Survivors: Series 1 – Something Of Value

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Andrew East reaches the penultimate episode in series one of Survivors.

What a great episode! With Law and Order I was expecting good things because of the reputation that episode came with. For Something of Value I was expecting very little. If I’m honest, Survivors can tend to be far too talky for its own good. Even last week’s episode, Revenge, was really just talking about the situation between Anne and Vic – engaging talking, but still just talking.

Something of Value is an action episode through and through. A sizeable chunk of its running time is taken up with a stand-off between Greg, Jenny and this episode’s ‘villains of the week’.

And it’s a bloomin’ good one too. Jenny, finally, returns to centre stage along with Greg and we find ourselves in a desperate battle to control the one tradeable resource the community has left (after a sizeable amount of their stored food is ruined by a flood). A nomadic group of three men pitch up at the community, spy the petrol and make plans to steal it.

Greg and Jenny are taking the petrol to another community nearby to trade when the brakes fail on Greg and they manage to get to a farm for repairs. Jenny heads back to the community for tools only to run into the three men who take her hostage.

A stand-off ensues between them with some exciting stuff. Eventually, the men manage to overpower Greg (while Jenny has managed to escape to get help from the others) and they steal the petrol, only to find the brakes fail again and the tanker crashes. Two men are killed and Greg shoots the third when he tries to empty the petrol from the tanker.

This episode is incredibly exciting. I actually audibly gasped at one point during the siege which then made me laugh because I hadn’t realised how involved in the episode I had become.

It is great to have Jenny doing something and good to see that, although there is still a bit of gender stereotyping going on with her and Greg’s roles, she still manages to show grit and determination and demonstrate why she actually is a ‘survivor’.

The three men are a bit generic, harking back to the slightly dull ‘villains’ we’ve had such as Glyn Owen’s character; although there is some attempt at character development and they did remind me a little more of Wormley’s men who menaced Greg, Abby and Jenny in an earlier episode. It’s odd really because at the start of the series, Wormley’s group seemed to be being built up as a recurring threat through the episodes but since those early episodes they have been completely forgotten, despite the fact that episodes have continued to feature characters who could, feasibly, have been the same group. Even Huxley could have been Wormley.

With the focus away from the community it is inevitable that some characters don’t even appear in this episode: notably Vic and Charmian (in fact, I’m not sure we’ve even seen Charmian since Law and Order). To be honest, even Abby plays only a very small part. I’ll be interested to see who’s present in the final episode as I believe Series 2 opens with a bit of a character cull.

A bit more action like this episode and I think this series would hold my attention a bit better. Too many episodes, particularly after the initial ones, have descended into a lot of talk and not a huge amount of drama and whilst some interesting ‘post-apocalypse dilemmas’ have been touched upon, nothing has really been examined in any great depth, aside from in Law and Order, and possibly Revenge.

The finale of Series 1 approaches and I’m intrigued to see which way it goes.

A primary school teacher and father of two, Andrew 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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