What is 'Mad Dog'?
Mad Dog is recognised as one of the classic episodes of the entire series of Survivors. Many fans of the show would agree with the view expressed in the fanzine Whitecross Calling that the episode is not only "one of the strongest episodes of the whole Survivors' run. It is without doubt one of the best 50 minutes of drama produced by the BBC in the whole of the 1970s."
The episode isolates a single regular character from the post-apocalyptic drama series ensemble cast and pitches him into mortal danger in an unfamilar and increasingly hostile environment, taking him to the very limit of his endurance — and beyond.
Set in the depths of a snowy winter, the character of Charles Vaughan — independent, resourceful, determined — finds himself isolated, exposed and in mortal danger. In these perilous conditions, Charles' own relentless determination to survive is not, by itself, sufficient to save him. The strangers he encounters are divided between those convinced that Charles must die for the 'greater good', and those willing to risk their own lives and livelihoods in their efforts to protect him.
The story which unfolds in Mad Dog, combines excellent adventure sequences, and brilliant characterisation and dialogue, with the exploration of some fascinating narrative themes. All of this take place in the stunning 'de-populated' landscape of the Derbyshire peak and Severn Valley rail line. The wintry conditions which accompanied the filming, further add to the atmosphere of acute isolation and enhance the dramatic credibility of the piece.
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