Sunday 5 October 2014

The Last Train

The Last Train is a British post-apocalypse TV series first shown in 1999.  It tells the story of a disparate and argumentative group of people who survive a devastating meteor strike through being lucky enough to share a train carriage with a scientist carrying a cannister of cryogenic gas.

They wake years later to find a destroyed world seemingly devoid of human life.  Reluctantly following the advice of the scientist, Harriet Ambrose (Nicola Walker) they travel across this hostile environment looking for 'The Ark' where her fellow scientists were holed up, sleeping through the end of the world.  Along the way they encounter various inhabitants of this very different Britain including a pregnant teenager - Hild (Caroline Carver) - on the run from her people who travels with them.

Along with the scientist the group consists of the standard assortment of TV stereotypes; a dodgy geezer (Treva Etienne as Mick), a copper (Christopher Fulford as Ian), a cowardly businessman (Steve Huison as Colin), a woman escaping an abusive husband (Amita Dhiri as Jandra), a cute and perky kid (Dinita Gohil as Anita), a very, very, very annoying teenager (Sacha Dhawan as Leo), a handyman (James Hazeldine as Austin), a pregnant woman (Zoe Telford as Roe) and a matronly neurotic (Janet Dale as Jean).

For the most part the series is a bit of a bomb.  Almost every character is deeply unlikable - Colin and Leo in particular - so ultimately it's hard to care about them, there's some truly desperate acting and a script that is fairly pedestrian.  I do however love these post-apocalypse romps and this one had a bit of a budget so looks quite nice and with only a few minor detours - was the boar hunt really worth the episode time spent on it? - keeps it's head down and moves resolutely towards it's climax and so it holds a small spot in my affections.



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