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Last week on Cask Wednesday I was chatting with a drinking buddy about Terry Nation (1970s Doctor Who, Blakes 7) and I got clued to check out Survivors which I previously never heard of.
I'm only a few episodes in, but it's good post-apocalyptic entertainment, watching everything go to shit and all the survivors having to deal with it. Some do, some don't, and of course some of them selfishly turn on one another (always a good dramatic force). Think Day of the Triffids without the triffids. Or Dawn of the Dead without the zombies. Or The Stand without the weird mystic force guiding everyone into two groups. Or .. well, you get the idea.
It could use some zombies, though. Or some triffids, or maybe velociraptors or killer robots. Even without that stuff, though, it's damn good.
Nobody does it like the Brits. John Wyndham and John Christopher made their entire writing careers out of ending the world in all kinds of interesting ways. No Blade of Grass is a great end-of-the-world novel.
I put Survivors in my queue. I watched a bunch of Blake's 7 on VHS once upon a time. That first episode is classic. And of course we have Terry Nation to thank for the Daleks too. Guy had a real way with dystopian futures.
Compared to dorky pop-culture crap like Lost, Survivors offers real pathos, drama and intelligent speculation on what might actually happen after a global pandemic. It shares with Lost the scenario of a preposterously stylish and attractive cast stuck in an extreme situation (nice faux-fur trenchcoats!), but that's where the comparison stops. Episode 4, with the semi-cracked architect trying to personally repopulate the world on his subsistence farm, kicks ass. So glad I got turned on to this. Thanks, Sloppy! Netflix has it on disc (where one double-sided disc = 8 episodes). Dig in!
I was wondering what I was going to fill my TV addiction with during the summer when nothing decent is on (heaven forbid I take up a new hobby). Survivors sounds pretty cool. Thanks for the tip.
I'm currently working on getting caught up on Breaking Bad. I might have to have a marathon soon.
When you've got cities full of thousands of unburied bodies, it's only natural to want some of them to be zombies. But the show has grown on me even more (I'm midway through the 2nd season now). You don't need zombies or triffids, as long as there's plenty of Cholera and Typhoid going around. Survivors' characters have enough mind-bending fear and heartbreak, that it just might be an exception to the "any story can be improved by adding zombies" rule.