Survivors – BBC TV

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

Archive for the ‘Series one’ Category

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 »

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

Posted by Rich Cross on November 25, 2018

Survivors - series one - episode two - Sarah (Robyn Addison) and Greg (Paterson Joseph)

THE SECOND EPISODE of the first series of the 2008 remake of Terry Nation’s Survivors premiered on BBC One ten years ago this evening – just two days after the opening episode was screened.

Moving on from the apocalyptic catastrophe depicted in the first episode, this second instalment shows how Abby and her band of fellow survivors set up their first community; reveals the threat posed by the villianous Dexter (Anthony Flanagan), (who will come to play a decisive role in the series finale); introduces the character of the self-serving Sarah Bowyer (played by Robyn Addison); shows Al the appalling costs that can come for being a subtitute parent in this terrifying new world; and confirms Abby’s determination to risk everything (including the lives of others) in the search for her missing son Peter.

Reviewing the episode at the time, this site observed:

The second episode may… begin with a striking image of (a now almost unpopulated) Earth as seen from space; but the point-of-view quickly shifts to a small corner of the UK where the first efforts of Abby and her group to find a new life for themselves is thrown into sharp relief… Like Nation before him, Hodges makes clear that his Survivors is above all a character drama not a downsized, low-budget disaster mini-series. And there’s loads to enjoy in episode two – and not just in terms of individual character development; but also in exploring the emergence of simmering tensions within Abby’s putative community.

After the broadcast of this second episode, the series settled into a regular weekly broadcast slot at 21:00 on Sunday evenings for the remaining four episodes.

Survivors - series one - episode two - Dexter (Anthony Flanagan)

The episode preview, published by the BBC ahead of transmission, is still available online.

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

Ten years since the first episode of the Survivors remake premiered on BBC One

Posted by Rich Cross on November 23, 2018

Survivors series one promo

ON 23 NOVEMBER 2008, the BBC broadcast the first episode of Adrian Hodges’ remake of Survivors, the first instalment of the six-part series one.

Starring Julie Graham (as Abby Grant), Paterson Joseph (as Greg Preston), Zoë Tapper (as Dr Anya Raczynski), Max Beesley (as Tom Price), Phillip Rhys (as Al Sadiq), Nikki Amuka-Bird (as Samantha Willis) and Chahak Patel (as Najid Hanif), the series was adapted from original series creator Terry Nation 1976 novel Survivors although it was reset in the then-present day.

Reviewing the opening episode at the time, this blog reported:

The opening episode of Adrian Hodges’ reworking of Survivors is a startlingly good piece of work. Surprisingly, unexpectedly good – even… [O]verall this is a hugely impressive debut which successfully navigates the remake minefield to produce a drama that is both acutely contemporary and true to the spirit and ethos of Terry Nation’s original vision.

The opening episode was watched by 6.5m viewers in its 21:00 slot on BBC One, and was widely reviewed in the British press. The evening of transmission, this site enjoyed more than 10,000 hits.

Ahead of the transmission of the opening episode, the BBC backed an extensive publicity and promotion campaign. As we mark the tenth anniversary of the transmission of the first series, we’ll be republishing some of the promotional and press materials from the time over the next days and weeks.

Below are images from one of the BBC’s TV teaser advertising campaigns (shown at a time when the series’ logo include a human figure, before this design decision was reversed ahead of the series’ full launch).

Survivors 2008 - promo - what if there was no-one...

Survivors 2008 - promo - what if tonight....

Survivors 2008 - promo - One Virus

BBC One - station ident - Survivors - series one - episode one
A BBC One station ident featuring a still from episode one of series one of Survivors.

Posted in Episode one, novelisations, Series one, Survivors, Ten year anniversary | 1 Comment »

Big Finish release new audio dramas based on original (1975-1977) Survivors

Posted by Rich Cross on June 5, 2014

Audio drama specialists Big Finish have today (5 June 2014) released series one of their new Survivors audio adventures set in the time of place of Terry Nation’s original TV drama (1975-1977). Big Finish say:

WE ARE IMMENSELY proud to announce the release of Terry Nation’s Survivors – Series 1.

The original TV series ran from 1975 to 1977, and portrayed the outbreak of a plague that wipes out most of the world’s population, and told the story of the few people who survived…

Our original audio series begins again with the plague outbreak, introducing new characters before running parallel with that TV show, as Lucy Fleming (Jenny) and Ian McCulloch (Greg) reprise their roles. Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant) also has a cameo role, and will appear in a larger capacity in Series 2.

It begins with just a few people falling ill. Another flu virus that spreads around the globe. And then the reports begin that people are dying…

When most of the world’s population is wiped out, a handful of survivors are left to pick up the pieces.

Cities become graveyards. Technology becomes largely obsolete. Mankind must start again…

Series one of the new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD format or by digital download) from the Big Finish web site. Series two will be released in June 2015.

Find out more about the Big Finish audio dramas from the Survivors: A World Away blog.

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).

Big Finish - Survivors - Series One - CD cover

Big Finish – Survivors – Series One – CD cover

Posted in Big Finish, Series one, Survivors, Terry Nation | 2 Comments »

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

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

Who would you say is responsible for the cancellation of Survivors?

Posted by Rich Cross on December 31, 2012

To mark the arrival of 2013, a quick (unscientific) poll on the the question of responsibility for the cancellation of Survivors. Please vote by making a single choice; and add whichever additional thoughts you have in the Comments section (Note: to prevent spam and abuse, comments are moderated before publication).

Posted in Series one, Series three, Series two, Survivors | 2 Comments »

Survivors series one and two available on BT Vision

Posted by Rich Cross on December 31, 2012

Both series of Survivors are now available for viewing (in the UK) on the BT Vision service, as part of one of the service’s TV Packs or through a pay-per-view option (but are only available to BT Vision customers). All twelve episode were initially offered until today (31 December 2012), but their availability has now been extended to 27 February 2013 (and may be extended further).

Brief text-only listings for all episodes are provided, from episode one, series one to episode six, series two.

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

Julie Graham (Abby Grant) press interview from 2008 shared online

Posted by Rich Cross on October 28, 2012

A not-heard-before press interview with Julie Graham (Abby Grant) from the 2008 pre-series-one promotional campaign (by journalist Katy Blackwell) has been made available on the SoundCloud streaming service. In the 5m 25s interview, Graham discusses the then-forthcoming first series, the character of Abby Grant, the contemporary relevance of the show, the making of the first series, and more besides.

Thanks to Adrian H for pointing the blog to this

Posted in Cast interviews, Press coverage, Series one | Leave a Comment »

Post-apocalyptic TV drama – new series and recommissions

Posted by Rich Cross on September 16, 2012

In the UK, Survivors may have been cancelled after two series, and Outcasts after just one, but in the US post-apocalyptic TV drama is continuing to enjoy an unexpected (and diverse) renaissance.

New dystopian, post-apocalyptic TV drama Revolution premieres in on NBC (in the US) on 17 September 2012. Created by Eric Kripke, and produced by Kripke, J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, Revolution is set in a near-future America, 15 years after a blackout (the cause of which is unknown) cut off all electric power, and brought modern civilisation to an end. The series focuses on the travails of the Matheson family, in a fractured, lawless and dangerous America now thrown back into a pre-industrial era.

Revolution - NBC drama - premieres September 2012

Revolution – NBC drama – premieres September 2012


What would you do without it all? In this epic adventure from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke, a family struggles to reunite in an American landscape where every single piece of technology – computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights – has mysteriously blacked out forever. A drama with sweeping scope and intimate focus, Revolution is also about family – both the family you’re born into and the family you choose. This is a swashbuckling journey of hope and rebirth seen through the eyes of one strong-willed young woman, Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos, Being Human), and her brother Danny (Graham Rogers, Memphis Beat). When Danny is kidnapped by militia leaders for a darker purpose, Charlie must reconnect with her estranged uncle Miles (Billy Burke, The Twilight Saga), a former U.S. Marine living a reclusive life. Together, with a rogue band of survivors, they set out to rescue Danny, overthrow the militia and ultimately re-establish the United States of America. All the while, they explore the enduring mystery of why the power failed, and if – or how – it will ever return.

‘About Revolution’. 16 September 2012.

A 4min 21s preview (containing lots of ***spoilers***) for Revolution is available to watch (in the UK, as well as US) – and has already secured close on 9m views on YouTube.


Meanwhile, the third (sixteen episode) series of critically-acclaimed zombie drama The Walking Dead premieres in the USA on October 14 2012, and will be broadcast in the UK on the FX channel (transmission dates still to be confirmed).

In addition, broadcast of series two of alien-invasion drama Falling Skies concluded on the FX channel in August 2012. As previously announced, a third series of Falling Skies has been commissioned, and production is now well underway, with broadcast in the US and UK assured.

Earlier in the year, the Digital Spy site reported that streaming film and TV rental specialists NetFlix were in discussion to revive cancelled US post-apocalyptic drama Jericho, following a strong rental showing for the CBS drama.

One exception to the current trend of successful post-apocalyptic commissioning is abortive end-of-the-world Day One, first announced back in the 2009-10 season. Day One was to offer drama set:

in the aftermath of a global event that devastates the world’s infrastructures, [following] a small band of survivors striving to rebuild society and unravel the mysteries of why the event took place and what the future has in store. Told from the point of view of an eclectic group of neighbors in a Van Nuys, California apartment building, this journey of survival will show us that hope is found in the smallest of victories and heroes are born every day. From executive producer/writer Jesse Alexander (Heroes, Lost, Alias) and director Alex Graves (Fringe) comes this epic adventure that starts on Day One.

A pilot episode of a proposed 13-episode series was filmed, but the NBC network then opted to truncate the drama (first to a mini-series and then a standalone TV movie). It now appears that the ‘pilot’ of Day One will never be transmitted.

Posted in Post-apocalyptic, Series one, Series three, Series two, Transmission | 5 Comments »

Survivors series one – BBC HD repeat begins 17 January 2012

Posted by Rich Cross on January 16, 2012

A repeat broadcast of series one of Survivors begins on the BBC HD channel at 22:30 on Tuesday 17 January 2012.

Survivors - series one - BBC HD - January 2012

Survivors - series one - BBC HD - January 2012

Posted in Series one, Survivors, Transmission | 19 Comments »

Survivors theme composer – streaming extracts online

Posted by Rich Cross on June 23, 2011

Samples of award-winning TV composer Edmund Butt’s music for Survivors are available for streaming on the Cool Music web site.

Amongst an online collection of samples of Butt’s work are two extracts from his Survivors score – Survivors – Sacrifice (2m, 46s) and Survivors – Anarchy (1m, 35s), in streaming MP3 format.

There is no sign at present of the theme and collection of incidental music from Survivors being prepared for commercial release.

Thanks to Adrian H for alerting the blog to this

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

BBC takes different view of end of series cliffhangers – says SFX

Posted by Rich Cross on January 14, 2011

In a feature on forthcoming BBC scifi drama Outcasts in SFX No 205 (March 2011) Tim OgleThorpe suggests that the BBC drama department is no longer keen to for series’ finales to end on unresolved cliffhangers. Says Oglethorpe:

Interestingly, [show creator] Ben Richards says that the first series [of Outcasts] will end “on a series of cliffhangers affecting some of the key characters”, something that should – in theory – guarantee a second series.

Why? Because earlier this year Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC Drama, announced that he had had enough of series that didn’t wrap things up to the satisfaction of the viewer.

Survivors, another futuristic BBC show, is a classic case. When series two ended earlier this year – followed promptly by news that it wouldn’t be returning – Max Beesley’s character Tom Price was left high and dry in an aircraft hold, his fate unclear.

Stephenson doesn’t want any more of that cliffhanging, which surely gives Outcasts a better than average chance of returning for series two in 2012 with all those cliffhangers in the final episodes of series one.

Oglethorpe’s logic seems faulty – rather than feeling compelled to renew Outcasts simply because series one of the show ends with (now ‘unwanted’) cliffhangers, BBC Drama could just as easily be irritated by the fact that the producers of Outcasts are continuing to use cliffhangers as renewal leverage. More significantly, it’s also not clear that Oglethorpe has read Stephenson’s comments accurately. In a speech to the BBC Drama Autumn/Winter 2010/11 launch, for example, Stephenson celebrates one-off, short-run and single author drama – but offers no criticism of the ‘hook’ of series’ finale cliffhangers.

Posted in Series one, Series three, Series two, Survivors | 1 Comment »

‘Continue Survivors’ campaign web site launched

Posted by Rich Cross on December 18, 2010

A new web site promoting the campaign to Continue Survivors has just been launched [].

With a design based on the ‘Hope Never Dies’ postcard featured in the series two story arc, the site promotes the Survivors series three online petition; the Survivors Series 3 please BBC Facebook group; as well as this blog.

Posted in Press coverage, Series one, Series three, Series two, Survivors | 32 Comments »

Netflix leads to surge of interest in Survivors in USA

Posted by Rich Cross on December 18, 2010

The launch of series one and series two of Survivors on the Netflix on-demand streaming video service has led to a surge of interest in the series in the USA. Only available within the US, Netflix (USA) also offers a postal DVD rental service alongside its online video library.

Both series one and series two of Survivors are also available through the Canadian Netflix service.

Posted in Series one, Series two, Survivors | 56 Comments »

Max Beesley blasts ‘dreadful’ Survivors’ cancellation decision

Posted by Rich Cross on September 5, 2010

Actor Max Beesley has denounced the BBC’s cancellation decision as ‘dreadful’, during an interview with Digital Spy. He told interviewer Paul Millar:

“It’s a very difficult thing, this thing that’s happening now in the business, that is showbiz. It seems to be about ratings, and sustaining a market.

“Certainly Survivors, when we put that series out, the second series dipped below 5 million for one of the episodes – all of a sudden, there’s no recommission, and I think that’s dreadful.”

“I think that if you’ve got 5 million people that enjoy drama and invest in characters, you must take the time to not worry about your job and getting sacked and just go for it and hit it again.

“But it just goes to show how much of a business it’s becoming now, so consequently what happens is there are easy targets for reality shows.”

Max Beesley, quoted in: Paul Millar. 2010. ‘Max Beesley slams Survivors‘ axe’. Digital Spy. 3 August. Accessed 5 September 2010.

Posted in Cast interviews, Series one, Series two, Survivors | 15 Comments »

Survivors premiers on the PRIME channel in New Zealand

Posted by Rich Cross on August 7, 2010

Series one of Survivors has begun transmission on the national, free-to-air PRIME network in New Zealand on 29 July 2010.

Thanks to AH for alerting the blog to this news.

Survivors on PRIME in New Zealand

Survivors on PRIME in New Zealand

Posted in Series one, Survivors, Transmission | 1 Comment »

Survivors series one secures BBC HD repeat – July-August 2010

Posted by Rich Cross on August 7, 2010

Series one of Survivors secured a low-key late-night repeat on the BBC HD Channel in late July and early August 2010.

The ninety-minute first episode was shown at 00:30 on Tuesday 27 July 2010, with episodes two to five then being shown at 01:00 between Wednesday 28 July and Saturday 31 Juy 2010. The repeat run concluded with a showing of episode six at 01:00 on Tuesday August 3 2010.

The series one repeat meant that all six episodes were available for seven days following transmission on the BBC iPlayer service.

There is no indication as yet as to whether the BBC HD channel plan to repeat broadcast Survivors‘ second series.

Thanks to AH for alerting the blog to this news

Posted in Series one, Survivors, Transmission | 3 Comments »

Italian broadcaster RAI-TRE repeats Survivors series one

Posted by Rich Cross on May 23, 2010

Italian TV station RAI-TRE which premiered series one of Survivors in September 2009 only to suspend transmission after showing just three episodes begins a repeat showing of series one on Monday 24 May 2010 at 11.10pm.

Italian Survivors fans naturally hope that this time the broadcaster will commit to showing the entire run – of series one at least.

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

Posted in Series one, Survivors, Transmission | 1 Comment »

Survivors – Region 1 – DVD reviews

Posted by Rich Cross on May 17, 2010

The Region 1 (US and Canada) Survivors series one and two box set is reviewed on and on the Are You Screening? blog.

Posted in DVD, DVD - new series, Reviews, Series one, Series two, Survivors | 3 Comments »

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