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Survivors - Series 1 [DVD] 
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All six episodes from the first series of the BBC science fiction drama, based on Terry Nation's novel, in which 95% of the population have been wiped out by a freak plague, leaving the remaining survivors to rebuild civilisation. Awakened into a surreal nightmare, where basic commodities such as food and water are in scarce supply, a group of disparate strangers led by Abby (Julie Graham), Anya (Zoe Tapper), and high-security prisoner Tom (Max Beesley) must put aside their differences, combine their talents, and learn to adapt to the daunting situation they now find themselves in.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first season of the new Survivors is fairly entertaining cheese, but they totally missed the point of the original series: how do a bunch of ordinary people cope when all the supports of society are stripped away? ... they have to learn to fend for themselves, defend themselves, begin producing their own food, provide their own shelter, etc ... overall, how do they re-institute some form of human social organization which has to deal with everything from planting potatoes to dealing with a community member who commits a murder ... it was made fairly cheaply, but the weaknesses in the production values and the unevenness of the cast were overcome by the quality and intelligence of the writing ...
In the remake, throughout the entire first season (six episodes), the group that come together make no attempt to start providing for themselves, just find a big house and scavenge for food and supplies; the story is made "bigger" by having a nascent group trying to re-form the government at a big, fully equipped facility with its own wind power, computers, satellite links, etc (a group which inevitably quickly takes on a fascist tone), plus there's a secret installation working on a vaccine/cure for the disease (with the implication that they released it in the first place) ...
Meanwhile, instead of focusing on the minutiae of survival, as the original series did, the running time is filled with soap opera stuff among the characters as they pair up, have sex, get jealous, fight and make up ... in other words, a pretty predictable "update" of the original aimed at what the BBC thinks are the interests of a shallow, distracted audience ... people who presumably would be bored with the problems of starting a farm from scratch when faced with imminent starvation ... replacing genuine gritty drama with slick, shallow "drama" ...
Other reviewers here have waxed lyrical about the numberless specific defects of this production, so I’ll restrict myself to commenting that:
1) It’s been ‘PC’ed’ by the BBC, surprise, surprise. Like lazily written bedtime picture books for tiny children, you know the real story can’t and won’t start until ‘Charlie the Chicken’ or whoever, has met ‘Freddie the Frog’ and then ‘Desmond the Dog’ and etc. to make up their party (by which time my offspring were usually asleep). I felt the same urge here as the script painstakingly (and painfully) accumulated a Guardianista tick-box of Diversity stereotypes: black hero: check; strong woman leader: check; evil white male: check; Saintly lesbian: check; Positive role-model Asian: check. It’s all so ersatz as well as predictable! In the original Survivors, Abby Grant - a card-carrying female, I believe – came to take a leading role within the group but, unenlightened 1970s notwithstanding, that seemed simply natural given her character and events to date, rather than a cultural commissar’s gun held to the viewer’s head.
2) For all its comparatively big budget and BBC resources back-up, it seemed far, far, more ‘indoorsy’ and claustrophobic than the original. I thought at least there’d be opportunity for some striking special effects via CGI. An emptied England littered with plague-pits perhaps? Cities in decay? Nope. Rooms full of chatty cardboard characters instead.Read more ›
It's a load of stinking rubbish (to put it politely). It completely misses the point of the original, which was how to rebuild the basic structures (food, politics, law, etc.) of society from nothing; with the original you were always putting yourself in the characters' places, thinking how you'd start afresh. Seeing the original as a ten year old made me deeply about the way we live and how superfluous material possessions are. The new one is just the opportunistic acquisition of 'stuff' (a bit like shopping without recourse to money) and a bit of love interest and gossip, nothing to make you think about how we live our lives now.
The original was very deep; it worked on a range of levels. If the Daleks were Terry Nation's Nazis, in 'Survivors' (the original proper one) he voices a distrust of government and imposed, top-down structures; it was very much a celebration of anarcho syndicalism; small groups of people coming together as one; the language of the time was of 'communes'; the proper 'Survivors' was a cheerleader for individual personal responsibility tied to the need for people to rely on one another. The new one is so unsophisticated it barely raises any issues at all, aside from all the awkward 'diversity' rebranding...
You could say the original is a paean to 1970s hippy country communes and cooperatives, the new one is a symptom of 2000s mindless urban political correctness.
It saddens me to see this remake; like The Italian Job, Starsky and Hutch and countless others it was like a 2D plastic model of the original; apparently similar on the surface at a glance but with none of the depth, breadth, texture or 'feel'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not quite as good as the original '70's series, but still five-star and essential to carry on with Series 2!Published 6 months ago by Scotty
Haven't seen the original series; I found this entertaining and the second season is even better.Published 9 months ago by Jenny (South Africa)
A chilling thriller, it could happen. Flu as well as other diseases can mutate and become super deadly. The chararcters are likable and the story arc is good.Published 17 months ago by christopher mccloud
recommended by a colleague well worth watching. Will have to get series 2 now to watch the remainder. Really goodPublished on 23 May 2014 by S. Newton
I wish they hadn't cancelled this series, as I loved it when it was on TV, and still do now. So cheesy but great, thank youPublished on 18 Jan. 2014 by Mrs. Alice Sinton
This is not a comparison with the original, 1970's series-which I
have not had the pleasure to watch. Read more
This series really captivated me. I often catastrophise about what would happen if society went into meltdown. This is a really exciting series and well acted.Published on 27 May 2013 by Mrs. A. J. Naylor
Having finally got around to watching this after five years, I find myself in the odd position of agreeing with almost all the other reviews, positive and negative! Read morePublished on 23 Mar. 2013 by L. A. Mason