Survivors – BBC TV

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

Archive for the ‘Pre-production series one’ Category

Dreamwatch: online interview with Survivors writer Adrian Hodges

Posted by Rich Cross on April 13, 2008

Dreamwatch online has published a new and ‘exclusive’ interview with new series Survivors co-creator and lead scriptwriter Adrian Hodges (dated 4 April 2008).

As well a confirming that the new series will be ‘based on’ Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novelisation, the interview reveals some interesting new facts; most notably:

  • For fans of the original series, and Nation’s novel, there will be both recognisable and completely new elements to the show
  • Not all of the characters in the novel will be retained; and some of surviving characters that do survive the transition will be redrawn
  • With a view to the saleability of the show on the international TV market, the new series will feature more urban and fewer exclusively rural settings than the original
  • The new series will begin with a 90-minute ‘pilot’; which will be followed by five standard length episodes

Although it has not been confirmed that the character of Abby Grant will feature in the new series, Hodges does say that he has ‘no intention’ of ending the series with the same denouement which concludes the original Nation novel – which depicts the tragic and bloody outcome of Abby’s long-sought-after reunion with her son.

Dreamwatch also report that the filming on the new series of Survivors will commence in May – which, if true, would mean that scriptwriting, casting, location scouting and all aspects of pre-production are well advanced…

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SciFiNow: Survivors retrospective feature

Posted by Rich Cross on March 23, 2008

Issue 13 of SciFiNow magazine (April 2008) includes a fully-illustrated four page retrospective feature on Survivors – authored by the editor of this blog.

The article concludes with a reference to the upcoming BBC revival of the series:

In November 2007, following lengthy negotiations with the Nation estate, the BBC confirmed that its Drama Department would shortly begin work on a new series of Survivors, to be executive produced by Sue Hogg and written by Adrian Hodges (whose genre credits include dino-romp Primeval). Having licensed the rights to Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel, the new series will reset the drama in the present-day and again pitch a gang of plucky Brits, this time with twenty-first century skills and expectations, into a nightmare new world – one in which laptops and mobile phones are instantly transformed into so much scrap metal, and Google can no longer provide the answers.

Front cover of SciFiNow magazine No 13

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SFX magazine polls readers for their new series wishlist

Posted by Rich Cross on March 22, 2008

SFX magazine is seeking feedback from readers on what they would (and would not) like to see in the upcoming new series of Survivors.

The results will be worked into a two page ‘Your Most Wanted’ feature on the remake of Survivors in a future issue of SFX.

Amongst the more serious and thoughtful suggestions posted so far are the following:

  • “I’d like the makers to read the books of John Wyndham and make sure that they make a series as entertaining as his post-apocalypse stories.”
  • “I’d like to see some scope given to the devastated, empty world the survivors are living in, a visual effort to foster a real sense of loss.”
  • “No flashbacks”
  • “I want realism – the hard facts about survival!”
  • “I’d like it to be shot (and maybe set) in Herefordshire, like the original. And to play on themes of suspicion and fear of outsiders – issues relevant to now.”

Those wanting to add their comments to the discussion will need to complete a basic registration process to join the SFX forum. There is no need to register if you only wish to read the ongoing discussion.

It is also possible to submit suggestions via email to sfx@futurenet.co.uk putting WISHLIST: Survivors in the Subject line.

Access the discussion here: http://forum.sfx.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=13544&highlight=wishlist.

The deadline for submitting comments is: Friday 11 April.

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Survivors remake – forum discussions

Posted by Rich Cross on March 15, 2008

News about the Survivors remake announcement has been – and continues to be – discussed on many TV and genre forums including Britmovie – British Film Forums; The Mausoleum Club forum; TV Gold Forum; and Digital Spy.

Il rebirth della serie è discusso sul Web site del I sopravvissuti.

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Survivors remake announcement – blog commentary

Posted by Rich Cross on March 9, 2008

A quick bit of research has uncovered a fair bit of commentary in the blogosphere on the Survivors remake accouncement. Amongst the comments found so far are the following:

Half a Dozen Streets and a Bit of Waste Land – is enthusiastic about the announcement, but raises ‘three causes for concern’;
Greenman’s Occasional Organ – explores some interesting questions about the status of nuclear facilities in a post-apocalyptic setting (some thing that Charles Vaughan raises as an issue in original series one episode “Corn Dolly”; Quiet Earth; Pal’s Postings and downthetubes.net also cover the BBC’s announcement; while the author of The Island of Dreams reveals that the news has revived his own “secret ambition to dramatise John Wyndham’s The Kraken Wakes for television”.

Les nouvelles sont aussi évaluées en français sur Le blog de toutes les fictions.

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DeathRay – mini-interview with new series scriptwriter Adrian Hodges

Posted by Rich Cross on February 20, 2008

A mini-interview with Adrian Hodges, the lead scriptwriter on the new series of Survivors, appears in the February 2008 issue of DeathRay. Several key facts emerge:

  1. Hodges has ‘very strong memories’ of watching the original series in his student days
  2. It was the BBC that suggested that Hodges pitch the idea of a Survivors remake to them
  3. Although the new series will be rooted in the same pandemic premise as the original, Hodges reveals that ‘nearly everything will be changed in some detail or another. There will also be a lot of new stories that I’m devising…’
  4. Hodges is keen that the new series will have a strong contemporary feel, with a range of characters reflecting the social composition of the UK in the 2008.
  5. The new series of Survivors will be a post-9pm watershed show for BBC1

DeathRay contradict one key ‘fact’ revealed in a recent SFX interview with Head of Series and Serials Kate Harwood – insisting that the new series of Survivors will comprise 13 episodes (rather than six, as reported in SFX).

dr_feb_2008_survivors.jpg
DeathRay, No 10, February 2008

Note, 17 April 2008: To clear up a misunderstanding that has appeared on a number of other blogs, forums and discussion lists – the main photo in the DeathRay article is not of the new Survivors cast, but from the ITV dino-romp Primeval, a series that writer Adrian Hodges has been closely involved with since its inception. No cast photos from the new Survivors series have yet been released.

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SFX mini-interview with Survivors executive producer Kate Harwood

Posted by Rich Cross on February 18, 2008

Several important questions are answered in a mini-interview with new series Survivors producer Kate Harwood in SFX magazine in February 2008:

  1. The remake will stay ‘close to the original’ in several key respects – not least in setting events in motion through the spread of a global pandemic
  2. The new series will be based on Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel rather than directly on the events of the original TV series
  3. It will present a fresh spin on the drama, updating the setting, context and storylines and focusing a little more on ‘action adventure’ themes
  4. The new Survivors will be a six-part mini-series, four episodes of which will be penned by Adrian Hodges
  5. It is likely that the new series will be broadcast at the end of 2008 or early in 2009

Survivors remake - SFX February 2008
SFX, No 166, February 2008

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SFX – online preview of mini-interview with producer Harwood

Posted by Rich Cross on December 19, 2007

SFX has published an online preview of its upcoming mini-interview with BBC Head of Series and Serials Kate Harwood. In it, Harwood reveals that

  • The series will be based on Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel rather than directly on the story arc of the series one TV scripts
  • The production team are aware of the importance of the iconic opening titles of Survivors in setting the scene for the series – but are not yet at a point where they can reveal their own contemporary take

More will be revealed in SFX No 166, February 2008, on sale on 16 January 2008

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Broadcast reports on remake confirmation

Posted by Rich Cross on November 29, 2007

Media weekly Broadcast publicises news of the Survivors remake confirmation in a brief news report:

BBC to revive cult 1970s plague drama Survivors

The BBC is making a modern version of cult 1970s drama series Survivors, writes Liz Thomas.

The BBC1 show will be set in the present day but will follow the post-apocalyptic premise of the original programme. BBC drama production has acquired the rights to develop Survivors from creator Terry Nation’s estate and has lined up Bafta-winning Adrian Hodges to pen the series.

Kate Harwood, BBC head of series and serials, told Broadcast: “There is so much in the concept to bring up to date, and all of the issues that made is such a success in the 1970s are still relevant now. It’s great to be bringing Survivors to a new generation.”

Terry Nation is credited as one of the creators of Doctor Who and architect of the Daleks. He also masterminded Blake’s 7and Survivors.

The programme launched in April 1975 and ran for 38 episodes over three series. It followed a group of individuals trying to survive after a plague wiped out most of the world’s population.

Hodges added: “While we will be staying faithful to many aspects of the original, we will also bring the story into the 21st century and make it accessible to contemporary audiences.”

The executive producer for BBC drama production is Susan Hogg.

bc_nov_2007_survivors.jpg

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Forbidden Planet International reports on remake news

Posted by Rich Cross on November 27, 2007

The Forbidden Planet International blog reports on the BBC’s announcement that it will be remaking Survivors.

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Brand Republic reports remake news

Posted by Rich Cross on November 25, 2007

The advertising and marketing database Brand Republic has picked up on the BBC’s Survivors remake announcement, basing a short news story of the BBC Press Release. The full text of the article is only available to Brand Republic subscribers.

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BBC confirms new series of Survivors is green-lit

Posted by Rich Cross on November 24, 2007

On 22 November 2007 the BBC News site confirmed that a new series of Survivors will soon enter production, following the successful conclusion of negotiations with the estate of Terry Nation for the rights.

The new series will be made in-house by the BBC Drama Department, and will be executive produced by Sue Hogg. The series will be written by Adrian Hodges whose screen credits include Ruby In The Smoke, Shadow In The North, Charles II and Primeval.

The BBC’s ‘remake’ of Survivors will reset the global catastrophe in the present day, and: “follow a group of individuals as they fight for day-to-day survival.”

Head of series and serials at BBC Drama Production Kate Harwood, said: “The opportunity to remake Survivors for a modern generation proved irresistible… I am delighted that one of British television’s great cult series will return with original stories packed with adventure and spirit set against the backdrop of our own recognisable world.”

Hodges says: “Survivors was one of the bravest and most exciting programmes of its time and I’m thrilled to be involved with re-imagining it for a new audience… Its themes remain as relevant as ever and while we will be staying faithful to many aspects of the original, we will also be bringing the story into the 21st Century and making it accessible to contemporary audiences.

Survivors will be broadcast on BBC1, although no transmission dates for the new series have yet been confirmed.

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