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…