Both series of the new Survivors are also available for purchase through iTunes.
The cancelled show attracted renewed audience interest in the US, when both series one and series two of Survivors were licenced by the Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu service streaming services.
In the UK, in 2012, the BT Vision service began to offer both series for streaming download, as part of its range of TV channel packages and on a pay-per-episode basis.
In July 2013, audio-drama publishers Big Finish announced that they would be producing two series of new audio dramas based on the original (1975-1977) Survivors, scheduled for release in 2014 and 2015.
An archive off-air recording of Ian McCulloch (Greg Preston) appearing in a 1979 Xmas TV ad for Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry has been unearthed on YouTube by Adrian H. Uploaded to YouTube from a 30-plus-year-old VHS recording, the advert (which also features Christopher Neame [Colditz, Secret Army]) does briefly break-up at 2m28s, but is otherwise in reasona […]
Big Finish have confirmed (6 November 2013) that Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant), Ian McCulloch (Greg Preston) and Lucy Fleming (Jenny Richards) are all joining the cast of the first series of the new Survivors audio adventures, scheduled for release in June 2014. The Big Finish update also confirms the titles of the four hour-long installments of series one: R […]
Big Finish have updated the listing for the first series of new Survivors audio adventures with the front cover design; which features the character of Daniel Connor (John Banks) alone amidst a scene of desolation, death and fire in front of the Houses of Parliament.
Lucy Fleming is interviewed on the AudioGO blog (26 September 2013) discussing the new James Bond audiobook series. Asked what her uncle, 007 creator Ian Fleming, might have made of the resilient popularity and longevity of his creation, Fleming suggests: “I imagine he would be very amused with the continuing success of the books and the films – and very pro […]
Big Finish has Tweeted confirmation of the Survivors‘ audio adventures first series new cast; and revealed one additional name joining the production: that of Chase Masterston (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). These cast details have also been added to the series one entry on the Survivors pre-order page of the Big Finish site. The new #Survivors cast: John Bank […]
As recording on the first series of the new Survivors adventures from Big Finish got underway last week, cast members including John Banks and Terry Molloy took to Twitter to comment: John Banks – Tweets about Big Finish Survivors recording John Banks – Tweets about Big Finish Survivors recording Terry Molloy – Tweets about Big Finish Survivors recording […]
Audio drama production company Big Finish have announced that Sinead Keenan (Being Human, London Irish will be appearing in the forthcoming first series of Survivors audio adventures in the role of Susie Edwards. Sinead Keenan is Susie Edwards, who finds that the future for humanity is dark and terrifying… Series one of the new Survivors audio adventures is […]
Adrian Lukis will be appearing in the first series of the new Survivors audio adventures. Big Finish have announced that Lukis will take on the role of university lecturer James Gillison. Adrian Lukis is polytechnic lecturer James Gillison… Series one of the new Survivors audio adventures is available for pre-order from the Big Finish site. Big Finish – Surv […]
John Banks will be joining the cast of the first series of new Survivors audio adventures, in the role of journalist Daniel Conner, Big Finish have confirmed. John Banks is journalist Daniel Connor, who is onto the biggest story in the world… the end of the world! Series one of the new Survivors audio adventures is available for pre-order from the Big Finish […]
Series one and two of Survivors are now available for streaming download on the Hulu service (only currently available in the US). Hulu is an alternative and competitor to the Netflix service (which also offers Survivors for online streaming).
Until 17 October 2013, all six episodes of series one are available free (to US residents registering to use the service).
Audio-drama genre publishers Big Finish have reached agreement with the estate of creator Terry Nation to produce a new series of audio dramas based on the original Survivors (1975-1977). The first set of four dramas will be released (on CD and through download) in 2014, with a second series following in 2015.
For more details, see the full story on the Survivors: A World Away blog (which focuses on the original series, rather than the 2008-2010 remake).
A series of documentaries and dramas focused on the theme of ‘dystopia’ feature in the Dangerous Visions season on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra (15-23 June). Post-apocalyptic settings occur throughout this exploration of the wider dystopian genre. All of the programmes in the series will be available (to UK listeners) through the BBC iPlayer service (for a limited period).
Dangerous Visions is a season of dramas that explore contemporary takes on future dystopias.
Radio 4′s Dangerous Visions is a season of dramas that explore contemporary takes on future dystopias. Dramatisations of Ballard’s seminal works, Drowned World and Concrete Island, straddle the season, and we have asked five leading radio writers – Nick Perry, Ed Harris, Michael Symmonds Roberts, Michael Butt and Philip Palmer – to imagine what life might be like in the near future if everything goes wrong.
Their Dangerous Visions form the bedrock of the series: clever, imaginative and disturbing takes on just what might happen.
What happens if sleep is outlawed? If cloning becomes a matter of course, and your loved ones are capable of being cloned? If North London declares UDI on South London, which has become a wasteland? If human sacrifice becomes a part of society?
We are also running a 5 part dramatisation of Jane Roger’s award winning terrifying novel The Testament of Jessie Lamb, dramatised by the author.
Dangerous Visions – you will be disturbed as you see the present reflected in the glass of an uneasy future.
The research efforts of Survivors‘ enthusiast Adrian H have uncovered good evidence that the Earth-from-space sequences used in the opening and closing sequences of each episode of Survivors were drawn from existing HD (High-Definition) footage created two years earlier for the 2006 BBC documentary series Planet Earth. This footage was itself an integral part of the earliest BBC experiments in High Definition broadcasting.
A montage of footage from Planet Earth showcases (in its opening moments) strikingly similar images to those featured in all twelve episodes of Survivors.
Recycling and re-using – without question, central tenets of post-apocalyptic survival strategy!
Writing on the SuperTechBlog site (18 January 2013), Colton Kaiser claims an ‘exclusive’, reporting that the streaming online film and TV company Netflix is in active talks with the BBC about commissioning a new, third series of Survivors.
Kaiser provides no evidence for the claim other than that an “inside source familiar with the matter” has revealed to the site that the BBC and NetFlix have “initiated talks to bring back British post-apocalyptic TV series Survivors.”
He goes on to suggest that, having optioned the rights to stream the first two series of the show, Netflix noticed “a ‘surprising number of views’ in the first few months of being available.”
Kaiser does conclude: “Of course, there’s no guarantee that these talks will result in a revival of the show.”
In recent months, Netflix has begun to commission both new and returning episodic dramas, which will by-pass international TV networks entirely and be made exclusively available throughthe web-based Netflix service. The first original drama series to be commissioned by the company was House of Cards, a dark political drama produced by David Fincher. Netflix has since announced a slate of new commissions, including a new series of the previously-cancelled comedy Arrested Development. Some reports suggests that Netflix has already commissioned its first British drama, but confirmed details are scarce.
Although the speculation is intriguing, What the report on SuperTechBlog omits entirely is that the BBC are not the only party with which Netflix would need to agree terms. As lead scriptwriter, producer and Survivors showrunner Adrian Hodges would hold rights in a number of the characters, characterisations and storylines any new series would need to pick up. More fundamentally, any new commission by a third party would require a fresh negotiation with the estate of Terry Nation to licence the right to use the original characters and premise.
However, the speculation is itself interesting – and this blog will continue to follow the story closely as either it evolves, peters out or is proven to be completely mistaken.
In the meantime, if you come across any confirmation or refutation of any part of the story, please get in touch via the Contact form or leave a Comment on this post.
To mark the arrival of 2013, a quick (unscientific) poll on the the question of responsibility for the cancellation of Survivors. Please vote by making a single choice; and add whichever additional thoughts you have in the Comments section (Note: to prevent spam and abuse, comments are moderated before publication).
The fourth episode of the second series of Channel 4 sitcom Fresh Meat (first shown on 30 October 2012) makes extensive use of the Peover Hall location used in the fourth episode of series one of Survivors.
In Survivors, Peover Hall provides the location for Jimmy Garland’s family home (from which he is temporarily evicted by a gang of young squatters). In Fresh Meat, Peover Hall is the setting for a ‘weekend freakout’ for the student housemates at JP’s ‘big country house’ (which his widow mother has – unknown to JP – already sold).
A recent work visit to Birmingham took me within a few hundred yards of series two Survivors filming locations around Edmund Street, in Birmingham city centre, and the multi-story car-park at its far end (seen in the first two episodes). I had a few minutes before catching the train home to snap the following (click on each thumbnail for a far larger version):
The roof of the multi-story car park where Najid keeps his vigil for Abby
The car park roof from which Najid hangs his ‘Abby’ banner
The view down Edmund Street from the multi-story car park from which Najid spots Abby’s return
The junction of Edmund Street and Church Street – where Abby and the Family are reunited
(I’m late noticing this one but…) recent BBC Two police thriller Line of Duty (starring Lennie James – Jericho, The Walking Dead) filmed several sequences in the old Fire Station, on Lancaster Circus in the city-centre of Birmingham – a filming location used extensively in the second episode of series two of Survivors.
In Survivors, the old Fire Station provides the base where the recuperating Greg and Najid rest-up while the rest of the family hunt for Abby (and where the pair come under siege from the group determined to take back the supplies which the expelled Tom stole from them). In Line of Duty the abandoned facility becomes the setting for a series of violent confrontations between detective Tony Gates (James), undercover police investigator Steve Arnott and the vicious gang with which Gates has become ensnared.
Line of Duty – The old Fire Station, central Birmingham
Survivors S2, E2 – The old Fire Station, central Birmingham
Brief extracts of Line of Dutyepisode four (‘Cover Blow’) and episode five (‘Divided Loyalties’), featuring the old Fire Station location, can be viewed online (in the UK).
A gallery of photos of the disused and derelict building is available on the ClioSport forum.
Several extracts from the original Survivors first series episode Genesis feature in Dominic Sandbrook’s new BBC 2 documentary TV series The ’70s.
In the third of four episodes, which focuses on the mid-1970s [‘Goodbye Great Britain 75-77’], Sandbrook makes reference to the resonances between the widespread ‘pessimism and paranoia’ gripping Britain at the time and the post-apocalyptic preoccupations of Survivors.
Sandbrook’s commentary (33ms 20s – 35ms 04s) is illustrated with extracts from Genesis (showing Anne Tranter’s first meeting with Greg Preston; and Abby Grant’s encounter with Arthur Wormley) and an oddly irrelevant aerial shot of some moorland (sourced from some other show).
Viewers in the UK can catch the episode on the BBC iPlayer service (until 9.59pm on Monday, 21 May 2012)
BBC – The ’70s – 3 – ‘Goodbye Great Britain 75-77’ – Survivors
A rare opportunity to enjoy an episode from the original Survivors on the big screen is provided during the ID Fest film festival in Derby later in May.
The series three episode Law of the Jungle, which features a memorable guest appearance by Brian Blessed is being screened on Saturday 26 May at 12:45pm. The ‘Brian Blessed Television Showcase’ also includes an equally rare cinematic outing for one of the earliest installments of the Tales of the Unexpected anthology Lamb to the Slaughter, in which Blessed also co-stars.
At 7:00pm on the same day, the festival plays host to Brian Blessed: live in conversation, an opportunity to hear the actor and raconteur reflect on decades of work on the big and small screen.
Blessed’s appearance is followed by a screening of the kitch 1980s space-opera Flash Gordon, which features a scene-stealing peformance from Blessed as Prince Vultan.
A repeat of series two of Survivors begins on the BBC HD channel at 22:00 on 28 February, following the conclusion of the series one repeat. This will be the first repeat of series two on the BBC HD channel since January 2010.
* Ian McCulloch (Greg Preston, S1-S3)
* Myra Frances (Anne Tranter, S1)
* James Cosmo (Lenny Carter, The Chosen, S2)
* Roger Lloyd Pack (Wally, Lights of London S2)
* Philip Madoc (Max Kershaw, The Chosen, S2)
Roger Lloyd Pack is unique is being the only actor from the original series of Survivors to appear in the revival of the series. Lloyd Pack appeared as villainous truck driver Billy Stringer in episodes three and four of series two of the new Survivors.
No specific Survivors panel or event had been arranged, and the appearance of such a large number of Survivors alumni (all of whom have a large number of other genre credentials to their name) seems to have been entirely co-incidental.
British actor George Baker (who memorably played the guest-starring role of union president Arthur Wormley in Genesis, the second episode of the original Survivors) has died aged 80 after a short illness (7 October 2011).
Baker enjoyed a long and varied career on the big and small screen, and in the latter part of his career became best known for playing the lead role in the Ruth Rendell Inspector Wexford detective series.
Genesis was written by series creator Terry Nation, and the character of Wormley appears in the 1976 Survivors novel which Nation also wrote. In the 2008-10 remake of Survivors (developed from Nation’s novel) the character of Wormley was reinvented in the guise of junior government minister Samantha Wills (played by Nikki-Amuka Bird) who appeared as a recurring character in both series.
I’ve posted a review of Alwyn W Turner’s The Man Who Invented the Daleks: The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation (London: Aurum Press, 2011) on the Survivors: A World Away web site. Terry Nation created the original Survivors (1975-77), and the BBC’s revival of Survivors (2008-10) was based on Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel.
Roger Hancock (brother of comedian Tony Hancock, and for many years agent for Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation) has died at the age of 79.
Roger was the emeritus head of the Terry Nation estate, and for many years proved himself to be a tough and resolute negotiator, determined to get the best deal possible from anyone seeking to licence any of Terry Nation’s intellectual property – the Daleks foremost amongst that body of work.
He was involved in many protracted negotiations with the BBC and others over their use of the Daleks, refusing any use which was thought inappropriate. In July 2004 it was reported that talks between the BBC and Hancock, representing the estate of Terry Nation, had broken down over issues of editorial control and as a result the Daleks would not appear in the relaunched series. An agreement was later reached which saw the return of the iconic monsters to the series.
The BBC has confirmed that the post-apocalyptic off-world science-fiction drama Outcasts has been cancelled after one series.
Outcasts‘ opening episode attracted 4.45m viewers (a 17.9% audience share), but by episode three viewing figures had slipped to 2.95m, and to 2.6m for episode four, amidst a largely hostile critical reception.
In response to the weak viewing figures, the BBC moved the drama from its 9pm Monday night slot to 10.25pm on Sunday – an indication that it had effectively abandoned its support for the show. The BBC explained:
“BBC One commissions a large number of new drama series each year and inevitably there will be some that do not engage as wide an audience as we would like them to [...] We are proud to have brought this original and high quality drama to the audience but unfortunately it did not engage enough of them to justify playing the full series out in a 9pm slot.”
On 13 March 2011, the final episode of the eight-part series drew 1.56m viewers (11.6%). The following day the BBC confirmed that Outcasts would not be returning.