discuss recent events. Charles tells him that
Henry says he is a non-believer. Frank replies that as a therapy he does buy fatalism
and pre-destiny, but that's as far as it goes for him. He thinks that the incident with the
chain was just what Henry needed to realise that he doesn't really need him around
and that the same goes for Rutna.


Jenny comes across Rutna who appears to be upset. She tells Jenny that she thinks
she and Charles will take Frank away, as he wants to leave the settlement.


Frank tells Charles he is not too frail to move on and that the people at the settlement have
what he considers to be group jitters. He describes how as their therapist he has been nudging
and guiding them and how he thinks that they are okay it is time for him to move on. However
he is aware that his group don't like this fact.


Frank calls a meeting at which he tells those gathered that if they believe he has given them
anything then they should let him go. Henry is surprisingly supportive and says to him that if
he does go then he can think of no-one better than Charles to look after him.


Meanwhile, Hubert, who has a bandaged head, is being comforted by Blossom with her
'eggs special'. After discussing auras, Blossom becomes amorous towards Hubert and the
pair start to kiss.


Frank tells his people that Charles' mission is crucial and that he needs his help as a
head-hunter to select the right people for the right jobs. He promises them that he will
return. Rutna observes his speech from beyond a bead curtain, then withdraws.


Jenny notices Rutna leave and catches up with her. Rutna tells her that Frank will not
return as he doesn't have enough strength. Jenny tells her that she thinks he is using all
this talk of missions and that it is just selfishness and hypocrisy and him getting his own
way. It is clear that Rutna will not challenge Frank to stay. Jenny describes her as the
eternal survivor.


Jenny goes to confront Frank who is speaking alone with Charles. She accuses him of running
away from his responsibilities, namely Rutna and the love she holds for him. She goes on to
criticise 'all this high talk of pilgrimages and blessed Norway'.


She thinks Charles is also evading responsibility by playing at pilgrimages. She exclaims that
he doesn't fool her or Pet. Charles retorts that she is saying all this because of her
uncertainties about Greg, particularly her fear that he may not love her because of her
possessiveness. She states that this is not true.


Frank responds to Jenny by telling her that he knows Rutna loves him, but that he can't stay
because he has a secret that no-one at the settlement knows about. Frank reveals that he
has a pacemaker, which has a five year battery. He knows that the battery won't last more
than a year or so. He asks Jenny and Charles that the others never learn this. This is the real
reason why he wants to leave and help them in their quest.


Frank meets privately with Rutna in his rooms and asks her to carry on the good work they
have started there.


Frank is now ready to leave with Charles, Jenny and Hubert. Charles assures Jenny that
he won't hold them back, but she isn't convinced. Frank announces that Henry has told
them the way to the whereabouts of a man called Alec Campbell, who used to be an
electrician before the death. This is the first that Jenny has heard about this new venture.
She complains to Charles, but he replies that they can't just go rushing past after Greg,
especially as Campbell could help to play a key role in helping to achieve Greg's
endeavours. Jenny is furious at this turn of events.


Blossom says goodbye to Hubert, who in turn promises he will be back. Henry wishes
Frank well and the party sets off.


As they leave the settlement, Rutna quietly watches their departure from the windmill.

 

Episode Review

The Peacemaker is a strange episode, which undoubtedly improves upon repeat viewing. The episode's main problem is the confusion which surrounds character motivation. Hidden agendas and half-baked philosophies litter the plot making it unclear who our heroes are exactly in danger from. When it turns out that the only real enemies are the people who turn up with guns, it is a little disappointing, especially given the build up of narrative tension. The only real secret at the settlement is that Frank, the head-hunter guru, is fitted with a pacemaker, which means that the episode title is clearly a pun on words.

Edward Underdown is charismatic as Frank, a well written character, who would definitely have been wasted if he had appeared in just this one episode. Heather Emmanuel also gives a strong performance as Rutna. The question of race rarely if ever comes up in the programme, so it's a nice touch that her beliefs and experiences since the death are detailed here. Hubert's profoundly racist attitude towards her is distasteful but very much in character. Interestingly enough, the racist yobs who were said to have attacked Rutna for her skin colour 'because they thought the death came from the East' is the closest anyone gets to the truth about its geographical origins, if nothing else.

One of the episode's best scenes is Jenny's outburst regarding Charles playing at pilgrimages and Frank escaping from the woman who loves him. The exploration of these home truths regarding Charles motivations and Jenny's fears are involving and therefore welcome.

On a minor point of continuity, if as Pet relates on the phone to Charles, five people have moved to Sloton Spencer from Whitecross, then why do we not see any of them in
The Last Laugh? Are we expected to believe that like Janet and Philip they too are away at the time of the events of that episode? Still its nice that Whitecross and its inhabitants have not been forgotten, as is the idea of the Sloton settlement expanding.

The Peacemaker is something of a watershed in series three as it marks an important turning point, as our heroes begin a new quest to restore electrical power, effectively shelving the interminable search for Greg. Jenny may leave the settlement in a huff as
a result, but the production team obviously thought this was better than the viewers turning off in droves.


Rating: 7/10

 


Episode 33:
The Peacemaker


writer: Roger Parkes
first broadcast: 27th April 1977


Regular Cast:

Charles Vaughan:
Denis Lill
Jenny Richards: Lucy Fleming
Hubert Goss: John Abineri
Pet Simpson: Lorna Lewis

and introducing

Frank Garner: Edward Underdown



Guest Cast:

Rutna:
Heather Emmanuel
Henry: Alan Halley
Blossom: Nicolette Roeg
Grant: Paul Seed
McLain: John Grieve

Cyril: Derek Martin
Bentley:
Norman Robbins
Michael: Brian Conley


designer: Geoff Powell
director: George Spenton-Foster
producer: Terence Dudley
episode recorded: 14th - 18th April 1977



For biographies of the guest cast in this episode click
here

For the location details for this episode click
here



NEXT EPISODE: SPARKS by Roger Parkes



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