An unknown virus pandemic kills more than 90% of the world's population. Those immune must strive to survive and overcome the difficulties of this new world order, hoping that the virus will not mutate.
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Harry H. Corbett,
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The opening title sequence depicting the germ being transferred from China via air travel all around the world is often referred to as one of the most memorable and frightening titles ever made for television. See more »
This speculative drama starts each episode with one of the greatest title sequence ever devised for television : A Chinese scientist accidentally drops a glass tube . Cut to the scientist collapse at an airport where planes are arriving then taking off again then the camera focuses on passports of Moscow , Madrid , Madrid , Paris and London being stamped as the picture dissolves . It doesn`t sound very exciting and it`s probably not but it is very very effective because it`s so simple . The whole premise of the series and its consequences of a lab borne virus escaping and being carried around the world sums up what has happened to humanity - the survivors - in the opening credits . Not a lot of programmes do that . And credit too for Anthony Isaacs title music which is understated , bleak and haunting
Written by Terry Nation the first couple of episodes introduce us to the main characters of Abby Grant , Jenny Richards and Greg Preston , three people who have survived a superflu like virus that has wiped out 99 % of the world`s population . The trio meet more characters on their travels , not all of them good . One thing season one was good at was showing us that a worldwide calamity will not bring out the best in people and in some episodes like " Garland`s war " and " Something of value " that people may have to turn to violence if they want to survive at all . One outstanding episode " Law and order " centres around the premise of how will people deal with someone within in the group who harms another person in the sanctum
Unfortunately as soon as Nation left to create BLAKES 7 at the end of the first season he took many of his Wyndham / Christopher inspired ideas with him . Seasons two and three are far less interesting than the first . Charles Vaughn who wouldn`t be out of place on a hippy or Greenpeace commune becomes the central character and SURVIVORS becomes a sort of BBC post apocalypse rival of EMMERDALE FARM with the only episodes worth watching being " Lights of London " , " Mad dog " and the absolutely outstanding " Last laugh "
All in all a fairly good mature intelligent drama series but it should have been an unforgettable masterpiece from the golden age of British television. And if only Terry Nation had been given more control I`m certain it would have been . So if you`re going to watch SURVIVORS make sure you watch the whole of the first season and the episodes I mentioned above . Ignore the rest
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