Survivors – BBC TV

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

Post-apocalyptic TV drama – new series and recommissions

Posted by Rich Cross on September 16, 2012

In the UK, Survivors may have been cancelled after two series, and Outcasts after just one, but in the US post-apocalyptic TV drama is continuing to enjoy an unexpected (and diverse) renaissance.

New dystopian, post-apocalyptic TV drama Revolution premieres in on NBC (in the US) on 17 September 2012. Created by Eric Kripke, and produced by Kripke, J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, Revolution is set in a near-future America, 15 years after a blackout (the cause of which is unknown) cut off all electric power, and brought modern civilisation to an end. The series focuses on the travails of the Matheson family, in a fractured, lawless and dangerous America now thrown back into a pre-industrial era.

Revolution - NBC drama - premieres September 2012

Revolution – NBC drama – premieres September 2012


What would you do without it all? In this epic adventure from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke, a family struggles to reunite in an American landscape where every single piece of technology – computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights – has mysteriously blacked out forever. A drama with sweeping scope and intimate focus, Revolution is also about family – both the family you’re born into and the family you choose. This is a swashbuckling journey of hope and rebirth seen through the eyes of one strong-willed young woman, Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos, Being Human), and her brother Danny (Graham Rogers, Memphis Beat). When Danny is kidnapped by militia leaders for a darker purpose, Charlie must reconnect with her estranged uncle Miles (Billy Burke, The Twilight Saga), a former U.S. Marine living a reclusive life. Together, with a rogue band of survivors, they set out to rescue Danny, overthrow the militia and ultimately re-establish the United States of America. All the while, they explore the enduring mystery of why the power failed, and if – or how – it will ever return.

‘About Revolution’. 16 September 2012.

A 4min 21s preview (containing lots of ***spoilers***) for Revolution is available to watch (in the UK, as well as US) – and has already secured close on 9m views on YouTube.


Meanwhile, the third (sixteen episode) series of critically-acclaimed zombie drama The Walking Dead premieres in the USA on October 14 2012, and will be broadcast in the UK on the FX channel (transmission dates still to be confirmed).

In addition, broadcast of series two of alien-invasion drama Falling Skies concluded on the FX channel in August 2012. As previously announced, a third series of Falling Skies has been commissioned, and production is now well underway, with broadcast in the US and UK assured.

Earlier in the year, the Digital Spy site reported that streaming film and TV rental specialists NetFlix were in discussion to revive cancelled US post-apocalyptic drama Jericho, following a strong rental showing for the CBS drama.

One exception to the current trend of successful post-apocalyptic commissioning is abortive end-of-the-world Day One, first announced back in the 2009-10 season. Day One was to offer drama set:

in the aftermath of a global event that devastates the world’s infrastructures, [following] a small band of survivors striving to rebuild society and unravel the mysteries of why the event took place and what the future has in store. Told from the point of view of an eclectic group of neighbors in a Van Nuys, California apartment building, this journey of survival will show us that hope is found in the smallest of victories and heroes are born every day. From executive producer/writer Jesse Alexander (Heroes, Lost, Alias) and director Alex Graves (Fringe) comes this epic adventure that starts on Day One.

A pilot episode of a proposed 13-episode series was filmed, but the NBC network then opted to truncate the drama (first to a mini-series and then a standalone TV movie). It now appears that the ‘pilot’ of Day One will never be transmitted.


5 Responses to “Post-apocalyptic TV drama – new series and recommissions”

  1. Jeff said

    I was excited for this show.
    Unfortunately it was a horrible shell of what Survivors was.
    Leave it to the Americans to take a awesome social commentary show and make it into a cheese ball action show with no actual meat to the plot.

  2. Rich Cross said

    The Chicago Tribune (18 September) reports “NBC’s new Revolution had the best premiere of any drama in three years as NBC cruised to an easy overall Monday win, according to preliminary numbers. […] It was the highest rating of any drama premiere rating since ABC’s now-canceled V had a 5.2 rating in October 2009. Revolution also had NBC’s top-rated drama premiere since the September 2007 debut of the fast-canceled Bionic Woman.”

    The Tribune adds: “As the V and Bionic Woman cancelations show, initial tune-in from curious viewers doesn’t always pay off long-term. But it’s notable that Revolution, from executive producers J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke, had an original concept, while those shows had some built-in interest because they were reboots.”

    See, Tim Molloy. 2012. ‘Ratings: Revolution Has Biggest Drama Premiere in 3 Years’. Chicago Tribune, (18 September).,0,2460201.story.

    • Ole Alstrup said

      Just watched the first episode – phew, that was pretty horrible, very american and very melodramatic, bad script, bad acting, could go on and on, it was really bad, almost a turkey, suffice to say Survivors is light YEARS ahead of this crap – the only thing that was good about it was the scene locations and the photography, but thats it… :(

  3. Ole Alstrup said

    Mysteriously? This is unfortunately a very likely scenario we are at risk of facing in the real world and its called a Solar Flare Electric Grid Disruption.

    • kiote1963 said

      It’s a tv show and I think they are keeping it simple, hopefully they explain how. I don’t think it was caused from a solar flare because they elude to it being caused by what the scientist’s were working on. It is not just a likely scenario…it’s going to happen it’s just a matter of when.

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