Survivors – BBC TV

The BBC's revival of the classic 1970s post-apocalyptic drama by Terry Nation

Survivors (2008-2010): a remake of the 1970s post-apocalyptic classic

Survivors is a two series (twelve episode) post-apocalyptic TV drama broadcast on BBC One and the BBC HD channel between November 2008 and February 2010, and broadcast on TV networks in the USA, Canada, Europe and beyond. This (entirely unofficial and independent) blog provides a guide to the production, promotion, transmission and reception of the BBC’s Survivors (2008-2010).

Brought to the screen by showrunner (and lead script writer) Adrian Hodges, the programme was a ‘re-imagining’ of the classic end-of-the-world drama Survivors, devised by Terry Nation shown on BBC1 between 1975 and 1977, and drew its initial inspiration from Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel.

The first series of the new Survivors was broadcast in the UK in November and December 2008. The second series began transmission in January 2010. At the conclusion of series two, the BBC declined to commission a third series.

In 2010 a Series 3 please BBC group was set-up on Facebook to rally support amongst fans to lobby the BBC to overturn the cancellation decision. The group has since been dissolved. At around the same time a Continue Survivors BBC petition was set up at PetitionOnline and attracted several thousand signatures. PetitionOnline has since wound up operations.

All three series of the original Survivors and both series of the new Survivors are available for purchase on Region 1 and Region 2 DVD.

Both series of the new Survivors are also available for purchase through iTunes. In 2011 both series of Survivors secured a French-language DVD release (with French and English audio-tracks and French subtitles) as Les Survivants de L’apocalypse.

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 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.

An unofficial guidebook to the original Survivors was published in 2005. An unofficial guidebook to the new Survivors was published in 2010.

In July 2013, audio-drama publishers Big Finish announced that they would be producing collections of new audio dramas based on the original (1975-1977) Survivors. The first series of new Survivors audio adventures was released (on CD and as a digital download) in June 2014. A further two series of Survivors audios have been commissioned; with series two scheduled for release in June 2015, and series three in November 2015.

An audio-book of the 1976 Survivors novel (on which the 2008-2010 remake of Survivors is based), voiced by Carolyn Seymour (who played Abby Grant in the 1975 TV series) was released by Big Finish productions in December 2014.

Survivors - original series Survivors - new series Episode reviews
Frequently asked questions Unofficial Guidebook to the new Survivors 

56 Responses to “Survivors (2008-2010): a remake of the 1970s post-apocalyptic classic”

  1. Malcolm Edeson said

    Would make a great addition to my Xmas list but am just wondering how far away (if at all) the “updated version” of this book is?

    >Rich Cross said
    >March 29, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    >Hi Martin. Yes, myself and co-author Andy Priestner are already well advanced in our plans to produce a thoroughly updated version of the “The End of the World?” book, and have been hard at work updating the manuscript. >We hope to be able to make a firm announcement on the expected publication date for the new edition shortly. We’ll be sure to include that news on this site, so stay tuned!

  2. Colin Fisher said

    Any updates to the new edition of End of the World? Is this still on the radar?

  3. Martin said

    Do you still plan to release an updated version of your book the end of the world? And if so any ideas as to when this would be realised

    • Rich Cross said

      Hi Martin. Yes, myself and co-author Andy Priestner are already well advanced in our plans to produce a thoroughly updated version of the “The End of the World?” book, and have been hard at work updating the manuscript. We hope to be able to make a firm announcement on the expected publication date for the new edition shortly. We’ll be sure to include that news on this site, so stay tuned!

    • Lorraine Treadwell said

      Looking forward to your new/updated book with Andy. BTW when is Andy going to update Survivorstv website. It’s been a few years .
      It would be nice if Survivors 2008-2010 does a episode(s) where they can tie up all of the loose ends. Maybe a kickstarter campaign like they dI’d for Star Trek Horizon or Star Trek Axanar. Even if it’s just one or two hours.

    • Ian said

      Looking forward to getting news on the updated publication of ‘The End Of The World?’ book :)
      I’ve only just rewatched the 2008/10 remake again, great show, and such a pity that the BBC didn’t give it a conclusion. I think they owed the viewers at least a one off TV special to tie things up. It certainly wont happen now, but I’m sure Big Finish who are producing full cast audios based on the original show could work wonders in releasing a third series (or even a one off audio special) to give the updated version of Survivors its much deserved resolution. After all Zoe Tapper is already working on the original series audios. C’mon Big Finish you can do it ;)

    • steven welch said

      Any news on when the updated ” The End of the World?: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to “Survivors” book, will be released ?
      I’m really looking forward to getting this.

  4. Simon wooding said

    I thought awhile ago I signed a petition and it also sounded like all actors/actresses involved thought it was going to get going again???? I’m gutted this has been the case so far, also any truth that Netflix plans to take this amazing show on??

  5. Justin said

    Answer for John who left a comment about why the show would run longer in the states. Well if you’re a American you should know that a huge amount of american people love post apocalyptic shows its the whole freedom thing.(don’t quote me ) I would not want to offend any sensitive people out there. Now a days someone will try to sue me for liable. Look it up if you don’t know the definition of the word liable. Every show that is done halfway good usually lasts at least three seasons. Not no six episode crap they could have done one season with the amount of episodes they actually aired. You have the walking dead, fear the waliking dead, life after people and how about since around 2010 the amount of blockbuster movies that have come out let’s face it Americans cant get enough of post apocalyptic tv shows and movies

    • Rachel said

      I’m an American and was not offended by your statement. It is true that we have tons of post apocalyptic shows but I started watching Survivors (2008-2010) when it first went onto Netflix. At that time I wasn’t even watching The Walking Dead, I actually thought it wasn’t a good show. Eventually I got sucked into that series because there wasn’t much else to watch. Now in the states the superhero shows are just as popular or even more popular then post apocalyptic ones. I would like to see Survivors finished though because they cancelled the show on way too many cliff hangers. I enjoyed the show and was mad when I found out it had been cancelled. I’m probably going to find the originals to see how alike they are so that way I know how the series ends.

    • Lorraine Treadwell said

      What is interesting is how the count the ratings aND viewers.. Today, it’s not enough to monitor “televisions”.
      I no longer have cable, I use a streaming stick. That company has their own channels. Add Netflix, Hulu and my tablet, I can watch show that are not being tallied up when they count viewers. If they counted the dvd sales, downloads, Internet viewing, the numbers would be staggering.
      There’s a following. It’s just being ignored.

  6. Justin said

    I really am getting sick and tired of these network making tv shows and cancelling the show after two or three seasons. Just because they don’t make a million dollar profit they just cancel the show. If they spent more time with getting the word out about there shows, then they would get the ratings they wanted.I just found out about this show a week ago.

    • Frank said

      First, it IS a business. First, second and last, actually. If the show isn’t profitable, it is axed and should be. This wonderful show wasn’t profitable, so it had to go. Studios, networks, and producers are not in this for fun. And it costs a lot of money to “get the word out.” And it’s your fault that you just heard about this show now. They can’t reach everyone, but I suspect they had quite a bit of TV, internet, and radio marketing before it aired and while it aired. If a show doesn’t catch WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE and really soon, it’s gone. And, yes, MILLIONS are spent on a TV show, so of course the makers should expect to make a million dollars and more. They have a lot of mouths to feed (including mine), so why would any business stay in business if it wasn’t turning a solid profit. Maybe you should learn something about how the business works before you denigrate it so ignorantly.

    • Lorraine Treadwell said

      I would like the writers to “wrap it up”. Tie up all the loose points . When a show ends with a cliffhanger ,then it’s over, thats torture. . Each series/season should end resolving all issues. Then new season should start with new situations and issues.

      TV shows like — Invasion, Surface, Prey, Terra Nova, Revolution, Survivors (2008-2010 ), Odyssey 5 , there should have been closure or at least a 2 hour movie to tie up the loose ends.
      Maybe a kickstarter campaign to do a movie or a graphic novel.

      With “Jericho” ,it was cancelled, fans protested , it was brought back for a season. Then, they wrote 3 graphic novels to continue the storylines.
      Big Finish is doing a great job with Survivors, Dark Shadows and Dr. Who.

  7. Lorraine Treadwell said

    Lorraine said,
    Maybe Big Finish productions would work with Survivors writers and cast ,to do audio stories. BF has done great work with Dark Shadows, Dr Who and many more.
    They are doing audios with the Survivors -1970 cast,I have purchased them. They can do it with the Survivors 2010 cast.

  8. nicholas said

    This show had me stuck in it for the whole two episodes I did nothing else but watch it. I found it searching for survival shows and was hooked. They canceled it wth thats not right. Air this show again!!!!!!! Netflix is were I found this show totally recommend.

  9. Miguel A Espada said

    I can’t believe they would cancel such an amazing series! It’s as good as The Walking Dead in my opinion. I’m very desapointed in the cancellation decision just when it was at its highest intensity of drama and my favorite character (Tom) being on the plane in the infected area. I really hope the writer gets the necessary help to continue making many more seasons ahead. The fans here in the states should push for the continuation of Survivors. I really look forward on them doing the right move, not just for the fans, but the talented cast as well. Good job everyone, you performed your roles perfectly and this comes from a two times veteran of the US Army. I’ll miss you all if things don’t go the way i hope and thank you for your brilliant performance!

  10. Nick said

    My wife and I just finished watching Survivors, and can’t believe the show was not continued. I think it is as good if not better than most of the stuff made in the States. Perhaps they should have made it here, because I’ll bet it would run for at least four or five seasons.

    • John said

      As an American who has worked in the industry, why do you think SURVIVORS would have lasted that long here (or even been put on the air at all)?

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