Character Review - Vic Thatcher
Vic is first seen trapped under an overturned tractor in Genesis. His partner Anne brings Greg back to the quarry where the incident occurred to help rescue him. Vic's legs are badly crushed. He does his best to make Vic comfortable but he is no doctor. Following Anne's revelation that she and Vic planned to make people work for them for food, Greg decides not to stay with the couple, but promises to return with drugs for Vic. Shortly after Anne decides she too will leave the quarry, abandoning crippled Vic. He calls after her but she is too hard-hearted to return. She intercepts Greg at the quarry entrance and tells him that Vic is dead, and therefore seemingly seals his fate.
In the following months an increasingly distressed and bitter Vic holds his own defending his portakabin of supplies with sets of guns rigged up to make it appear that the place is being run by a group of men. By the time Greg returns to the quarry, with Paul, Tom and Barney in Spoil of War, Vic is close to madness. He clearly cannot comprehend the evil that has been done to him by Anne and Greg. He includes Greg in his bitterness because he has no idea that Anne halted his return to the quarry. Greg persuades him to join the community. Vic is clearly still intent upon taking revenge on Anne when he catches up with her.
The fact that he is crippled necessarily excludes him from any action or agricultural work, so his role in the community is limited to that of John and Lizzie's teacher. Vic is clearly unfulfilled in this role and eventually decides to take his own life with a shotgun in Revenge. He fails in his attempt, which makes Greg suspect that the act was a cry for help. Greg and Paul make the effort to retrieve some teaching materials and a proper wheelchair from a nearby village. Vic is still not convinced that his teaching role is really of any use. It is easy to see Vic's point. Teaching the children practical skills would seem a far more relevant pursuit than sums or history, if they are to survive in this new world.
Vic's depression lifts to be replaced by a sort of anguished mania when he learns that Anne has arrived at the community. His inability to reach her due to his legs, leaves Vic one desperate option left. At dead of night he pulls himself up the stairs to locate Anne and kill her. He almost succeeds but ultimately realises that he can't finish her off, despite what she did to him. Instead he briefly resumes his old role of looking up to the woman who abandoned him, passing the night away listening to her talk. Anne leaves a fascinated and confused Vic behind, who watches from a window as she walks up the drive and out of his life for the last time. Revenge is undoubtedly Vic's moment of glory. It is in this episode that he is played by Hugh Walters for the first time. Terry Scully having left the show due to personal problems. Both he and Terry give there all as Vic and remarkably both are believable as the same character. The pay off of the Anne and Vic story finally coming to a head is wonderfully realised and for once steals the limelight from the three main heroes of he series.
In the final two episodes of the first series Vic is given very little to do, presumably because the nature of the character precluded his involvement in most of the action. This may also have been because it was felt that by this stage that Vic been explored to a sufficient degree. As with Charmian, it is unsurprising that the decision was taken to have Vic killed off in Birth of a Hope, when the fire burns down the Grange. He was last seen failing to escape from one of the rooms. He is last mentioned by Jenny in A Friend In Need, when she suggests that he may have survived the fire and is the sniper who is stalking the communities. Her guess is incorrect.
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Page last updated: 22nd November 2002 All text © Andy Priestner Screen Captures © BBC