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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and gripping series.
I've never seen the 70s version, nor read the book, so this was very much new to me.

As a very basic outline, this series follows several survivors of a deadly virus; as things open we see them dealing with the crisis on an individual basis, but as their lives very quickly converge together they encounter a series of rather unpleasant events and increasingly...
Published on 28 Jun 2010 by Amazon Customer

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It Could Have Been So Much Better!
This remake is definitely not in the same league as the original BBC series. It's very much a precis of the original and as such lacks essential details regarding character and plot. I appreciate that thirty years separates the original from this remake - it could still have been so much better than this attempt at contemporizing Terry Nation's brilliant ideas about the...
Published 15 months ago by CraigG


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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and gripping series., 28 Jun 2010
This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I've never seen the 70s version, nor read the book, so this was very much new to me.

As a very basic outline, this series follows several survivors of a deadly virus; as things open we see them dealing with the crisis on an individual basis, but as their lives very quickly converge together they encounter a series of rather unpleasant events and increasingly sinister characters on the way. It's far more than just a sequence of events detailing survival though, as there are strong ongoing themes and the group has certain bonding issues. However, to detail them here would give the game away a bit too much...

It's interesting to read the other reviews as it confirms my thoughts that this was always going to polarise opinion in a big way. It would be hard to be indifferent about this series and I think all of the reviews, whether positive or negative, basically make fair comments. If that sounds like a contradiction, well, perhaps it is a little, but it's all relative to your point of view - personally I enjoyed both series from start to finish, but I can understand why others probably won't. If you can suspend disbelief in a big way (in a very big way in fact) then you'll enjoy this series a lot - it's well polished, the acting and direction is good (for the most part, though there are exceptions) and there is a lot of tension as individual episodes reach their climax. There's also a fair smattering of flame and explosions to keep you action fanatics happy. On the other hand, if you are looking for something that accurately depicts a community learning to live in a devastated world then you will be extremely disappointed as too many practical challenges are conveniently ignored.

I have to admit that I couldn't bring myself to award it five stars because, as other reviewers have mentioned, the politically correct casting was far too contrived (not the fault of the actors, but a consequence of where the characters have been placed); it's not as simple as race and gender either, it attempts this on other levels but I suspect that any half intelligent viewer will find this aspect more than a little patronising. Even someone as open minded as me was struggling to be generous on this point.

Otherwise though, I'm looking forward to the third series.

I've yet to try a repeated viewing, but my thoughts are that it will probably stand up well when you pick it up again in a couple of years or so. My only doubt is that maybe I should have held out for the Blu-Ray version!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It Could Have Been So Much Better!, 28 May 2013
By 
CraigG "CG" (Walsall, West Mids) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
This remake is definitely not in the same league as the original BBC series. It's very much a precis of the original and as such lacks essential details regarding character and plot. I appreciate that thirty years separates the original from this remake - it could still have been so much better than this attempt at contemporizing Terry Nation's brilliant ideas about the decimation of the human population by The Death. I am disappointed with this recent BBC attempt at post-apocalyptic Britain. I'll go back and watch the original!
I recently viewed the original BBC series, Survivors, from 1975-77 and thoroughly enjoyed this extremely good, character lead drama. Each episode was very well produced by Terence Dudley and based around a theme which all characters responded to in their own unique way, touching some very ethically difficult areas as they proceeded to a great finale. There was no grandiose Sci-Fi based around research scientists in high security bunkers, which plays a key role in the remake! Observing how people would realistically react to the end of the world on a day by day basis made the original series so much better.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Survivors Series 1 & 2, 24 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I originally watched the original Survivors bu Terry Nation on TV many years ago in 1975 and found it spellbinding. Years later I bought the complete box set and have since watched it all over agin twice. I watched the remake with Julie Graham when that came out and have recently bought the box set to watch again. The remake is not as good as the original series which is longer and to my mind better but it is still a good series that is well worth watching if your into "end of the world virus" scenarios
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fiona in Oz, 18 May 2010
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This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I had to go on line and purchase this series as our commercial televsion only showed season one late at night and as I now know in an abridged version. Liked the series when it was on TV enough to buy it. The DVD's are much better than the television version which cut a lot of relevant scenes. It was good to watch both season one and two together. There are only six episode in each season but gets through a lot of character development.
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4.0 out of 5 stars didnt survive to series 3, 9 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I do like this series and was gutted they didn't have a third series, WHY!!! the city when everyone was gone was done brilliantly. the characters where brill too and stories I have no idea why they axed it.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Survivors Series 1 -2, 6 Dec 2010
By 
David Rowland - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Last week when I was snowed in at home and couldn't go out I watched the 1970s "Survivors" Series 1-3 from beginning to end without a break except to sleep, eat and to do you know what so I was able to compare it to this 2008 version and for me it confirmed just how good the earlier version was in comparison to this one. Although now rather dated in its style and allowing for some episodes being better than others the 1970s version is more thoughtful and subtle and examined in a more considered and intelligent way the implications of a plague wiping out most of the human race forcing the survivors to become self sufficient, to learn old skills from bygone ages because modern technology was now useless and how radically different conditions lead to new types of relationships and communities being necessary in order that people could live, protect themselves, adapt and survive.

The 2008 "Survivors" is very much a product of the modern age - flashy, action packed and superficial with little time for anything cerebral and not exactly guaranteed to strain the brain too much but it is enjoyable and entertaining. The casting with its emphasis on a neatly balanced ethnic and social mix is rather artificial and some might call this politically correctness but I suppose this more accurately reflects the makeup of modern society. To me the 2008 "Survivors" is essentially a wasted opportunity and this is sad. It could have been and should have been so much better but it is well worth watching although there is nothing that stays in the memory like some of the scenes and characterisations in the 1970s version and I cannot imagine it having the same long standing appeal of the "old" survivors.
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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average BBC production, 24 Feb 2010
By 
Neil Fawcett (Marlow, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
This modern retelling of "Survivors" seems to suffer from lazy writing. Episode after episode expects huge leaps of faith from the viewers over and over again, with our characters behaving unrealistically, and worst of all, truly outlandish and unbelievable coincidences happening far too often.

The writers seem to overlook the true story to tell here, a world where most people have died and which is now slowly crumbling with all the infostructure gone. Instead they seem more concerned with introducing unecessary nemesis after unecessary nemesis for our survivors to overcome... The gem of the series goes to "evil coal mine owner" who captures fellow survivors in order to force them to mine coal. Here we see the true lengths the writers are willing to sink to in order to create yet another villain for the survivors to face. In reality every coal power station, every coal mine and coal depot would have huge mounds of coal, just lying there waiting to be taken, but instead the inept writers decide to ignore this obvious reality, in order to contrive another story.

Contrived plots, littered with outlandish coincidences, happens over and over and over such that it all becomes mushy, unbelievable and ultimately forgettable.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Survivors -series 1 and 2, 23 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I remember watching a few episodes of this when it first aired on bbc a few years ago, and thought I'd give it a go after finishing watching the walking dead and being in the mood for an apocalyptic style series. I have to say Im not disappointed one bit, great acting by both the deeper main characters and the one dimensional 'bit part' characters along with a great story line.

I would have given it the full 5*, but like so many good tv series it's cut short at the end of series 2, disappointing as i'd love to have seen this through a few more seasons.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars survivors dvd, 7 May 2012
This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
This series is a bit slow, meaning nothing major happens in each episode, and at the end of each episode the characters are back to square one. This slow going carrys on until the last episode of season 2, where there's a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, except the BBC isnt going to make a series three so you never know whats going to happen.
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak and pointless bodge job of Terry Nation's masterpiece, 3 Mar 2010
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Series 1: Weak, utterly pointless remake of classic EOTWAWKI drama (*)

I tend to dislike remakes with a passion. The ghastly spectres of The Wicker Man, The Ring, Rollerball, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and umpteen other pale copies spring to mind, all of which were 10th rate watered down and ultimately worthless when compared with the classic originals. So I approached this remake of Survivors - surely the most visceral end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it drama ever created, with a huge amount of trepidation. Well now, two episodes in, I feel qualified to comment on what they have done to Terry Nation's finest creation.

Initial impressions were that this remake was rather lightweight. Even the opening credits swapped the iconic vision of the scientist dropping the viral specimen to the haunting sound of that ominous Survivors theme music, for a very low-key intro.

Things improved somewhat, with the news reports of the spread of the "flu" and the people-getting-angry scenario building in reasonably convincing manner.

But then we get to know the characters...

Let's take Samantha Willis. She is hamstrung early on by a stilted and utterly unconvincing script. As a government minister and professional spin doctor she should not look continually baffled and give that little-girl-lost look when confronted by descriptions of the disease. Surely she knows what "compromised" means?? Next, I took an instant dislike to this new incarnation of Tom Price. Talfrin Thomas' welsh vagrant was a splendid creation, whereas the tough-man convict played by Max Beesley (clearly from the Vinnie Jones acting academy) comes over as stereotypical and downright dull. Was he added to be the one token working-class white male character? The Kuwaiti playboy is a loathsome character and the conversations he has with the impossibly polite muslim kid are utterly stilted. The new version of Abbey Grant is played by that frumpy woman with the funny lips from Bonekickers, who can do any expression as long as it's a perpetual grumpy pout. Paterson Joseph is probably the pick of the bunch as Greg, but there are signs of him hamming things up a bit already. Even the effects are poor. The pathetic CGI explosion at the petrol station would make fans of Blakes 7 snort in disbelief and someone should have told one of the corpses to hold their breath when the camera was on them!

Then of course we have the instant deaths - muslims at prayer being a particularly unbelievable example. So how come the roads aren't gridlocked with parked or crashed cars? Sorry but the whole premise of the disease just doesn't work in this version.

The second episode condenses several scenarios reasonably faithfully from the original series into its 60 minutes, but with all the scenarios and plot twists rushed to satisfy the attention-deficit generation, this feels like a sickly alcopop compared with the fine vintage malt of the original. Furthermore, with characters as unbelievable and unlikeable as these, I found myself rapidly losing interest.

I note, incidently, that many press reviews echo my sentiments. I particularly liked the Guardian's caustic (but spot-on) comment that "there was no laughter track, so I added my own"!

So why remake it? I can only presume that, in keeping with current BBC policy and recent tosh like Robin Hood and the execrable Bonekickers, it is to tick every possible politically correct box.

Series 2: A BIG improvement on Series 1... (**)

Unfortunately that's not saying much!

This weak and pointless remake of the classic original suffers from terminal overproduction - not the least of which is the irritatingly intrusive background music.

The characters are almost invariably unlikeable and utterly fail to convince. Paterson Joseph has nowhere near the commanding presence of Ian McCulloch as Greg. Frumpy trout-pouting Julie Graham cannot possibly compete with the stunning Carolyn Seymour as Abbey. The two muslim characters add nothing to the narrative and would appear to be merely BBC PC tokenism. Finally, the new incarnation of Tom Price makes Vinnie Jones look like Oscar material! Beesley's strutting OTT thuggish performance is so bad it's downright funny at times! Take the final episode, in which he retains super-commando powers despite being shot several times through the chest. I'm sure that when the going gets tough and his lungs start to hurt he'll just spit them out and carry on playing the uber-tough guy.

And where is any semblance of realism? No rotting cadavers, no feral and possibly rabid dogs! In the real Suvivors, the characters became increasingly grubby and hirsute, whereas in this remake they remain immaculately coiffured (especially Max Beesley!).

Some examples of the dialog were cringingly awful - remember in the pub "get the cigarettes" "The machine isn't working" (no s--- Sherlock - there's been no electricity for months!) - <Vinnie Jones SORRY Max Beesley smashes the ciggie machine> "It is now!" Oh dear, oh dear.

Furthermore, the sub-plot about the boo-hiss scientists in white coats detracted from the whole point of Terry Nation's brilliant novel. Survivors was always meant to be an exploration of how individuals could cope with an unfathomable end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario, not some diatribe against science.

Why didn't the BBC give the Survivors fans what they /really/ wanted - a `next generation' scenario? Instead of "re-imaging" a classic original (and failing miserably in the process) why not re-broadcast the original and then give us a valid and convincing continuation; - how children born to a society thrown back to pre-industrialisation days would attempt to reconstruct civilisation.

This pointless and weak remake has tainted the memory of probably the best TV drama of all time and is an opportunity thrown away. I probably can't top the Guardian's scathing but spot-on observation about series 1 - "There was no laughter track - so I added my own!".

No doubt the die-hard supporters of this remake will disapprove of my review but I would just ask you all to give the original and REAL Survivors a chance. Having watched the original (and ideally read Terry Nation's novel too), I'm sure any unbiased viewer would have to concede that this remake is very weak indeed.

When the BBC relaunches the Quatermass franchise, I sincerely hope they do a better and more respectful job than this!

To summarise, the new Survivors IS just about watchable (and hence saves this from being a lone-star review) but that is primarily because Terry Nation's original concept was so brilliant and should never have been tinkered with. I'm sure the original series will still be revered long after this lightweight rehash has been forgotten. Treat yourself to the box set of the REAL Survivors from Amazon (currently under 20 quid!!!) and forget that this pale imitation ever happened.
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Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD]
Survivors - Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] by Julie Graham (DVD - 2010)
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