Survivors (1975 TV series)

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Survivors
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)
Production
Producer(s) Terence Dudley
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) BBC
Release
Original network BBC One
Original release 16 April 1975 (1975-04-16) – 8 June 1977 (1977-06-09)
Chronology
Related shows Survivors (2008)

Survivors is a British post-apocalyptic fiction drama television series created by Terry Nation and produced by Terence Dudley at the BBC, that broadcast 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.

Production[edit]

History[edit]

The programme ran for three series and 38 episodes (series 1 and 2 comprised 13 episodes each, the third series just 12; budget cuts and technical problems reduced the planned last double episode 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 (Abby), Lucy Fleming (Jenny), Ian McCulloch (Greg), and Denis Lill (Charles). The child actor Stephen Dudley (John) was given his part by his father, the show's producer Terence Dudley, while the child actress Tanya Ronder (who in series 1 and 2 played 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 (another series devised by Terry Nation) and Doomwatch (produced by Terence Dudley).

Locations[edit]

The majority of the locations for all three series of Survivors were in the Welsh Marches, the counties of Monmouthshire, Shropshire, Powys, and, 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 audience complaints 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 (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 2008 series ran for two seasons, and the BBC announced in April 2010 that there would be no third season.[citation needed]

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. The second and third volumes were released in 2015, and the fourth and fifth volumes were announced for release in 2016.[2]

Episodes[edit]

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 suburban commuter village. As Abby goes in search of her son Peter, who was away at school when the pandemic occurred, 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 suspected. Thinking Barney is a danger to the others, Greg talks them into executing the young man and finally shoots Barney himself, only to find out just afterward that Price was the guilty party, and Greg had killed an innocent man.

Price is shot dead in episode 10, during a shootout with some armed men they have encountered.

The series ends with the arrival of a sick young woman, Ruth Anderson (Annie Irving), who recovers and reveals that she was a medical student who'd completed her third year, and was just shy of having taken her qualifying examinations. (In the series two episode, "The Lights of London", she tells another physician that she completed 4 1/2 years of training but didn't yet qualify.) She'd previously been on a river barge with a group whose numbers included a boy named Peter Grant, who was alive and well.

Major cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

# 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 clientele has suffered a number of deaths from a mysterious disease, but the Home Secretary has instructed the hospital staff 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 of her son who was at boarding school. There she meets the sole remaining staff member at the school, Dr. Bronson. He tells her that the healthy boys were taken camping by another teacher in the hope of escaping the epidemic. Dr. Bronson believes that those who survive the epidemic will need to re-learn old skills that have been lost in modern society, if they are to survive long-term. 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 cuts her hair short, packs some essentials, then 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. Greg goes with her to the quarry where she has been staying and finds that Vic's legs have been crushed under a fallen tractor. Greg helps the best he can. Meanwhile, Abby arrives at a settlement run by a former Trade Union President, Arthur Wormley, and learns that he has some inside knowledge of the catastrophe from his 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 driven to the nearest town to get medicine. While there he meets Jenny and takes her into his car after she collapses. En route back to the quarry, they encounter Anne, who tells Greg that Vic is dead, and after initially travelling with them, she leaves. Greg and Jenny see smoke and aim for it. It leads them to 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 armed men who are working on Wormley's behalf. The men threaten to shoot them if they take the food and insist they sign up at the community. Abby refuses, and her group manages to overcome the men and escape. Arriving back at the church 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, 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 group's possessions. Abby, Jenny, and Greg return, but one of Wormley's men warns them not to enter the church, so the trio waits in the dark until the gang leaves. 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 and is trying to impregnate as many women as possible to achieve this goal. His intentions now turn to Abby, who is horrified. The trio leaves 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 in, but Greg is accidentally shot by a man who took shelter there, Lincoln, who's given Greg a minor flesh wound. The man tells the group that armed 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, Greg, and the children set out to follow Abby, Lincoln takes Lizzie hostage, but she is saved by her dog. The group leaves Lincoln behind and rejoins Abby at the "angels'" cabin. 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 Knox, who convinces her his intentions for Garland's estate are reasonable and honorable, and she 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 the men 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 in search of food. She comes across Tom Price, who offers her food in return for favours. Uneasy about him, she steals his fish and runs away. Meanwhile, Abby rescues Emma from a pack of roaming, savage dogs. Tom turns up at the house looking for Wendy. After he threatens 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 numbering nine people, Abby, Greg, and Jenny begin working the land in an attempt to begin growing crops, while the others take on various chores around the manor. A man, Paul Pitman, arrives and tells them he knows about farming and tells them their methods are futile, but he can help. They need seeds and tractor parts. Greg remembers that Vic Thatcher, whom he had helped earlier, had a working tractor. Greg, Tom, Barney, and Paul go to Vic's quarry to 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 accompanies 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 it was he who killed her. Led by Abby and Greg, they hold a vote, and the majority say he should be executed. Greg takes Barney outside and shoots him to death, but wracked with guilt, Tom confesses to Abby and Greg. Furious, but logical, Greg reasons that Tom's crime should not be revealed to others, and Tom should be kept within the community, as his poaching skills are essential. Despite Abby's disgust, she agrees.
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, named Norman and Laura, have arrived at the manor seeking shelter. Laura is pregnant, and the group is on the run from Huxley, who has taken Laura as his woman but insists on her getting rid of the baby. Abby and the others agree to hide them at the settlement. Huxley tracks down Laura and Norman, 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, as is Tom.
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 tasks to give him a sense of purpose, such as teaching the children. Additionally, Greg and Paul go to a nearby town and find Vic a proper wheelchair. Two people turn up at the manor driving a tanker full of petrol. One is a young man, Donny, the other is Anne – the woman who had left Vic to die. Vic tells 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 break 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 truck's brakes fail to work and two of the men are killed. The third opens the fuel tank, allowing the petrol to spill onto the ground and states his intention to spill al of it, and Greg shoots him dead. Members of Greg's group drive up, and they 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 turns out to be 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 requests shelter for a sick woman they are carrying. The group says they were driven from their land by a large band of thieves roaming the area. Greg and the others in his group agree to contact other settlements so they can band together and form an alliance against similar attacks. Abby meanwhile, needing some peace, leaves the settlement to seek out 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; she 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. Meanwhile, the community is devastated by a fire that kills 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 comprising 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[edit]

Episodes[edit]

# 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 he goes 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, whom she is naming David. However, she falls ill. Ruth examines her and makes a list of needed medical supplies. Paul agrees to go to the nearest big-city hospital (in Birmingham) 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 from spreading through the community she gives him a lethal injection and burns down the barn he was held in. Jenny, whose health has improved, 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 is living. They need her because of her medical training, as many people are falling ill due to a mysterious, deadly "London sickness" and rats. The group is led by a duplicitous, manipulative operations manager named Manny and a physician, who informs Ruth that only a group numbering 500 or more can survive; a smaller community would become extinct within several generations. This argument and the clear need for another doctor tempt Ruth to stay, and she enjoys the settlement's electricity and running water. Greg and Charles learn that Ruth 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 country with Greg and Charles, and they try to make an escape with Manny in close pursuit. Manny is shot by one of his enemies, and Greg, Charles, and Ruth 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 better living accommodations until he discovers that Alistair is a convicted child killer named Andrew. The others question "Alistair", who admits his crime 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 community members 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 tasked with grinding wheat.
2.07 "A Friend in Need" Eric Hills Jack Ronder 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 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 members, Lewis, reveals himself to be a parson, and he is interested in starting Sunday services. Many other community members, including Jenny, express opposition with the view that religion is a waste of time now. However, despite their workload, the group gradually comes round to the idea and attends 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 return trip from harvesting salt, Charles and Pet meet a sick couple 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. Charles complains of their domineering approach, though he proposes they conduct trade and form a federation. Joy invites Charles to present his proposal to the group, but Max tells them to leave, for their own safety. Tipped off by Joy that Max plans to have them shot during the night, as he fears for his leadership, the couple stays, and Charles gets to address the community, during which time 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 John, a man she meets on a river barge, and agrees to meet him later, to serve him lunch in exchange for Wellington boots for the community. However, when the boat returns, two other men have taken residence, and John is nowhere to be found, though one of the men is wearing John's hat. The pair is brought to Whitecross but appears quite aggressive. Pet recognises one of them as a convicted criminal, and when Mina finds John's murdered corpse and confronts the pair, they take the children hostage. In an attempt to reason with them, Lewis goes to talk to them but is shot dead. Greg and Charles meet the men's demands and let them go, and the pair escapes on the boat. However, they 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)
Ruth brings to Whitecross a small group of young people, who've escaped the effects of an aggressive strain of flu that has devastated their own community. Their leader, Mark, has an agricultural degree and much experience in farming, and offers them advice. The flu bug soon breaks out at Whitecross and takes a number of lives, such as Mina and Arthur's. 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 wanders about in a nearby forest. Greg and the others go to investigate. The girl, Agnes, is found and explains that they have come from Norway. There, they have a working factory, manufacturing tools, and equipment, but 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 to England from Norway and is injured, Charles and Jenny set out on horseback to find him. Warned by Jack that Charles and Jenny should turn back, as they're heading into danger, Hubert sets out on horseback after Charles and Jenny. The trio's journey 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 personal story arc of the search for Greg with a wider narrative of society appearing to reestablish itself, 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[edit]

  • 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 previously 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)

Episodes[edit]

# 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 Greg's last known location. Arriving there, they find a military-run community which appears hostile. Believing Greg is being 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 medicine.
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 the children are being 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 children's leader tells Greg they got the rye from two traveling traders. Greg fetches the traders, and the children force the traders 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 trio meets up with Agnes, and they take shelter at a community run by a man named Brod. They discover that many community members are there against their will due to Brod's bullying tactics. Brod also forces Charles and the others to stay, promising protection against the wild dogs which now outnumber people. Brod threatens Charles' life, and ensure Charles and his group are able to leave safely, Hubert kills Brod, which also allows 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 a man named Richard Fenton, who saves him from a pack of wild dogs. Charles spends the night at Richard's halfway house, but soon realises the man has rabies. After Fenton attacks Charles and the two neighbors from whom Charles has sought help, the neighbors shoot Fenton dead. The men believe Charles also has rabies and try to kill him, too. However, Charles escapes on foot. After being helped by a woman whose house he passes, and then escaping nearly being gunned down again by the men chasing him, Charles eventually escapes by hiding in an old steam train. 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 have brucellosis. Charles and Jenny go in search of a nearby homeopathic specialist. 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 various wares. He arranges a meeting at the train station, at which various people reveal they are producing beef, chicken, 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)
Upon arriving at the house of one of Hubert's friends, Hubert, Jenny, and Charles discover the man has broken his leg. The man directs them to take him to the house of a nearby veterinarian, named Janet. Charles talks to her and her partner about their lives there, which are very comfortable, and decides that his community could move here, where there are more facilities and people nearby. To Jenny's surprise, she discovers that John, the boy she has been looking after, is Janet's son. The mother and son 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 no violence or guns are allowed. They stay there for the night and discover the settlement has a fully functional windmill, which they allow local people to use in trade. One of the settlement's leaders, Frank, asks to go with Charles, Jenny, and Hubert, as he is fitted with a pacemaker which is nearing 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 arrives at his settlement. Alec is extremely hostile, however, and claims to have no more interest in his former career. However, the group discovers that Alec is haunted by the memory of his dead wife. They encourage him to face his fears, which brings him to a breaking point. 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 Alec. She is furious, but Alec has decided to stay anyway and helps the men work on their generator. Another man, Sam, opposes turning the electricity back on and is determined to stop them. With Frank now dead, the others move on, 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)
In his travels, Greg meets a group of people who gain his confidence as he talks about his trip to Norway. They seize his map, notes, boots, clothes, and horse, however, and leave him for dead. On realising the notes and map notations are written in Norwegian, the men go to the community to capture Agnes, to translate for them. Greg makes it to a nearby settlement, where he meets a doctor who is dying of smallpox. Greg contracts the disease but summons the strength to rescue the community from the bandits by appearing to join the brigands. 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 an urgent message to meet Greg. Arriving at an old army camp, Charles discovers that credit notes bearing Greg's name are being issued in return for petrol. Agnes tells Charles that they have a million gallons stored there. Jenny arrives and inquires about 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 the group locks up the bandits rather than shooting them.
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 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 Sam is sabotaging Alec's work. The others arrive there to find Alec unconscious, while Sam has disappeared, intent on wrecking the whole system. During a struggle, Sam is killed. Before the supply is restored, 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. After they reach an agreement that Alec will control the supply, Alec switches it on.

Audio drama episodes[edit]

Series 1 (available):[3]

"Revelation" and "Exodus" depict events happening in parallel with the early episodes of the first TV series, as the Death first takes 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 (available):[4]

Series 3 (available)[5]

Series 4 and 5 (forthcoming in 2016)[6]

Books[edit]

Two novels related to series one have been published:

  • Nation, Terry. Survivors.  An adaptation of certain of his own series one episodes, with a radically different ending
  • Eyers, John. Genesis of a Hero.  A direct sequel to Nation's book; it bears no relation to events in series two and three

Two factual books about the series have been published:

  • Marshall, Kevin P (Editor) (1995). The Making of Terry Nation's Survivors. Fourth Horseman Publications. 
  • Cross, Rich & Priestner, Andy (December 2005). The End of the World? The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Survivors. Telos Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1845830014. 

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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bignell, Jonathan & O'Day, Andrew (2004). Terry Nation. Manchester University Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-7190-6547-X. 
  2. ^ Survivors. Big Finish. June 2014. 
  3. ^ Survivors. Big Finish. June 2014. 
  4. ^ Survivors. Big Finish. June 2014. 
  5. ^ Survivors. Big Finish. June 2014. 
  6. ^ Survivors. Big Finish. June 2014. 

External links[edit]