Survivors Season One
Starring Ian McCulloch, Carolyn Seymour, Lucy Fleming, Talfryn Thomas
Created by Terry Nation
Region 2 DVD Boxed Set
The story begins with a montage in the opening credits: A scientist drops a glass vial, which breaks when it hits the floor. The scientist is then seen in various airports throughout the world. And so begins this story by the man who gave us both the Daleks and Blake’s 7
This is the basic premise of Survivors – a disease spread across the globe because of our propensity for air travel. Sounds like it might have something to do with the recent SARS scare. But it’s not. Survivors first aired in 1975.
As the series develops, we follow a group of plague survivors and their struggle to stay alive in a society that has all but crumbled into dust. The strengths of this series are obvious from the outset – good, thought-provoking scripts and well developed characters. Heavy on dialogue but light on action might not be palatable to a generation brought up on whiz-bang CGI, but give it a chance and it certainly makes you think. Spread across thirteen 50 minute episodes, twelve are very good and one is absolutely outstanding (episode 9 – Law And Order).
The down-points are a poor quality transfer to DVD – particularly in low light shots.
In saying that, still quite watchable. It is also relatively expensive for a 4 disc set nowadays but that is more than off-set by the sheer quality of the story. Quite frankly, this is the kind of thing that the BBC excels at. I just wish they would give up with much of the mind-numbing nonsense (with some obvious exceptions like Doc Who)they have produced in recent years and get back to making quality TV like Survivors.
A small fascinating fact: Lucy Fleming just happens to be the niece of Ian Fleming – creator of James Bond.