The release date for the three-disc DVD of the first series of the new Survivors (which was previously announced as 5 January) has now been confirmed as 26 January 2009.
The release is listed for pre-order on Amazon; the BBC shop, and on other online retailers. The listed price is £29.99, though several retailers are discounting this to less than £18.00 (for pre-order).
The (unconfirmed) list of ‘special features’ on the release are as follows:
*** EXCLUSIVE *** Pennant Roberts, who directed numerous episodes of the first and second series of the original Survivors – including the classic opening episode The Fourth Horseman – shares with this blog his initial reaction to viewing the first two episodes of the remake:
“on the whole I enjoyed watching the first episode. Remakes often have a chequered history, but writer Adrian Hodges never permitted his audience to lose the plot. Terry Nation’s storyline was faithfully reproduced, even some of his actual lines recycled. The timing of the remake appears perfect. We find ourselves challenging ‘difficult times’ once more, as Gordon Brown is so fond of saying. What a relief! Things could be far, far worse for us all.
I didn’t enjoy the second episode as much, because it contained more of Terry Nation’s bish-bash-bosh philosophising, which thankfully I was able to avoid first time around. Nevertheless, I’ll be watching the new series to the bittersweet end.”
Viewing figures for the second episode of Survivors are reported to have been around 5.3 million (a 22% audience share) – down on the 6.5 million audience (a 26% share) for the pilot episode according to “unofficial, overnight” figures. The strong showing for the opening episode was recognised as an “excellent performance” by viewing figures service Attentional; and such a fall-off in numbers (although not welcome) is far from atypical for drama series of all kinds.
The BBC has today announced that a new version of John Wyndham’s classic tale of killer plants let loose in a world gone blind – Day of the Triffids – will be remade for the BBC One.
The new small-screen version of Wyndham’s novel will consist of two 90-minute features, scripted by Patrick Harbinson (ER, Wire in Blood, Dark Angel). Made by BBC Wales, the production will be overseen by former Doctor Who executive producer Julie Gardner.
According to Broadcast magazine, the new version of Day of the Triffids will be set in 2011, “when the hunt is on for alternative sources of energy after the planet’s fossil fuels dry up”.
The BBC’s most recent adaption of Day of the Triffids, a six-part serial shown in 1981, starred John Duttine and Emma Relph.
The BBC Survivors web site has launched Survivors Interactive. This new site (which requires Flash software, and which seems to work far better in Internet Explorer than Firefox) includes interviews with actors; clips from the programme; and original in-character pieces-to-camera. The interactive component is based on visitors selecting characters from the show and then answering either/or dilemma-based questions, which are then profiled into survivor ‘types’ as they ‘journey’ through the post-plague environment.
Lorna Lewis, who played the role of Pet Simpson in series two and three of the original Survivors describes her reaction to the revival of the programme in an interview in Kent News, published on 24 November 2008.
On the Digital Spy web site, show creator Adrian Hodges today explains his decision to ‘kill off’ the character of Jenny (played by Freema Ageyman) in the first episode.
“There’s nothing wrong with the character,” he says, “and there’s certainly nothing wrong with the actress who played her, but I didn’t think she had a dynamic in the group that was particularly interesting. I felt we could give fans of the original a surprise by killing off a major character from the original that they expected to go on in the series, and at the same time create a new character in Anya (Zoe Tapper) that seemed a bit more lively and connected.”
BBC1’s new apocalyptic drama Survivors got off to a fine start last night at 9pm with a strong 6.5m viewers (25.4%) but the show was no match for ITV1’s I’m a Celebrity. The opening 90-minute episode began with 7.1m (26.5%) but saw its audience steadily decline to 6.3m (27.5%) in the final quarter of an hour.
The drama, featuring Julie Graham and Max Beesley, was up by 35.4% on the channel’s slot average for the year so far of 4.8m (20.5%).
Despite the strong showing for the terrestrial channel it was still below its commercial rival ITV1 at the time by 1.1m.
The latest goings on in the Australian jungle appealed to a sizeable 7.6m (29.7%). The 90-minute edition of reality series I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! was up by 40.7% on the channel’s slot average of 5.4m (22.9%).
The clip features an exchange between government minister Samantha Willis (played by Nikki Amuka–Bird) and a colleague, discussing the spread and seriousness of the virus, and ends with an image of the contagion at work in a victim’s bloodstream.
Beckley also announces that, to assist would-be scriptwriters in understanding how to translate ideas to screen-ready telescripts, the full-script for the first episode of Survivors will be uploaded to the BBC Writers’ Room site and available on Monday 24 November. Budding scriptwriters can then compare the submitted script with the final televised version of the episode…