Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Also, who's doing all the clothes washing?

I am enjoying Survivors, and the final episode next week looks properly epic, but one or two questions have raised themselves during the unfolding storyline.

1. Where do the main characters get their unending supplies of hair conditioner and makeup from? If they are making regular trips to some cosmetics warehouse, and fighting regular running battles with groups of disenfranchised post-apocalyptic WAGs, I feel this warrants an episode, at least.

2. Where are they going to the toilet? Again, just a single shot of one of the characters clutching a bog roll and saying a cheery 'I'm off to that tree behind the lake now' would have been fine.

3. How come the middle three episodes seem to have turned into a cross between particularly dark episodes of Casualty and Peak Practice, without much of a reminder that the rest of the country has pretty much ceased to exist? I'm afraid I also disapprove of what I refer to as 'Lassie Episodes', where the characters wander off, get caught up in someone else's story, help them resolve it, then get back to the country house in time for tea. I like getting the snapshots of other peoples' experiences, but it does sort of imply you could just watch the first episode, and then the last, without missing much in the middle.

All that said, Max Beesely is turning out to be pretty damn good (and having read some early drafts of the scripts, it's interesting to see his character has become rather more ambiguous than originally planned, which is no bad thing), and next week we get to see an abandoned, flooded-out and burning city -hurrah!

This is one of those shows that definitely needs a few more series, partly because I want to write an episode SO BADLY, but also because the further the show gets from its starting point, and starts to build up its own societies and characters, the more interesting I think it will get.

18 comments:

patroclus said...

I don't think it's just conditioner they've got either - I think they've managed to commandeer a stash of shine spray as well. Someone must have left the John Frieda warehouse unguarded.

le lotus bleu said...

Just to clarify: do you want to write an episode badly, or do you badly want to write an episode? Because, if it's the former, I'd suggest you'd be nearer the mark with something from Living TV.

Totally agree with your point re Survivors, by the way. That's one of the (many) reasons I stopped watching Lost. Apart from the fact that I realised it was bollocks.

james henry said...

I SO BADLY want to write an episode that I hope will be QUITE GOOD.

Hey, leave Living TV alone, it shows three Will and Grace episodes a day, which makes it all right by me.

Lost is bollocks, yes. No ending could be worth putting in all those hours.

nuttycow said...

Haha - I was just saying to the boyf yesterday that I was amazed at the fact that despite they have no electricity, they've managed to get hair straighteners to work. And they haven't run out of fuel yet. Or food. Or petrol. Or.. or.. or...

The Bureauista said...

Despite all the artistic licence being taken its still the best thing I've seen on terrestrial telly in years. No spoilers now - I've still only seen three episodes.

James, if you ever do get to write an episode, I think the lead male characters should find an abandoned sauna which is miraculously still working, and spend a good deal of time in it.

james henry said...

Well the petrol/food thing is interesting, as if there's only 1% of the population left, there'd be enough food left in tins and packets and stuff to last for decades, I would have thought. Same with petrol - just need to find a few tankers, or drive cars around until they run out, then grab a new one. Although I suppose there would be peope like Dex (episode 2) who immediately want to control all the food bases, to make themselves powerful.

Looks like the supplies thing gets addressed next week though.

oyebilly said...

It's easy they do all of that between episodes.

No one ever took a piss in 24, which distressed me somewhat.

Jayne said...

I started watching it but after about 3 episodes I realised I just wanted Julie Graham to DIE and it was clear she wasn't going to. So I stopped.

The original series in the '70s scared the bejeezus out of me though.

Tim Footman said...

They could just use their own poo as fuel.

realdoc said...

The collapse after the birth last week was completely stupid. They always get the medical bits wrong which is annoying. She could have had a post partum haemmorrhage or something rather than a 'heart complaint' which was miraculously cured by breathing in her general direction. Also paranoid schizophrenics are not usually violent so I'm surprised the mental health charities haven't been after them. If you do write an episode, James, I would be happy to provide some realistic medical advice.
My kids absolutely love Al they think it's great that a lazy ne'er-do-well should be allowed to survive which may say something about their attitude to chores.

Michelle Goode said...

How have I not caught onto this series before?! Maybe it has something to do with me being in Australia travelling... But still. This sounds exactly the type of genre I love! In fact, it sounds a bit "The Last Train" to me... Is it similar in any way or have I got it totally wrong? Can't wait to check it out, anyhow! :)

Bearded One said...

I love Max Beasley in this, is it wrong of me. I know he's an awful actor really but i find him the most interesting character. I also like the doctor woman too. My 78 year old mum said it was obvious from ep 1 she was a lesbian, i didn't realise, which is why i will never write proper drama.
I imagine that the whole washing hair thing is totally possible. Just with cold water. What I think we should be asking ourselves is how do they dry it in such a curly way. It's clear Julie Graham has had a 'blow out'. Where? Perhaps they have a solar powered hair dryer? As for the make up i don't think they wear enough. i cant understand why they aren't wandering round in designer gear, i'd be raiding Channel and Gucci instantly. Or even dressing in a wedding dress all day.

james henry said...

Ooh, the medical know-how might come in handy, Realdoc, I may call you on that.

Lots of people seem to have fond memories of The Last Train, which surprises me somewhat, as it was BLOODY AWFUL. Give me the bbc 80's Day Of The Triffids any day.

'We must find Ark!'

Boz said...

Does anyone know if the Government has actually stockpiled enough hair straighteners, shampoo and nail polish to survive the apocalypse?

We demand to be told.

Oli said...

Angling on a blog to write an episode of a series? Pfft. That'll never work.

Oh, hang on. It totally does! Hurrah.

But not till series 4.

Michelle Goode said...

Why do you think it was awful, James? I haven't watched it since I was 12, so maybe if I watched it again today I would have some critical views of it based on my knowledge of writing and directing, but I'm intruiged to know why people think it was so awful?

james henry said...

I think I'd probably set my hopes too high for it, to be honest, as there was very little post-apocalyptic stuff around at the time. But I seem to remember the main characters being so annoying, you didn't care much if they lived or died, with the 'we must find Ark' woman constantly getting them into so much unneccessary danger, you just thnk they'd have chucked her off a cliff by the second episode. I do remember some great visual stuff though, to be fair, like all the buried cars, and the abandoned chemical factory and stuff. Shame the ending seemed such a damp squib, although maybe they could have gone somewhere interesting with a second series.

All that said, I'm aware that very little of what I enjoyed when I was 12 would stand up to critical scrutiny today. The big screen version of Dogtanian has somehow failed to appear, for example...

Lisa Later said...

i could hardly watch the first episode: made me feel really panicky

although it has helped me formulate my own personal survival plan for such circs: iam hotfooting it over to my sister's house, because she is medically trained (well, ok, a vet), knows how to shoot a gun (was in school cadet force - see, public school is good fer sth) and her husband has been stockpiling horse medicine*

* joke, but i've asked him to see what he can get his hands on, in return for me stockpiling tinned peaches