Survivors – BBC TV

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

Archive for the ‘1975-1977’ Category

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 »

Original Survivors novelisation – review of the audio-book

Posted by Rich Cross on December 23, 2014

Over on the original Survivors (1975-1977) series blog, I’ve just posted a review of the new audio-book version of the 1976 Survivors novel written by the show’s creator Terry Nation. This is the novel that provided the inspiration for the BBC’s remake of Survivors in 2008-2010, and acted as the sourcebook for showrunner Adrian Hodges as he set about crafting his updated vision of a twenty-first century post-apocalyptic Britain.

Voiced by Carolyn Seymour (who played Abby Grant in the 1975 series of Survivors), Big Finish’s new audio-book is a triumph:

As a single-voice, unabridged audio-book, delivered with panache, commitment and believability by one of the original series’ best remembered cast, Big Finish’s latest Survivors offering simply could not be bettered.

The audio-drama company Big Finish released the first series of new adventures (based in the time and place of the original Survivors series) in June 2014, and two further series of new and original audios are scheduled for 2015.

erry Nation - Survivors - Big Finish audio-book

Posted in 1975-1977, Big Finish, novelisations, Post-apocalyptic, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Big Finish to release audio-book version of original Survivors novel

Posted by Rich Cross on September 20, 2014

Audio-drama specialists Big Finish have confirmed their intention to release an audio-book version of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel – the book which was the inspiration and source material for the 2008-2010 BBC Survivors TV series. The audio version will be read by Carolyn Seymour (who played Abby Grant in the original 1975 TV version). Survivors: Audiobook of Novel will be released as a 6-disc CD set and as a digital download in December 2014. Both formats are available for pre-order.

Terry Nation’s Survivors novel – new audiobook

Big Finish are pleased to announce a release of the Survivors novel, written by series creator Terry Nation in 1976. Out in December it will be read by Carolyn Seymour – Abby Grant in the 1975 series, a role she reprised in a special appearance in Big Finish’s first Survivors release in June:

A deadly virus spreads across the world as quickly as the passenger jets that encircle it. Within weeks, most of the global population is dead.

The human race is thrown back into the dark ages. The few left alive must rely on the most basic skills to survive one day to the next.

Abby Grant ventures out into a strange new England, her husband dead, the fate of her son unknown. Jenny Richards flees London. Engineer Greg Preston arrives from abroad. Desperate lone travellers come together, their instinct to form a community, even if that means rebuilding civilisation from scratch. But not all who are left have such high ideals…

And while she has the chance of a new beginning, Abby cannot settle until she knows the truth. Has her son survived?

Survivors: Audiobook of Novel is available as a Download or 6-disc CD set, at a special pre-order price held until the end of December.

Survivors  - audio book of Terry Nation's  novel

Following the extremely well received first series of new audio dramas, based on the original TV series, Big Finish has committed to releasing a further two series of new and original audio stories; with series two scheduled for a June 2015 release.

Posted in 1975-1977, Big Finish, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

New mini-site for new Big Finish Survivors audio adventures

Posted by Rich Cross on June 16, 2014

The Survivors: A World Away site (the companion site of this blog, which focuses on the original 1975-1977 series) has launched a new mini-site dedicated to the new Survivors audio adventures from Big Finish.

The new site is still being actively developed, but already includes reviews of all four episodes in the first series, and exclusive interviews with producer David Richardson, director Ken Bentley and scriptwriters Matt Fitton, Jonathan Morris and Andrew Smith.

Interviews with new and returning Survivors cast members will be added to the site in the coming weeks.

Big Finish - Survivors - mini-site

Big Finish – Survivors – mini-site

Please note: These audio dramas are set in the time and place of the original Survivors (1975-1977) and NOT in the world of the Survivors remake (2008-2010).

Posted in 1975-1977, Big Finish | 1 Comment »

Trailer for new audio adventures (based on the 1975-1977 Survivors) released

Posted by Rich Cross on March 7, 2014

Big Finish have released the first teaser audio trailer for the new series of Survivors audio adventures, to be released on CD and via digital download in June 2014, and available for pre-order from the Big Finish online store.

The trailer is available to stream online and for free digital download.

Based on the original series of Survivors (1975-1977), this first set of new audio adventures will compromise four stories, featuring new characters and several of the leading characters from the original series.

Find out more about the release from the Survivors: A World Away blog (which focuses on the original series).

Big Finish - Survivors - Series One - CD cover

Big Finish – Survivors – Series One – CD cover

Posted in 1975-1977, Remake, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Roger Lloyd-Pack dies (15 January 2014)

Posted by Rich Cross on January 18, 2014

Roger Lloyd-Pack (the only actor to appear in both the original Survivors [1975-1977] and the Survivors remake [2008-2010]) has died. The well-respected character and comedy actor passed away from pancreatic cancer on 15 January 2014, at the age of 69.

In the original series, Lloyd-Pack appeared in a memorable guest-starring role in the two-part story Lights of London (series two, 1976), taking on the part of the young rebel Wally, who is exiled from the 500-strong London community for voicing discontent with the authoritarian rule of dictator Manny. He rescues Greg and Charles when they are attacked by rats on arriving in London to search for the abducted Ruth. Wally travels (off-screen) to the Whitecross community to take news of the whereabouts of Greg, Charles and Ruth. When he returns and joins in a recce mission to search for petrol supplies, he is shot by the ruthless Manny and left for dead in wasteland near the Thames. At the end of the story, a wounded Wally returns to rescue Ruth, Charles and Greg, who are trapped in the underground tunnels by gunfire from a murderous Manny when attempting to flee. After he shoots Manny dead, Wally agrees to rejoin the London community in the hope of encouraging the London survivors to adopt a more equitable, tolerant and democratic form of organisation. He also commits himself to finding a volunteer doctor to take the place of abductee Ruth – who is now free to return to Whitecross with Charles and Greg.

Some thirty-four years later, in the second series of the remake of Survivors, Lloyd-Pack took on the far less heroic role of truck driver and trader Billy Stringer; who appears in episodes three and four. Initially appearing to be a benign figure, Stringer rescues Greg and the family from a Land Rover breakdown by providing them with a replacement fan belt. But Stringer later reveals to settlement leader Samantha Willis that he know knows the whereabouts of Tom Price (the man at the top of her most-wanted list) and sets in motion the events which culminate in Price’s detention, trial and conviction for murder. Stringer is revealed to be a slave trader, abducting survivors from around the country as forced labour for the brutal coal mining operation being run on Smithson’s estate: a fate which soon befalls Greg and Tom. Later, after Stringer’s truck is stolen by an escaped Tom, he is left tied to a tree in the woods. It is there that he realises that the young captive who helps to free him from his binds is Abby’s missing son Peter. Unseen off-screen, Stringer later hands Peter over to the Whitaker’s group of research scientists; setting the scene for the final showdown of the second series. Stringer’s own fate remains unknown.

Lloyd-Pack was born in 1944 in Islington, London, the son of Hammer horror actor Charles Lloyd-Pack. Early in his acting career her appeared in such shows as The Avengers, Jason King, Crown Court and Softly Softly: Taskforce, whilst enjoying a varied career in the theatre. Lloyd-Pack later found considerable fame and popular acclaim through his recurring roles in sit-coms Only Fools and Horses (as Trigger) and The Vicar of Dibley (as Owen Newitt) – roles so prominent they sometimes overshadowed his other work. More recently he appeared in Doctor Who (in 2006), The Old Guys (2009-10) and Inspector George Gently (2012) and on the big-screen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Made in Dagenham (2010) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).

News of Roger Lloyd-Pack’s passing was widely reported, including on the BBC News site (which also published an obituary and a photo gallery of his on-screen career). Obituaries appeared in The Independent, The Telegraph, The Guardian and in many other places.

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Lights of London II, 1976

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Lights of London II, 1976

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Wally, Lights of London

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Wally, Lights of London

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Survivors (2010), Billy Stringer

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Survivors (2010), Billy Stringer

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Survivors (2010), Billy Stringer

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Survivors (2010), Billy Stringer

Posted in 1975-1977, Episode four, Episode three, Series two | 1 Comment »

Blue Plaque marks birthplace of Survivors creator Terry Nation

Posted by Rich Cross on January 5, 2014

A commemorative ‘blue plaque‘ has been added to the birthplace of Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation, to acknowledge his role as scriptwriter and ‘creator of the Daleks’ (the perennial arch-enemies of The Doctor in Doctor Who).

The plaque, added to the former Nation family home in Fairwater Grove West, Llandaff, Cardiff, was unveiled at a ceremony on 20 November 2013, to coincide with celebrations marking the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who. Terry Nation was born at 113 Fairwater Grove West in 1930. The unveiling was undertaken by Tim Hancock (the nephew of late actor and comedian Tony Hancock, and now responsible for the management of the the Nation estate) and was attended by Nation’s widow Kate.

The successful campaign to have the plaque added to the property was initiated by The Llandaff Society. The unveiling event was covered by the BBC News site, Wales Online, the Doctor Who News site, Living Magazines and many other news services.

Photos (c)

The Terry Nation 'blue plaque' at 113 Fairwater Grove West, Llandaff, Cardiff

The Terry Nation ‘blue plaque’ at 113 Fairwater Grove West, Llandaff, Cardiff

Tim Hancock is joined by a Dalek at the unveiling ceremony

Tim Hancock is joined by a Dalek at the unveiling ceremony

The unveiling event for the new 'blue plaque'  outside 113 Fairwater Grove West, Cardiff

The unveiling event for the new ‘blue plaque’ outside 113 Fairwater Grove West, Cardiff

Posted in 1975-1977, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Original series episode Genesis features in BBC ’70s documentary

Posted by Rich Cross on May 12, 2012

Several extracts from the original Survivors first series episode Genesis feature in Dominic Sandbrook’s new BBC 2 documentary TV series The ’70s.

In the third of four episodes, which focuses on the mid-1970s [‘Goodbye Great Britain 75-77’], Sandbrook makes reference to the resonances between the widespread ‘pessimism and paranoia’ gripping Britain at the time and the post-apocalyptic preoccupations of Survivors.

Sandbrook’s commentary (33ms 20s – 35ms 04s) is illustrated with extracts from Genesis (showing Anne Tranter’s first meeting with Greg Preston; and Abby Grant’s encounter with Arthur Wormley) and an oddly irrelevant aerial shot of some moorland (sourced from some other show).

Viewers in the UK can catch the episode on the BBC iPlayer service (until 9.59pm on Monday, 21 May 2012)

BBC - The '70s - 3 - ‘Goodbye Great Britain 75-77’ - Survivors

BBC – The ’70s – 3 – ‘Goodbye Great Britain 75-77’ – Survivors

Posted in 1975-1977, Survivors, Transmission | 1 Comment »

Original series episode Law of the Jungle (with Brian Blessed) on the big screen in Derby

Posted by Rich Cross on May 10, 2012

A rare opportunity to enjoy an episode from the original Survivors on the big screen is provided during the ID Fest film festival in Derby later in May.

The series three episode Law of the Jungle, which features a memorable guest appearance by Brian Blessed is being screened on Saturday 26 May at 12:45pm. The ‘Brian Blessed Television Showcase’ also includes an equally rare cinematic outing for one of the earliest installments of the Tales of the Unexpected anthology Lamb to the Slaughter, in which Blessed also co-stars.

At 7:00pm on the same day, the festival plays host to Brian Blessed: live in conversation, an opportunity to hear the actor and raconteur reflect on decades of work on the big and small screen.

Blessed’s appearance is followed by a screening of the kitch 1980s space-opera Flash Gordon, which features a scene-stealing peformance from Blessed as Prince Vultan.

Tickets for the Brian Blessed Television Showcase and Brian Blessed: live in conversation events are available from the Quad venue web site.

Brian Blessed - Brod, original Survivors Law of the Jungle - Lamb to the Slaughter

Posted in 1975-1977, Cast interviews, Series three, Survivors | Leave a Comment »

Survivors in Total Sci-Fi’s ‘top 100 shows’

Posted by Rich Cross on November 21, 2010

The original Survivors ranks at the paltry position of 54 in Total Sci-Fi‘s rundown of its ‘top 100 Greatest Sci-Fi & Fantasy TV Shows’ published on 15 November.

54) Survivors (1975-77)

A pandemic wipes out modern society as we know it, leaving a small group of people facing life in a desolate Britain in Terry Nation’s downbeat and thought-provoking ‘70s drama. When the show started going in directions he didn’t like, Nation departed and penned a Survivors novel – which became the basis for Adrian Hodges’ not-bad 2008 reinvention.

Posted in 1975-1977, Survivors, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Original Survivors in Sky’s top post-apocalyptic shows

Posted by Rich Cross on November 18, 2010

Sky TV’s celebration of six of the top post-apocalyptic shows features the original Survivors (alongside The Walking Dead, Firefly, Red Dwarf, The Day of the Triffids, and Battlestar Galactica (original series)).

Sky liked the description of the original Survivors found on this blog and the Survivors: A World Away site so much, they *borrowed* from it without attribution and claimed it as their own.

Posted in 1975-1977, Survivors | 1 Comment »

Author of forthcoming Terry Nation book interviewed

Posted by Rich Cross on September 6, 2010

An interview with Alwyn W Turner, author of a new study of the screen work of Survivors creator Terry Nation has been added to the Survivors: A World Away site.

Also added to the site (which focuses on the original Survivors [1975-1977]):

* A guide to the newly accessible interior Survivors filming locations at Hampton Court, Herefordshire, used in 1975

* A brief appreciation of original series Survivors director Pennant Roberts

* An updated comparative guide to the release of the original three series of Survivors on DVD (Region 1 and Region 2)

Posted in 1975-1977, Survivors, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

New study of the work of Terry Nation

Posted by Rich Cross on August 7, 2010

A new work by author Alwyn Turner will provide a fresh perspective on the televisual works of Survivors creator Terry Nation in the 1960s and 1970s. Due for publication in the spring of 2011, The Man Who Invented the Daleks: The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation, will be the first book-length study of the writing career of Nation since Jonathan Bignell and Andrew O’Day’s Terry Nation (Manchester: Manchester University Press) published in 2004. Publishers Aurum Press announced the publication of Turner’s new study as follows:

The Man Who Invented the Daleks

Sam Harrison of Aurum has acquired The Man Who Invented the Daleks: The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation by Alwyn W. Turner.

Cardiff-born Terry Nation was one of the most successful, prolific and celebrated writers for popular television that Britain has ever produced. His science fiction series Survivors and Blakes 7, from the late-1970s, have been durable cult and critical hits, one being re-made thirty years on and the other constantly rumoured for return, while his villainous creations the Daleks ensured, and at times eclipsed, the success of Doctor Who.

Scheduled for Spring 2011, The Man Who Invented the Daleks will focus on Nation’s work in the 1960s and 1970s, charting a career that also saw him join the legendary Associated London Scripts, become chief writer for a troubled Tony Hancock and play a key role in hit international adventures series such as The Avengers, The Saint and The Persuaders!.

Sam Harrison said: In his acclaimed histories Crisis? What Crisis? and Rejoice! Rejoice! Alwyn has proven himself one of the most stylish and authoritative writers on British popular culture working today. By drawing together the various strands of Terry Nation’s life and career, this book will offer a captivating window onto the creative melting pot without which British television today would look very different.

Anyone who knew and wishes to share their memories of Terry Nation can contact the author at:

Posted in 1975-1977, Survivors, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Survivors mentions in SFX September 2010

Posted by Rich Cross on July 29, 2010

In a round-up of his “top five non-Who sci-fi shows from the Beeb’s history” in this month’s SFX, comedian Tony Hadoke celebrates the original Survivors (alongside Doomwatch, Quatermass, Being Human, and Torchwood: Children of Earth).


Post-apocalyptic drama is great: human depravity, injustice, moral dilemmas and thrilling drama. Yes, it was occasionally a tad middle class, but some real issues were tackled. I wasn’t as aghast at the new series as some, but Julie Graham unwisely mocked the original for doing episodes about knitting jumpers: a bit rich considering (a) they didn’t, (b) she was in Bonekickers and (c) as it turns out it ran for longer and with greater success than the remake. So ner.

Toby Hadoke. 2010. ‘Beeb Cool’. SFX. September. p.22.

In the same issue (in fact on the same page) comedian and author David Baddiel reveals:

Favourite SF/Fantasy TV

When I was a kid I was obsessed with Survivors, and slightly disturbing things from the ’70s, like Children of the Stones.

David Baddiel. 2010. ‘My Sci-Fi’. SFX. September. p.22.

Posted in 1975-1977, Survivors | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Iain Cuthbertson (actor, original Survivors) dies aged 79

Posted by Rich Cross on September 12, 2009

Small-screen stalwart Iain Cuthbertson, who memorably appeared in the role of Laird McAlister in the final episode of the original Survivors, has died aged 79.

Probably best known for his roles in Sutherland’s Law and Budgie, Cuthbertson’s numerous genre credits include ITV children’s supernatural drama Children of the Stones, the adapted M R James’ chiller Casting the Runes, and the Doctor Who story The Ribos Operation.

In the finale of series three of the original Survivors, Cuthbertson’s Laird was determined to assert the interests of Scottish survivors and challenge any plans that Agnes’ new ruling council might have to take the country’s resources for granted.

Obituaries appeared in The Times, The Guardian, The Independent and The Scotsman.

Posted in 1975-1977, Survivors | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Survivors series one to be shown in Italy

Posted by Rich Cross on August 30, 2009

The first series of Survivors (2008) will be shown on the RAI-TRE station in Italy, beginning with a broadcast of the 90-minute opening episode at 21:10 on Thursday 3 September 2009.

The first and second series of the original Survivors were extremely popular when shown in Italy by RAI (1979-1982) and TMC (1983). Transmission of the new series is certain to encourage renewed interest in the original Survivors – all three series of which have been released on DVD in Italy (as both a series of box-sets and a multi-part serial) for the first time.

Many thanks to Luca and Riccardo for alerting the blog to this news.

Posted in 1975-1977, Broadcast, Transmission | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Beesley promotes Survivors series one in Italy

Posted by Rich Cross on July 11, 2009

Survivors actor Max Beesley (Tom Price) appeared at the Italian film and TV festival RomaFictionFest being held in Rome between 6-11 July.

Beesley was in attendance to promote series one of Survivors, which is an Official Selection for the Series strand in the International competition. RomaFictionFest is also an opportunity to promote international TV sales, in the European market in particular.

Three promotional shots of Beesley’s appearance can be viewed (in thumbnail format) on the Bruno Press web site. (Deep-linking is not supported, so carry out a search for Max Beesley Fiction Festival to retrieve the relevant images).

The original 1975-1977 series of Survivors was a major TV hit in Italy, and all three series of the show have just been released on DVD in Italy for the first time – in a set of three box-sets and also as a series of ongoing ‘part-works’.

Posted in 1975-1977, DVD, Transmission | Leave a Comment »

BBC Four to repeat ‘Cult of… Survivors’ – 16 December 2008

Posted by Rich Cross on December 8, 2008

The well-received 2006 BBC documentary on the original series The Cult of… Survivors is to be repeated on BBC Four at 10.00pm on 16 December 2008. The transmission will follow straight-on from the broadcast of the penultimate episode of the new series on BBC One.

As well as clips from across the three series, the documentary features interviews with Ian McCulloch (Greg), Carolyn Seymour (Abby), Lucy Fleming (Jenny), director Pennant Roberts and scriptwriter Martin Worth.

The documentary is also included as a special feature on the three-series DVD boxset released in November.

Posted in 1975-1977, Cast interviews, Survivors, Terry Nation | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Richard and Judy – Watch TV – Survivors feature

Posted by Rich Cross on December 6, 2008

Survivors actors Zoë Tapper and Nikki Amuka-Bird were interviewed on Watch TV’s Richard and Judy’s New Position on Friday 5 December, in a slot which featured clips from episodes one and two of the new series.

Original series actor Lucy Fleming (who played the role of Jenny Richards) was also briefly interviewed, alongside a clip from the series three episode Manhunt (featuring Jenny, Charles [Denis Lill] and Hubert [John Abineri]). Asked for her view on the new series, Fleming said:

I’m really enjoying it. I find it really difficult to judge, actually, because I know the characters a bit and I know the story a bit, but it’s all different. It’s brilliant for the modern generation to do it [like that], to make it real for them. Good luck to them.

Zoë Tapper, Nikki Amuka-Bird (left); Lucy Fleming (right)

Zoë Tapper, Nikki Amuka-Bird (left); Lucy Fleming (right)

Posted in 1975-1977, Cast interviews, Press coverage, Survivors | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Original series writer Martin Worth interviewed on Radio 4

Posted by Rich Cross on December 2, 2008

Martin Worth, who wrote scripts for the second and third series of the original Survivors, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House on Sunday 30 November, discussing how the real-world survival skills of current day survivors would compare with those expected of the public thirty years ago. (The episode is available on the BBC’s iPlayer until the next episode broadcast at 10am on 7 December).

Elsewhere on Radio 4, Survivors was also the theme for the spiritual Thought for the Day slot on the morning news show Today on 25 November.

Posted in 1975-1977, Crew interviews, Survivors | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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