Survivors (1975–1977): Season 3, Episode 8 - Sparks - full transcript

# Where be yon blackbird to?

# I know where he be

# He be in yon turnip field

# An' I be after 'ee #

Don't worry, love,
Hubert will find him.

A day and a half from the mill,
you said?

Be worth it,
even at twice the distance.

- Oh, sure.
- Yes!

A bloke like this Campbell,
a technician, is unique.

For what? Your glorification?

Well, I won't hold you up any longer
after this.

Oh, I didn't mean you.

My ageing, irrepressible pacemaker?
No, of course you didn't.

We'll get this fellow Campbell,

then I'll go off on my own
mission of salvation, I promise.

We'll leave you free
to chase after your Greg.

But will we?

# If I find that blackbird and... #

Hey up.

Heard tell of a settlement nearabouts?

Got some sort of electrics boffin.


Name of Campbell.

Right spot, is it?

Push off!

Now, then, mate, a civil question
owns a civil answer.

You had...

Look, I have not been toiling round
in this neck of the woods

half the morning for nowt.
You give me an answer!

Just go! Go!

Mission? You keep coming back
to that word.

A man like Charles has
a big responsibility.

Yes, to a good, loyal woman called Pet.

He has to see things in
a broader context, not just Norway.

Two years of settlement
and people are ready

to accept a wider social organisation.

- You think so?
- I'm sure of it.

But only if they have the right lead.

Charles has got presence, charisma,
call it what you like, he's a natural.

You think so?
What do you say, Charlie Vaughan?

Oh, don't mind, Jenny.

I spent most of my life
in personnel selection.

A headhunter, so-called.

If you like.

Personality profiles, aptitude testing,
leadership assessment...

I've never seen any halo.

Ah, Jenny's got a point, Frank.

I mean, I can hardly go riding
into these settlements

like it's Palm Sunday,
preaching salvation, can I?

If they're as ready as you say,
then let them show it.

But you want to wait for an invitation?

At least.


Caught again, I fear, Mr Goss.

- What happened?
- Assaulted, that's what.

Oh, not by her.
By her electrics boffin, that's who.

- Who, by Campbell?
- That's what she said.

Mrs Letty Grant-Smithson. How do you do?

I'm trying to get him to the church.
Not much further now.

I take it you're all guerrillas.
Proposing a revolution?


Must be, taking you to church.

Now, there is a stable
in the back of the church,

but I should tie them up here,
just for the moment.

Well, come on, Hubert.

We'll get you inside, shall we?

"And Jesus came unto the temple. "

Is this your bed?

The dear man's most welcome.

All right.

Uh, steady there.

Well, now, Hubert,
it's your back, is it?

Went down like Evel Knievel
when that nag reared.

Well, let's have a look, shall we?

Aye, he's blooming savage, that bloke.

Right, oh!

Here, it's more of them
electricity people.

What, mates of them who has come
last year in the balloon?

That's right.

Our Queenie ain't gonna like that.

No, he isn't.

Like what, then?

Oh, uh, they come looking for Alec.


You're welcome to him.

Is he often like that?
Violent, rushing at a horse with an axe?

- Dumb as a zombie, most often.
- Zombie!

Only other time I knew him get uppy

was with that bloke
that came in the balloon.

Greg Preston?

That's right, the electricity man.

Here, when are you going to get us
switched on again, lover?

We got our electric blanket ready,
ain't we, Vic?

That's right, huh?

Let's go and have a look for him.

He answers to the name of Sparks.

Right spark he is and all,
if you want someone to fix telly.


Alec and I are the timber team.

Did he say anything to you about
why it was he went for Hubert?

Well, not a word.

I came back up with the cart
and your groom was laid there groaning,

with our Alec just staring at him.

I can only conclude
he thought he was a Red.

A Red?

No question which side
educated people like yourselves are on.

Ta very much.

Crass thing is our troubles now
are no worse than they have in Russia

with their Lenins and Stalins
and people.

I might have thought our Reds
would have learned something

from their mistakes, but no,
had to go and destroy everything.

Just as my dear husband
always predicted.

Of course, they all tried to blame it
on disease, plague and so forth,

but goodness gracious,
if you destroy all the services,

medicines and hospitals and so forth,

of course you're going to get
rats and disease.

Why, they might have anticipated that,
but no.

Had to have their left-wing utopia.

Nation of peasants.

Still, it's not all bad, eh?

I myself am much healthier than I was,

none of those awful tranquillisers
and plenty of roughage in the diet.

And you good folk have got yourselves
spruced up and on the go,

unlike those worthless creatures
down at St Lukes.

Alec, dear boy,
some gentlemen to see you.

Hello. This is Frank Garner.

I'm Charles Vaughan.

It's Alec Campbell, isn't it?

They're on our side, Alec.

- We've come because...
- I know why you've come.

And the answer's no. Now, just push off!

We just want to talk.

I heard it all from those other three
who came here last summer.

That old fool who came off his horse,
is he all right?

He's hurt his back.
It's difficult to say how badly.

Sorry about that.

If he'd had the sense to listen...

Look, just go and leave me
to live my life as I choose!


Put the comb frames in there,

clamp down the lid
and then turn the handle.

- So it spins out the honey?
- Yeah.

You've certainly collected plenty.

Oh, that's nothing.

There's the bulk of last summer's yield.


Precious stuff these days.

- Eh?
- Precious stuff these days.


In summer, they is reckon that and all.

Trouble with scroungers, huh?

That's how they all come to be
hived up in this stone tomb.

Defences, see?

Mind, with beekeeping,
it's the knowing that counts.

Can't get this lot with a gun, can they?

Does it take long to learn?

Been a family generation.
Hard it is, lass.

Mmm, I can imagine.

That's how all this lot
come to be here.

I had me honey,
and they all come buzzing in round it.

Which is why they call you Queenie?

Well, that makes them
a right load of drones, innit?

Uh... Of what?

Drones. Fat, idle, useless.

Like that Alec Campbell
they've all gone after.

He's the most sluggish drone
in the hive.

You won't shift that scoffer,
not unless you carry him out in a box.

What were you doing just then?

Oh, just... Summat to ease my back.

After missing your lunch like that...

Oh, are you not hungry, then?

this'll fill your cavities.

Well, waste not, want not, eh?

You boil your water?

Yeah, that's right.

When you got your mains turned off,
it ain't safe no more.

Been having tummy upsets, have you?

No more than anyone else.

Are you kidding? Huh!

Do you know anything for worms,
do you, then?

Well, we used to make a simple dose
when we were at the mill,

brewing up fronds of fern.

Well, plenty of fern up the woods.

We might see what we can do tomorrow,
Vaughan, Jenny, eh?


Still need a supply of pure water.
Boiling's only part effective.

Yeah, any bright ideas?

What about that old pump out the front?

Hasn't worked in years.

We'll have a go at it tomorrow.

Might as well earn our keep, at least.

Good luck to you.

Feel better for the grub?

Just forget it, eh?


You were an engineer with
the Electricity Generating Board.

Your expertise, man,
damn it, it's crucial.

For what?

Little thing called civilisation.

Look, there are hydroelectric
power stations in Norway,

just waiting for someone like you
to come along and...

and let people start living again.


Pensions? Mortgages? Taxes? Rush hours?

The whole crazy con trick
all over again?

- You're round the twist.
- It doesn't have to be like that!

We're better off as we are.

- In the Dark Ages?
- Aye!

Oh, come on, love,
that stew should have been safe enough.

I'm not risking anything, thanks.

Well, how do we tackle God's gift
to the industrial renaissance?

Bright Sparks Campbell?

Leave him in misery to stew,
if you've got any sense.

He's invaluable, love.


You remember what Agnes said about
hydroelectric power stations in Norway?

Even Greg couldn't help.

But he's anti the whole idea.

We'll have to see what we can do.

Well, he's told you.

Oh, there must be more to it than that.

Oh, yes.

Right, let's have a go, then.

Hey, Alec, come and give us a hand.

Come on, mate.

Hey up, it's rusted in solid.

Needs a hoist of some sort,
a tackle, lifting tackle.

You got any ideas?

Hey, there's a works place not far off,
engineering and that,

just this side of town.

We'll have a look at that.

Oh, come on, Alec, give us a hand!

Forget him.

No way.

Were those the only times
he's shown any real aggression?

Yesterday and when Greg Preston
was here?

Yeah, as far as I know.

Mind, he can get a stroppy

if there's no extra grub to stuff
himself with, but... I don't know.

Did he ever say anything about his work,
his family or his past?

Only to himself.

He rambled on about cost of living,
inflation, nonsense like that.

You want to know what he goes on about,
ask her.

Her name's Letty.

Fine, thank you.

- Some hopes he's got.
- More than we have with you.

- Foul brood, that's your trouble.
- Eh?

Here, what you blubbing about?

These, of course. What do you think?

Would you mind if I ask you
a few questions about Alec?

Why, certainly.

Does he have any children?

Yes, he has two children,
Jean and Fiona.

Both very bright girls, by all accounts.

Mark you, he blames the system.

He says there's no possible hope
of families

growing together in the way they should
while there's this rat race tussle

over jobs and promotion and so forth.

Though, of course, that's all over now.
Nation of peasants.

But I'm afraid the change hasn't helped
poor Alec one bit.

How do you mean?

Why, with his family.

They never come to see him, never.

Of course, in my case, it's different.

Roger and Jeremy,
they're under arms, you know.

Far too busy to come visiting
their old mum.

And besides, there's the risk.

What risk?

The guerrilla fighters, Mr Garner,

paving the way for when
the Americans come over.

The Americans?

Of course.

Surely you don't imagine any sons
of mine would side with the Reds?

Oh, no. Of course not.

Um, does he ever say anything
about his wife?

Rita? Never.

She's dead, you know.

Died more than two years ago now.

Most tragic. Some fatal disease.

A most beautiful
and charming woman, too.

Would you care to see her photograph?

Oh, I would, very much.

Come along.

He sometimes leaves it in here.

Little Victor used to share in here
before he moved in with Bet.

Shameful behaviour in a church.

Oh, lamentable.

Uh, where do you think he keeps it,
the photograph?

Oh, I have seen it over there.

What's all this?

He used to fiddle about with it
when he first came here.

I'd encourage him, too.

"Try and get us The Archers, Alec. "

He lost heart with it after a while.

Just pushed it away under here.

I see.

Mark you, I fancy little Victor
was glad enough to move out.

Oh? Why?

Nightmares, you know.

Alec has them?

Incessantly, poor soul.

- The poor man's always shouting out.
- What about?

Well, his wife, of course.

That's what he calls out, you know,
her name, Rita.


You think you can unhook it?

Yes, uh, I'll see
if I can find a ladder.

What's the, uh, voltage for arc welding?

Come on, let's go
and find some spanners.

It's immaculate, isn't it?

Everything clean and greased up.

Drain, mothballed.

Suit your mate Preston.


Besotted with technology.

Jabbering on how
it's a golden heritage,

how it's our duty to preserve it.

Man had made some pretty dazzling
technical achievements.

You reckon?

Men on the moon?

And into their graves.

Science's crowning glory.

The Death plague?

You can hardly condemn the rest of it
because of that.



The folly of a few scientists
and politicians,

hardly the fault of science itself.

No difference.

Well, what about you?

As an engineer yourself,
you must appreciate

the worth of precision tools like these.


Damn it, man, your whole training!


Oh, the men who worked here, they cared.

They really cared.

He cared!

He could have died in bed.

But no, he had priorities.

Just machines.

Yes, which he valued, cherished,
tried to preserve.

- A useless museum.
- Not to him!

His... His skills. His life.

He died trying to preserve it because,
damn it, because he believed in us!

Because he believed
we'd value them, too!

Because one day, we'd re-power
and use them as he had!

Lunch, Hubert. Nice bit of rabbit.

Feeling better?

Oh, delicious.

Pain gone?

With the wind.


Care for a bit of a nibble?

You've been drinking.

What, me?

You've been at that stuff again,
haven't you?

There's no point in suffering.

Where is it?

Do you mind?

- What is it?
- Here!


You stole this, didn't you?

Like the aspirin.
You took it from that chemist's place.

They had enough.
It was for everybody, the fellow said.

Here, give it here! Give it back!
That's mine!

Yours? I thought you said
it was for everyone.

That bloke Greg Preston,
he was an engineer, right?

Mmm. A civil engineer.

Well, what do you want
with a useless drone like him?

Because roads and bridges
aren't like power stations.

Each has its own highly specialised
technology, as Greg found out in Norway.

- Oh?
- Mmm.

He tried switching one back on to load.

Apparently, the lubrication system
was all to pot,

a bearing at the base
of the generator overheated,

and eventually, the whole casing
smashed to pieces.

It's only luck that
somebody wasn't killed.

Get away.

So that is why we need him.

Come on, Bet.

See if we can't stir him up for you.

Why not?

He might do more harm than good.

A little cumulative pressure?

It ain't asking so much, me old lover.

Help 'em to get it switched back on, eh?

Better than firewood, innit, eh?

You owe it to us, you know.

Grub you eat, it'd keep us for a week.

I mean, it's not as if we want
to get nasty or that but,

well, if you can't ever stir yourself
for others...

All right, I'll go.

It's what you've wanted all along.

- We didn't say that, Sparky.
- You didn't have to.

All we're wanting is the electrics.

Aye, well, you can whistle for that.

Boot me out, fine.

But you'll never get me
along with them. Never!

A thick shell of resentment, all these
references of his to the system.


Oh, the promise of security
for him and his family,

years of working his way
up the promotion ladder,

the "rat race", as he calls it.

And all for what? Nothing.

The con trick.

Well, so what?

Everyone else was conned
and lost that security.

No, that's not what makes him
what he is.

Well, perhaps the reason he keeps
fuming on is something else.

There must be some other reason.

Such as?

Who knows? It could be anything.

So, what now?

Well, in the good old drug-age days,
a shot of pentothal.

Yeah, the good old days.

One substitute I could think of
would be belladonna.

- Deadly nightshade?
- Oh, for heaven's sake!

Oh, just a small dose when we dish out
the worm drench this evening.

No. Frank, that could kill him.

It could, but it would depend
on his general state of health.

It's the wrong time of year
for mushrooms, isn't it? Pity.

- Mushrooms?
- Yeah.

I was thinking of the fly agaric,

you know, that pretty little one
with the red cap, Amanita muscaria.

But that's poisonous, too.

No, it isn't. People think it is.

It has an effect on the central
nervous system, something like alcohol.

That's one of the things Miedel uses
at Wellingham.

- Your chemist?
- Yes.

So near and yet so far.


You're using him like a guinea pig.

That's a bit of a turnaround for you,
isn't it?


Well, only yesterday,
you wanted to write him off.

Leave him in his misery to stew,
you said.

Yesterday, I had no idea
of the extremes you'd go to.

He's human. He's a man, with feelings.

All right, why don't you
have a go at him?

Go up in the woods, seek him out
and see what you can do.

What, like Brod?

Who's Brod?

Character we met a couple of months ago.

All right, I will.

No, it's far too dangerous.
Look how he went for Hubert.

- Oh, Jenny's prettier than Hubert.
- Thanks.

I still think it's too dodgy.

It's not half as dodgy as him
and his belladonna.

We can cover her.

Okay, then.

Please, it'll tear.

- Good-looking.
- Leave it.

Is it Rita?


You miss her?

Two years, Alec, it's a long time.

You were very close, weren't you?

And Rita, do you really think
she'd want to see you like this?

Don't you think she'd rather
see you living

more as you were when you were together?


- Alive?
- Why don't you just go?

- Alec, just try.
- Go on!

You poor, sad man.


I honestly don't think
he would have done anything.

Well, I'm sorry, but from where I was
standing, it looked like touch-and-go.

He was looking at a picture of his wife.

Did you see it?

Yes, much against his will.
She had a nice smile.

So, what now?

For Alec.

What's this?

Drink it down you, mate.

Why can't we just get on and eat?

Soon. It won't purge properly
if we eat immediately afterwards.

Come on, Sparky, let's get rid
of them wrigglies, eh?

No worm drench, no grub, Alec.

What about Hubert?

Oh, let's spare him further discomfort.

Yes, he's much better than he makes out.

Another good night's rest,
and he'll soon be on the move again.

Sooner than that,
if you dose him up with this.

Here, I thought you said
it was harmless.

So it is, so long as you keep
your running shoes on.

Some... Some... Somebody, some water.

No, it might lessen the effect.

What is this?

Here, come and lie down.

He must be allergic to the worm drench.

He's burning hot.

He'll be all right.

Oh, there wasn't any need.

Take it easy, man, gently.

- My eyes...
- Just relax.

Take it easy.

Oh, it's so hot in here.

Surely, some water.


You'll be all right.

Hello, Rita.

- You've given him too much.
- It's make-or-break.

Damn you!

Rita, is... Is that you?

- No.
- Stay with him.

But he thinks that I'm... It's horrible.

Where are you going?

To fetch him some water, at least.

No, whatever his trouble releasing,
it's going to be tough.

You can't expect me...

If he associates this
with his wife, Rita,

and if he's confusing you with her,

then you're vital in this.
Don't you see that?


Look, you started this up there
in the wood, remember?

So, for goodness' sake, stay with him
and see this thing through!




- I had... I had to go.
- Yes, Alec.

You know I had to. I explained.

I... I... I don't remember.

You must.

We couldnae reach Sandy, remember?

Didnae nothing better to look after
the old lady.

Dumfries. She wasn't that far
north of the border.

I'd have been back down to you sooner

if it hadn't have been
for that damned traffic,

all those nellies
piling up and panicking.

Rita, don't go.

I'm here. I'm here.

Oh, if you could just...
just have held out till I got back.

So much to say, to explain.

You know how it was.

Always something in the damn way.

Forever on call-out.

Fussed with some project, or the telly.

And these community classes
he's given us, eh?

Spanish? Who wants Spanish?

Whatever have you done to him?

What's going on?

- Tell me what's happening.
- Oh, it's all right, Letty.

Always something...

Always chasing my wee tail
like a nellie.

Forever on call-out.

Working half off my head
and never a mind for the real things.

I should have been courting you.

You know that, lassie?

Instead of taking you for granted
the way I did.

Never a thought for your needs,
your feelings.

Always pitying myself.

Frustrated inventor, eh?

Sparks, eh?

Always blaming you and the kids
and all the time it was the damn system!

- No, Alec.
- It was so!

Do you wonder I feel bad,
leaving you in the end like that?

Oh, pity's sakes, you said not to go.

Leave it to Sandy, you said.

But I had to see it differently.
"Go north! Go north!"

And you, poor Rita,

alone at that damn hostel,

not even the girls with you.

He's getting worse.

Don't worry.

Don't worry?

Just to be there...

to hold your hand, ask forgiveness.

Just... Dear God!

And where did the love I had for you...

All these... Those years and...

Not even there at the end.

Alone! Alone!

Are you satisfied?

He'll be the better for it.
Cathartic abreaction.

It's like lancing an abscess.

Same story as mine.


I wasn't there, either.


With my wife, when she died.

Were you?


What did you say?

I think I said I was sorry.

Sorry? What for?

Surviving, I suppose.

You see, it's the guilt sense.

I have left unsaid those things
which I ought to have said.

Yes, I see.

So, what do we do now?

We carry on with what we've started.


You mean Jenny.


- That really broke her up, you know.
- Mmm-hmm, I know.

A very big emotional responsibility.

As if she didn't have enough.

- You mean Greg?
- Yes.

Frank, it's really going to help Alec?
It's going to cure him?

If anything ever is.

You see, for the first time
in over two years,

he's confronting his sense of guilt,
getting it out in the open.

- I'm so sorry.
- What is it, Letty?

Alec, he's gone.

- What?
- But Jenny was with him!

Well, I... I suggested the dear
sweet girl should get some rest

and leave him with me for a while.
That was an hour before dawn.

Alec was very restless,
tossing and turning,

and I thought, well, maybe a warm honey
drink would help to settle him down

and then, when I came back, he was...
He was... Oh, dear.

Oh, my goodness.

So much for your lanced abscess!

Alec! Careful!

Keep him talking!

- Let me go! It's my responsibility!
- You just stall him!

Get away, Letty.

Get back inside!

Hey, where are you going?

- Alec's up there.
- It's unsafe higher up, mate.

He made it.

The steps is all loose!

What's happening?

It's that damn fool Alec!

Listen, Alec!


Not until you've listened to me!

Ah, let me die, man! Let me die!

Is this part of the dream?

Alec! Careful.

- What are we going to do?
- Quiet.

Always the same!


Come on, Alec, tell me!

The substation. Trouble fixing it,

the circuit breaker,
the air blaster kind,

difficulty adjusting the contacts.

And she's calling.

Rita's calling.

Finish making the adjustments.

Press up to the solenoid.

Switch on.

Current flowing.

Quarter million volts' worth.


But when I look out,

look out at the busbars,

there's none there! None!

Just a chair!

The iron chair.

Her legs have disappeared.



You never harmed her! Only a dream!



So, what now?


Whatever fresh hell that poor man's
into, we pushed him there.

We did! Frank, you, me.

- Well, he's much calmer.
- Oh, sure, for now.

Charles, the state he's in,
we're responsible.


We can't leave him like this.

- Well, where are you going?
- To be with him, of course.

I was the same as you, Alec.

Recurring nightmares,
bottling up my guilt,

going over and over and over the things
that I would have said to my wife,

had I been with her at the end.

What happened, Alec?

You left her behind and drove north
up to your mother in Dumfries,

and you found that Sandy...
Who is he, your brother?

You found that he was already there.

And then you got caught up
in the traffic chaos

when you were coming back down south.

The stinking south.
Best not to have come.

Best to have kept her up home.

To hell with their safety arm
and security.

You must try not to blame yourself.

Failed her, all along.

And the kids.

Even at the end.

Uh, we want a bit of advice, Mr Vaughan.

What, now?

Yeah, well, see,
we made our mistakes in the past,

plenty of them,
I'm not denying that, and...

Well, I'm no leader.
I never was or wanted to be.

I'm a grocer by trade and, well...

We was reckoning you could help us out,
lover, that's what.


Well, how?

Well, see, we trades our honey, but...

I mean, so what?
It's not getting us anywhere,

any better off and...

Yeah, this is just a dead end, chief.

But if we could feel we was, like,
part of summat bigger, you know...


Yeah, maybe tie in with that settlement
up Greenham way.

Mmm, they're a good lot down there.

But you see, the trouble is
we need someone, well...

like you, to persuade them into it.


Letty, we're leaving this afternoon.

Just a short trip over to Greenham,
to see the people over there.


Alec's alone at the moment.

Would you be good enough
to go and sit with him?

Aye, certainly.

And, uh, he doesn't know yet
that we're leaving,

so perhaps you'd be good enough
to tell him.

But we're not.

It's only Charles that's
going over to Greenham,

and he'll be back tomorrow.

Ah, well.

What are you up to?

It's another of your tricks, isn't it?

Can't you leave the wretched man alone?
Give him a moment's peace?

Jenny, I find this situation
just as harrowing as you do,

so please don't make it worse
by interfering.

Sounds like a hymn.

"Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us. "

Well, this is a church.

What does it feel like to be wanted?

Well, depends on those people
over at Greenham.

I imagine the last thing
they'll want to do is cooperate.

Well, you'll win them over.

What are you doing?


What's wrong with Scotland?
Pitlochry, say.


Pitlochry, the hydroelectric scheme
up there.

Dozen perfectly good dams
north of the border.

Why bother with blessed Norway?

Bound to be any number
of hydrogenerators

still serviceable in Scotland.

It's time to pack, Jenny.

- Pack?
- We're leaving.

But, uh, Alec...

Alec's coming with us.


I'll go and mobilise Hubert.

You're not serious?

Never more so.

But Alec's ill.

What have you done?

Resorted to a little shock therapy.

Take up thy bed and walk?

That's right.

You see, he's had second thoughts
and come to the conclusion

that the hydroelectric prospects
in his beloved Scotland

are far more viable than in Norway.

He's very excited about it.

So hurry up and get ready. Oh!

There is one condition.

- Yes?
- He wants those.

- What?
- Your boots.

My... Oh, no!


Here, as a... As a keepsake, eh?

It'll remind you
of your old timber mate.

Oh, they're lovely.

You're heading north, of course?

Oh, aye, lassie. It's where it's all at.

The heartland of the counter-revolution.

- Ready for testing?
- Oh, all right there, lover.

Can't win 'em all.