by Harry on November 24, 2008

If you had any doubt that we were back in the seventies, the I learned today from the BBC iplayer, that they have resurrected Terry Nation’s apocalyptic series Survivors. Even the leading characters have their original names (though I gather there are major plot differences). Here’s the script for the first episode. Here’s the website, and here’s the blog. The brilliant original is on DVD , and should please any of your older relatives for Christmas. Now, can we have 1990 and Doomwatch back please? (Oh, and I know that the BBC wiped almost all of Doomwatch, bloody vandals, but if they didn’t wipe 1990 it would be nice to have that on DVD too).



vivian 11.25.08 at 2:32 am

Cool. I clicked on the link, read carefully, and learned that after viewing this product, 84% of people ultimately buy the boxed set, and 5% buy Mamma Mia. (Holbo, is that you?)


lemuel pitkin 11.25.08 at 4:57 am

So we agree that this sort of thing is the expression of a wish, not a fear, right?


Nick Caldwell 11.25.08 at 5:23 am

The British post-apocalyptic narratives tended to be a form of wish-fulfilment (hence the term “cosy catastrophe”), yes. Though Terry Nation’s version was a bit harder-edged than John Wyndham’s.

A more contemporary take is Warren Ellis’s Freakangels, which what-ifs the Midwich Cuckoos after they’ve grown up and destroyed the world. (Being Ellis, there’s lots of sex and violence.)


sharon 11.25.08 at 8:18 am

I quite enjoyed it. But yeah, it was sort of ‘cosy’, even if that sounds a strange thing to say. ‘Sanitised’, at any rate. People didn’t die in horrific contorting pain, they just kinda went to sleep in dramatically useful poses, and their corpses lay around nicely for the survivors to push/fall over, but failed to start decomposing and being vomit-making and disgusting. Somebody got round to mentioning cholera and typhoid… but what about nuclear power plants going into meltdown? The ‘virus’ (flu? plague?) is clearly just a vehicle for a drama about people and relationships in extreme crisis (ooh, and a bit of conspiracy thriller thrown in? What fun). If they do it well, it’ll be my weekly dose of willing-suspension-of-disbelief TV drama for the autumn (now that Heroes has completely lost the plot).

The Prime Minister died. Now that probably was somebody’s wish fulfilment.


Dave 11.25.08 at 9:06 am

The general critical view after the first night seemed to be that it was crap, mostly due to having a script assembled from leftover soap-opera clichés. And shying away from about 99.9% of the actual implications of the basic scenario.


Nick Caldwell 11.25.08 at 9:23 am

On that note, hasn’t Doctor Who now earned the distinction of killing off more UK Prime Ministers than any other TV show in history? I’m counting at least three (one former at the time of extermination).


John Kozak 11.25.08 at 9:43 am

And what about The Guardians? I always presumed it had been deleted – possibly on Margaret Thatcher’s orders – but not according to the linked wikipedia article.


ajay 11.25.08 at 10:03 am

The British post-apocalyptic narratives tended to be a form of wish-fulfilment (hence the term “cosy catastrophe”), yes.

I always thought “cosy catastrophe” was a reference to scale; all the big events happened off-screen (or outside the scope of the book) and all you really saw was the effect on one small part of England (or Australia, in the case of ‘On the Beach’). You could trace this back to “War of the Worlds” if you wanted, which is basically “The Martian Invasion as seen from Woking”.

sharon: I suspect that the corpses didn’t look ‘realistic’* because of limits on the BBC makeup budget rather than any artistic choice…

*’realistic’ corpses are something that most people have great difficulty with. About the only prominent film director who actually depicts realistic trauma is Paul Verhoeven, possibly because he and Oliver Stone are about the only ones who’ve ever seen any; and every film he makes gets criticised for being over-the-top in terms of blood, gore, dismemberment etc.


Nick Caldwell 11.25.08 at 10:10 am

Not just scale — though you’re right to point out that it’s a component — it’s typically the nice middle class protagonist who wakes up to a world with fewer inconvenient working-class people, after all.


3Lllama 11.25.08 at 10:23 am

“About the only prominent film director who actually depicts realistic trauma is Paul Verhoeven, possibly because he and Oliver Stone are about the only ones who’ve ever seen any; and every film he makes gets criticised for being over-the-top in terms of blood, gore, dismemberment etc.”

I don’t remember that in Showgirls. Maybe I should have watched it all the way to the end after all?


Alex 11.25.08 at 10:33 am

Is it my imagination, or has London been destroyed by science fiction more often than any other city?

To the best of my knowledge it has been flooded by global warming artificially induced by intelligent extraterrestrial cephalopods (John Wyndham), flooded by ice-cap melt after the Earth’s axis shifts (J.G. Ballard), flooded by global warming artifically induced by intelligent apes (The Carhullan Army), invaded by aliens (H.G. Wells), nuked (again, too many to count), overwhelmed by supernaturally growing plant life (After London), occupied by Nazis (It Happened Here), reduced to ruins by social conflict usually abetted by some other factor – blindness caused by an exo-atmospheric nuclear flash with a side order of huge predatory trees (Wyndham), for example, or a general revolt against the idea of time (Ballard), divided up into four segments matching the four humours, wrecked by civil war and tyranny (V for Vendetta), destroyed by zombies (28 Days Later), reconstructed by the Coalition Provisional Authority and then re-destroyed by zombies, something of an improvement (28 Weeks Later). And this is far from an exhaustive list.

(And we’re still here!)

Perhaps it’s because so much of the city looks like it already happened. John Wyndham deserves some sort of lifetime achievement award (even in his optimistic/space opera, The Outward Edge, London gets nuked, although it’s not a central element of the plot) for destroying the metropolis so frequently, completely, and originally. Flooding seems to play some curiously significant role, which is curious – after all, it wasn’t the Great Flood that actually destroyed London on the only occasion it has been destroyed in consensus reality, but rather the Great Fire, and the nearest approach since then was by fires started by aerial bombardment.


Alex 11.25.08 at 10:36 am

The Outward Edge? Whoops. The Outward Urge.


Mike 11.25.08 at 10:45 am

The series is set in a dystopian future in which Britain is under the grip of the Home Office’s Department of Public Control (PCD), a tyrannically oppressive bureaucracy riding roughshod over the population’s civil liberties. […] This state of affairs was precipitated by a critical financial collapse (possibly an irrecoverable national bankruptcy) […] triggering a de facto state of emergency, cancelling the General Election and causing the economy (and imports) to drastically contract forcing stringent rationing of housing, goods and services.

Hey, not bad! They were a few years off, but….

These are distributed according to a person’s status in society as determined (and constantly reviewed) by the PCD on behalf of the government, which is union-dominated and socialistic in nature.

Well, you can’t get everything right. If they’d tried to predict NuLabour, they would probably have been seen as too cynical.


Nick L 11.25.08 at 11:12 am

Sharon: If civilisation stopped functioning tomorrow then, according the watchable ‘Life After People’ special this year, nuclear power plants would automatically go into safe mode, preventing meltdown. A bit less dramatic perhaps than the alternative, but more reassuring. A bigger problem might be uncontrolled fires spreading through desolate city-scapes… hmmm… there is something uniquely compelling about the post-apocalyptic aesthetic, isn’t there?


Ginger Yellow 11.25.08 at 11:18 am

“The British post-apocalyptic narratives tended to be a form of wish-fulfilment (hence the term “cosy catastrophe”), yes”

Sounds like someone hasn’t seen Threads.


Tracy W 11.25.08 at 11:36 am

How about New York? “Escape from New York”, “Independence Day”, “The Day After Tomorrow”, “A.I.”, all spring to mind, and I have vague recalls of a lot of 1950s/60s SF in which New York got nuked, plus of course Godzilla was apparently so determined to destroy the place he apparently swam thousands of miles to do so.
I think we also need a Japanese-speaking SF fan to tote up the number of times Tokyo has been destroyed.
Perhaps there’s a general rule that artists want to destroy the centre of their country’s artistic life? I suppose enough rejection letters from publishers could explain the emotion.


Alex 11.25.08 at 11:41 am

Ballard took out New York a couple of times as well. (“Hello America”, “Low Flying Aircraft”)

Come to think of it, he had London torn apart by a Vietnam-like civil war involving the US Army, too.


Ginger Yellow 11.25.08 at 12:38 pm

Yeah, Tokyo’s got to be number one simply by sheer volume of manga/anime, let alone live action films. Akira, Evangelion, Neo-Tokyo, X, Fist of the North Star – the list is pretty much endless. And do films like Grave of the Fireflies count?

London’s probably number one in the West, with New York a close second.


Barry 11.25.08 at 12:50 pm

Another: “About the only prominent film director who actually depicts realistic trauma is Paul Verhoeven, possibly because he and Oliver Stone are about the only ones who’ve ever seen any; and every film he makes gets criticised for being over-the-top in terms of blood, gore, dismemberment etc.”

3Lllama: “I don’t remember that in Showgirls. Maybe I should have watched it all the way to the end after all?”

You didn’t see what those girls did to Burt Reynolds, once they ripped off their masks, and proved to be alien werewolf zombies?


harry b 11.25.08 at 1:08 pm

Well, the reports of the first episode are interesting — the original starts out much more disturbing than this one is reported as being, and although it calms down into a post-holocaust soap opera (well scripted and acted), it continues to shock every now and then. There’s a particularly disturbing, but realistic, rape about half way through the first series, with, again, realistically distrubing consequences. More John Christopher (in Death of Grass/No Blade of Grass) than John Wyndham.


richard 11.25.08 at 1:40 pm

the only Terry Nation remake I’m waiting for is Blake’s Seven. I’d like to see it redone sensitively, with no hint of campiness, with a decent budget and actors, as a cold-hearted anti-caper and study in Machiavellian politics. I think it’d be the next Firefly (that is, acclaimed by a cultish fan-base and unaccountably canceled after a couple of seasons despite its obvious popularity).


Peter 11.25.08 at 1:54 pm

I remembered Survivors quite vividly from “way back when.” So I ordered the DVDs from amazon ( and was pleasantly surprised that my id worked just fine. By today’s standards, it is extremely non-violent. And the hair, omg! the hair!


harry b 11.25.08 at 3:00 pm

Richard, about a year ago there was a remake of Blake’s Seven on radio. A retelling, that departed in crucial ways from the original, but captured the essence of it.


Chris Bertram 11.25.08 at 3:28 pm

I saw episode 1 on Sunday night. It was ok, without being great. Production values and general look-and-feel and level were similar to Spooks rather than, say, something great like Edge of Darkness. Entertaining then, but hard to care very much about the characters. I only have very dim memories of the original, which I didn’t see all the way through, but I remember it as grittier and edgier than the remake.


belle le triste 11.25.08 at 4:13 pm

i recall bitter, angry arguments at school the next day, esp. after the rape episode, about the rights and wrongs of how the characters responded — godwin’s law and everything!


belle le triste 11.25.08 at 4:14 pm

actually i rather suspect i was the one accusing everyone else of being hitler


harry b 11.25.08 at 4:16 pm

Well, having not even pretended to protect people from spoilers, I want to hear what you thought!


belle le triste 11.25.08 at 4:27 pm

if it’s the ep i think you’re referring to, a woman is raped, a man of subnormal intelligence is suspected and executed after voluble discussion but without tanything resembling a trial (by which i mean, he never knows he’s suspected); then it turns out it wasn’t him, but the people who executed him argue that, given the perilous social circumstance, they were right to take the action they did

my friend argued the execution was justified, and i accused him of being worse than hitler (we would have been about 16; i think others were chipping in, but the intense moral face-off was him and me) (he wasn’t a bit like hitler, but he did enjoy taking the “Realist” position, probably largely to wind me up, which he was reliably successful at)


harry b 11.25.08 at 4:35 pm

Wow, you’ve got a great memory — yes, every detail there is correct. I think you were absolutely right, and your friend was surely winding you up. But there is another decision, which is that after they figure out who did do it they decide not to take any action; that was the one that I thought might have been at issue (since, unlike the first decision, it seems to me there are considerations on both sides)


belle le triste 11.25.08 at 4:52 pm

the actual perp was a somewhat weedy man who had some talent or resource that was necessary to their general survival; whereas the subnormal fellow was considered a bit of a drain on resources, a “luxury” who some of them had been waiting for an excuse to remove

i don’t recall other episodes really; this particular one made a huge impression on me — probably because of the debate, tho i think partly because it was somewhat like pertwee-era doctor who in setting, with actual real grown-up issues (but doctor who would of course have resolved matters the way *i* was arguing for)

hmmm spoilers yes — but this was broadcast 33 years ago!


harry b 11.25.08 at 5:12 pm

Talfryn Thomas (or “Talf the teeth”) played the real culprit. As you can tell, it may have been broadcast 33 years ago, but to me it seems like last week.


ajay 11.25.08 at 5:18 pm

“About the only prominent film director who actually depicts realistic trauma is Paul Verhoeven, possibly because he and Oliver Stone are about the only ones who’ve ever seen any; and every film he makes gets criticised for being over-the-top in terms of blood, gore, dismemberment etc.”

“I don’t remember that in Showgirls. Maybe I should have watched it all the way to the end after all?”

Showgirls was widely criticised for being over-the-top in terms of etcetera. Verhoeven argued that all the etcetera shots were artistically justified.

Not just scale—though you’re right to point out that it’s a component—it’s typically the nice middle class protagonist who wakes up to a world with fewer inconvenient working-class people, after all.

Yeah! Yeah! And what about the miners, eh?


Frank 11.25.08 at 6:18 pm

I recall the original Survivors greatly offending my teenage Trotskyite sensibilities. There were a lot of Barbour clad second-home owners living out their ‘what if the proletariat hordes popped their clogs?’ fantasies. Result was the green-wellie wearers got to grow their own lettuce and piss about with steam trains–just like modern-day North Yorkshire really.


Frank 11.25.08 at 6:32 pm

>Yeah! Yeah! And what about the miners, eh?

I recall there were undisguised allusions to nasty flying-picket types. The Dave Spartists wanted to ruin the new Jersualem by setting up dark satanic mills, and forcing the sloans to do a proper day’s work.


harry b 11.25.08 at 6:34 pm

Or the Cotswolds?

It is more vicious than you remember, and distinctly less posh. Basically, there is just one posh protagonist. The rural proletariat are present, the urban proletariat more or less destroyed. It is distinctly less cosy than you remember, as CB says, pretty tough and edgy. I would say the politics of it were liberal-ish social democrat, rather in the mode of Barry Letts’s (Pertwee-era) Doctor Who, but with a harder edge (as belle le triste suggests).


Frank 11.25.08 at 7:39 pm

Growing up in Attercliffe, they all seemed posh to me. I need to watch the thing again though, Harry–to see how embourgoised I have become.


harry b 11.25.08 at 7:48 pm

Well, that’s just because you equated “posh” and “southern” no doubt… Just to be clear, by the way, while I do have a remarkable memory, I watched the first series of the original on DVD a couple of years ago so it is fresh in my mind….


belle le triste 11.25.08 at 8:09 pm

yes, i grew up in the (very) rural agricultural west midlands, so at that point i was probably over-reading rural class politics into it and missing any hints (or indeed massive giant nudges) of much else


Bob B 11.25.08 at 9:52 pm

Post-apocalyptic narratives became a popular and recurring theme for novels, TV series and movies in the early decades after WW2, perhaps motivated in Britain by the widely perceived growing threat of an outbreak of nuclear warfare at that time.

John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids (1951) was among the first and most engaging – as well as prescient – but there were many others on the theme of what happens when civilization breaks down, starting with Albert Camus: La Peste (1947) and going on to include: Death of Grass (1956) by John Christopher and, perhaps especially, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (1954) which resonates with the vision of life in Hobbes’s state of nature: “nasty, brutish and short”.


belle le triste 11.25.08 at 9:57 pm

prescient? uh-oh


Bob B 11.25.08 at 10:15 pm

“prescient? uh-oh”

In the narrative of: The Day of the Triffids (1951), the affliction of almost universal blindness, which led to the crash of civilization and the ascendancy of the triffids, derived from watching spectacular “meteor” displays attributed to malfunctioning satellites. Note: the first (known) successful satellite launch, the Soviet Sputnik, was on 4 October 1957.


John Kozak 11.25.08 at 10:28 pm

#29: “every detail is correct”, up to a point; the crime was murder.


Nur al-Cubicle 11.25.08 at 10:51 pm

I’m prepared to swap you a copy of Channel 4’s original “Traffic” for a copy of the Survivors.


Bob B 11.25.08 at 11:12 pm

belle le triste:

I must have read Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids (1951) as a young teen in 1952.

Try to imagine the impact of the narrative on readers then, years before satellites, let alone communications and military satellites, and many decades before GM crops.

Wyndham was prescient.


belle le triste 11.25.08 at 11:23 pm

don’t fret bob, i like wyndham — i was just making a (very small) joke about the current relative absence of giant ambulatory poisonous plants in a world of the largely blind


Bob B 11.26.08 at 5:41 am

Belle – Wyndham was doing something significant which we ought to do but tend not to. He was envisaging not just credible innovative technologies but the potential consequences if such technologies malfunction in unexpected ways.

A news item of a few weeks back related to a man in France who dropped his mobile down a loo on one of the fast TGV express trains. He reached down to retrieve the dropped phone and got sucked down the loo – I joke not. The train was held up for several hours while they tried to rescue the man. Eventually, they cut away the loo from the train and took it away with the man still attached.

This following is a sad but true story about the introduction of industrialised personal healthcare into our National Health Service at new local health centres where the doctor a patient sees will likely be someone they have never met before and probably won’t see again.

To make this new practice at health centres feasible, the doctors there need to have easy access to the medical records of attending patients on computer screens. In a recent case of an elderly patient, his wife who went with him advised the doctor at the local health centre that her husband was allergic to penicillin. But the record on the computer screen made no mention of this allergy so the doctor prescribed penicillin. On the admiistration of the penicillin, the patient swelled up – a standard allergic reaction – and died.

Now I know my GP and asked him where my medical record which he had on his computer screen was stored. He said he had no idea.

See this recent news item from the FT:

“Progress on the £12bn computer programme designed to give doctors instant access to patients’ records across the country has virtually ground to a halt, raising questions about whether the world’s biggest civil information technology project will ever be finished.”


Ginger Yellow 11.26.08 at 12:18 pm

“Wyndham was doing something significant which we ought to do but tend not to. He was envisaging not just credible innovative technologies but the potential consequences if such technologies malfunction in unexpected ways.”

“We” may tend not to do that, but it’s the basis of a huge proportion of science fiction.


ajay 11.26.08 at 3:45 pm

He was envisaging not just credible innovative technologies but the potential consequences if such technologies malfunction in unexpected ways.

“If we continue to seek greater crop production through careful cross-breeding of existing species of plant, there is the potential for creating eight-foot-tall ambulatory plants that talk to each other by rattling their stems and use their giant, poisonous whiplash tendrils to blind, kill and eat people.”

Good job he blew the whistle on that one.

I always wondered exactly what the discussions in the (I believe, Soviet) agricultural lab that created the first triffid were like.

“Well, Comrade Director, these are our latest cultivars. This one, cultivar 151A, has a yield of 2250 kilograms of high-quality vegetable oil per hectare, and can survive night time temperatures down to minus 5C. Cultivar 159A, on the other hand, has a lower yield – 2000 kilograms – but I think that could be outweighed by its greater resistance to disease. Also, it doesn’t require additional fertiliser.”

“Hmmm. That’s good.”

“Thank you, Comrade.”

“What about this one?”

“Ah, yes. Cultivar 231K. This one has a slightly higher yield of 2400 kilograms per hectare, but it does tend to, well, hunt, kill and eat the farm workers.”

“Really? Oh well, plenty more where they came from. I’ll authorise it for full-scale production!”


belle le triste 11.26.08 at 4:36 pm

comrade director lysenko, no less! his revenge on these all puny non-lamarckians was tremendous indeed


Bob B 11.26.08 at 9:57 pm

belle – do try this recent news report about research into what is called: epigenetics:

“Malnourishment in the womb causes genetic changes that can still be seen when people reach middle and old age, according to new research that shows how strongly environmental influences can interact with the human genome to shape health.

“A study of children born during the Dutch ‘Hunger Winter’, a famine that struck at the end of the Second World War, has found that some still bear its lasting genetic legacy more than six decades on. . .”

Lysenko may have had no valid scientific reasons at the time for the theories he espoused but on recent research findings he may not have been talking complete nonsense.


novakant 11.27.08 at 8:47 am

Oh, stop being mean to Verhoeven, please. He’s a great filmmaker who gave us:

Soldiers of Orange
Total Recall
Starship Troopers
Black Book
(haven’t seen Turkish Delight and Basic Instinct yet)

If some academic had written 20 papers, most of them really good, some of them brilliant and very influential, would you keep mentioning the terrible one he wrote when he was at the low point of his career?


ejh 11.27.08 at 9:33 am

1990 was certainly from the political loony-right, with Britain having turned into a police state run by the trades unions.

There was one episode (series two episode six, I looked it up some time ago) which I seem to recall featured a world chess championship match in which the English player – England turning into Russia, geddit – broke off from the game in order to address the TV camera and tell the world it was “like a prison here”.


Dave 11.27.08 at 10:57 am

Having only read the synopsis of 1990, and being too young to remember its broadcast, I can’t help being struck by the thought that it shows how thoroughly the TU movement in the late 1970s had managed to discredit itself, that a ‘mainstream’ drama could be made – by the ‘notoriously pinko’ Auntie Beeb – demonising them in this fashion. BTW, it sounds like a rip-off of Anthony Burgess’s 1985 [pub. 1978], but the production chronology is out: an example of great [tiny?] minds thinking alike?


Dave 11.27.08 at 11:05 am

@50: I read it all the way through, and couldn’t find any mention of anything supporting the hypothesis that changes to somatic DNA of individuals in the womb would be conserved in the germ-line – which is what is necessary for ‘Lysenkoist’ modification to work. Many things can alter somatic DNA – the blueprint of the individual between conception and final adult development. Some are random mutations, like those causing forms of dwarfism and phocomelia; others are external factors – thalidomide, heavy metals, etc. As Alison Lapper shows admirably, someone born with almost no limbs can subsequently bear a fully-developed quote-unquote ‘normal’ child.

Unless and until you can ‘get at’ the germ-line DNA buried in the sperm and ova, Lysenkoism is still a dead letter.


belle le triste 11.27.08 at 12:08 pm

dave will be the first up against the potting-shed wall when the vegetable kingdom comes


ajay 11.27.08 at 12:58 pm

54: I concur – though I haven’t seen the original paper, there is no mention in the article of lower degrees of IGF2 methylation in the offspring of famine babies; and not surprising that if your parents “are at high risk of a wide variety of health problems, including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease” then you are more likely to be born underweight – no genetic influence necessary. Lysenkoism implies inheritance of acquired characteristics. Not happening here.


ajay 11.27.08 at 12:59 pm

As Alison Lapper shows admirably, someone born with almost no limbs can subsequently bear a fully-developed quote-unquote ‘normal’ child.

Actually, of course, Alison Lapper’s child had more than the average number of limbs…


ejh 11.27.08 at 2:59 pm

1985 was a particularly poor effort, though of the same kind: the paranoid right who couldn’t tell a strike from a conspiracy. Not sure why the trade union movement is somehow responsible for 1990 being comissioned: the reputation of the writer, the highly successful Wilfred Greatorex, may have been of greater importance than the series’ politics.


harry b 11.27.08 at 3:10 pm

That’s funny, I remember finding 1990 utterly compelling, and thrilling, so must have been completely oblivious to the politics (the wiki page implies that the fact that bad guys were trade union leaders might have been obscure to a 14 year old, for whom names like Scanlon, Jones, Feather, Scargill meant much the same as names like Keegan…well, I can;t remember others because they meant nothing to me… to his peers); Greatorex was a great TV writer, so the politics aside it’s possible that it was really good.


ejh 11.27.08 at 3:35 pm

Oh, quite possibly. (Or you might be mixing it up with An Englishman’s Castle, which ran at much the same time, or so my fallible memory tells me.)


Nabakov 11.27.08 at 4:34 pm

Speaking of Tory dystopias, what about Constantine Fitzgibbon’s ” When The Kissing Had To Stop” or Saki’s “When William Came.”?


harry b 11.27.08 at 5:08 pm

Oh no, it was definitely 1990. Edward Woodward!


Frank 11.27.08 at 5:40 pm

I recall the TV dramatisation of “When The Kissing Had To Stop” and have since read the book. Seem to remember that the upper-class protoganist—Felix– was a Jew, but was a thoroughly decent sort i..e pausing in his hall way to listen to blissfully to carol singers (can’t really despise a toff like that can we?). In the TV drama, he was played by Alan Wheatley—–a.k.a, in my childhood milieu , as the Sheriff of Nottingham (Boo!). I believe it was broadcast in two episodes. Episode one recounted the events surrounding the election of a “popular front” government. The centre-right leader have the party suddenly collapsed and died–leaving the field open to a hard left-winger. In that respect, there was an uncanny foreshadowing of political developments a couple years later i.e. the demise of Gaitskell and the rise to power of Harold Wilson. Episode two ended with Felix, heading for the hills of Wales, to carry on a guerilla war against the treacherous Russian. Elaine Pedley and me wrote to ITV asking if they would make follow-up a series about Felix’s exciting adventures.


Bob B 11.27.08 at 11:46 pm

Hot news update:

“A new television adaptation of classic sci-fi story The Day of The Triffids is being made by the BBC. The drama, about menacing plants taking over the world, will be shown in two feature-length episodes next year.”



belle le triste 11.28.08 at 12:02 pm

hooray indeed! also comity!


jay bee 11.28.08 at 4:55 pm

I can remember the original Survvors pretty well but I’m drawing a complete blank on 1990 which is odd because we did’t watch commercial television in our house and lapped up pretty much everything the beeb put out in those days – as long as it was on before 10pm or so.

On the other hand I still have very vivid memories of a lot of Play For Today although I’m sure that if they were re-run now I’d find plenty of faults with them

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