Just finished watching the entire three series of the 1960’s series Survivors by Terry Nation.
I’m not going to give a blow by blow account of each episode just a quick overview of the entire three series.
First of all I thought it was a good representation of a pandemic, a likely situation around then when we were growing accustomed to the bomb and the MAD doctrine. In this case a modified version of the Flu by an Asian scientist which was accidentally released and was spread globally. Wiping out 98% of the population.
The story followed several survivors throughout the next three years, three series, the usual feel good component made up by not one but two mothers being reunited with their lost children and our heroes always coming out on top despite the handicap of being good and moral people against ruthless scum. Besides those unlikely events there were a few scenarios set up that we have discussed here and a few concerns shown in perspective.
They showed several wildly diverse communities. Each one working in a fashion. Our heroes interfered in every one that didn’t suit them. They were arrogant and dominating even when in a very poor position.
They had people drinking from streams, pond and any other water source. Everyone was fine. No issues with germs or illness from bad water.
Everyone was concerned about disease and catching any illness. Quarantines were set up and any ill people were either quarantines where possible, good guys, or sent on their way, bad guys. Even out heroes were bad guys at one point.
Almost everyone had guns, very few pistols, mainly rifles and shotguns and not much ammo which they mostly used for warning shots. (They were good guys after all)
They talked about the time taken to harvest food and how it left little time yet they travelled all over the country away from home.
There were a few example of bad people roaming the countryside but each one was stopped by our heroes.
One interesting point was that in the start they met people that had missed being infected, the survivors infected them and they died. Later on people in remote places, who missed the death, were back in the communities. The disease having no effect.
There were a couple of scenarios that we should consider;
Rabid Dogs. They shot them, where possible, or hid away from them but basically left them alone. They needed to be destroyed and not left alone to spread the disease.
They avoided towns because of disease whilst recognising that there were a lot of supplies there. Perhaps they didn’t have the equipment but we do.
They managed to get a lot of old equipment up and working, water pumps, sewing machines, blacksmiths forges, engines. I doubt any of that equipment is around now as most have been replaced with modern versions which won’t work without electricity or computer control. Things won’t be as easy.
It was interesting to see the old equipment, buildings and tools. For one thing I doubt we could build bridges across rivers the size they had in the 1800s. Building churches and castles. Rope making gear and the mill wheels and gears. It puts things into perspective how much we have moved in a few short decades.
There was a few interesting episodes where emotion overrode common sense and people ran off doing their own thing. It worked out fine in general. There were a few that showed the darker side of people, rapes and murders mainly. People were kidnapped for their skill sets and a high proportion of doctors survived despite them being on the front lines in the pandemic fight.
There were a few ideas there for us to think of. Most we have already thought of and others that I hope never come to reality, particularly their way of governing their communities. Hydro electric power generators would be an interesting concept. I wonder how much computers have changed them over the years?
It was interesting to see what, back then, seemed a very realistic view of what could have happened. The shows gave us a view on the way most people at that stage would have reacted and it was all very harsh but the usual stiff upper lip. A show made now would be completely different.
The survivor ethic may still be there, even if it doesn’t show, but people have lost their sense of morals. Things would be different for a while and it would not be helped by the lack of many common itesm, mills and mill wheels may still be there but sewing machines, horse drawn ploughs, even horses would be few and far between. Even the car would not be as easily converted to alcohol or wood gas as it was then.
Worth a watch though. Consider how you would perform under the same situation.