Survivors (1975–1977): Season 1, Episode 4 - Corn Dolly - full transcript

Abby, Greg and Jenny are still searching for Peter. Greg and Jenny are becoming closer. They meet a man called Charles Vaughan (Denis Lill), a self-sufficiency expert, who has sobering ...

Slow down for the bend.

Whoa, not that slow.

That's better.

Let's go through Micklesham.

- A town? But you said before...
- I know I said towns are blocked,

but the streets
can't all be full of rot.

Anyway, I'm tired of skirting around.
I want to get home.

Hey, that was a risk.
- Well, there was no one about.

Yes. But there might be someone
thinking just that.

- It would be a silly way to die.
- Sorry.

Just give a toot on the horn next time.

Anyway, it'd be silly
to die in town, too.

So, what's the hurry?
If you're son's at home, he's at home.

You'll see him when you get there.

If Peter's alive, and he's at home,

then he'll be living in one of the
outhouses because the house is burnt.

And if there's no food supply
and no one turns up,

then how long will he stay there?

Should have thought of that sooner.

- Yes, I should.
- It's been weeks.

Look, why don't you
drop me off at the first car

and I'll make my own way,

and you can carry on by the side roads
and we'll meet up.

- I don't mind.
- Nor me.

We are unlikely to catch typhoid
in February, are we?

Well, I wouldn't like to bet on it.

We can stay in the car, then.

All right.


Oh, turn right at the main road.

What are you doing?
I don't know.

The pedal isn't working.
I haven't done anything.

Yeah, well, press brake gently
and pull in. Clutch, clutch, clutch.

Then you change down.
Well, just put the clutch in.

Clutch in. That's it.

- Well, what is it?
- Well, I don't know.

There should be
a couple of gallons left in it.

Anybody know what day it is?

I meant to keep a diary.

My birthday on the 21st.

- What can I do?
- Well, could you try the ignition again?


Well, I don't know.
Unless the jets are blocked.

It's going to be dark in a few hours.
We'll have to camp here.

Sorry, girls.

Here, let me help.

It's stuck.

We are out of petrol.

- But you said that the gauge was...
- I know, I know. But it's jammed.


Well, we're about here.

That's a fairly big road.
Must be a mile.

There could be a garage there.

And that, look,
that's about three miles.

Gilton. There might be a garage there.

- You mean, we push?
- No. I'll go up to the crossroads.

- Look, it's all right. I'll go.
- Well, I can't see why.

If there's a garage, there'll be a can.
And I can work a handle.

I'll make some coffee.

Anything you fancy?

Got more ham.
Pilchards, baked beans, corned beef.

Chop suey and pickles?


Abby at least has a purpose.

Oh, so have I. I want to stay alive.

Can't aim higher than that.

Yeah, but I'm an engineer.

I should be getting organised.

All I seem to want to do
is just to keep the cold out.

That's all right.

That thrush doesn't care what you do.


Jenny, it's the emptiness.

It's not meeting a living soul.

Even a crash at that crossroad
would have been something.

Do you dream?

- What?
- At night.

Yes. You?

Yes. Crazy.

Mmm. Could do with some milk.

Do you dream about the people
that you've known?

Mmm. And others I haven't.

I don't know if I'm dead
or awake or what.

Do you have that?

No. I dream I'm in a fire.

I suppose it's Rotterdam
when I flew over it.

Or the fire I know we need now
for all the towns to clean them out.

Can I hug you?


How many notices are out?

Oh, I don't know.
Did you want me to count?

Uh, well, there's eight there.
We started with 50.

- And that's 42.
- Clever.

Right. Make a note. When we get back,

- run off more notices.
- Run off more notices.


Well, they'll have to lie and rot.

We haven't got much at all today,
except that plough at the pub.

And no people.

We seem to have gathered everyone
from around here.

Mmm. Are we going back to Maredell?

- No. We'll take this road here, see?
- Mmm.

There's a farm,
there's a row of cottages...

It's not a mirage. There they are.

- No. Somebody with a duplicator.

Avoid towns?

- We've got to go to that place.
- Well, what about Peter?

Well, we needn't stay. Well, I needn't.

But if it is a centre of information,
then we must go.

You know, we haven't been
boiling all the water.

Maybe they have a doctor.

I wonder how big a settlement it is.

How long do you think
those have been up, Greg?

Well, they're not damp or faded. A week.

Must be about 30 miles.

A couple of gallons of petrol.

Was there any outside in the cars?

Well, the one I tried was empty.
I suppose the others are, too.

I'll look. Just take the cap off?

Yeah. Otherwise, I shall
just have to invent a pump.

Here's one that's open.
Wait outside till I check.

I'm marking it down.

It smells okay. Hang on, though.

"S" for slate, sheep, barley.

"R" for rotten, harness for three,
horses gone. "H" for hay.

"O" for orchard.

- Hello?

Can I come in and get a basket?

Got some of these apples from the shed.

I'm in the kitchen.

- Well, it's not smelly.
- No.

Hey! There's a saucepan
been left to burn.

They must have died
before the electricity finished.

How's that for deduction?

There's a generator
out the back.

There's a letter here as well.
"Mr John Smith. "

Is he still here?

A man and a woman,
in a bedroom.


It's just about the plague.

Mr and Mrs John Smith?

Or Mr Smith and girlfriend?

Mrs Smith and the milkman?

No. It's Mr and Mrs.

There are two children in another room.

Right. Well, take this down.


Fully converted.

Good carpet in the dining room,
the rest is rubbish.

Grapefruit knife.

When will we see another grapefruit?

Hey, shall I write
Mr and Mrs John Smith?

Yes. We'll cross them off
the electoral roll.

But it's meaningless.

Maybe. But we might find somebody

who knows of somebody
whose looking for Great Uncle Johnny.

I wonder how far the horses have gone.

Well, they're probably ponies.

We need a stallion.


Well, Mr Smith, nothing here for us.

- Apples?
- Oh, he had a bicycle outside.

But it's got a puncture.
What do we need that for?

We've got a dozen good bikes.

Oh, we're a growing community,
and a puncture is easy enough to mend.

It's no hardship to take it.
Come on, let's go.


- Did you bring this in?
- Well, no. I haven't been yet.


Anybody there?

Please answer, we're friends.

You need us. We need you.

My name's Charles.

This is Loraine.

Please come out.

We need each other.

- Hello.
- Hello.

We're friends.

- It's stinky in there.
- Yeah, I'll bet.

- What's your name?
- Michael. Mick.

- Smith?
- No.

- I was just passing.
- You're on your own?

- Yeah.
- Picked up a bit of dirt, haven't you?

Mick, um, we got a kind of
a farm. Some people running it.

We're asking anyone who wants
to join us, just to join us.

Eggs, bread,

fresh meat.

- We work at what we can.

Loraine and I are going around now
looking for what there is.

Hmm. Here's my notebook.

- Hey, where are you from?
- Wycombe. They all died.

- Been living off cans, have ya?
- Yeah.

Is that your bike outside?

Yeah. But it's got a puncture.

- Could you fix it?
- Yes.

Good job you showed yourself,
you'd have had a bumpy journey

till you found another bike.

- Mick, are you quite well?
- Yeah.

Been boiling water?

- For tea, yes.
And sometimes not?

- Sometimes.
- How's your tummy?

A bit runny.
I've been eating lots of apples.

Oh, you're all right.

I'd say it was apples.

Well, do you want to join us?

I don't mind.

Oh, look! A piglet.

A piglet.

Come on, Charles. That's it.

Run. Run faster!

No, run faster!

- Come on, run. Faster.

That's it, Charles,
you nearly got it.

Come on. Come on.
You nearly got...

That's it. Now. Now!

Look what I found.

- Oh, do you play?
- No, I've always wanted to.

Yeah, well, I'll teach you.

Well, that battery's going flat.

No, it's all right. I'm nearly finished.

Sorry it's taking so long,

but at least we're going to
have it from now on.

I'm the wrong
sort of engineer for this.

Still, I'm a good workman.
Shouldn't blame his brains.

Damn it.

- Blisters?
- Yeah.

Need a better drill than this.

Should also pick up another
foot pump, too, when we can.

Wait! Where's the other hose pipe?

Oh, here.

Yeah, well, there should be
a jubilee clip with it.

Oh, sorry.

I knew we should have brought
the camp stove.

Yeah. Well, now you say it.

I'll go.
- No, wait.

Look, we're cold and hungry.
Why don't we just light a fire here?

On top of a petrol tank?

No! To one side.
We could set one of the cars alight.

Look, will one of you
just go back to the car

and get the camping stove
and the gaslight

and the water and brew something!

Hey, Jenny, that's a Land Rover.


Are you there?

Please answer. We're friends.

Can we come in?

You need us. We need you.

My name's Charles. I've got Mick here.
All right?

Yes. All right.


We saw your car up the road.
Thought you'd be here.

- Are you all well?
- Yeah.

- What's the trouble?
- There's no trouble. Uh...

Just getting some petrol up
out of the tank.

- Can I look?
- Yeah. Help yourself.

- A foot pump.
- Yeah. Well, I just made it

so that it sucks instead of blows.

Oh, I see.

That goes into the car
and that goes into the ground.

- That's right.
- It's great.

- Yeah. If the valve's right.
- You know,

I usually get petrol up by putting
a bit of hose into the ground,

you block up the end,
and you pull it out,

and you get a pint or a half pint out
that way, but who's in a hurry?

Yeah, well, I thought of that.
But I'd already started making this.

In any case, this is portable.

- You could use it anywhere.
- It's worth it.

Well, did you see my notice?

Oh, is it yours?

We're collecting people,

or letting people collect us.
We just collected Mick.

We left Loraine near your tent.
She's cooking supper.

Mick's hungry, and I'm hungry.

Can we share it with you?

As long as it isn't chop suey.

Roast pork.

Yes, please.

We met this man called Wormley
who said he was the government.

How many people did he have?

- Oh, I don't know. About eight or nine.
- Oh, they were just thugs.

They broke up our settlement,
just when we'd started.

Well, forget about the government.

They'll have to come to terms
with nature like the rest of us.

The government of what, nine,
without communications is not viable.

What did you do, Charles?

I was an architect.

My speciality was
restoring old buildings.

I know where there are still
watermills and windmills,

and how they' re built without
20th century sophistication.

I was devoted to the good life.

My wife baked bread, we made wine.

Bottled fruit. We kept hens and pigs.

We had three children.

So I've expanded a bit,
on the basis of mutual need.

I've got 12 people now, with Mick,

if he wants to join us.
He's coming to see.

And I left the others
putting potatoes in.

We took over 20 acres
from the next door farm.

It's got a tendency to waterlog,
but it's... It'll do.

What do you do about that?

It's easy. Clear the ditches.

Half a dozen people,
20 acres, it's no trouble.

Well, the main problem is wheat.

We have a bit left over
from my own harvest,

which we use for bread but
we need it to thresh it all and sow it.

Yeah, but surely there's plenty of wheat
left from the harvest?

No. It's mainly barley. Some wheat.

We found some hay this afternoon
where Mick was.

Half the goodness gone out of it,

but it'll see the livestock
through to the early summer

with the silage and the barley.

- What livestock?
- Heifers.

Everyone's cows died
because they weren't being milked.

So we rounded up
some heifers and a bull.

- We'll have cow's milk next year.
- Next year?

Well, we do have a goat.

And we have a 3-year-old girl
and she has all the milk.

Ever milked a goat?

- Oh, it's easy.
- And we got two horses.

I'd like to get some more.
And a stallion.

Pigs, hens.

We have cats, of course.
But I haven't seen them anywhere else.

The domestic puss hasn't survived
for some reason.

Maybe they've gone to ground.

And the dogs are hunting in packs.

So, after you've done the dishes,
we'll build a fence.

You know in the old days, they used to
put a thorn hedge around villages.

Are you going to accept anyone
who wants to join you?


I can cope with a community
of about 20 to 30.

If it gets beyond that,
we'll start another one somewhere,

in lots of little settlements
until they grow on their own

and solve their own problems of growing.

So we don't know what's going to happen.

Rats, dogs, blight.

So we must plan,
but we must keep it flexible.

Sounds as if you're doing
what I was aiming to do,

but with no knowledge.

- Come and join us.

Well, I'd like to come
and have a look.

Greg, you...
You said you flew a helicopter?

- Mmm-hmm.
- Well, I've surveyed

a small area around here by car.

If we could solve the fuel problem,
you could cover Britain.

Now, we can't afford
to support parasites, but

- survey is very important, so...
- Yeah, but I...

I mean, I just fly a helicopter.
If I learn to service as well,

that makes it become a full-time job.

All right. Then that can be your job.

You see, we need to know if
hydroelectricity is still operating.

Are the atomic power stations dangerous?
Were they shut down?

And how many survivors are there?
Enough to be viable?

Or do we have to join up
with the French survivors?

I don't know what

proportion of human population
is big enough to keep us going.

But I do know that one settlement
of 12, 15, isn't enough.

- You mean inbreeding?
- Hmm.

And natural frailty.

Maybe four out of five infants
won't survive to become adults.

Diet deficiency.
No medicine, no surgery.

How many doctors are left in Britain?
Twenty or one?

Or none?

No, the problem of the next generation,

like my seed crop,

is very, very urgent.

Do you have just
the one child in the settlement?

No, we've got four.

We've got Biddy, the 3-year-old.
Mick's what, 12?

- We got an 11-year-old chum for him.

Got an 8-year-old.

He's not very right in the head,
but he might get over it.

I had a son. Peter.

I don't know if he's alive or dead.

He was at school when it all started,
and they went into the open country.

I was on my way home

to see if he managed to
make his way back there.

Well, that's the only way
of finding out.

But I must tell you,

with our 12 people
and their case histories,

no two members of the same family
have survived anywhere.

In fact, no two people
who knew each other,

or knew of each other, have survived.

But you don't know for sure.

And even it's only
a million-to-one chance,

it could come up.

Yes. Well, I'll come with you tomorrow,

and then I'll go off on my own.

I'll come back later.

I hope you do.

We'll have
a welcoming party tomorrow.

We'll build the biggest bonfire
you ever saw, Mick.

And we'll dance
if you'll play for us, Greg,

and we'll call it
"The February Welcome".

- Would you like that?
- Yes.

What's your story, Mick?

- Were you at school?
- Yeah. Carlton Park Comprehensive.

How many were there?

About 2,000.
I got it first, just for a day.

Then I got better. My folks didn't.

Then I got... Well...

When I was up and around,
I went to see my friends.

Must have been terrible.

Yes. Yes. Yes, it was terrible.

What do you think it was, fun?
It was bloody hell terrible.

I was running and cycling
and nobody heard me.

Come on, boy.

Well, leave him.

He's got to cry.

He'll come back. He needs us.

Sorry for being stupid.

I was thinking of my own son.

Things people say are very important.

I always try to greet a stranger
in a way that takes away suspicion.


My name's Loraine,
you need us, we need you.

Yeah, and with a real stranger,
you say it for real.

Before asking questions, always open up.
Give information about yourself,

let them see there's no danger
and then ask about health.

Can I ask about something?

Of course.
- What's the date?

24th of February.

- Oh, I've missed it.

My birthday!

Oh, Jenny.

Well, dates are important.

We need to know when to reap.
When to sow.

How to use a table of tides
when we come across one.

Oh, don't worry,
we'll find you watches with dates.

Have you any idea
what the actual survival rate is?

No, not really.

In the area I've surveyed,

we 15 people are the remains
of about 75,000.

- Just one in 5,000?
- About.

And if it's the same all over,

the population of the British Isles
is about 10,000 people.

Now, I reckon we've got enough
remains of civilisation

to last for about two generations.

If we survive the next year or two,

and gather our crops, and keep
the livestock alive through the winter,

and beat the rats and get next season's
crop planted and make very sure

that there is a next generation,
we'll survive. If we use our logic.

And we're being helped.

I found that with the scarcity of people
and the problems,

everybody loves everybody.

- Sorry, Mick.
- It's all right.

Well, bedtime?

Yes. Abby and I have got our things
in the tent.

We've got a lovely bed here.

Where're you going
to sleep, Mick?

It's all right,
he can come in the car with me.

You can have one end
and I'll have the other.

All right?
- Yeah, thanks.

Oh, it's all right,
we know where to put the things.

It's nice, isn't it?

He's got the answer, hasn't he?


Aren't you sure?

Yes, I'm sure.

It's just that
I was thinking about that boy, Mick.

All that he's been through.

All those surviving children.

You mean, Peter?

can't have come through.

Not many young children.

Even if we do survive,
there'll be a missing generation.

How do you feel about giving birth, Jen?

I don't fancy it. Do you?

Well, there won't be much point
in getting through the next few years

without children.

We need some of Charles' cold logic.

I'm not ready for cold logic.

Survival can wait for a bit.

Here we are, boy.

Hello! Where are you?

Isla, where is everybody?

- Ill.
- What? All of them?

I expect Des and Florence are dead.

Catching fish in the river
day before yesterday.

Fried 'em... I don't like fish.

And they ate them day before yesterday.

Well, uh, you better come in.

Charles, eat something.

Eat something.

Well, they're all up there.
I don't know. I don't like fish.

Corn dolly. Have you seen one of them?

- Yes.
- Charles made that.

I know he did. I watched him do it.

He hung it up there.

And I told him. I said,
"They're for when the harvest's home. "

That's when you hang up a corn dolly.
Not winter.

Not when you're threshing to get
a few handfuls of corn for bread.

Oh, I don't know.

They said it was the fish.

- You didn't have it?
- I don't like it.

They'll live. They've nothing left
to sick up now. It's further down.

Trout... Where is it, Isla? The remains?

Well, I burnt them.

Could be industrial waste.

Could have come from the sea.


Maybe some residue from the plague,
degraded viruses... I don't know what!


could you face going up there
and hold hands, soothe brows?

Yes, of course I'll go.

- Greg?
- Yeah.

Can you manage the horses?

- Well...
Oh, never mind.

Well, I can feed them, groom them.

No, I'd rather you went up there.

The horses will survive and anyway,
they're replaceable.

I'll... I'll turn them on the lawn,
they'll feed themselves.

Yeah, well, look,
is there anything that I can do?

Don't worry, Greg,
we've all got work to do.

First, we'll eat.
Then Isla will show you the corn.

- For threshing?
- Yes, and grind some, too.

We'll have some bread and some eggs.

There's milk not used in the dairy.
Shall I fetch it?


- Uh, I'll do that.
- Thank you.

Get the eggs, Loraine.

You know, I'd... I'd be happy to start
without bothering...

Now, don't be noble, Greg.

We'll get some food in you,
we need that corn.

Uh, Mick, there are some knives in that
draw there, would you get them, please?

I'm going into Minton. Tell Abby.

- Going into a town?
- Oh, I'll be careful.

The library there has more medical books
than the local one.

And more chemists.

Charles has gone to get medicine.
He'll be back soon.

Can you hear me?

Oh, Tessa, I know it's sore,
but you'll soon be better.

- Tell him...
- Yes?

Tell him...

Tell him what?

Tessa, what shall I tell him?



You're going to be all right.
Charles will be back soon.

- Here, I'll take it.
- Right. Here, then.

Give me your flour, then.

That's it.

There you go.

How do you make
these corn dollies, then?

- Don't you make another one.
- Ah, it's just a superstition.

- It's a fertility symbol.
- Is it?

Mmm. Sort of harvest goddess
or something like that.

Goes back thousands of years BC.

Another three.

A girl, Tessa,
she wanted to tell you something.

- And a man.
- Edward.

And the child.

The other three are in agony.
They're getting weaker.

Can you use a hypodermic?

- No.

I shouldn't think so,
she was a secretary.


I've had it done to me a few times.

What is it?

It's nothing to cure them,
I don't know how.

- It's just something to ease the pain.
- What?

Compassion, loving kindness.


- Will you help me, Abby?
- To kill them?

They're being killed
by what was in the fish.

I'm taking away the pain.

Please, help me, Abby.

You won't need me.

# In all the days of danger
disaster and distress

# All the ways of woe
and oh, so much unhappiness

# People full of sorrow
all know hope in their way... #

Have a nice line in elderflower.
Tastes rather like port.

Hmm. Last summer.

# But they keep on going
reaping and sowing... #

- What about Mick?
- Yes, please.

Hey, you've had beer.

I know. I want some of that.
I was a hardened drinker.

Well, a little won't hurt him.

- I've had a hard day, you know.
- Exactly, you'll go out like a light.

All right, then I'll go out
like a light.

Well, you see how that goes first.

# They'll keep on going... #

They're quiet. Sleeping.

My turn.

# Keep on giving
Loving and living

# Like birds in the trees
or bees in the honey hives

# All things are still
All things asleep... #

Abby, could you come and talk with me
for a minute, please?

# Shepherds and their sheep

# And summers few

# And summers few

# Sleep little one

# Sleep safe and warm #

You're going home tomorrow.
- Yes.

You know, the chances of finding Peter
alive anywhere are infinitesimal.

- Yes, I know.
- Still, it's right to try.

You keep to the side roads.
I'll draw you a map.

I've already done that.

- Abby will you come back?
- I intend to.

- Tomorrow?
- I might stay the night. I don't know.

- Please come back.
- Yes, all right.

- Are you staying on here?
- Oh, yes, I must.

I know the soil and what grows.
And the livestock.

There's enough around here
to maintain a settlement,

and I must stay and keep it going.

Abby, wherever you go,
would you put up more notices?

I wrote off 50 more maps
on the duplicator.

Could you, when you put one up,
check where you are and put a cross?

Yes, of course.

I must build up again.

You've had an unbearable load.

Heavy. Not unbearable.

I only knew those people a few weeks.

Abby, will you promise to come back?

I would if I knew what was going to
happen tomorrow or the next day.

I want to come back.
I expect to be back.

You're the right kind of material.
I want to make a survivor out of you.


you must get pregnant.

Yes, well, I'll think about it.

No, the time to think about it
is afterwards.

While biology is helping not just you,
but the whole human species to survive.

I'll think about that, too.

- Abby...
- Let go.

No, Abby. Survive.

Survive, Abby.

I love you.

Oh, I was coming to bed.

Loraine, would you sleep
in the house tonight, please?

I need solitude.


Don't go, Abby.

- You're back.
- Yes, I'm back.

- He's having solitude.
- Yes.

I'm going to have his baby.

- Doesn't take many words to say that.
- Well, it's true.

- Does he know?
- Of course he knows.

Tessa was going to have his child.

- No, not his.
- She wanted to tell him.

No, that's not true.

I'm carrying his child.
I've never had a child before.

Never had a man before and I'm 35.
Well, that's all right.

You've got to have children.
There's no life without children.

So I'm looking forward to that.

Pack it, will you, Mick?

It's got to burn quickly.

Ah! Good girls.


Mick, will you go get the paraffin
from the yard?

Abby, I'm coming, too.
I don't want to stay here any more.

I had a long talk with Greg last night.
He's still deciding.

He's so useful to Charles
he doesn't see how he can leave.

You're not coming back, are you?

- Is it all right if I come with you?
- Yes, of course it is.

I've just been talking to Greg.
He says he's going with you.

Jenny, I can't afford to lose him,
will you please talk to him?

I don't know what I can do.

We did talk for an hour or so
last night.

I can't say to someone else what
they should do, because I don't know.

- But don't you see, I need him.
- Yes.

I'm sorry, I have no hold over Greg.

- He's going because you're going.
- Oh.

- Is there nothing between you?
- No.

Well, I don't know.
No, there isn't really.

I need you, too, Jenny. Please don't go.

- I'm sorry.
- Stay here.

Stay with Greg, anyone,
it doesn't matter.

But it does matter, now,
that we have children.

Jenny, you've got to understand.

Abby, tell her,
there is a compelling urgency for that!

I'm not coming back.

You can't survive on a day-to-day basis.

You've got to plan ahead to next year,
and to 20 years, and to 50 years ahead.

I tried to make four women conceive.

Tessa and Florence have died.

And I'll be lucky if the other two
have live infants

and they survive to maturity,
but I'll go on trying. In love.


Yes, love.

Love is dependence.

Love is mutual survival.

Not for me. Not yet.

Are you going?

When you put up notices,
could you please add,

"Don't eat fish. "

Yes, I'll do that.

Here's a pen.

Will you help me
for just one more hour, Greg?

To take a stretcher, Greg,
to and from the sleeping room.