Survivors Series 2- Episode 3

New Survivors crashes and bangs into law & order, government and the relationship between civil and military power in this episode that tries and in some ways succeeds to take on some big questions and politics.

You know there may be spoilers.

Actually there will be lots of them.

First what worked – well the trucker with a heart of gold who’s actually a little git worked really well. The role seemed to make good use of the actors range which was stretched too much in the New Who cyberman two parter. While the mechanics of the political backstabbing between Samantha and Dexter where as clunky as a steampunk battlemech, the general set up and the relationship worked really well. Samantha’s drunken moment of revelation and bargaining with Tom Price was a superb bit of drunk acting which in the UK is too often just used for comedy moments. The Al and Sarah relationship advanced naturally enough and Greg had a superb one word Greg moment (you’ll know it when you see it.) Finally the old school (and I mean ancient Greek) solution to incarceration promoted at the end of the show is a logical and cruel solution to a world where the lack of a medium of exchange (in money) makes labour relations difficult. It was also nice to see deal making between local rulers.

In fact acting wise other than my moans above and below it was good all round and a special thumbs up for Nikki Amuka-Bird as Samantha. Mind you this may have been due to the lack of the Lab-pack on this occasion (see previous review for relevant rant.)

What didn’t work – the trial scene – the obvious point was to show illustrate Samantha and Dexter’s relationship and a flexible attitude to the law. But it was so hazard as to be unconvincing for me with the exception of Greg’s moment and Dexter’s back-stab. Next Rent-a-squaddie despite my cries for guns to turn up last episode I’d rather wish they hadn’t the guys using them weren’t convincing – not because of their weapon handling which should be bad in many cases, but because of their general acting – they didn’t appear threatening or well anything really, bit of shame. Quite possibly it was a lack of direction and it seems silly to focus on such a bit of background but it nagged at me. The infiltration scene was appalling as well. Finally dirt, wear and tear – despite six months there seems to be a lack of engagement with the reality of survival – I know the shops are full of clothes and soap but they also contain bodies and disease – it is all a bit Jericho, that is to say – clean.

Despite those whinges I enjoyed the episode things are slowly moving in an interesting direction where as well as our soap elements we get to see who societies evolve and inter-relate in a depopulated world where none of the old rules apply.

Oh and there’s half a twixt for anyone that can give a convincing answer for what they where thinking having Dexter doing Tai Chi. (He doesn’t seem to be a martial artist so I’m not accepting that one.)

GS Reviewer: Andrew Clark

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