An unknown virus pandemic kills more than 90% of the world's population. Those immune must strive to survive and overcome the difficulties of this new world order, hoping that the virus will not mutate.
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Survivors is the first post doomsday drama on British television, echoing the pessimistic world view of 70s science fiction feature films such as The Andromeda Strain, The Omega Man or Planet of the Apes. Of course Survivors obviously also owes a lot to the grandmaster of British Science Fiction, John Wyndham with some dialogues almost verbatim taken from the day of the Triffids. But that does not have an impact on the quality of the programme. Like in Romero's Crazies the bureaucracy just fails terribly and the world becomes overrun by a deadly virus. Helpless attempts at stopping it are made but it all ends with a whimper. So a group of survivors from all different walks of life meet and group together. The disaster brings out the best and the worst in people: the hamprered housewife turns into a leader, the leader into a fascist and a rich woman into the bitch from hell. So a lot of the drama comes from the dynamics between the people and all the dilemmas you face in this situation. For viewers of todaya it takes a while getting used to the much slower pace of narration of the 70s. Long scenes, no hand camera and sparingly used music. That makes it look dated but once you accept it, it really makes very good viewing because the pace matches the helplesness of the people. Theonly drawback for me is that as with a lot of 70s and especially 80s British TV the outdoor scenes and the studio scenes were shot on different material so that as a viewer you experience really harsh differences in term of the picture.
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