Survivors: Series 1 – Corn Dolly

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Andrew East continues his journey through Terry Nation's Survivors.

The fourth episode of Series One of Survivors is an interesting piece. The title, Corn Dolly, is one I remember from reading about the series in the past. It continues some of the main themes of the series up to this point and also focuses on one particular moral quandry such a situation would cause: reproduction.

As seems to be the basic format of these initial episodes, Abby, Greg and Jenny meet a new group of survivors; this time led by Denis Lill, playing Charles Vaughn. Charles has recently found Mick, a young boy played by Keith Jayne (making Doctor Who's The Awakening, a bizarre Survivors reunion for the two actors). There seems to be some hope that Abby, Greg and Jenny may have met a like-minded group of people with a suitable base they can start to call home.

However, within minutes this hope is dashed when they return to Vaughn's base to find his community dying from poisoned fish they had eaten. With only two women left in the group (one who was with Charles and another who didn't eat the fish) it seems like Abby, Greg and Jenny may still join with them, until Vaughn's ultimate plan comes to light. He sees it as his responsibility to impregnate as many women as possible to allow the human race to begin its rebirth. Abby and Jenny are firmly within his sights. Again, Vaughn is not painted as a villain; merely someone who has a plan with some morally grey aspects - but is he wrong. Abby and Jenny don't want to partake in this plan, but they don't seem totally opposed to it.

The basic themes of meeting other survivors and the hunt for Peter continue through this episode, with the discovery of Mick allowing Abby further hope that her own child may well have survived and be somewhere, coping on his own.

Leaving the depleted community, Mick choosing to stay with Vaughn and the women, Greg, Abby and Jenny continue their quest for a base and for Peter.

Corn Dolly is an interesting episode raising an interesting question. Is there a place for traditional relationships in this new world (something beginning to be developed between Greg and Jenny) or is procreation more important? It also continues the grand tradition of Doctor Who guest stars appearing in the series (and a further Awakening guest star appears in the next episode).

Andrew East is a primary school teacher and father of two, who finds respite in the worlds of Doctor Who, Disney and general geekiness. Unhealthily obsessed with Lance Parkin’s A History, his Doctor Who viewing marathon is slowly following Earth history from the Dawn of Time to the End of the World. He would live in a Disney theme park if given half the chance.

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