Survivors – The Complete Collection
Terry Nation’s BBC drama series Survivors, was one of the most popular TV shows of the 70s. Set in a plague ravaged, post-apocalyptic world a handful of survivors band together to try and cope in a world stripped of all the modern technology and comforts that they were used to.
Of the three seasons that make up the collection, I’ve only watched the first – and what a stunner – if It wasn’t for my wife going into hospital, we’d be straight onto the second season. As it is, we’ll have to wait a week or so to find out what happens next.
Being a television show from the mid seventies, Survivors does suffer from a number of expected problems. The most notable of these is the audio and visual quality, next comes the wardrobe and finally the acting. These were all factors that I was expecting and therefore ready to overcome. What I was really expecting was the exceptionally well crafted and throughout storyline. Rather than stifling the occasional outburst of laughter, I found myself riveted to the story. Oh sure, the beginning of the first episode was little melodramatic, and all the bad acting and other blights from the 1970’s technology were staring me down like a gunslinger at high noon. But once the show got into it’s groove and it became about survival rather that the story of the outbreak, things became interesting.
The acting, visual quality, and 1970’s worldview took a back seat to a story that seemed to transcend the decades that have gone since it was first conceived and delivered a story that was as fresh and relevant as anything you might find on today’s TV channels.
There are of course the clichés and obvious plot outcomes, but none of this matters as Terry Nation and his writing team put together a group of hopelessly different characters and banded them through necessity, enduring their plight to the viewer, forcing us to empathise and relate to them, keeping us hanging on to their every move, there constant peril and making us hope for their survival as if our own depended on it.
With out the flash visual of modern shows, Survivors has to rely on story alone, and it’s the story that keeps you coming back for more.
I know that as soon as my wife is out of hospital, we’ll be ready for the next two seasons.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Rating: [PG] Contains low level violence
Release date: November 12th, 2009
Stars: Carolyn Seymour, Ian McCulloch, Lucy Fleming
Length (Minutes): 1915
Aspect Ratio: 1.33 : 1
Studio: Madman Television