Survivors – latest posts

Zoë Tapper reflects on the Survivors remake – and her enthusiasm for another series

Zoe Tapper - star of Survivors and The One

IN CONVERSATION WITH Starburst magazine, to promote her extremely well-received new Netflix series The One, Zoë Tapper (Anya Raczynski, Survivors) reveals how keen she and her fellow cast members would have been to make another series of the post-apocalyptic drama.

In an interview posted on the Starburst YouTube channel on 24 March 2021, Tapper also reveals that Survivors cast members remain in regular contact, discusses how much she enjoyed working on the series, and considers how prescient the 2008-2010 series of Survivors was about the disruptive potential of an out-of-control global virus .

Tapper confirms that the abrupt cancellation of Survivors back in 2010 was “incredibly frustrating.” Cast and crew “were all set up… at the end of series two to do another series,” she explains. “It was left on a huge cliffhanger. And then, for whatever reason it was, and I don’t think I ever really knew, it just wasn’t recommissioned.”

Reflecting that the series’ storylines were “incredibly hard-hitting”, she acknowledges that Survivors “was a brave show, and I think it was fascinating.” Making Survivors was also a pivotal experience for the cast. “I’m still incredibly close to all of the actors who were on that show,” Tapper says. “There was something about it that we all really responded [to].”

Fans’ enthusiasm

She acknowledges too it was understandable that fans of the original Survivors might have had reservations about any remake. When a ‘reimagining’ of a cherished show is announced, “it’s always a bit worrying, isn’t it?” she admits. “Because you don’t want it to tarnish memories of the first one.”

But even though the show was cancelled more than ten years ago, fans continue to contact Tapper. “To this day, I still get people writing to me saying ‘We love Survivors’ and ‘do you think it might come back even after all this time?'”

Reflecting on Survivors in 2021 is something that’s inevitably influenced by the real-world experience of the Covid pandemic. “In a weird way, of course… it was strangely prescient,” she says, “when you think about the world we’re existing in now.”

“When we were filming… there was the Swine Flu outbreak. And I remember that being quite eerie at the time… and… it feeling scary,” Tapper recalls. “But, goodness me, yes, looking back now, and with what we’ve all just been through, it [Survivors] really was quite [a] terrifying [idea].”

As to the idea of bringing Survivors back, Tapper wonders if, in a Covid-embattled world, “it’s perhaps a bit too close to the bone?”

Survivors return

But she does not discount the idea of returning to Survivors entirely, especially given the show’s resilient reputation more than a decade on from its original transmission. Survivors profile has been enhanced over the years not by repeats on the BBC but by the show’s distribution on other platforms.

“I knew it was popular on Netflix,” she agrees – a streaming platform that played a key role in the series finding a new international audience many years on from its cancellation.

She’d be particularly intrigued by the idea of returning to the storyline of Survivors many years on to find out “what the characters are up to now, and how the world has moved on from where we left it.” That would be “quite an interesting thing to explore,” she suggests. “But who knows? Someone might make it.”

Tapper’s closing thought on the potential of a third series of Survivors? “Let’s put that out to the universe!” she beams. “Let’s hope someone jumps on that. That would be great.”

SFX reflects on the Survivors remake with cast and crew

Steve O'Brien. 2020. 'Survivors unseen', SFX, No 329, August, pp.60-65.

IN THE AUGUST edition of SFX magazine, showrunner Adrian Hodges – together with three members of his cast – reflect of the experience of the bringing a remake of Survivors to BBC screens back in 2008.

Julie Graham (who played Abby Grant), Robyn Addison (Sarah Bowyer) and Paterson Joseph (Greg Preston) each provide personal reflections of their work on the series, and consider how it feels to look back on the show ten years after production wrapped.

Perhaps the most intruiging aspect of the six-page feature are those points in which Hodges discusses his view of the show’s cancellation after two series and his plans for the show for series three and beyond.

He concedes that Survivors did not secure the kind of viewing figures that would have convinced BBC executives to recommission the show for a third series. He also suggests that a change of personnel within senior roles at the BBC impacted negatively on the series’ reputation, as the show was seen as a product of the departing regime.

Hodges also reveals how the stories of Tom Price (last seen, injured, in the hold of an airplane heading for the sanctuary) would have evolved on screen, and how Price’s story would again intersect with the lives of other survivors in the UK, including Greg, Abby and Peter Grant.

The material that author Steve O’Brien put together during his research for this article also formed the basis for his short feature in The Guardian published back in May.

Steve O’Brien. 2020. ‘Survivors unseen’, SFX, No 329, August, pp.60-65.

Creator Adrian Hodges reflects on Survivors remake in the context of a present-day real-world pandemic

IN AN ARTICLE IN the Guardian (UK), Adrian Hodges – the creator and lead writer on the BBC remake of Survivors – discusses how it feels to reflect on his 2008-2010 show in the context of a modern-day, real-world pandemic.

Hodges acknowledges that, even ten years on, the cancellation of Survivors “breaks my heart.” For him, Survivors remains “a show I’m very proud of.”

In 2020, “I couldn’t watch that first season again. It’s too harrowing,” he reveals to journalist Steve O’Brien. “It’s so close to what we’re going through now.”

Suggesting that, in reimagining the show, Hodges “revved up the pace, amped up the action and looked closely at the origins of the disease, something the original series had never done”, O’Brien suggests that the show’s “uncommonly gloomy” atmosphere led to a haemorrhaging of viewers in what remained a key post-9pm BBC One slot. It was that which sealed the show’s fate. “It was a very grim story at a time, in the aftermath of the economic meltdown, when people wanted something happier,” Hodges muses.

Interestingly, Hodges concedes that the new Survivors “was just never naturally a BBC show.” Were it being commissioned today, “it would be on Netflix or Showtime.” He mentions too that there were suggestions that a third series of the show could potentially have found a home on one of those new networks, especially as Survivors attracted decent numbers of additional viewers on these streaming platforms. “That wonderful sci-fi audience was really coming out in numbers to watch it,” Hodges says, “but, sadly, talk of reviving it never came to anything.”

He reveals that the third series of the show would have focused on “the clash between lifestyles”, posing the question: “what kind of society would you want to live in if you had the chance to start again?”

Hodges is not greatly surprised that the remake of Survivors has not been picked up for inclusion in the current list of ‘lockdown’ boxsets on the BBC iPlayer service. “I think there’ll be a time and a place for them to show it again,” he suggests, “but perhaps not during this particular crisis”.

Adrian Hodges discusses Survivors in The Guardian - 26 May 2020

Steve O’Brien. 2020. “‘I couldn’t watch it now’: Survivors was the pandemic drama years ahead of its time”, Guardian, 26 May.

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

Survivors - series two - episode six - will Peter Grant be reunited with his mother?

THE SIXTH AND final episode of the second and last series of the BBC’s remake of Survivors was broadcast ten years ago today, on 23 February 2010.

The closing episode brings a dramatic conclusion to the story of Abby’s efforts to reunite with her son Peter. It also delivers a shocking revelation of the full extent of the conspiracy the scientists, and those behind them, are involved with.

While Tom Price tries to compel Whitaker to tell the family the truth about the scientists’ mission and Peter’s whereabouts, a grieving Al agrees to be a test subject for a new vaccine that his colleague Fiona Douglas has developed. When Al survives, all the evidence suggests that the scientists’ efforts have been successful. After Whitaker and Douglas flee to a rendevous with Landry at the airport, the hunt to find Peter intensifies. Alone and scared, Peter shoots Douglas dead and injures Price. On the tarmac of the runway, a showdown unfolds between Landry and his henchmen and the family. Whitaker is killed by Landry’s sniper, before Price in turn kills the assassin. A tense exchange is agreed and, in return for supplies of the new vaccine, Peter Grant is finally reunited with his mother. After Landry’s plane takes to the air, it is revealed that Price, armed with an automatic weapon, has sneaked aboard as a stowaway…

In the week that it was first broadcast, this site judged the episode:

A fast-paced and dramatic series finale which provides some satisfying payoffs to some long-established story arcs and brings the family to the point of a possible new beginning.

Confirmation of the show’s cancellation came a few weeks after the transmission of this final episode, in mid-April 2010. The BBC reported that the corporation remained: ‘committed to making a broad range of varied and ambitious drama, but in order to achieve this we do have to move on from some pieces in order to allow new work to come through. After two series Survivors will not be returning.’

Survivors - series two - episode six - Abby hopes to be reunited with Peter at the airport

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

Survivors - series two - episode five - will the group escape the threat of the new virus?

THE FIFTH AND penultimate episode of the second series of the remake of Survivors was broadcast ten years ago today, on 16 February 2010.

Episode five saw Abby’s group of survivors rocked to the core as one of their number falls victim to a deadly new mutation of the plague virus. Just after she and Al have struck up a loving relationship, Sarah contracts a deadly strain of the evolving virus. When Greg and Abby return to the settlement their group is visiting, Sarah has accepted her fate and bides her time in a self-imposed quarantine that is keeping the rest of the family safe. Abby and Greg have followed a lead to a small airport, where they find a deranged solitary survivor waiting for an evacuation flight that will never come. After Sarah succumbs to the infection, Abby turns the farmhouse into a cleansing funeral pyre, and rallies the group to return to the laboratory. However unpalatable it made be, the threat that the new virus poses compels them to aid the search for a vaccine, whatever the risks. Arriving at the site, they find the place empty and abandoned – until Abby spots Peter in Whitaker’s clutches on a CCTV monitor…

This episode succeeds both as a psychologically harrowing story of sacrifice and loss and as a brilliant set-up for the stand-off and showdown that followed a week later in the last ever episode of the series.

The week the episode was transmitted in 2010, this site said:

An emotionally hard-hiting episode which scales back on the action and adventure elements to provide a poignant and affecting exit for Sarah, before setting in motion the events that will culminate in a powerful series’ finale.

Survivors - two - episode five - Abby and Greg

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

Survivors - series two - episode four - Greg and Tom

THE FOURTH OF the six episodes of the second series of the reimagined Survivors was shown on BBC One ten years ago today on 9 February 2010.

The episode focused on the slave-mining empire lorded over by the merciless Smithson. While he enjoys a pampered life in his country estate, his army of bonded labour (Tom and Greg amongst them) toil away below ground. With little machinery to help them, they must extract coal by backbreaking physical effort. When Abby’s and Anya’s efforts at subterfuge fail, more of the group are enslaved in the mine. After Tom escapes, and saves Greg from execution, the miners rise up in savage rebellion and overthow their oppressors. As Abby’s freed and reunited group count the costs of Smithson cruelty, elsewhere lorry-driver Stringer encounters a young boy by the name of Peter Grant.

In the week that the episode was first broadcast, this blog heralded:

An engrossing and tension-wracked episode that delivers the goods on so many different fronts, and offers some fascinating moral conundrums alongside the action and dramatic shocks.

Survivors - series two - episode four - Al, Anya and Abby

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

Survivors - 2010 - series two - episode three

THE SECOND SERIES of the BBC’s remake of Terry Nation’s Survivors reached its half-way point ten years ago today with the broadcast of the third episode.

With its focus on the detention and prosecution of Tom Price by Samantha Willis’ brutal new regime, this episode was the show’s courtroom, prison and jailbreak story. This was an installment in which the series’ wider story arcs – the scientists hunt for Abby; and Abby’s search for Peter – were pushed into the background to allow more of a standalone story centered on the themes of crime, justice, punishment and redemption.

It was also the episode which saw the first appearance of Roger Lloyd-Pack in the role of the apparently-benign truck driver and trader Billy Stringer. Lloyd-Pack was the only actor to appear in the original Survivors (1975-1977) and in the remake (2008-2010). In the second series of the original Survivors he took on the role of the young rebel Wally, who is exiled from the 500-strong London community for voicing discontent with the authoritarian rule of its dictatorial boss Manny, in the two-parter Lights of London.

Just after the third episode of the remake premiered on BBC One at 21:00 on 2 February 2010, this site commended the episode for delivering:

A whole series of plot twists; some major surprises affecting the futures of several characters; and a brutal fight to the death [that] make for some powerful viewing, while the conspiracy elements of Survivors are put on hold for an episode.

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

Survivors - series two - episode two

FOLLOWING THE TWO week gap after the transmission of the series’ opening instalment, the second episode of series two of Survivors was broadcast at 21:00 on 26 January 2010, ten years ago today.

Episode two brings to an end Abby Grant’s group’s journey into inner-city Birmingham. That trip began in the closing episode of series one as Abby and her associates set of in pursuit of Najid – who has fled their settlement. In this latest episode, separate storylines explore how Tom and Najid independently become entangled with a local gang of scavengers – Tom robs them, while Najid befriends the gang’s youngest member; how Abby is able to escape confinement in the scientists’ laboratory; and how the entire group is eventually reunited.

Back in 2010, the detailed review of the epsiode in the World’s Apart guidebook said of this intelligent action-and-adventure story:

By the end of episode two the group are together again, but Abby remains a marked figure (as she herself suggests in her distress), and tensions and strained relationships within the family are more exposed than ever. Their position remains extremely grim – they are still homeless, without resources and hunted by both Willis and Whitaker. With Survivors consisting of just six episodes per series, it is inevitable that dramatic developments are sometimes truncated. But Hodges’s two episode sojourn in the city, culminating in Abby’s return, feels neither rushed nor overly contrived…

The thoughtful elements of episode two also dispensed with any concerns that series two of Survivors might neglect the insightful in favour of the straightforwardly visceral. With the family of fugitives now forced on the run once more, it is time to leave the city behind and begin exploring the realities of post-plague Britain in earnest.

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

Survivors - series two - episode one

THE FIRST EPISODE of the eagerly-anticipated second series of the BBC’s remake of Survivors premiered on BBC One at 21:00 12 January 2010 – ten years ago today.

The episode rejoined the action moments on from the shocking cliffhanger of the finale of the first series. Now kidnapped and taken to the laboratory, Abby learns from Whitaker that he believes that she is unique: a survivor whose antibodies may hold the key to a vaccine. As the remainder of the team try to find the supplies that can save the life of the injured Greg, a series of disasters threatens them all. As Abby faces the bleakest of futures, a recovering Greg expels Tom from the group’s ranks. As the episode concludes, the fate of all of these survivors is hanging by a thread.

At the time of transmission, this site said of the episode:

Survivors creator Adrian Hodges delivers on his promise to crank up both the tempo and the action-adventure components of his storytelling. Aside from the exchanges in the rubble between the trapped Anya and Al, episode one provides a series of relentless dramatic set-pieces neatly intertwined with a whole number of revelations about characters, their back-stories and the motivations.

Back in 2010, viewers had to wait two weeks for the transmission of the second episode of Survivors‘ second series, as the broadcast was held over for a week to make way for a rescheduled Carling Cup football match.

Survivors remake series one finale was broadcast ten years ago this week

Survivors - series one - episode six - 2008 - Abby's group

THE SIXTH AND final episode of the first series of the BBC’s remake of Survivors was screened for this first time ten years ago, premiering on BBC One at 21:00 on December 23 2008.

The episode begins with the unwelcome arrival of Samantha Willis and her enforcers (including the repugnant Dexter) at Abby’s settlement. When Anya’s hidden medical skills are revealed by Sarah, Anya is seized by Willis’ men: a decision which leads to a mission to release her and the to Tom killing Willis’ henchman Gavin. As the group flee Willis’ wrath, a disgruntled Najid runs off to Manchester. As Abby and her compatriots follow, they discover that Gavin has tracked them and is out for bloody revenge, and that a snatch squad for the sequestered scientists is closing in on Abby. As the story ends, Abby is taken prisoner, Greg is shot and badly injured, with all the plans of the now separated and divided group in chaos.

It was a dramatic cliffhanger and a powerful sign-off, providing a powerful springboard for a second series. One day before its transmission the BBC confirmed that Survivors had been renewed for a second series.

Survivors remake episode five series one was broadcast ten years ago

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…

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

New Scandinavian post-apocalyptic series The Rain comes to Netflix

The Rain - poster two - Netflix 2018

NEW SCANDINAVIAN POST-APOCALYPTIC drama The Rain has just launched on the subscription-based Netflix platform.

The Rain is set six years after a brutal virus wipes out most of Scandinavia’s population, and follows two siblings who emerge from their bunker sanctuary to join a band of young survivors seeking safety and answers in a ruined and almost empty world.

This Netflix original YA (young adult) drama is filmed in its native Danish language, and made available with subtitles – including English language subtitles. The eight episode first season was filmed at locations in Denmark and Sweden, with production commencing in June 2017.

Early episodes of the show have been reviewed in The Guardian, on the Digital Spy site, on the Vulture site, by The Express newspaper, on the IndieWire site, and by many others.

Set free from their collective past and societal rules the group has the freedom to be who they want to be. In their struggle for survival, they discover that even in a post-apocalyptic world there’s still love, jealousy, coming of age, and many of the problems they thought they’d left behind with the disappearance of the world they once knew.

Who will you be when the rain comes?

The Rain is the first Danish original series for Netflix and launches in Spring 2018.

The Rain is created by Jannik Tai Mosholt (Borgen, Rita, Follow the Money), Esben Toft Jacobsen (The Great Bear, Beyond Beyond) and Christian Potalivo (Dicte, The New Tenants, Long Story Short) and stars Alba August (Reliance, Jordskott and Unga Astrid), Mikkel Boe Følsgaard (A Royal Affair, The Legacy), Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen (Tidsrejen, Department Q: The Keeper of Lost Causes), Lars Simonsen (The Bridge, Brotherhood), Iben Hjejle (Dicte, High Fidelity), Angela Bundalovic (Dark Horse, Blood Sisters), Sonny Lindberg (The Legacy, Anti), Jessica Dinnage (The Guilty, The Man), Lukas Løkken (One-Two-Three Now!) and Johannes Kuhnke (Force Majeure).

The Rain, series one. Netflix 2018. Rated 15.

The Rain - poster one - Netflix 2018

Post-apocalyptic TV round-up – January 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.

Julie Graham (Abby Grant) returns to world of Survivors – in original series audio

Julie Graham (Abby Grant, 2008-2010) will return to the world of Survivors later this year when she guest-stars in series six of new Survivors audio adventures (set in the time and place of the original 1970s’ BBC TV series) being released by Big Finish.

Graham features in the sixth series episode “Revenge of Heaven”, one of four standalone stories within the timeline of the third original BBC TV series, playing the character of Katherine Tanner. Graham’s episode focuses on the trip undertaken by Greg Preston (played by Ian McCulloch) to Norway in the hope of bringing hydroelectric power stations back on line and encouraging a new era of trade and federation between the two countries. Series six will be released in June 2017, and is available for pre-order (in both CD and download formats) on the Big Finish site.

Julie Graham is the second cast member from the 2008-2010 remake of Survivors to appear in the Big Finish Survivors audio stories. Zoë Tapper (Anya Raczynski) appeared in series four and series five of the Survivors audio adventures playing the role of former junior civil servant Evelyn Piper.

Five series of Survivors audio adventures have already been released by Big Finish (all of which are available to buy on the Big Finish site), along with a complete audio-book version of the 1976 Survivors novel (which provided the inspiration for the BBC’s 2008-2010 remake of the series). The company has committed to releasing (at least) nine series of original Survivors audios.

Read reviews of every episode released so far across all five series and check out interviews with cast and crew members.

Julie Graham joins the cast of series six of Survivors audios

Post-apocalyptic TV round-up – July 2016

Containment - promo


The first of episode of new virus-outbreak drama Containment has its UK premiere on E4 tonight (13 July 2016) at 21:00 (and thereafter on all4 catch-up services).

Described as a “tense US drama exploring what happens when a mysterious and deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, Georgia, and a quarantine covering a vast urban area is quickly enforced”, Containment is an American TV remake of the Belgium television mini-series Cordon (which was shown on BBC Four in 2015).

The twelve-episode series is in mid-season in the US, but makers the CW network confirmed in May 2016 that it would not be renewing the show for a second series. It has not yet been confirmed if the current (and now only) run concludes with an unresolved cliff-hanger, or whether the show provides a degree of resolution in its final episode

The Last Ship

Season three of post-apocalyptic US Navy drama The Last Ship begins screening in the UK on Sky One on 17 July 2016 at 20:00. The series continues to following the efforts of the captain and crew of the USS Nathan James to restore civilisation and discover a vaccine that can protect the remaining survivors of a pandemic. Transmission of the opening episode of the third series in the US was scheduled for 12 June, but was delayed for a week, due to the inclusion of a shooting scene in a nightclub (the Orlando nightclub shooting outrage occurred earlier the same day).

The Last Ship - season three

The Last Man on Earth

Acerbic post-apocalyptic comedy The Last Man on Earth was renewed for a third season in March 2016. Transmission of series three begins in the US on 25 September 2016. No UK transmission date has yet been announced; but series one and two were shown on cable channel Dave.

The Walking Dead

Season seven of the the hugely successful zombie post-apocalyptic serial The Walking Dead will broadcast in the UK in the autumn of 2016 (taking its now traditional mid-season break part way through the run, and returning in the spring of 2017). The show is continuing to expand its reach into new areas of the entertainment industry, and may be the first post-apocalyptic TV show ever to secure its own theme-park ‘ride’. ‘The Walking Dead Attraction‘ is now open at the Universal Studios Hollywood site, and is a ‘walk-through experience’ (visitors travel on-foot through an extensive ‘set’, encountering zombies and other threats as they progress). A brief video promo gives a hint of what’s in store for visitors.

Fear the Walking Dead

In the UK, series two of spin-off show Fear the Walking Dead is broadcast on the AMC channel, only available to BT TV customers; but is also available on paid-for streaming video services. After a mid-season break, the remaining episodes of series two begin transmission on AMC (in the UK) on 22 August 2016. In April 2016, AMC confirmed that it had commissioned a third series of Fear the Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead – season six – returns in UK on 15 February 2016

The second part of season six of zombie post-apocalyptic series The Walking Dead returns to UK TV screens on the Fox channel at 21:00 on Monday 15 February 2016 (one day after its premiere in the US).

AMC have released a teaser video of the first four minutes of new episode “No Way Out”, which has been picked up on a number of YouTube channels, including Entertainment TV-ONE [since withdrawn], and reported in UK newspaper The Independent.