Survivors (1975 TV series)

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Survivors Logo.jpg
The main title caption seen throughout the series
Created by Terry Nation
Starring Ian McCulloch
Lucy Fleming
Carolyn Seymour
Denis Lill
John Abineri
Celia Gregory
Lorna Lewis
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 38 (list of episodes)
Producer(s) Terence Dudley
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) BBC
Original network BBC One
Original release 16 April 1975 (1975-04-16) – 8 June 1977 (1977-06-09)
Related shows Survivors (2008)

Survivors is a British post-apocalyptic fiction drama television series devised by Terry Nation and produced by Terence Dudley at the BBC from 1975 to 1977. It concerns the plight of a group of people who have survived an accidentally released plague – referred to as "The Death" – that kills nearly the entire human population of the planet.



The programme ran for three series and 38 episodes (series 1 and 2 had 13 episodes, the third series had just 12—budget cuts and technical problems meant the last double episode was cut down to a single, as some scenes were lost during shooting). All series were broadcast on Wednesday evenings on BBC 1 from April 1975 to June 1977. Popular writer Terry Nation (whose work included many scripts for Doctor Who) created the series, but he left the show after the first series due to disputes with producer Terence Dudley.

The series' main actors included Carolyn Seymour, Lucy Fleming, Ian McCulloch and Denis Lill. The child actor Stephen Dudley (John) was given his part by his father, the show's producer Terence Dudley, while Tanya Ronder (Lizzie) is the daughter of Jack Ronder, who wrote eight episodes of Survivors. Notable guest stars in the series included Patrick Troughton, Peter Jeffrey, Brian Blessed, George Baker, Philip Madoc, Bryan Pringle, Iain Cuthbertson and Peter Bowles. Appearing in the series before becoming famous were Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean), Robert Fyfe (Last of the Summer Wine), Denis Lawson (Star Wars), David Neilson (Coronation Street), Peter Duncan (Blue Peter), June Brown (EastEnders), David Troughton, and Roger Lloyd-Pack (Only Fools and Horses and The Vicar of Dibley).

In a High Court case in the mid-1970s, which was abandoned by both sides due to escalating costs, writer Brian Clemens claimed that he had told Terry Nation the concept for the series in the late 1960s and had registered the idea with the Writers' Guild of Great Britain in 1965.[1] Nation strenuously denied this.

A BBC Four documentary entitled The Cult of... Survivors, featuring interviews with actors Lucy Fleming, Ian McCulloch and Carolyn Seymour, director Pennant Roberts and scriptwriter Martin Worth, was broadcast on 5 December 2006, as part of the channel's Science Fiction Britannia series. The Cult of... series also included documentaries on Blake's 7 (a series also devised by Terry Nation), and Doomwatch, which was produced by Terence Dudley.


The majority of the locations for all three series of Survivors were in the Welsh Marches, the counties of Monmouthshire, Shropshire, Powys with, for the first two series, the characters most often seen in Herefordshire. The first episode of series 1 (The Fourth Horseman) featured several locations in Worcestershire, including Great Malvern railway station. Later episodes had the characters move around Herefordshire, from places like Ross-on-Wye to Welsh Newton Common. Llanarth Court in Monmouthshire was also featured. Brockhampton Court near How Caple, Herefordshire was used as "Waterhouse" in the episode "Garland's War". Towards the end of the first series, the action moved to a more permanent base at Hampton Court, again in Herefordshire. (This was the property referred to as "The Grange" by the characters.)

For the beginning of series 2 the focus moved to a new location, at Callow Hill Farm, near Monmouth (but again just within Herefordshire), as "Whitecross". The Lights of London' episodes featured Hanwell railway station, The Oval, and other locations in London, while the Waterloo & City line and the Camden Town deep-level shelter were used to represent parts of the London Underground. The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and village of Skenfrith also made appearances.

During series 3, production occasionally moved further afield to Suffolk, Derbyshire and Wiltshire, with the last episode filmed in the Scottish Highlands. Extensive use was made of the Severn Valley Railway.

There are a great number of technical and continuity errors visible as the series was shot quickly on early video cameras which did not work well in the gloomy conditions in which much of the programme was shot. Two cameras were used, but one of them had a recurrent fault which shows as multiple reflections on the left hand side of pictures in many scenes, particularly visible in series 3. Primitive equipment meant that many shots suffered from a green tint. Due to the audience complaining about this the production crew replaced the cameras.[citation needed]

2008 version[edit]

In 2008, the BBC began airing new version of Survivors, with Adrian Hodges as the main writer. In the credits, this version is said to be based on Terry Nation's novel Survivors, which was published in 1976, rather than the previous series. This statement was made to avoid copyright problems as the rights to the television series vested with a different legal entity from the rights to the book. The programme ran for two seasons but the BBC announced in April 2010 that there would be no third season.

Audio drama version[edit]

In June 2014 Big Finish Productions released the first four-episode volume of an audio drama expansion of Survivors, with Seymour, McCulloch, and Fleming reprising their screen roles.[1] The second and third volumes have been announced for release in 2015.


Series Episodes Originally aired DVD release date
Series premiere Series finale Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 13 16 April 1975 (1975-04-16) 16 July 1975 (1975-07-16) 27 April 2010 (2010-04-27) 6 October 2003 (2003-10-06) 7 October 2009 (2009-10-07)
2 13 31 March 1976 (1976-03-31) 23 June 1976 (1976-06-23) 27 April 2010 (2010-04-27) 4 October 2004 (2004-10-04) 7 October 2009 (2009-10-07)
3 12 16 March 1977 (1977-03-16) 8 June 1977 (1977-06-08) 27 April 2010 (2010-04-27) 14 November 2005 (2005-11-14) 7 October 2009 (2009-10-07)

Series 1 (1975)[edit]

As the world's population is almost annihilated by a mysterious pandemic, accidentally unleashed by a Chinese scientist, the crisis is first seen through the eyes of two characters—Jenny Richards, a young working woman in London and Abby Grant, a middle-class corporate wife living a privileged existence in a nearby commuter village. As Abby goes in search of her son Peter, Jenny wanders aimlessly through the countryside. Other major characters introduced in the first few episodes are the resourceful engineer Greg Preston, the shifty Welshman Tom Price and two children, John Millon and Lizzie Willoughby. Abby, Jenny and Greg eventually come together and realise they must start again from scratch now that the civilization they once knew has been destroyed. After several adventures on the road, they find a property called The Grange which they can use as a base and, joined by other survivors, they form a potted community of disparate individuals all united by a shared purpose—to relearn the old skills of farming and tool-making, and to try to live in this new world. In episode 9, Wendy is raped and murdered and the simple minded Barney is believed to be guilty. Thinking him a danger to the others, Greg talks them into executing him and finally shoots Barney himself, only to find out just afterwards that Price was the guilty party and that he killed an innocent man. Price is shot dead in episode 10 when firing at some armed men they have met. The series ends with the arrival of a sick young woman, Ruth Anderson (Annie Irving), who recovers and reveals that she is a partly trained medical student.

Major cast

# Title Directed by Written by Guest stars Original airdate
1.01 "The Fourth Horseman" Pennant Roberts Terry Nation Peter Bowles (as David Grant), Peter Copley (as Dr. Bronson), Christopher Reich (as Dr. Andrew Tyler) 16 April 1975 (1975-04-16)
In modern-day Britain, a young woman named Jenny visits her friend, a physician who is working in a city hospital, to ask him to come see a mutual friend who has become ill. The hospital has suffered a number of deaths from a mysterious disease, but the Home Secretary has instructed them to keep it quiet. Soon, civilization begins to collapse as the deaths increase, mass absenteeism affects public services and amenities and the electronic media go off air. Eventually the electricity shuts off and all public services falter, then eventually cease entirely. Another young woman, Abby Grant becomes ill with the sickness and wakes after several days to find seemingly everyone (including her husband) has died. Abby goes in search her son who was at boarding school. There she meets the sole remaining staff member at the school, Dr. Bronson. He tells her that many of the boys were taken by other staff with camping equipment in the hope of escaping the epidemic. He believes that those who come through the epidemic will need to re-learn old skills that have been lost in modern society if they are to have any long-term survival hopes. While Abby proposes that there will be stockpiles of energy sources and preserved food, he explains that every product used in contemporary society relies on the complex interworking of thousands of people in different regions, each having specialised knowledge and a constant supply of materials – all of which have suddenly vanished. Despondent, Abby drives home and decides to move on in search of other survivors. She burns down her house, which contains her husband's body, and drives away.
1.02 "Genesis" Gerald Blake Terry Nation George Baker (as Arthur Wormley), Brian Peck (as Dave Long), Edward Brooks (as Colonel) 23 April 1975 (1975-04-23)
Survivor Greg Preston, who has just returned from mainland Europe and knows the virus has wiped out the population there, is driving through the countryside when he meets Anne who begs him to come and help the man she is staying with, Vic, who has been injured. He goes with her and finds that Vic's leg has been crushed under a fallen tractor. Staying with them he helps the best he can. Meanwhile, Abby arrives at a settlement run by an ex Trade Union President, Arthur Wormley, and learns that he has some inside knowledge of the catastrophe due to contacts in the Government. He has set up a small community where he has appointed himself the man in charge of the entire area. At first interested at their intentions, Abby is later appalled when a man branded as a threat to Wormley's group is taken out and shot. Abby flees the house. Greg has taken a trip to the nearest town to get provisions. While there he meets Jenny and takes her into his car after she collapses. Driving back into the country, Anne tells Greg that Vic is dead, but after initially travelling with them, she leaves. Greg and Jenny see a fire and aim for it. Arriving there, they meet Abby who has now set herself up in an abandoned church with the aim of starting a self-sufficient community.
1.03 "Gone Away" Terence Williams Terry Nation Brian Peck (as Dave Long), Robert Gillespie (as John Milner), Robert Fyfe (as Phillipson), Barry Stanton (as Reg Gunnel) 30 April 1975 (1975-04-30)
Abby, Greg and Jenny drive to the nearest large supermarket to stock up on food. While there, they come up against some men carrying rifles working on behalf of Wormley. They threaten to shoot them if they take the food and insist they sign up at the community. Abby refuses and they manage to overcome the men and escape. Arriving back they find a tramp, Tom Price has taken shelter at their house. He agrees to join them and help. He tells them of a young boy he encountered who Abby hopes may be her son. Abby with Greg and Jenny go to find him but discover he is dead, but is not Abby's son. While away, Wormley's men have discovered their base and wait for their return. Tom agrees to join their settlement and they begin trashing Abby's possessions. Abby, Jenny and Greg return but one of Wormley's men warns them not to enter the church: the trio wait in the dark until the gang leave. Fearing for their safety they leave the area the next day, with Abby vowing to continue searching for her son.
1.04 "Corn Dolly" Pennant Roberts Jack Ronder Denis Lill (as Charles Vaughn), Keith Jayne (as Mick), Annie Hayes (as Lorraine), Yvonne Bonnamy (as Isla) 7 May 1975 (1975-05-07)
Abby, Jenny and Greg are driving towards Abby's home town of Brimpsfield, looking for her son. At a petrol station they find posters for a nearby settlement. They run across settlement members, Charles and Lorraine, who themselves have just found a young boy, Mick. Greg, Abby and Jenny decide to accompany them to Maredell before deciding whether to join forces. On arrival, they discover that many in the settlement have become mortally ill from poisoned fish. They soon learn that Charles is obsessed with repopulating the earth, trying to impregnate as many women as possible to achieve this goal. His intentions now turn to Abby, who is horrified. The trio leave the following day.
1.05 "Gone to the Angels" Gerald Blake Jack Ronder Peter Miles (as Lincoln), Frederick Hall (as Jack), Nickolas Grace (as Matthew), Kenneth Caswell (as Robert) 14 May 1975 (1975-05-14)
While Abby goes to her son's school, Jenny and Greg run across two small children, John and Lizzie, who have been living in the home of John's dead grandmother. When they all go up to the school to meet Abby, the children tell them about a bus full of school children who have gone up to Derbyshire, "where the angels are". They all take off to the area and find a house to stay, but Greg is accidentally shot by a man who took shelter there, Lincoln, giving him a minor flesh wound. The man tells the group about how men calling themselves "The British Government" recently came, taking many of his supplies. Abby leaves on her own and finds the "angels", three religious men who have isolated themselves in the hills. Later, when Jenny and Greg try to follow Abby with the children, Lincoln takes Lizzie hostage, but is saved by her dog. They arrive safely at the "Angels" cabin to join Abby. However, the men quickly become ill, and they realise Abby has brought the plague with her and infected them. The five travellers leave after the three men have died.
1.06 "Garland's War" Terence Williams Terry Nation Peter Jeffrey (as Knox), Dennis Chinnery (as John Carroll), David G. Marsh (as Bates) 21 May 1975 (1975-05-21)
Abby accidentally gets involved in a local war when she picks up a wounded man, being chased by a group of armed men. They shoot one of Abby's tyres as she escapes. The man, Jimmy Garland, takes Abby to the cave where he has been staying: there is instant chemistry between the pair. He is the rightful owner of the Waterhouse manor, but has been evicted by a larger group, led by Knox. While Jimmy is finding another vehicle for Abby, she is captured by them and agrees to find Jimmy and play mediator between them. Jimmy, however, has kidnapped one of Knox's women as collateral for Abby. Abby brings Jimmy to Knox, but his men attack and restrain him. Abby leaves, and finds Greg, Jenny and the children looking for her. Back at the manor, Knox is torturing Jimmy to reveal the whereabouts of the girl. As they go to the hut to retrieve the girl, they are surprised as Greg bursts through the door with a shotgun, demanding that Knox's men let Jimmy go. They make the exchange and escape, though Jimmy insists he must stay to continue fighting his "war".
1.07 "Starvation" Pennant Roberts Jack Ronder 4 June 1975 (1975-06-04)
Wendy, a young woman living with an older woman Emma, leaves their house to go in search of food. She comes across Tom Price who offers her food in return for favours. Uneasy of him she runs away. Meanwhile, Abby rescues Emma from a pack of roaming and savage dogs. Tom turns up at the house looking for Wendy. After threatening Abby, she locks him in the back of his van. The others have found a large manor house with plenty of land for grazing nearby sheep and growing vegetables. They settle there and meet Barney, a simple-minded and scared young man. Abby brings Emma and Wendy in Tom's van to the manor and there they release Tom, who agrees once again, to help them.
1.08 "Spoil of War" Gerald Blake Clive Exton (as M.K. Jeeves) 11 June 1975 (1975-06-11)
With a community now of nine, Abby, Greg and Jenny begin to work on the land in an attempt to begin growing crops, while the others take on different chores around the manor. A man, Paul Pitman arrives and tells them he knows about farming and tells them that their methods are futile, but he can help. They need seeds and tractor parts. Remembering Vic Thatcher, the man he helped earlier, Greg realises that he had a working tractor. He, Tom, Barney and Paul go and see what they can get there. On arriving they are repeatedly shot at, but manage to get through to find that Vic is still alive, although his legs are completely crushed. Vic tries to kill Greg for abandoning him and taking away his woman, until Greg explains what really happened. Vic agrees to let them take the equipment and food he has stored and he goes with them back to the manor. Meanwhile, two more people, Arthur and Charmian have joined the community.
1.09 "Law and Order" Pennant Roberts Clive Exton (as M.K. Jeeves) 18 June 1975 (1975-06-18)
It's May Day and the community decide to celebrate with a party. Tom gets drunk and attempts to rape Wendy. During a struggle he stabs and kills her. Shocked at the discovery, the others notice Barney is acting strangely and come to the conclusion that he was the one who killed her. Led by Abby and Greg, they hold a vote and the majority say he should be shot. Barney is taken out and killed, but wracked with guilt, Tom confesses to Abby and Greg. Furious, but logical, Greg reasons that he should be kept within the community as his poaching skills are essential. Despite Abby's disgust, they decide not to tell the others.
1.10 "The Future Hour" Terence Williams Terry Nation Glyn Owen (as Bernard Huxley), Caroline Burt (as Laura Foster), Denis Lawson (as Norman) 25 June 1975 (1975-06-25)
Greg and Paul arrive at a temporary settlement packed with provisions. It is led by Huxley, who travels around different communities offering food and other items in exchange for gold. Meanwhile, a man and woman Laura and Norman have arrived at the manor looking for shelter. Laura is pregnant and they are on the run from Huxley. He has taken her as his woman but insists on her getting rid of the baby. Abby and the others agree to hide them there. Huxley tracks them down and wages war on the manor. Laura has the baby and agrees to return to the settlement along with Norman, but entrusts her baby girl to the community where she will be safe, but not before Tom and Huxley are killed in a final showdown.
1.11 "Revenge" Gerald Blake Jack Ronder Robert Tayman (as Donnie) 2 July 1975 (1975-07-02)
After Vic attempts suicide, the others discuss how depressed he has become and set about finding useful things for him to give him a sense of purpose such as teaching the children. Greg and Paul go to a nearby town and find him a proper wheelchair. Two people turn up at the manor in a tanker full of petrol. One is a young man, Donny, the other is Anne – the woman who left Vic to die. Vic reveals to the others what she did and Abby decides that Donny can stay but Anne must leave in the morning. That night, Anne attempts to kill Vic, who in turn also tries to kill her in anger. After both breaking down in tears, they talk. The following morning, a seemingly more positive Anne leaves the house, watched by Vic.
1.12 "Something of Value" Terence Williams Terry Nation Matthew Long (as Robert Lawson), Murray Hayne (as Jim Buckmaster), Paul Chapman (as Thorpe) 9 July 1975 (1975-07-09)
A man, Robert Lawson, arrives at the manor for shelter and the group agree he can stay. During the night he looks around and soon finds the tanker of petrol. After a heavy downpour, the others find that the crops have been washed out and the store of food in the cellar has been flooded and destroyed. They decide that the petrol is very valuable and decide to trade it to a nearby community for food and seed. Meanwhile, Lawson has met up with two friends and tells them of the tanker. They return to the manor to get it but Greg has already left with it. They follow, but after a failure of the brakes, Greg has parked it in a barn. The three men find him, steal the tanker and drive away. Speeding down a hill, the brakes fail to work and the three men are killed. Greg and the others retrieve their petrol.
1.13 "A Beginning" Pennant Roberts Terry Nation Annie Irving (as Ruth Anderson), Harry Markham (as Burton) 16 July 1975 (1975-07-16)
The group are becoming irritable with each other after trading their petrol for some seed which is bad and a fox has killed their chickens. Abby, tired of her role as the leader, retreats and talks it over with Jenny, who reveals she is pregnant with Greg's child. A wandering group arrives and asks for shelter for a sick girl they are carrying. The group tells them that they were driven from their land by a large band of thieves roaming the area. Greg and the others agree to contact other settlements so they can band together and form an alliance against any attacks. Abby meanwhile, needing some peace, leaves the settlement and meets up with Jimmy Garland and stays with him in his house. Back at the settlement, the sick girl, Ruth, recovers and tells them she was a medical student, and mentions that she was staying on a barge with some other people, one of whom was a boy named Peter Grant. Abby returns the next day with Jimmy. Jenny rushes out to tell her the news that her son is still alive.

Series 2 (1976)[edit]

Having received word that her son is still alive, Abby has left the Grange to resume her search while the community is devastated by a fire, killing several of their number. The survivors join another community, Whitecross, run by Charles Vaughan, whom they encountered in episode 4 of the previous series. New major characters that make up the Whitecross band are Charles' partner Pet Simpson, and farmyard labourer Hubert Goss. A recast Ruth Anderson becomes a travelling doctor serving Whitecross and other communities. Jenny gives birth to Paul, her child with Greg, while the survivors are once more focused on the everyday practicalities of post-Death life. Frequent visitors to Whitecross, both friendly and hostile, act as catalysts for various dramatic situations. Finally, the arrival of Norwegian survivors brings the possibility of re-establishing worldwide contact and technology. To achieve this, Greg departs Whitecross in a hot air balloon bound for Norway.

Major cast

# Title Directed by Written by Guest stars Original airdate
2.01 "Birth of a Hope" Eric Hills Jack Ronder 31 March 1976 (1976-03-31)
It is deep midwinter and Abby has gone to reunite with her son. The manor burns down and several of the group are killed. The survivors move on to a new settlement led by Charles Vaughan. Jenny is about to have Greg's baby and they go in search of Ruth to help with the delivery. Meanwhile Charles and Greg talk about furthering their community for the future and working to become completely self-sufficient. Ruth is found as Jenny goes into labour.
2.02 "Greater Love" Pennant Roberts Don Shaw 7 April 1976 (1976-04-07)
Jenny has had a baby boy, which she is naming David. However, she falls ill. Ruth helps her and makes a list of things needed. Paul agrees to go to a nearby hospital to collect it. He returns with the items but is feeling feverish. Ruth isolates him and realises has contracted the bubonic plague. To prevent the disease spreading through the community she gives him a lethal injection and burns down the barn has been held in. Feeling better, Jenny decides to re-name her baby Paul.
2.03 "Lights of London – Part one" Terence Williams Jack Ronder Sydney Tafler (as Manny), Roger Lloyd-Pack (as Wally), Coral Atkins (as Penny), Nadim Sawalha (as Amul), Lennox Milne (as Nessie), David Troughton (as Stan), Wendy Williams (as Barbara), Lloyd McGuire (as George), Patrick Holt (as Doctor) 14 April 1976 (1976-04-14)
Ruth has been duped into going to London where a community of 500 are living. They need her because of her medical training and they are in need of a doctor. Many people are falling ill due to plague and rats. The group is led by Manny who informs her that only a large group of 500 or more can survive, rather than her small community. Ruth is tempted to stay as they have electricity and running water. Greg and Charles learn that she has been taken to London and go to rescue her. On arrival they are attacked by a pack of rats.
2.04 "Lights of London – Part two" Pennant Roberts Jack Ronder Sydney Tafler (as Manny), Roger Lloyd-Pack (as Wally), Coral Atkins (as Penny), Nadim Sawalha (as Amul), Lennox Milne (as Nessie), Wendy Williams (as Barbara), Lloyd McGuire (as George), Patrick Holt (as Doctor) 21 April 1976 (1976-04-21)
Greg and Charles are rescued and taken to the community. They find Ruth who explains that the 500 are planning to move to the Isle of Wight to set up a new life in a clean environment. They soon discover, however, that Manny has no intention of moving them and wants to stay in London as the ruler. He tells Greg and Charles to go, but Ruth must stay. Ruth decides to return to the community and they try to make an escape with Manny in close pursuit. Manny is shot by one of his enemies and they leave London.
2.05 "The Face of the Tiger" Terence Williams Don Shaw John Line (as Alistair McFadden) 28 April 1976 (1976-04-28)
Tensions among the group are rising as the workload increases. A seemingly gentle man, Alistair arrives and joins the group. Hubert meanwhile is feeling hard-done by and insists on a better room until he discovers that Alistair is a convicted child killer. The others question Alistair who admits it and says that he has been rehabilitated. Hubert, however, spreads panic among the others and Alistair volunteers to leave.
2.06 "The Witch" Terence Williams Jack Ronder Catherine Finn (as Peggy) 5 May 1976 (1976-05-05)
One of the women in the community, Mina is receiving much unwanted attention from Hubert, who has taken a liking to her. She shuts herself away with her baby and Hubert begins to spread a rumour that she is a witch. A number of the community begin to believe this and Mina decides to leave. Greg and Charles go looking for her and bring her back, assuring her that everyone regrets their suspicions. Hubert is put grinding wheat.
2.07 "A Friend in Need" Eric Hills Ian McCulloch William Wilde (as Boult), Vivienne Burgess (as Mrs. McGregor), Paul Grist (as Morris) 12 May 1976 (1976-05-12)
Greg and Charles call a meeting with representatives from local communities with a view to the groups helping each other out and providing protection from attack if needed. A sniper is going round other areas and shooting women. Greg realises that they are the next target and calls on a nearby community for help. While waiting in ambush, Jenny is placed as bait for the sniper. Greg tries to strangle the sniper, who is shot in the struggle. The sniper is revealed to be a woman.
2.08 "By Bread Alone" Pennant Roberts Martin Worth Julie Peasgood (as Judy), Martin Neil (as Philip) 19 May 1976 (1976-05-19)
One of the community reveals himself to be a Parson and he is interested in starting Sunday services. Many of the community, including Jenny, show opposition with the view that religion is a waste of time now. However, despite their workload, the group gradually come round to the idea and attend the first service.
2.09 "The Chosen" Eric Hills Roger Parkes Philip Madoc (as Max Kershaw), Clare Kelly (as Joy Dunn), James Cosmo (as Lenny Carter), David Neilson (as Mike), Elizabeth Cassidy (as Susan), David Sibley (as Kim) 26 May 1976 (1976-05-26)
On their travels, Charles and Pet meet two sick people whom they bring to the nearest community for help. There they find a military-like operation run by Max and Joy. The sick woman dies and the sick man is shot, while Charles complains of their domineering approach. Joy invites them to speak to the group on their way of life but Max is to have them shot during the night as he fears for his leadership. Being tipped off by Joy, Charles gets to speak, during which Max is shouted down and deposed by Joy.
2.10 "Parasites" Terence Williams Roger Marshall Patrick Troughton (as John Millen), Kevin McNally (as Kane), Brian Grellis (as Grice) 2 June 1976 (1976-06-02)
Mina becomes fond of a man she meets on a river boat and agrees to meet him later. However, when the boat turns up again, two men have taken residence. They arrive at the community but appear quite aggressive. Pet recognises one of them as a convicted criminal and they take the children hostage. In an attempt to reason with them, Lewis goes to talk to them but is shot dead. Mina discovers that they have also killed her friend. Greg and Charles let the two men go and they escape on the boat, but begin to suffer the effects of the wood alcohol they've been drinking and die.
2.11 "New Arrivals" Pennant Roberts Roger Parkes Ian Hastings (as Mark Carter) 9 June 1976 (1976-06-09)
A small group of young people arrive at the community. Their leader, Mark has much experience in farming and offers them advice. However, a flu bug is breaking out and takes a number of lives such as Mina and Arthur. It soon becomes apparent that Mark is an overbearing leader and aims to take over the farming aspect of the community completely. The others vote against him and he leaves.
2.12 "Over the Hills" Eric Hills Martin Worth Linda Robson (as Barbara), Nula Conwell (as Ann) 16 June 1976 (1976-06-16)
One of the new girls, Sally is pregnant. Charles is delighted and re-ignites his interest in more of the community having children. There is much opposition to this from the women, including Sally who forces herself to miscarry.
2.13 "New World" Terence Williams Martin Worth Sally Osborne (as Agnes), Dan Meaden (as Seth) 23 June 1976 (1976-06-23)
A hot air balloon crash lands at the community. The flier is killed, while his daughter is wandering about in a nearby forest. Greg and the others go to investigate. The girl, Agnes is found and explains to them that they have come from Norway. There, they have a working factory, manufacturing tools and equipment but have little food. Much to Jenny's distress, Greg is keen to investigate and trade with them. After getting the balloon back in working order he accompanies Agnes on her return to Norway.

Series 3 (1977)[edit]

Having received word that Greg has returned from Norway, Charles, Jenny and Hubert set out on horseback to find him. It is a journey that will take them right across what is left of the United Kingdom as their search leads them to various dead ends. However, they meet a broad spectrum of other survivors along the way, and the series continues to explore alternative reactions to the Death and what it takes to survive. The third series juxtaposes the more personal story arc of the search for Greg with a wider narrative of society appearing to establish itself again with federated communities, market bartering and rudimentary railway travel, based on utilising the steam locomotives preserved on heritage railways. This culminates in the tentative return of law and order and the quest to restore power through hydroelectricity.

Major cast

  • Denis Lill as Charles Vaughan (ep.1, 3-9, 11-12)
  • Lucy Fleming as Jenny Richards (ep.1-3, 5-9, 11-12)
  • Ian McCulloch as Greg Preston (ep.2, ep.10)
  • John Abineri as Hubert Goss (ep.1, 3, 5-9, 11-12)
  • Gordon Salkilld as Jack Wood (ep.1, ep.6, ep.10)
  • Lorna Lewis as Pet Simpson (ep.1, 6-7, 10)
  • Anna Pitt as Agnes Carlsson (ep.2-3, 5, 10-11)
  • Edward Underdown as Frank Garner (ep.7-9)
  • William Dysart as Alec Campbell (ep.8-9, 11-12)
  • Robert Gillespie as Sam Mead (ep. 9, 11-12) (Gillespie appeared as a minor character, John Milner, in episode 3 of the first series)
  • Stephen Dudley as John Millon (ep.1, ep.6, ep.10)
  • Angie Stevens as Lizzie Willoughby (ep.1, ep.6, ep.10)
# Title Directed by Written by Guest stars Original airdate
3.01 "Manhunt" Peter Jefferies Terence Dudley Michael Hawkins (as Colonel Clifford), Anthony Jacobs (as Meidel), Dan Meaden (as Seth), June Brown (as Susan), John Rolfe (as Summers) 16 March 1977 (1977-03-16)
Having received a message from Greg, Charles and Jenny go to his last known location. Arriving there, they find a military-run community which appears hostile. Believing Greg to be held captive, they search for him but are locked up. Jenny escapes and shoots a guard, while Charles learns that it is actually a medical research centre and the military aspect is a facade to ward off looters. They leave with an agreement to trade food for medicines.
3.02 "A Little Learning" George Spenton-Foster Ian McCulloch Joseph McKenna (as Eagle), Sylvia Coleridge (as Mrs. Butterworth), Sean Caffrey (as Miller), Prentis Hancock (as Mackintosh), John Barrard (as Mr. Oliver) 23 March 1977 (1977-03-23)
Travelling with Agnes, Greg arrives at a community run by children. He discovers they are attacked by a disease which is killing a number of them. He soon discovers that it is caused by the rye bread they are eating, which is infected by a fungus. The leader of the children tells them they got the rye from two travelling traders. Greg gets the traders and the children force them to work for them as penance. Nearby, Jenny is searching for Greg, but misses him.
3.03 "Law of the Jungle" Peter Jefferies Martin Worth Brian Blessed (as Brod), Barbara Lott (as Edith Walter), Eric Deacon (as Steve Walter), Keith Varnier (as Owen Walter), Cheryl Hall (as Mavis) 30 March 1977 (1977-03-30)
Charles and Hubert catch up with Jenny, who has been travelling for days. They meet up with Agnes and they take shelter at a community which is run by a man named Brod. They discover that many of the community are there against their will due to Brod's bullying tactics. Brod also forces Charles and the others to stay with the promise of protection against the wild dogs which are now outnumbering people. Attempting to leave, Hubert kills Brod, allowing the other people to return to their farm.
3.04 "Mad Dog" Tristan DeVere Cole Don Shaw Morris Perry (as Fenton), Bernard Kay (as Sanders), Heather Canning (as Ellen), Ralph Arliss (as Jim), Max Faulkner (as Phil), Eric Francis (as Engine Driver) 6 April 1977 (1977-04-06)
Charles meets up with a man who saves him from a pack of wild dogs. He spends the night with him, but soon realises that the man has rabies. After being attacked by him, he is shot by two other men. The men believe Charles also has rabies and try to kill him. Charles escapes on foot. Eventually passing out in an old steam train, Charles wakes to find that the train is operational and a group of people are running it on coal with an eye to setting up a nationwide train service.
3.05 "Bridgehead" George Spenton-Foster Martin Worth John Ronane (as Bill Sheridan), Hazel McBride (as Alice), Barbara Lott (as Edith Walter), Eric Deacon (as Steve Walter), Keith Varnier (as Owen Walter), Cheryl Hall (as Mavis) 13 April 1977 (1977-04-13)
Charles returns to the farm, which has been re-settled by Brod's former captives. He meets up with Jenny, Agnes and Hubert there. Hubert is helping out with the cows, which he believes to have brucellosis. Charles and Jenny go in search of a nearby vet. On meeting him, Charles learns that there are a number of people dotted around the nearby areas and he is keen to have them all meet once a week to trade their different produce. He arranges a meeting at the train station, which reveals various people to be producing beef, pork, cheese and honey, which they agree to trade with each other.
3.06 "Reunion" Terence Dudley Don Shaw John Lee (as Philip Hurst), Jean Gilpin (as Janet Millon), George Waring (as Walter) 20 April 1977 (1977-04-20)
Arriving at a nearby house with a sick friend of Hubert's, the woman in residence, Janet is a vet. Charles talks to her and her partner about their lives there, which are very comfortable. Charles decides that their community could move here, where there are more facilities nearby. To her surprise, Jenny discovers that the boy, John they have been looking after is Janet's son. They are reunited for the first time in two years.
3.07 "The Peacemaker" George Spenton-Foster Roger Parkes Norman Robbins (as Bentley), Heather Emmanuel (as Rutna), Alan Halley (as Henry), Nicolette Roeg (as Blossom), Derek Martin (as Cyril), Paul Seed (as Grant), Brian Conley (as Michael) 27 April 1977 (1977-04-27)
Charles, Jenny and Hubert arrive at a religious settlement, where there is no violence or guns allowed. They stay there for the night and discover they have a fully functional mill, which they allow local people to use in trade. One of the leading men, Frank, asks to go with them as he is fitted with a pacemaker which is coming to the end of its life. They leave in search of an electronics engineer, who is reportedly nearby.
3.08 "Sparks" Tristan DeVere Cole Roger Parkes John Bennett (as Queenie), Gabrielle Hamilton (as Letty), Linda Polan (as Bet), John White (as Vic) 4 May 1977 (1977-05-04)
In search of the electronics specialist, Alec, the group arrive at his settlement. He is extremely hostile, however, and claims to have no more interest in his former career. They discover in fact that he is haunted by the memory of his dead wife. They encourage him to face his fears, which brings him to breaking point and he attempts suicide, but is saved by Charles. Coming to his senses, Alec agrees to help and goes with them.
3.09 "The Enemy" Peter Jefferies Roger Parkes Bryan Pringle (as Leonard Woollen), Frances Tomelty (as Mary-Jean), Joseph Sumner (as The Baby), Martyn Whitby (as Grant) 11 May 1977 (1977-05-11)
The travellers arrive at a large community, which has its own brewery and mine. They stay the night due to Frank's now weakened condition. Charles is unsure of Alec's willingness to work with them and during a night of heavy drinking tries to persuade Jenny to sleep with him. She is furious, but Alec has decided to stay anyway and helps the men work on their generator. Another man, Sam is against the electricity being turned back on and is determined to stop them. With Frank now dead, the others move on but are accompanied by Sam.
3.10 "The Last Laugh" Peter Jefferies Ian McCulloch George Mallaby (as Mason), Clifton Jones (as Dr. Adams), Roy Boyd (as Tilley) 18 May 1977 (1977-05-18)
On his travels, Greg meets up with a group of people who gain his confidence as he talks about his travels to Norway. They seize his notes, however, and leave him for dead. On realising they are written in Norwegian, they go to the community to capture Agnes to translate them. Greg makes it to a nearby settlement where he meets a doctor who is dying of smallpox. Greg contracts the disease, but sums up the strength to rescue the community from the bandits as he appears to join them. He says goodbye and informs the community he is dying while moving off with the bandits – intentionally infecting them all.
3.11 "Long Live the King" Tristan DeVere Cole Martin Worth Roy Marsden (as The Captain), Frank Vincent (as Mitch), Barry Stokes (as Tom Walter), Gabrielle Daye (as Mrs. Hicks), John Comer (as Les Norton) 1 June 1977 (1977-06-01)
Charles gets a message to meet Greg urgently. Arriving at an old army camp, he discovers that credit notes bearing Greg's name are being issued in return for petrol. Agnes tells him that they have a million gallons stored there. Jenny arrives and enquires of Greg's whereabouts. Agnes reveals that he is dead and that they don't have the petrol they claim. The intention, however, is to set up a government enforcing proper law and order. Initially reluctant, Charles comes round to the idea after the camp is infiltrated by two bandits and they are locked up rather than just being shot.
3.12 "Power" George Spenton-Foster Martin Worth Iain Cuthbertson (as McAlister), William Armour (as Davey), Brian Carew (as Hamish), Dorothy Dean (as Mrs. Crombie) 8 June 1977 (1977-06-08)
Travelling to a hydro-electric power station in Scotland, Charles, Jenny and Hubert meet up with a local Laird, who tells them that in the Highlands more than 150,000 people have survived the plague, making it the most densely populated part of Britain. Charles informs him that they are there to switch the electricity back on, which Alec and Sam are now working on. At the power station, Alec is making preparations but his work is sabotaged by Sam. The others arrive there to find Alec unconscious, while Sam has disappeared, intent on wrecking the whole system. During a struggle, Sam is killed. About to restore the supply, the Laird argues with Charles that the power belongs to Scotland, but Alec insists that he is the only one able to switch it back on. Coming to an agreement that Alec will control the supply, he switches it on.

Audio drama episodes[edit]

Series 1:

Revelation and Exodus depict events happening in parallel with the early episodes of the first TV series, as the Death first stakes hold and wipes out much of the UK's population. Judges and Esther take place after the Grange's cellar storeroom is flooded (Something of Value).

Series 2:


Two novels have been published: Survivors by Terry Nation is an adaptation of certain of his own series one episodes, with a radically different ending. Genesis of a Hero by John Eyers is a direct sequel to the first book, which bears no relation to events in series two and three.

Two factual books about the series have been published: The Making of Terry Nation's Survivors, edited by Kevin P Marshall, was published by Fourth Horseman Publications in 1995. The End of the World? The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Survivors (ISBN 978-1845830014) by Rich Cross and Andy Priestner was published by Telos Publishing Ltd. in December 2005.

DVD releases[edit]

The three series were originally released on DVD during the mid-2000s by DD Home Entertainment. Each series set included a colour booklet written and researched by Survivors fan Andy Priestner chronicling the making of each series, plus the following extra features:

# DVD release date Special features
Series One 6 October 2003
  • Audio commentary on episode The Fourth Horseman with actor Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant) and director Pennant Roberts. Moderator: Andy Priestner.
  • Audio commentary on episode Law And Order with actors Ian McCulloch (Greg Preston) and Lucy Fleming (Jenny Richards). Moderator: Andy Priestner.
  • On-camera interviews with director Pennant Roberts and actors Carolyn Seymour, Ian McCulloch, Lucy Fleming and Tanya Ronder (Lizzie Willoughby)
  • Photo gallery
Series Two 4 October 2004
  • Audio commentary on episode The Lights of London, Part 2 with actor Denis Lill (Charles Vaughan) and director Pennant Roberts. Moderator: Rich Cross.
  • On-camera interviews with director Pennant Roberts and actors Denis Lill, Lorna Lewis (Pet Simpson) and Heather Wright (Melanie)
  • Photo gallery
Series Three 14 November 2005
  • Audio commentary on episode Law of the Jungle with actor Lucy Fleming and director Peter Jefferies Moderator: Andy Priestner.
  • Audio commentary on episode Mad Dog with guest actor Morris Perry and director Tristan DeVere Cole Moderator: Rich Cross.
  • "New World Rising" – documentary on the making of series three produced by Andy Priestner with contributions from directors Peter Jefferies and Tristan DeVere Cole and actors Lucy Fleming and Stephen Dudley (John Millon)
  • Photo gallery

On 24 November 2008 the BBC company 2 Entertain released all three series as a single set, with the BBC4 Cult of Survivors documentary only, and no other extras.

See also[edit]

  • Survivors (2008 TV series), a re-make of the original series.
  • The Changes, a series set in a Britain that is suddenly plunged into a pre-industrial age.
  • The Last Train, a series following a group of train passengers who survived an apocalyptic meteor strike
  • The Tribe, a post-plague series focusing on teenagers, right after a plague killed off all adults
  • Jeremiah, another post-plague series, fifteen years after the plague killed off the adults, with similarities to both The Tribe and Survivors
  • Jericho, a post-nuclear holocaust series
  • The Stand, a post-plague series set in the United States


  1. ^ Bignell, Jonathan & O'Day, Andrew: "Terry Nation" (page 21), pub Manchester University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-7190-6547-X, 9780719065477

External links[edit]