Andrew East continues his journey through Terry Nation's Survivors.
Spoil of War introduces the final 3 characters integral to the community of this first series: Paul Pitman (played by Christopher Tranchell), Arthur Russell (Michael Gover) and Charmian Wentworth (Eileen Helsby).
Arthur and Charmian are fairly non-descript; their main character beats seem to be the fact they have chosen to continue the dynamic of boss and secretary despite the apocalypse. Arthur, in particular, seems a little uppity, choosing to remain in his caravan whilst Charmian drives them around and does the legwork.
Paul, on the other hand, is an important figure. A remnant of the 'hippy' lifestyle but immensely knowledgeable about farming, he proves to be invaluable in helping the inexperienced community establish themselves at their chosen home.
This episode also takes us back to the early episodes with the characters returning to the quarry were Greg had found Vic and Anne. Tom and Barney are sent to retrieve food from Vic's store (with Greg still believing Vic to be dead, as per Anne's lies in that earlier episode). When they don't return, Greg and Paul head off to find them and discover them pinned down by a number of guns.
It transpires that Vic is (as the viewers will have suspected) alive and well and defending his store. Eventually Greg overpowers him and he joins them at the community.
There is some important foreshadowing in this episode with the bond between Tom and Barney growing, which is going to have massive repercussions in the next episode.
All in all, Spoil of War is a solid episode which moves the final players into position for the explosive episode about to come. It has a good line of continuity from the earlier installments, which will be continued further through Vic's desire for revenge on Anne, and although Arthur and Charmian add little to the group, the presence of Paul is welcome. Admittedly, Abby and Jenny have little to do, but the resentment Greg feels towards Paul's expertise is well-played and fits well with the inherent arrogance Greg has been displaying simply for being the alpha male of the group. That said, I can see that Greg and Paul will probably become firm allies.
Next up is the episode Survivors fans always cite as one of its best episodes. Let's see if it lives up to the hype...
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