Government can be hazardous to your health...,
This review is from: Survivors - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This is not a comparison with the original, 1970's series-which I
have not had the pleasure to watch.
BBC, that paragon of British establishment, gives us a scathing indictment
of the political system and modern Western society, in the form of
an insightful, post-apocalyptic parable.
There's a deadly flu outbreak, but the public is intentionally
misinformed by the authorities, about the scope and severity of the epidemic.
As more and more people perish helpless, some in the government and
in the corporate sector have been making their contingency plans.
When the epidemic runs its course, there are few survivors left in Britain.
The series deals with the story of several of these people, who find
each other by accident, and are bonded together by a series of misadventures.
This is not the "Walking Dead". There's limited gore and violence.
Because of financial constraints, and the need to advertise products and
services, severe damage to structures and vehicles is rarely depicted.
Months after the collapse, cars are shiny and running,
the houses have not been gutted by looting, and the characters wear
clean and pressed clothing. A lot of nice, brand-new camping gear
is frequently displayed. There are no packs of feral dogs or hordes of
It is "civilization" that threatens the characters of this series-
or rather what's left of it. Under the extreme circumstances created by
the catastrophe, the photogenic, media-friendly, "democratic" facade of
authority crumbles away, to reveal its arbitrary, parasitic,
and coercive nature
Former government minister Samantha Willis, in a chilling, brilliant
portrayal by Nikki Amuka-Bird, is the personification of this threat.
From her "Eco-friendly" refuge, this ruthlessly efficient politician
plans to claim the mantle of the fallen British government.
Her methods comprise lies, subterfuge, violence by her hired thugs,
and cold-blooded murder.
The other major threat comes from a corporate entity, which is entrenched
in bio-hazard proof laboratories. There James Whitaker, in the capacity of
a 21st century Dr. Mengele, works for the "common good", sacrificing more
and more kidnapped survivors in an elusive quest for a vaccine.
This is a professionally shot and acted series, which suffers from
far too many implausible situations and plot twists.
Julie Graham is exceptional in the role of "Abby Grant", who is
the mother figure of the group of survivors, and the voice of
compassionate, feminine common sense.
Max Beesley is outstanding in his restrained performance of hard-bitten
convict Tom Price, who would like to leave his past behind-
if they would just let him be.