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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

"Survival of the Fittest"
TV episode
Written and Directed by: John Harrison


Danziger, Julia, Alonzo, and Morgan resort to desperate measures when they become stranded in the desert.


Read the full summary at the Making of Timelines Yahoo Group


Didja Know?


The title of this episode was inspired by the well-known phrase, which is commonly associated with Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection (though the phrase itself was coined later, in 1864, by philosopher Herbert Spencer in comparing his economic theories to Darwin's theory of natural selection).


This episode is written as a multiple-point-of-view story, common in many types of fiction. In a multiple-POV story, the same events are recounted by two or more individuals and the audience sees how the same events take on different interpretations through the eyes of each individual through perspective, knowledge, biases, human error, etc. 


Didja Notice?


The text at the beginning of the episode reveals that the cargo pod expedition has been away from the bio-dome for 8 days. Dialog indicates the expedition is already 2 days past failsafe on supplies.


Yale indicates that the group has picked up "mirage" signals before, making them leery that the current signal is even from an actual pod.


Danziger indicates that Eden Advance has been on the planet for 117 days. But the time measurements in the previous episode, "After the Thaw", indicate it must actually be day 118 if they've been away from the bio-dome for 8 days as previously stated.


After the expedition searches around the ruined cargo pod for salvage, Morgan complains there's nothing, "Not even a can of cold heat." This is likely a reference to something similar to Sterno Canned Heat, a product sold in a tin can since the early 20th Century that contains a denatured and jellied alcohol for use as a mini camp stove or heat source.


After the DuneRail flips over and rolls down the hill, landing on its side at 9:34 on the DVD, the top front wheel is not spinning, but the next instant, in the following shot, it is.


Immediately after Yale and Walman arrive at the DuneRail crash site at about 13:02 on the DVD, notice that we hear the humming of the Mag-Pro rifle, and Yale turns it off. The indication that the weapon was still powered on as it lay there ties into the events that come to light as the survivors reluctantly relate their story of survival.


At 15:29 on the DVD, True is building a stone wall. It's not stated why, probably just something to do to wile away the time waiting for the expedition led by her father to return.


At 30:04 on the DVD, notice that Zero is stationed in a position where he can watch the movements of the Grendler who is watching the camp.


Memorable Dialog



it's got to be unanimous.wav

I'll be the first.wav

have you ever seen anyone starve to death.wav

dead weight.wav

blast our way across the planet.wav

these same feelings we hold so essential to humankind.wav 


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