Survivors – BBC TV

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

Archive for December, 2018

Survivors remake series one finale was broadcast ten years ago this week

Posted by Rich Cross on December 24, 2018

Survivors - series one - episode six - 2008 - Abby's group

THE SIXTH AND final episode of the first series of the BBC’s remake of Survivors was screened for this first time ten years ago, premiering on BBC One at 21:00 on December 23 2008.

The episode begins with the unwelcome arrival of Samantha Willis and her enforcers (including the repugnant Dexter) at Abby’s settlement. When Anya’s hidden medical skills are revealed by Sarah, Anya is seized by Willis’ men: a decision which leads to a mission to release her and the to Tom killing Willis’ henchman Gavin. As the group flee Willis’ wrath, a disgruntled Najid runs off to Manchester. As Abby and her compatriots follow, they discover that Gavin has tracked them and is out for bloody revenge, and that a snatch squad for the sequestered scientists is closing in on Abby. As the story ends, Abby is taken prisoner, Greg is shot and badly injured, with all the plans of the now separated and divided group in chaos.

It was a dramatic cliffhanger and a powerful sign-off, providing a powerful springboard for a second series. One day before its transmission the BBC confirmed that Survivors had been renewed for a second series.


Posted in Survivors | 1 Comment »

Survivors remake episode five series one was broadcast ten years ago

Posted by Rich Cross on December 24, 2018

Survivors - BBC - 2008 - series one - episode five

THE FIFTH EPISODE of the first series of the BBC’s remake of Survivors premiered on BBC One ten years ago, on 16 December 2018.

The central storyline explored how Abby’s nascent community reacted to the arrival of a nomadic group of survivors, led by the charismatic and self-proclaimed spiritual visionary John. Through a series of encounters, the travellers upset Al’s sense of himself as a romantic “player”, and compel Anya to reveal the full extent of her medical expertise (talents she has deliberately hidden until now). John’s fragile mental state is brought into sharp relief during a manic episode in which he becomes an immediate threat to members of Abby’s group. The episode ends with the scientists in the hidden bunker discovering the identity of someone who might be their most valuable test subject yet: Abby Grant. It’s a revelation that will set in motion the explosive and bloody events of the series one finale.

Writing back in 2008, this site observed many parallels between the plot motifs of this story and those of the original 1970s’ show:

The return of Adrian Hodges to scriptwriting duties signals another incredibly strong character piece, replete with any number of reference points from the original series. In just fifty minutes, Hodges serves up: a religious zealot who claims to have access to the word of god (akin to the isolated disciples of Gone to the Angels); a group of survivors with a strong repopulationalist drive (see Corn Dolly); a pregnant woman who needs the help of Abby’s community to safely deliver her baby (see The Future Hour); a new mother who falls ills immediately after delivery, who is saved by expert medical intervention from Abby’s group (see Greater Love); a doctor who is abducted soon after her skills are made known (Lights of London); travellers who seek shelter in a church (Gone Away); a former mental patient who is forced to face up to an unmedicated life in the post-plague world (Face of the Tiger) and more besides…

Posted in 1975-1977, Episode five, Survivors | Leave a Comment »

Survivors remake episode four series one was broadcast ten years ago today

Posted by Rich Cross on December 9, 2018

The characters of Jimmy Garland and Abby Grant in the fourth episode of the first series of the remake of Survivors

THE FOURTH EPISODE of the first series of the BBC’s 2008 remake of Terry Nation’s Survivors was broadcast ten years ago today, on 9 December 2008.

The plot of episode four pivoted on a storyline lifted directly from the pages of Terry Nation’s 1976 novelisation, which the show’s creator himself adapted and reworked from his own script for the sixth episode of the original TV series Garland’s War. This meant that Simon Tyrell’s script for the 2008 remake was the third retelling of the story of Jimmy Garland’s efforts to win back control of his home.

While Abby’s determination to continue the search for her son leads her to an unplanned entanglement with Garland, her settlement begins to unravel in her absence. Many of her compatriots decamp to Samantha Willis’ settlement; where they soon find their sense of mutual loyalty coming apart; while, back at their own base of operations Anya and Greg find themselves under attack by marauders. By the end of the episode, Abby’s community learns the importance of genuine, unselfish collective commitment – and its fragility in this new world.

Abby also endures new disappointment in the search for her son; but finds some temporary solace in the moments of intimacy she enjoys with Garland.

The group of youngsters threatening Jimmy Garland in the fourth episode of the first series of the remake of Survivors

Posted in Series one, Ten year anniversary, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Survivors remake episode three series one was broadcast ten years ago today

Posted by Rich Cross on December 2, 2018

NIKKI AMUKA-BIRD as Samantha Willis in the third episode of series one of Survivors, 2008

THE FIRST SERIES of the BBC’s 2008 remake of Terry Nation’s Survivors reached its half-way point ten years ago today, as the third of six episodes premiered on BBC One.

The third episode reintroduced the character of junior government minister Samantha Willis (played by Nikki Amuka-Bird), who is revealed to have set up a community, with a level of organisation and purpose which initially inspires Abby Grant. The brutal realities of Willis’ regime are quickly revealed, and Abby is repulsed by the settlement’s cruelty and heartlessness. The character of Willis and her ambitions will play a decisive role in many of the series’ storylines. Abby’s decision to record a video message at Willis’ suggestion, alerting other survivors to her hunt for her son Peter – and revealing in the process that Abby recovered from the Death virus (rather than being unaffected by it) – will have major pay-offs in the series one finale, and set in train events that shape the storyline of series two.

The episode also features a standalone story, involving a farmer and his family who have isolated themselves from the plague, lit up by a superb performance by Sasha Parkinson as the precocious daughter Kate. It also leads to what will prove to be a temporary improvement of relations between Greg Preston and Tom Price (a hopeful development which will also be ripped apart in the series one finale).

SACHA PARKINSON as Kate in episode three of series one of Survivors - 2008

Posted in Episode three, Series one | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: