The Fourth Horseman

Survivors (1970s series)A routine day in Abby Grant’s cozy world starts to unravel slowly. Her son’s school is locked down due to a flu outbreak – only the latest such outbreak in recent weeks – and her husband’s train is delayed by hours due to power outages and rail backups all the way to inner London. In London itself, Jenny Richards tries to get a doctor to make a house call for her ailing roommate, but by the time help arrives, the woman has died. The doctor admits that the fast-spreading disease is not the flu – and that even modern medicine in a major city like London cannot find a cure. He urges Jenny to head for the safety of the country: before long, the inner city will be piled up with the dead, unleashing more diseases that, despite being fairly common, will wipe out those who remain without medical services. Jenny packs her bags and starts making her way out of London. People make their way to churches and other refuges, and fear leads to isolation. Those seeking shelter are turned away; every man, woman and child must fend for themselves. As the disease wipes out much of the world’s population, the facade of civilization melts away.

Abby herself has fallen ill with the disease, and her husband leaves to find a doctor. But while Abby survives her infection, her husband dies. She sets out alone and finds no survivors in her relatively isolated village; the dead pile up in church pews, living rooms, and cars. Abby finally leaves to go retrieve her son from his boarding school, and is almost relieved to find that her son is missing – at least he’s not among the dead. She finds only one man alive on the entire campus, a teacher who reveals that Abby’s son was among a small group of students who were evacuated just before the disease spread through the student body like wildfire. Armed with this information, Abby returns home one last time to prepare for the quest to find her son – and to say goodbye to the life she once knew.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Pennant Roberts
title music by Anthony Isaac

Cast: Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant), Lucy Fleming (Jenny Richards), Talfryn Thomas (Tom Price), Peter Bowles (David Grant), Peter Copley (Doctor Bronson), Christopher Reich (Andrew Tyler), Margaret Anderson (Mrs. Transon), Callum Mill (Doctor Gordon), Blake Butler (Mr. Pollard), Elizabeth Sinclair (Patricia), Giles Melville (Kevin Lloyd), Len Jones (First Youth)

LogBook entry by Earl Green