Survivors – BBC TV

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

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Post-apocalyptic TV round-up – January 2018

Posted by Rich Cross on January 6, 2018

Hard Sun - BBC One - January 2018

AS 2018 DAWNS, marking ten years since the first series of Adrian Hodges’ reimagining of Terry Nation’s Survivors premiered on BBC One, here’s a quick catch-up on the current state of play with a host of different readings of the post-apocalyptic idea on the small screen.

Hard Sun

The BBC’s new ‘pre-apocalyptic’ series Hard Sun premieres on BBC One today (6 January). This new six-part drama, created by Neil Cross, blends elements of the police drama, science fiction and thriller formats. Charlie Hicks and Elaine Renko are detectives who, while investigating a murder in the inner city, stumble upon proof that the world faces certain destruction – in five years. The series follows their attempts to uncover the truth and evade the efforts of the state’s security forces to silence them. Made by Euston films, the series is produced by Hugh Warren and executive produced by Kate Harwood (both of whom played similar roles on the 2008-2010 version of Survivors). The cast also includes Nikki Amuka-Bird (who played the character of Samantha Willis in Survivors) as security services’ agent Grace Morrigan.

The Walking Dead

Zombie post-apocalytic serial The Walking Dead is currently on its usual seasonal hiatus. The second half of series eight of the show will begin broadcasting in the UK on the Fox network on 26 February 2018, following closely behind its transmission on the AMC network in the US.

Fear the Walking Dead

Spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead has now been renewed for a fourth series, with the broadcast of the third series completing in October 2017. In the UK, Fear the Walking Dead is available on the AMC cable channel and for purchase through the Amazon Prime service.

The Last Ship

The fourth series of of The Last Ship, which follows the adventures of the US Navy vessel Nathan James and its crew who seek a cure that might save the remnants of humanity of the impact of a deadly pandemic, finished transmission in October 2017. A fifth series had already been given the green light, and will reach TV screens in the UK and US some time in 2018.


The “action/horror/comedy-drama/post-apocalyptic drama” Z-Nation which aims to “put the fun back into zombies” was renewed for a fifth season which will broadcast on the SyFy channel in the UK later this year.

The Last Man on Earth

Post-apocalyptic adult comedy The Last Man on Earth was renewed for a fourth series in May 2017, which began transmission in October 2017. The remaining episodes of the fourth season will continue to screen in the US this month. In the UK, the most recent series to transmit – season three – was shown on the Dave channel in 2017. No decision on the renewal or cancellation of the show has yet been made public.


The US remake of the Belgium television mini-series Cordon, which explores the authorities’ attempts to contain a deadly plague inside a quarantine zone and the struggles of those trapped inside its limits, was not renewed at the end of the first season, leaving the drama with a series of unresolved cliffhangers and the cordon still in place.

Posted in Broadcast, Post-apocalyptic, TV series | Leave a Comment »

Walking Dead season five preview and other post-apocalyptic TV news

Posted by Rich Cross on August 26, 2014

The Walking Dead

Fox have released a teaser trailer for the upcoming fifth series of post-apocalytic zombie serial The Walking Dead (Note: the trailer contains *many* plot spoilers). The new season of The Walking Dead will launch (in the UK) on the Fox channel on Monday 13 October 2014.


The Strain

The Strain - Watch - September 2014

The Strain will screen in the UK on the Watch channel, part of the UKTV station group, and will premiere on Watch on 17 September 2014. The 13-part first season:

follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

The Last Ship

The Last Ship - Sky 1  - 2014

The Last Ship will be shown on cable channel Sky 1 (and Sky 1 HD). The show has already been renewed for a second season. The series:

picks up in the wake of a global catastrophe that nearly decimates the world’s population. Because of its positioning, the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Nathan James avoids falling victim to the devastating tragedy. But now, Captain Tom Chandler and his crew must confront the reality of their new existence in a world where they may be among the few remaining survivors.

The 100

The 100 - E4 - 2014

E4 continues to screen the first series of The 100, a “post-apocalyptic US drama in which 100 juvenile prisoners are exiled from their dying ‘Ark’ in space and sent back to Earth in the hope that they can repopulate the planet” on Mondays at 9pm. Season two of The 100 will begin screening in the US on 22 October 2014.

The Leftovers

The Leftovers - Sky Atlantic

Set three years after 2% of the world’s population abruptly disappeared without explanation, The Leftovers is the “story of those left behind”. The show has now found a UK broadcaster, and will screen on the Sky Atlantic cable and satellite channel in the autumn of 2014.

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Post-apocalyptic TV round-up – end of June 2014

Posted by Rich Cross on June 28, 2014

Revolution axed

Loss-of-electric-power TV series Revolution has been the latest high-profile post-apocalyptic TV drama to be axed, being dropped by the NBC network after completing its second season run.

After a strong initial showing, with 11.65m million viewers tuning-in in the US for the series’ premiere in September 2012 Revolution had struggled to retain ratings – particularly as season two progressed, slumping to less than 4m.

Series producer and director Jon Favreau conceded that: “Having a show cancelled is not fun, as you can imagine. It’s a very abrupt end to a project that has been your entire world for a long time. […] I asked [showrunner] Eric [Kripe] if he had anything to pass along to the fans of the show. He said to convey that he was disappointed, but extremely grateful for your support.”

Fans of Revolution have launched a campaign urging NBC to reverse the cancellation decision, or to release the series to an alternative broadcaster willing to continue the show.


Producer Jon Favreau has briefly discussed Revolution‘s cancellation on air. As to a possible future for the show, he comments: “somebody [new] has to want to make it and the people who are making it [the NBC network] have to release it. There’s a lot of politics to it.”


Falling Skies returns

Series four of alien-invasion post-apocalyptic drama Falling Skies premiered in the US on 22 June 2014, and will be shown on the FX channel at 21:00 on Tuesdays beginning 15 July 2014.

At the end of season 3, Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) and the 2nd Mass scored their biggest victory of the war to date with the destruction of the Espheni mothership in Boston, thanks in large part to the Volm.

However, the Volm subsequently kicked the humans out of their own war and tried to deport everyone to Brazil for the duration of the fight against the Espheni.

Only the personal intervention of Cochise prevented that from happening. But Tom Mason may soon wish that he had accepted the offer to escape the war.


The 100 (The Hundred)

The CW network has commissioned new high-concept post-apocalyptic teen drama The 100. Following a positive reception to the first thirteen-episode season (which premiered in the US in March 2014), the CW renewed The 100 for a second series which will screen in the US in October. In the UK, The 100 will premiere on E4 at 21:00 on 7 July 2014.

The 100, is set 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse decimates civilisation on Earth and the show centres on the survivors aboard their Ark in space as they struggle to manage a growing population.

The only survivors were those who had chosen to live on twelve space stations which orbited the Earth prior to the war, and a handful of “grounders” who managed to escape the planet before its downfall. In the aftermath of destruction, the residents of the space stations joined their crafts together to form a single massive station named “The Ark”, where about 2,400 people live.

The only hope of survival for humanity is to discover whether the planet has now become hospitable – so 100 of their juvenile imprisoned convicts are dispatched to Earth to discover what awaits them. Will this be a chance for the young people to start living life to the full, or will what they find on the ground prove to be even more deadly?

The 100


The Strain

Screening on the FX network is The Strain in July developed by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan from their own trilogy of novels. It is a high-concept, ‘near-apocalyptic’ drama showing the series’ heroes battle a viral outbreak “which bears all of the hallmarks of vampirism.” The Strain will be shown in the UK on the FX channel – dates yet to be confirmed

Note: the trailer contains scenes of violence and horror


The Last Ship

Premiering in the US on 22 June 2014, TNT’s The Last Ship is a ten-episode post-apocalyptic serial which focuses on the efforts of a crew of fictional US Navy ship USS Nathan James (DDG-151) to survive in the aftermath of a pandemic which has killed more than 50% of the world’s population. The lone destroyer must also search for a vaccine which can protect the survivors from the continuing threat of the virus.


The Leftovers

This new ten-part HBO post-apocalyptic show from Lost creator Damon Lindelof is high-concept fantasy, which follows the dilemmas of the residents of Earth who are left behind after a ‘rapture’-like event which sees many of the world’s residents disappear. The show premiers in the US on 29 June, but does not yet have a broadcaster in the UK. Cast members include Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor, Doctor Who) and Paterson Joseph (Greg Preston, Survivors 2008-2010).


The After

Created for the Amazon Video service by X-Files showrunner Chris Carter, The After is a post-apocalyptic drama which focuses on:

“eight strangers who are thrown together by mysterious forces and must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation”

After a well-received pilot, Amazon commissioned a full first season, which will be available exclusively online from the Amazon Video service. The full pilot episode is available to stream free-of-charge from the Amazon Video service (in the UK and the US).

The After - Amazon Video

Posted in Broadcast, Post-apocalyptic, Transmission | 1 Comment »

A Canticle for Leibowitz on BBC Radio 4 Extra

Posted by Rich Cross on March 1, 2014

Fans of post-apocalyptic literature (at least those based in the UK) can currently enjoy a radio adaptation of Walter M Miller Jr’s A Canticle for Leibowitz currently being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and available for a week following transmission on the BBC iPlayer. This adaptation, which covers the first Fiat Homo (Let There Be Man) section of the three-part Canticle story, is read by Nigel Lindsay.

First published in 1960, A Canticle for Leibowitz opens in the environs of a Catholic monastery deep in the south-western USA long after a nuclear war has devastated the planet. With a storyline spanning many thousands of year, the novel explores the efforts of an order of monks to discover, interpret and preserve the fragmentary remains of the scientific knowledge of humankind all-but-lost in the aftermath of the apocalypse as human society is rebuilt.

Posted in Broadcast, Post-apocalyptic | 2 Comments »

Amazon revives cancelled BBC One show Ripper Street

Posted by Rich Cross on March 1, 2014

The Victorian crime drama Ripper Street, cancelled by the BBC due to falling viewing figures after two series, is to return to BBC screens for a third series following a deal with Amazon.

The announcement of the deal with Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service delighted fans of the series who had been lobbying the BBC to reverse its cancellation decision.

Amazon will cover the majority of the production costs, in return for the rights to premiere the series on Prime Instant Video. The BBC will retain the right to broadcast the show on BBC One some time later. Co-funding arrangements with BBC America and the Irish Film Board will also remain in place.

The BBC indicated that series three would retain the previous eight-episode format, and be produced on a similar budget to the first two series.

BBC controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson commented: “This is an exceptional opportunity to bring back Ripper Street for a third series by working with the right partners […] This deal gives fans another series of the show they love at excellent value to the licence fee payer.”

The BBC News story commented:

Similar deals of its kind are not expected to follow. However, Amazon’s Tim Leslie said if audiences loved a cancelled show and wanted to bring it back, they would consider it.

Actress MyAnna Buring, who plays Long Susan, said fan reaction was “incredibly moving” in response to the BBC’s decision not to recommission the show.

“I don’t think without that kind of response everyone would have been inspired to create a deal like this,” she added.

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Survivors being shown on the streaming Hulu service

Posted by Rich Cross on October 13, 2013

Series one and two of Survivors are now available for streaming download on the Hulu service (only currently available in the US). Hulu is an alternative and competitor to the Netflix service (which also offers Survivors for online streaming).

Until 17 October 2013, all six episodes of series one are available free (to US residents registering to use the service).

Hulu - Survivors series one and two

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Survivors ‘Earth-from-space’ footage – sourced from BBC documentary series Planet Earth?

Posted by Rich Cross on May 13, 2013

The research efforts of Survivors‘ enthusiast Adrian H have uncovered good evidence that the Earth-from-space sequences used in the opening and closing sequences of each episode of Survivors were drawn from existing HD (High-Definition) footage created two years earlier for the 2006 BBC documentary series Planet Earth. This footage was itself an integral part of the earliest BBC experiments in High Definition broadcasting.

A montage of footage from Planet Earth showcases (in its opening moments) strikingly similar images to those featured in all twelve episodes of Survivors.

Recycling and re-using – without question, central tenets of post-apocalyptic survival strategy!



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Survivors shown on Portuguese pay-TV station Black AXN

Posted by Rich Cross on February 18, 2013

The number of countries in which Survivors has now been shown continues to grow with the show’s broadcast on Portuguese pay-TV station Black AXN

Series one of Survivors was shown in December 2012, with series two premiering this month (February 2013) on Saturday evenings.

Survivors - ANX Portugal - 2012-13

Survivors – ANX Portugal – 2012-13

The AXN trailer (with Porteguese subtitles) for series one is available on YouTube.

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Outcasts – new BBC One ‘post-apocalyptic’ off-world drama

Posted by Rich Cross on February 7, 2011

The new eight-part BBC One science fiction series Outcasts begins this evening (7 February 2011) at 21:00. Outcasts follows the travails of a disparate group of survivors sent from Earth to create a new frontier community on the distant planet of Carpathia, leaving behind a world that has suffered an (initially unexplained) apocalyse.

More information can be found on the BBC’s Outcasts mini-site; on the BBC TV blog (where writer Ben Richards discusses the inspiration behind the show); and on the BBC Press Office site. The series can also be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted in Broadcast, Post-apocalyptic, Transmission | 4 Comments »

BBC America – Survivors second series moves to Tuesday

Posted by Rich Cross on March 26, 2010

Although BBC America is presenting the twelve existing episodes of Survivors as a single ‘season’, the scheduling of the show was moved between episode six (the series one finale) and episode seven (the series two premiere) this week.

The series one finale of Survivors was shown on Saturday 20 March, with the opening episode of series two transmitted on Tuesday 23 March. The remaining episodes of series two will be shown on Tuesdays at 9pm (8pm Central time), concluding on Tuesday 27 April.

Posted in Broadcast, Series two, Survivors, Transmission | 2 Comments »

Survivors to premiere in Australia on Channel Nine in March

Posted by Rich Cross on March 11, 2010

Survivors‘ international reach extends down under, with the news that the series will premiere on Channel Nine in Australia, begining on 21 March.

Posted in Broadcast, Series one, Series two, Survivors, Transmission | 14 Comments »

Survivors series two, episode five attracts 3.4m viewers

Posted by Rich Cross on February 17, 2010

The Media Guardian reports that the overnight figures for episode five of series two of Survivors show that the programme drew an audience of 3.4m viewers (a 12.9% audience share).

Posted in Broadcast, Episode five, Press coverage, Series two, Survivors | 12 Comments » interview with Julie Graham and Paterson Joseph

Posted by Rich Cross on February 15, 2010

As the premiere of Survivors on BBC America continues to attract press attention on the other side of the Atlantic, the site has published an interview with Julie Graham (Abby Grant) and Paterson Joseph (Greg Preston), in which the pair discuss working together before Survivors; the development of their characters in series one of Survivors; working with other cast members on the show; and the differences between the first and second series.

Extracts from Julie Graham’s interview have also been published on the Film Review Online site.

Posted in Broadcast, Cast interviews, Press coverage, Series one, Series two, Survivors, Transmission | Leave a Comment »

BBC America launches Survivors site ahead of series one premiere

Posted by Rich Cross on February 2, 2010

The BBC America web site has launched a Survivors mini-site ahead of the premiere of episode one of series one in the United States on Friday 13 February 2010. The mini-site includes: a guide to show and its characters; an episode guide; video previews (multimedia content is only viewable from within the US); photo galleries; a viewers’ forum; and more besides.

BBC America will show all six episodes of series one and immediately follow them with the six episodes of series two.

BBC America - Survivors site

BBC America - Survivors site

Posted in Broadcast, Series one, Series two, Survivors, Transmission | Leave a Comment »

Survivors series two episode three – photo gallery

Posted by Rich Cross on January 28, 2010

Film Review Online has posted a gallery of eighteen BBC publicity stills from episode three of the second series of Survivors.

Posted in Broadcast, Episode three, Series two, Survivors | Leave a Comment »

Full Survivors series to be available on BBC iPlayer

Posted by Rich Cross on January 14, 2010

All six episodes of series two of Survivors will be available for streaming (or time-limited download) on the BBC iPlayer service. Rather than the standard seven-day access to a single episode (after which a new episode replaces the previous one) the entire series will be ‘stacked’ on the iPlayer, with each new episode joining those already available (until a week after the last episode is shown, at which point all six episodes will be withdrawn from the iPlayer).

The service currently indicates that episode one of Survivors series two will be available until 23 February (which would have been a week after episode six had broadcast). With a two-week gap now separating the broadcast of episodes one and two, it is certain that this date will be revised – meaning that episodes will be available until 2 March 2010.

Please note: access to programme content on the iPlayer service is only available in the UK

Posted in Broadcast, Episode five, Episode four, Episode one, Episode six, Episode three, Episode two, Episodes online, Series two | Leave a Comment »

Survivors series two episode one repeats

Posted by Rich Cross on January 13, 2010

Episode one of series two of Survivors is repeated on the BBC HD channel at 23:15 on Saturday 16 January 2010 and on BBC One at 01:10 on Tuesday 19 January 2010.

Details are provided on the ‘Episodes coming up’ section of the BBC Survivors website.

Posted in BBC Survivors mini-site, Broadcast, Episode one, Series two | Leave a Comment »

Survivors second episode delayed a week by live football

Posted by Rich Cross on January 7, 2010

The BBC Press Office has confirmed that the showing of the second episode of series two of Survivors will be delayed by a week, because of a rescheduled Carling Cup football match.

The semi-final fixture between Manchester City and Manchester United was due to take place on 6 January, but was postponed because of the heavy snowfalls in the region. The rearranged match will now be shown live on BBC One at 09:00pm on 19 January 2010 – meaning that episode two of Survivors (which would have been shown at that time) will be pushed back a week.

There will therefore be a gap of two weeks between transmission of episode one of Survivors‘ second series (12 January) and episode two (26 January).

Posted in Broadcast, Episode one, Episode two, Transmission | 3 Comments »

BBC – three Survivors trailers being shown

Posted by Rich Cross on January 3, 2010

Three different trailers for Survivors series two are being shown on the BBC: the ‘original’ (first shown on 29 December 2009) which remains the most heavily used; and alternate versions focusing separately on the characters of Greg and Anya.

The BBC is trailing Survivors extensively at present – running trailers in slots throughout the day, and before and after highly rated shows such as East Enders, Gavin and Stacey and the New Year’s Day episode of Doctor Who.

Posted in Broadcast, New series preview, Survivors | 1 Comment »

BBC shows first Survivors series two trailer

Posted by Rich Cross on December 30, 2009

Broadcast on BBC One just before 9pm on Tuesday 29 December 2009 (ahead of episode two of the new The Day of the Triffids adaptation), the first 40-second Survivors series two trailer offered a montage of images from episode one and the tag-line ‘Fighting to Survive’.

The trailer confirms that episode one of series two of Survivors will be shown (on BBC One and BBC HD) at 9pm on Tuesday 12 January 2010.

Posted in Broadcast, New series preview, Series two | 3 Comments »

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