Survivors – BBC TV

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

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New Survivors audio adventures based on the original 1970s series

Posted by Rich Cross on June 2, 2015

Today (2 June 2015) genre audiobook producers Big Finish release the second series of audio adventures set in the time and place of Terry Nation’s original 1970s Survivors TV series: containing four new episodes, available on CD and as a digital download.

Please note: these adventures are NOT set in the world of the 2008-2010 remake of Survivors, but in the world of the original 1975 series; featuring original TV series actors Carolyn Seymour, Lucy Fleming, Ian McCulloch and Richard Heffer and a range of new characters.

The first series of award-nominated Survivors audio adventures was released – to a great critical reception – in June 2014; and as Big Finish release the second installment, they have already committed to releasing a total of five series by the end of 2016: meaning that, at a minimum, twenty new original Survivors stories will be produced in audio format. In addition, in December 2014, Big Finish released an unabridged audiobook version of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel, voiced by Carolyn Seymour (who played the original Abby Grant).

There’s an excellent opportunity to ‘test out’ these new audio adventures completely free: by downloading the first episode of series one Revelation; which Big Finish are now making available at no cost.

“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…”

Big Finish - Survivors - series two

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Post-apocalyptic TV round-up – February 2015

Posted by Rich Cross on February 3, 2015

The renaissance of post-apocalyptic TV dramas (in the US at least) shows little signs of abating. A quick round-up of the state of play within the canon of end-of-the-world TV series confirms the following:

The Walking Dead

The second-half of season five of The Walking Dead returns to the FX channel in the UK at 21:00 on Monday 9 February 2015 (the day after its transmission in the US). The Walking Dead took its now-traditional Xmas and New Year mid-season break, and returns next week with the remaining eight episodes. The show has already been renewed for a sixth season.

Filming on a Los Angeles-based spin-off Walking Dead TV series began in January 2015, although no transmission date (or title) has yet been confirmed. Executive producer Robert Kirkman explained to Entertainment Weekly in January: “We want it to be a new show that can stand on its own. You could watch The Walking Dead spinoff if you’ve never watched an episode of The Walking Dead and get a really great, rich, fulfilling experience out of it. It has to be a show that can stand on its own. I think that’s what we’ve accomplished, and we start filming in a couple of days. I’m really excited.”


 

The Last Ship

The Last ShipPost-apocalyptic US Navy dram The Last Ship has been renewed for a second season by the TNT network.

The Last Ship follows the adventures of the fictional USS Nathan James (DDG-151), in the aftermath of a global pandemic which has destroyed civilisation across the planet. Equipped with a specialist scientific laboratory, its captain and crew must travel the oceans of the world trying to find the means the devise a vaccine, and begin the process of reclaiming the land masses of the earth.

The first season was ten episodes long; season two will comprise thirteen episodes. No UK transmission date has yet been confirmed.
 
 

The Strain

The StrainEdge-of-the-apocalypse vampire horror The Strain has been renewed for a second season by FX Productions.

Created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the series has been adapted for the small-screen from their novel trilogy of the same name. (Athough the future of the world is in peril from the vampire contagion, The Strain is not really a post-apocalyptic drama)

Production on the second season got underway in November 2014, and transmission of this next batch of thirteen episodes is expected to begin this summer.

In the UK, a repeat run of the first season of The Strain begins on Watch on 8 March 2015.
 
 

The 100

Series two of high-concept, post-apocalyptic space-opera The 100 premiered in the UK on E4 in January 2015. The show has already been commissioned for a third season.

The 100 - season two

The After

The After, a post-apocalyptic drama created by Chris Carter for the Amazon studio, has been cancelled. The drama was to focus on the travails of “eight strangers forced to survive in a violent world that defies explanation”. After a pilot episode was released online in February 2014, Amazon initially ordered an eight-episode first season. However, the order was cancelled by Amazon on 5 January 2015.

A spokesman for Amazon told Variety: “We have decided to not move forward with The After. We would like to thank Chris Carter, the phenomenal cast, crew and producers for all their efforts.”

Previously announced…

 

Posted in Post-apocalyptic, Survivors, TV series | 2 Comments »

Cast and crew Tweet about the idea of a third series of the Survivors TV remake

Posted by Rich Cross on July 20, 2014

In response to a YouTube video Tweet from fan Steve Smallwood [ https://twitter.com/stebullmiester ], Survivors (2008-2010) cast members Phillip Rhys (Al Sadiq), Julie Graham (Abby Grant), Robyn Addison (Sarah Bowyer), Max Beesley (Tom Price), Zoe Tapper (Anya Raczynski) and locations manager Andy Morgan briefly discussed the enticing possibility (however remote, at present) of a return for the show for a third series.

 
Thanks to Adrian H for alerting the blog to this Twitter exchange

Updated 22 July 2014:

Updated 27 July 2014

Posted in Remake, Series three, Survivors | 4 Comments »

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 »

Original Survivors (1975-1977) – Big Finish to produce new audio dramas

Posted by Rich Cross on July 9, 2013

Audio-drama genre publishers Big Finish have reached agreement with the estate of creator Terry Nation to produce a new series of audio dramas based on the original Survivors (1975-1977). The first set of four dramas will be released (on CD and through download) in 2014, with a second series following in 2015.

For more details, see the full story on the Survivors: A World Away blog (which focuses on the original series, rather than the 2008-2010 remake).

Survivors (1975-1977) - Big Finish audio

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Dangerous Visions: dystopian documentaries and dramas on BBC Radio 4

Posted by Rich Cross on June 17, 2013

A series of documentaries and dramas focused on the theme of ‘dystopia’ feature in the Dangerous Visions season on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra (15-23 June). Post-apocalyptic settings occur throughout this exploration of the wider dystopian genre. All of the programmes in the series will be available (to UK listeners) through the BBC iPlayer service (for a limited period).

Dangerous Visions is a season of dramas that explore contemporary takes on future dystopias.

Radio 4’s Dangerous Visions is a season of dramas that explore contemporary takes on future dystopias. Dramatisations of Ballard’s seminal works, Drowned World and Concrete Island, straddle the season, and we have asked five leading radio writers – Nick Perry, Ed Harris, Michael Symmonds Roberts, Michael Butt and Philip Palmer – to imagine what life might be like in the near future if everything goes wrong.

Their Dangerous Visions form the bedrock of the series: clever, imaginative and disturbing takes on just what might happen.

What happens if sleep is outlawed? If cloning becomes a matter of course, and your loved ones are capable of being cloned? If North London declares UDI on South London, which has become a wasteland? If human sacrifice becomes a part of society?

We are also running a 5 part dramatisation of Jane Roger’s award winning terrifying novel The Testament of Jessie Lamb, dramatised by the author.

Dangerous Visions – you will be disturbed as you see the present reflected in the glass of an uneasy future.

‘About Dangerous Visions’, BBC Radio 4, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b02v1q2n/features/about.

Dangerous Visions - BBC Radio 4 - June 2013

Dangerous Visions – BBC Radio 4 – June 2013

Posted in Survivors | Leave a Comment »

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!

 



 

Posted in Broadcast, Survivors | Leave a Comment »

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.
 

Posted in Broadcast, Survivors, Transmission | Leave a Comment »

SuperTechBlog claims ‘exclusive’: Netflix said to be in talks to bring Survivors back

Posted by Rich Cross on February 5, 2013

Writing on the SuperTechBlog site (18 January 2013), Colton Kaiser claims an ‘exclusive’, reporting that the streaming online film and TV company Netflix is in active talks with the BBC about commissioning a new, third series of Survivors.

Kaiser provides no evidence for the claim other than that an “inside source familiar with the matter” has revealed to the site that the BBC and NetFlix have “initiated talks to bring back British post-apocalyptic TV series Survivors.”

He goes on to suggest that, having optioned the rights to stream the first two series of the show, Netflix noticed “a ‘surprising number of views’ in the first few months of being available.”

Kaiser does conclude: “Of course, there’s no guarantee that these talks will result in a revival of the show.”

In recent months, Netflix has begun to commission both new and returning episodic dramas, which will by-pass international TV networks entirely and be made exclusively available throughthe web-based Netflix service. The first original drama series to be commissioned by the company was House of Cards, a dark political drama produced by David Fincher. Netflix has since announced a slate of new commissions, including a new series of the previously-cancelled comedy Arrested Development. Some reports suggests that Netflix has already commissioned its first British drama, but confirmed details are scarce.

Although the speculation is intriguing, What the report on SuperTechBlog omits entirely is that the BBC are not the only party with which Netflix would need to agree terms. As lead scriptwriter, producer and Survivors showrunner Adrian Hodges would hold rights in a number of the characters, characterisations and storylines any new series would need to pick up. More fundamentally, any new commission by a third party would require a fresh negotiation with the estate of Terry Nation to licence the right to use the original characters and premise.

However, the speculation is itself interesting – and this blog will continue to follow the story closely as either it evolves, peters out or is proven to be completely mistaken.

In the meantime, if you come across any confirmation or refutation of any part of the story, please get in touch via the Contact form or leave a Comment on this post.

Posted in Press coverage, Series three, Survivors | 19 Comments »

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 »

Channel 4’s ‘Fresh Meat’ revisits series one Survivors location

Posted by Rich Cross on November 3, 2012

The fourth episode of the second series of Channel 4 sitcom Fresh Meat (first shown on 30 October 2012) makes extensive use of the Peover Hall location used in the fourth episode of series one of Survivors.

In Survivors, Peover Hall provides the location for Jimmy Garland’s family home (from which he is temporarily evicted by a gang of young squatters). In Fresh Meat, Peover Hall is the setting for a ‘weekend freakout’ for the student housemates at JP’s ‘big country house’ (which his widow mother has – unknown to JP – already sold).

The episode can currently be viewed online through on the 4OD service.

Peover Hall exterior - Survivors S1, Ep4

Peover Hall exterior – Survivors S1, Ep4

Peover Hall - Fresh Meat - S2, Ep 4

Peover Hall – Fresh Meat – S2, Ep 4

Peover Hall, interior - Survivors - S1, Ep 4

Peover Hall, interior – Survivors – S1, Ep 4

Peover Hall interior, Fresh Meat, S2, Ep 4

Peover Hall interior, Fresh Meat, S2, Ep 4

Peover Hall interior, Survivors S1, Ep 4

Peover Hall interior, Survivors S1, Ep 4

Peover Hall interior, Fresh Meat, S2 Ep 4

Peover Hall interior, Fresh Meat, S2 Ep 4

Thanks to Adrian H for alerting the blog to this

Posted in Filming locations, Survivors | Leave a Comment »

Birmingham – series two – episode two locations

Posted by Rich Cross on October 2, 2012

A recent work visit to Birmingham took me within a few hundred yards of series two Survivors filming locations around Edmund Street, in Birmingham city centre, and the multi-story car-park at its far end (seen in the first two episodes). I had a few minutes before catching the train home to snap the following (click on each thumbnail for a far larger version):

The roof of the multi-story car park where Najid keeps his vigil for Abby
The roof of the multi-story car park where Najid keeps his vigil for Abby

The car park roof from which Najid hangs his 'Abby' banner
The car park roof from which Najid hangs his ‘Abby’ banner

The view down Edmund Street from the multi-story car park from which Najid spots Abby's return
The view down Edmund Street from the multi-story car park from which Najid spots Abby’s return

The junction of Edmund Street and Church Street - where Abby and the Family are reunited
The junction of Edmund Street and Church Street – where Abby and the Family are reunited

Posted in Filming locations, Survivors | Leave a Comment »

BBC’s ‘Line of Duty’ revisits ‘Survivors’ Birmingham location

Posted by Rich Cross on September 22, 2012

(I’m late noticing this one but…) recent BBC Two police thriller Line of Duty (starring Lennie James – Jericho, The Walking Dead) filmed several sequences in the old Fire Station, on Lancaster Circus in the city-centre of Birmingham – a filming location used extensively in the second episode of series two of Survivors.

In Survivors, the old Fire Station provides the base where the recuperating Greg and Najid rest-up while the rest of the family hunt for Abby (and where the pair come under siege from the group determined to take back the supplies which the expelled Tom stole from them). In Line of Duty the abandoned facility becomes the setting for a series of violent confrontations between detective Tony Gates (James), undercover police investigator Steve Arnott and the vicious gang with which Gates has become ensnared.

 Line of Duty - The old Fire Station, central Birmingham

Line of Duty – The old Fire Station, central Birmingham

The old Fire Station - Survivors S2, E2

Survivors S2, E2 – The old Fire Station, central Birmingham

Brief extracts of Line of Duty episode four (‘Cover Blow’) and episode five (‘Divided Loyalties’), featuring the old Fire Station location, can be viewed online (in the UK).

A gallery of photos of the disused and derelict building is available on the ClioSport forum.

Posted in Filming locations, Survivors | 2 Comments »

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 »

BBC HD Survivors repeat – series two

Posted by Rich Cross on February 27, 2012

A repeat of series two of Survivors begins on the BBC HD channel at 22:00 on 28 February, following the conclusion of the series one repeat. This will be the first repeat of series two on the BBC HD channel since January 2010.

Survivors series two - BBC HD - February 2012

Survivors series two - BBC HD - February 2012

Posted in Series two, Survivors | 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 »

Original series Survivors actors at Memorabilia, Birmingham 19-20 November 2011

Posted by Rich Cross on November 20, 2011

A number of actors from the original Survivors (1975-1977) appeared at the Memorabilia event in Birmingham on 19-20 November.

Those scheduled to appear were:

* Ian McCulloch (Greg Preston, S1-S3)
* Myra Frances (Anne Tranter, S1)
* James Cosmo (Lenny Carter, The Chosen, S2)
* Roger Lloyd Pack (Wally, Lights of London S2)
* Philip Madoc (Max Kershaw, The Chosen, S2)

Roger Lloyd Pack is unique is being the only actor from the original series of Survivors to appear in the revival of the series. Lloyd Pack appeared as villainous truck driver Billy Stringer in episodes three and four of series two of the new Survivors.

No specific Survivors panel or event had been arranged, and the appearance of such a large number of Survivors alumni (all of whom have a large number of other genre credentials to their name) seems to have been entirely co-incidental.

Posted in Cast interviews, Remake, Survivors | 2 Comments »

George Baker (Arthur Wormley, original Surivors) dies aged 80

Posted by Rich Cross on October 9, 2011

British actor George Baker (who memorably played the guest-starring role of union president Arthur Wormley in Genesis, the second episode of the original Survivors) has died aged 80 after a short illness (7 October 2011).

Baker enjoyed a long and varied career on the big and small screen, and in the latter part of his career became best known for playing the lead role in the Ruth Rendell Inspector Wexford detective series.

Genesis was written by series creator Terry Nation, and the character of Wormley appears in the 1976 Survivors novel which Nation also wrote. In the 2008-10 remake of Survivors (developed from Nation’s novel) the character of Wormley was reinvented in the guise of junior government minister Samantha Willis (played by Nikki-Amuka Bird) who appeared as a recurring character in both series.

Obituaries for Baker appear in The Guardian and other newspapers, and on the BBC News site.

Posted in Remake, Survivors, Terry Nation | 1 Comment »

 
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