Monday, June 30, 2008


Not Survivor the reality show. Not Survivor the 80's rock band.


Survivors was a low-tek Sci Fi show broadcast by the BBC in the mid 70’s. It ran for 3 seasons, or series, as they refer to them. It starred one of my favorite actresses, Carolyn Seymour, at least for a while. The show revolved around 3 characters, Abby Grant, Jenny Richards and Greg Preston. At the end of Series 2, Abby leaves to find her son Peter. Taking her place is Charles Vaughan, who was featured in an episode of Series 1. Greg leaves at the end of Season 2. You didn’t want to get too attached to any one character.

The setting is present day (mid-1970s) England. The only clue to the flash point is seen in the opening credits, where we see a Chinese scientist dropping a flask of liquid. From there, we see planes taking off and landing while the background shows his passport being stamped at various major metropolitan airports throughout the world. We then see people collapsing to the ground wherever he goes. In a very short period of time, 95% of the world’s population is dead.

The show opens with Abby at her home, playing tennis. She gets a call from her son who is away at school. She is set to pick up her husband at the train station later in the day. Jenny is at her flat, contemplating staying home to care for her roommate, who has severe cold/flu symptoms. Jenny has a boyfriend who is a doctor at the local hospital. She is surprised to see it is overflowing with patients. Jenny wants her boyfriend to stop by and take a look at her roommate when he gets off work. He cautions her to leave town immediately. That this is more than just a cold or flu outbreak. The dead will soon outnumber the living and reports are that this has broken out across the globe.

During this time, Abby meets her physician on the road and he tells her that he’d like to stop by in the evening to inoculate her and her husband. The phones and electricity go out. The doctor never shows and Abby begins to have severe cold/flu symptoms. When she awakens, it is some days later. She has survived and is now immune to the disease. She discovers, however, that while she slept, her husband passed away. She flees into the countryside. Eventually, she meets Jenny and after a while, they meet Greg.

The series deals with mankind surviving the death of 95% of its population and it often holds up a mirror to society as a whole. Our survivors deal with: militia, capital punishment, renewable resources, farming, politics and many other issues. They are tasked with rebuilding society. It’s an amazing series and there are rumors that it is being remade.

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