Survivors – tape 1693

This tape opens with the end of a classic Eastenders – Lofty, Den, Nick Berry, all the old faces. It looks like Lofty leaves the square at the end, but I’m not familiar enough with the canon to know if this was an actual leaving.

Then some more Survivors. After having watched the ultimate conclusion, here’s some earlier episodes.

First, it’s Parasites. There’s a super special guest star in Patrick Troughton. It was always exciting to see Troughton because not only is he a fine actor, but he’s also Doctor Who, which will always mean a lot to me.

Patrick Troughton

He has a canal boat, pulled by a horse. On the towpath he meets Mina, who has been collecting plants and herbs for food. They have a vaguely pleasant conversation, although she pauses significantly when he casually asks her if her husband survived.

Mina is part of a community with Greg, who meets her on the road, interested to hear about Troughton and his cargo of wellington boots.

Greg and Charles talk about their plans for the community. “You’ve got to make this place attractive to young people.”

Greg and Charles

A boat arrives, but it’s not Troughton, it’s two younger men, Jeff Kane and Les Grice. Kane is played by a remarkably young looking Kevin McNally.

Kevin McNally

When Charles mentions Mina, and how they met yesterday, Kane doesn’t remember, but bluffs his way. I definitely don’t trust them. He’s an ex offender, his friend an ex prison officer.

The children explore the boat, and find a loaded shotgun.

Kane is definitely giving off rapey vibes. When the talk comes around to trading, he’s offered goats “for mating”. “We’re not that desperate yet” says Kane. Then he makes a quip about taking a look around to “see who takes – what takes our fancy.”

Mina doesn’t believe their story that Troughton had to go back, and she goes back along the towpath to find his body, with a knife in the back.

Confronted with reasonable proof that Kane and Grice are bad’uns, Greg and Charles are torn. They don’t want them there, but are reluctant to inflict them on other communities. But the resident chaplain offers to go to them to ask them to leave peacefully.

Trouble is, they’ve already kidnapped the two children.

Hostage Situation

I suspect there’s a scene missing here. These were broadcast (I think) early afternoon, so heavy violence might have been trimmed. Because we cut from Kane telling the chaplain they want two horses ready to ride away to Charles and Greg preparing the horses, then riding back to the treehouse, and suddenly the chaplain is lying prone on the ground.

Dead Chaplain

Kane and Grice take the children on horseback to the boat and start along the canal. But they’ve been quaffing wood alcohol, and it’s not doing them any good. They also don;’t know that the boat is filled with flammable fumes – Troughton kept the windows open for a reason.

McNally’s vision starts to go, and they start panicking. The two kids creep out of the front of the boat and run off, unseen by the drink-stricken men who retreat to the interior of the boat. “Get me some light” yells the rapidly blinding McNally, and because we’ve been paying attention we know what’s coming next.

Boat Goes Boom

Before the next episode, another burst of olde time Eastenders, featuring the infamous rapist Willmott Brown

Wicksy and Willmott Brown

New Arrivals sees a group of newcomers arrive from a nearby community which has been hit by a virulent flu bug, killing several of the older people. The younger ones arrive at the settlement, and one of them, Mark Carter, knows everything there is to know about farming. But he’s not the most tactful teacher, rubbing virtually everyone the wrong way.

Peter Duncan (pre Blue Peter?) is one of the newcomers.

Peter Duncan

In the end, Carter flounces off because nobody likes him.

More Eastenders – Doctor Legge, Michelle,

Over The Hills starts with Alan (Stephen Tate) doing some kind of Alpha Male rope climbing thing. I think he’s feeling threatened by lusty young Peter Duncan.

Greg is working on his manure to methane converter.

Alan has apparently got one of the younger girls, Sally, pregnant. This is seen as a good thing by most. She’s upset that he’s not really in love with her. And not everyone approves – old attitudes are still entrenched, and this was the seventies. Charles is trying to promote the positives about it.

So it’s a shock when she asks Ruth, the doctor, for an abortion.

They throw a party for her to make her feel better about it. Charles sees the whole community as a family – he’s like a post-apocalyptic Tom Good. Greg even plays guitar.

Folk Survivor

But Sally decides to try the climbing game herself, and as a result of the strain, loses the baby. Charles, the old sexist, is upset. Greg gets his methane powered motor running, delighting the younger people, but making Charles even more grumpy.

After this episode, recording continues with an episode of Allo Allo. Recording stops a little way into this programme.

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