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12.04.2016
Survivors: Season One (1974)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
09.02.08

Survivors: Season One (1974) The premise of this British series is that deadly biologically created disease is accidently released when a test tube breaks - and ninety-five percent of the world's population is killed off within a matter of weeks. The first episode, THE FOURTH HORSEMAN, concentrates on Abby Grant (Carolyn Seymour), a housewife who lives out in the country. She gets sick but the disease doesn't kill her, though it does her husband. Her teenaged son is at a boarding school - and she spends the next few episodes searching to see if he's still alive. There's also Jenny Richards (Lucy Fleming), who flees the city and tries to find other survivors. In GENESIS, the survivors start herding together. Greg Preston (Ian McCullough) is a helicopter pilot who returns home to find his wife dead, so he starts travelling around. He comes across a couple who are living in a quarry - the woman is a bitch and her husband had gotten his legs crushed when he tried to move a tractor. She wants Greg to stay with them but he chooses to leave, saying he'll come back if he finds some medicine/painkiller for her husband. He does return, but finds her walking away from the quarry and she tells him her husband is dead. In truth, he's still alive and screaming for her help---and unbeknownst to Greg is left to starve to death. I thought this was a particularly nasty way to die.

In the third episode, GONE AWAY, conflicts among the groups of survivors start to arise. We're introduced to a would-be-dictator who wants to either kill or chase off people who won't join his little kingdom.

In a later episode it turns out that It turns out that the crippled man who was abandoned managed to survive, alone, for three months, though he's crazy and emaciated. Abby, Greg and Jenny meet more people and settle down into a big old stone mansion, which has plenty of rooms and farmland. They start planting vegetables and gathering farm animals to start their community.

However, there is some conflict. Price, the bum, gets drunk and kills a young lady but lets a retarded man take the blame--and everyone believes the poor guy did it. They have a trial and agree to put him to death. And the one who does this is Greg, shooting him in the head. It's rather heartbreaking because we know this poor childlike guy didn't do anything wrong. Only after his death does Price break down and admit to Greg and Abby what he had done.

They don't kill Price because they need every available hand to do work--but Karma does meet up with him.

Towards the end of the 13 episodes Abby goes off to find her son, who she still believes is alive somewhere, against all odds. and meets a former rich guy who is at battle with the people who have taken over his land and castle. She falls for him, gets laid, and almost stays, but decides to go back to her own group, only to take off again in search of her son when she hears a rumor that he may be alive.

This is really one of the best series from the 70's or 80's and holds up well over time. If it was remade today, not that much would have to be changed. When there's no technology there's no technology.

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