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BBC DEFINITELY TO REMAKE SURVIVORS

29th November  2007

The BBC has recently announced that it is definitely set to re-make Survivors. Plans have been in progress for some time and have reportedly been held up due to prolonged negotiations with the Nation estate. Locations are already being scouted for the new series which is due to be written next year.

 

For the full story on the BBC site click here

For the Press Office announcement click here

 

 

THE  CULT OF... SURVIVORS: UPDATE
 

29th November  2006

I've now seen a preview copy of the new Survivors documentary and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Although it rather predictably deals with Series 1 in the most detail, the material is very good and there are even one or two new anecdotes and revelations along the way. The downsides are the way in which series 2 and 3 are dismissed far too readily and the fact there is no mention of Denis Lill whatsoever. However, given the constraints of a 29 minute runtime I think BBC Scotland have done an admirable job.

The narrator is Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf) and the interviewees include Carolyn, Lucy, Ian, Pennant, Martin Worth and a chap from SFX magaxine.

The scheduled repeat of Law and Order (see below) has now been pulled.
 

 

 

NEW SURVIVORS DOCUMENTARY ON BBC4 IN DECEMBER
9th November  2006

 

 

A new documentary examining Survivors made by BBC Scotland which forms part of BBC4's new 'The Cult of... ' strand is due to be broadcast on Tuesday 5th December at 8.30pm, with a repeat on Thursday 7th December at 10.00pm. The programme features interviews with many of the series' key personnel including: Carolyn Seymour, Ian McCulloch, Lucy Fleming and Pennant Roberts. The first broadcast will be preceded by a repeat showing of an as yet unconfirmed episode from the series  (unfortunately its more likely to be Law and Order than The Fourth Horseman - which in my opinion would be a better choice as a standalone episode). 

 

'The Cult of... '  series will start with Blake's 7 in mid November. Other shows covered by the series include Adam Adamant Lives, The Tripods, Doomwatch and Star Cops.



SURVIVORS RE-MAKE ANNOUNCED


11th July  2006

It was reported in yesterday's Media Guardian that the BBC is considering producing a new series of Survivors and is currently in negotiation with the Terry Nation estate:

 

'First came Doctor Who, now the BBC is considering reviving another cult science fiction show from the man who invented the Daleks: Terry Nation's Survivors. The BBC has confirmed it is in talks with the estate of Mr Nation, a co-creator of Doctor Who, about buying the rights to his 1975 series centred on a post-apocalyptic world peopled by survivors from a devastating plague. The BBC is understood to be hoping to make a new series of six 60- minute episodes. The project is being overseen by inhouse BBC executive producer Sue Hogg and is one of a handful of Doctor Who-related dramas being planned by the corporation. One imminent drama is Torchwood, based on the fictional alien research centre in Doctor Who, which is currently being filmed. The BBC is not yet at the casting stage for the Survivors series, which would be dependent on the agreement of the Terry Nation estate. The original drama was seen through the eyes of two characters - Jenny Richards, a young working woman, and Abby Grant, a middle- class corporate wife living a privileged existence in a nearby commuter village. The women were played by Lucy Fleming and Carolyn Seymour respectively. The original programme ran for three series and 38 episodes, although Mr Nation left after the first series. He followed up Survivors with his next BBC sci-fi creation, Blake's 7, about a ragtag group of criminals on the run from the sinister Terran Federation in a stolen alien spaceship. Mr Nation, who also invented the Daleks, is regarded as one of the creators of Doctor Who in the early 60s alongside then BBC head of drama Sydney Newman. The estate of Mr Nation, who died from emphysema in 1997, also jointly owns the copyright to the likeness and characters of the Daleks with the BBC.'  

( http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,1816472,00.html  Thanks to Daniel Smith.)

SURVIVORS BOOK - SFX REVIEW

30th March 2006

A very favourable review of The End of the World? Survivors book appeared in the April 2006 edition of SFX. The review is written by respected and well-known television historian Andrew Pixley who advises that
'if you're a serious fan of this gritty slice of 1970s BBC post-plague drama, then you really can't afford to miss this.' He also references the 'lavish photographic location guide' and urges those who've never even heard of Survivors to still buy the book 'just to see how good a TV guide book can be.' 


NEW SURVIVORS BOOK NOW AVAILABLE!


11th January 2006

After something of a delay, The End of the World?, the first professionally published book to concentrate on Survivors is now available to buy from Telos and Play.  

 

Amazon should also be stocking the title in the next day or so. The book includes in-depth analysis and reviews of every episode, detailed essays on the production of each series, character profiles, location photos and much, much more. The book is illustrated throughout with photos contributed by Anne Ronder, Denis Lill and Lucy Fleming. Enjoy!


If you'd like to comment on the book, then you are very welcome to email me here



SERIES 3 DVD OUT MONDAY 14th NOV


10th November 2005

The third and final Survivors DVD set will be released on Monday. However, if you've pre-ordered you may already be lucky enough to have your copy!

Its been a long road to get here and there were times earlier in the year when I severely doubted this would happen. I'd just like to say thanks to all those people who bought the sets and also to those who have emailed me over the past three years to congratulate me on my efforts - it means a lot. Do let me know what you think of the new documentary and the set in general.

I trust your pre-orders are already in for the new Survivors book, released 15th December?


best

 

Andy


Below: an advert from the December edition of SFX magazine:

 

 


SERIES 3 DVD UPDATE


8th October 2005

Work on the Series 3 DVD set is now almost complete. Phoenix Film and Television, who have been working with myself and DD Home Entertainment, have gone above and beyond the call of duty in terms of ensuring appropriate DVD picture quality for the remastered episodes. An article on the exhaustive process undertaken, written by Phoenix's Managing Director, Anthony Caulfield, will appear here soon.

 


The behind-the-scenes documentary 'New World Rising' - bizarrely a title that both myself and Rich Cross came up with independently of each other - was completed late last month. It is an in-depth and colourful examination of the new direction taken by the final series. This is the sort of feature I wanted to produce when I first got the gig of working as a release consultant for DD and - I rarely say this - I am happy with how it's turned out.  Particular thanks must go to Alisdair Skene for his patience in the Phoenix edit suite (Andy: "I want that text to go there, be more red and then zoom out... and then if this background can be more purple with less spots... and then cut that sentence there..." etc. etc.). With a 65 minute runtime this is a substantial extra and I hope you'll agree that the time and money put into it was worthwhile.

 

 

Having never wanted to appear in front of the camera on the DVD extras or to be heard interviewing (I've comforted myself with the thought that interviewers on, say, the Doctor Who DVDs, would sound just as out of place, it's just that they've been edited out) I've retreated behind-the-scenes. However, I decided that it was important to have a 'fan voice' on the documentary to ensure a cohesive whole and Rich (my co-author on The End of the World?) thankfully agreed to take on this role.

 


As I've already said in a previous update, the gathered Survivors cast and crew gave great value on the day and proved to be incredibly enthusiastic and co-operative. Although I'm disappointed that there's no Denis, due to the lateness of the recording date caused by incredibly frustrating clearance delays (which at times also prompted me to think that the third series was destined to languish forever in the BBC archives!), I couldn't have been more pleased with his eleventh hour replacement - Peter Jefferies, who I could sit and listen to for hours. Like Stephen Dudley, Jefferies has an innate understanding of what us fans want to hear. Lucy Fleming, as charming and charismatic as ever, is a vital element of the feature due to her prominence in the final series and her unique perspective of having worked on the show from start to finish. Tristan de Vere Cole also provides some fascinating new insights into the production and the people involved.

 



The choice of episode commentaries was ultimately dictated by the availability and co-operation of cast and crew and in the end I think they both work well. Fan favourite Mad Dog was an obvious choice - I was very pleased to find that Morris Perry so keen to come in and talk about the episode. Law of the Jungle would perhaps not be such an obvious choice as Mad Dog were it not for its immense behind-the-scenes significance - it was recorded first and became a template for the grittier 1977 run. Both commentaries, like the rest of the DVD are subtitled.

 


One last studio-recorded element of the new DVD set is included as an Easter Egg. And nope, I'm not giving away where it is.

As before, the DVD is accompanied by a viewing notes booklet. When Rich and I were dividing up the writing chores for The End of the World?, we knew that this booklet work would be likely to be coming up for me, so agreed that it would be a good idea for Rich to tackle the book's Series 3 production essay. Some six months later, I  decided not to re-read Rich's completed essay before I started writing and the result is that, although there are some inevitable overlaps in content, the viewing notes essay gives quite a different perspective on events. The episode trivia is a collection of the new (some of which was discovered in the BBC archives) and the oft-recounted. Once again the booklet and the packaging has been designed by Julia of Shoot That Tiger! who has now become a Survivors convert!

 

 

Finally there are two photo galleries. BBC stills all taken during the recording of Manhunt, and thanks to the generosity of Denis Lill, a comprehensive collection of behind-the-scenes shots from both the second and third series. The latter are particularly significant given the lack of BBC stills.

 


I hope the above has whetted your appetite sufficiently! The Complete Third Series boxset is due for release on 14th November 2005.



RELEASE DATE ANNOUNCED


9th September 2005

DD Home Entertainment have announced 14th November 2005 as the release date for the Series 3 DVD set. However, as before, expect some slippage. Rest assured everyone's peddling as furiously as they can to get this out on time.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The new Survivors book also has a new release date of 15th December 2005, so its going to be a 'Survivors Xmas'!



SERIES 3 DVD - STUDIO RECORDING


9th August 2005

After several possible cast and crew line-ups, the special features for the Survivors 3
DVD were finally recorded in London last week. I haven't been able to post the news
before now, partly due to the fact that the line-up kept changing, but also because
for the last few days I've had my head down assembling the interview footage - together
with stills and clips from the series - into what promises to be a cracking 'Making of
Series 3' documentary feature, which will be entitled 'New World Rising'.



First, the bad news. Although we got lucky last year and managed to secure Denis Lill's
involvement despite heavy work commitments, this year The Royal has beaten us. Let
me assure you no-one is more disappointed about this than Denis himself. Another
notable absentee was Ian McCulloch who declined to be involved. However, it's by no
means 'all doom and gloom' and the good news is that an exciting line-up of cast and
crew were eventually contracted, who converged on the Sound Company studios last
Thursday for a fun and relaxed day of recording.

Lucy Fleming (Jenny Richards) once again agreed to attend and clearly relished the
opportunity to meet her former colleagues. In interview she talked animatedly about
Jenny's increased prominence in the final series and provided new insights into
Survivors' behind-the-scenes story.


Above: Stephen Dudley and Lucy Fleming Rich Cross

Reunited with Lucy for the first time in twenty-eight years was Stephen Dudley (John
Millon) who she immediately recognised. Stephen was last in front of the camera
and gave a fascinating interview which covered his playing John, discussion of his
father's vision for the series and his own take on the Survivors' strengths. Stephen
was joined by his wife Sue.

Representing the final series' crew, director Peter Jefferies, who did so much to
shape the gritty look and feel of the final series, was also in attendance. He had
clearly done his homework and delivered fresh anecdotes about his four highly-
regarded episodes (Manhunt, Law of the Jungle, The Enemy and The Last Laugh).

 

Above: Series 3 directors - Peter Jefferies and Tristan de Vere Cole Rich Cross

Joining him looking back almost thirty years, was Tristan de Vere Cole, director of the
classic episode Mad Dog (as well as Sparks and Long Live the King) who also made
an important and enthusiastic contribution and was delighted to meet his Survivors
contemporaries again.

Last, but by no means least, Morris Perry, perhaps the series' most memorable guest
star, Richard Fenton in Mad Dog, also put in an appearance and reminisced about the
episode with Tristan.


Given the eventual line-up, I didn't find it too difficult to decide which episodes should
receive the audio commentary treatment. First up was Tristan and Morris on Mad
Dog
, with Rich Cross moderating, followed by Peter and Lucy on Law of the Jungle,
with myself on moderating duties. Both commentaries were enjoyed by all concerned.
 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Tristan de Vere Cole and Morris Perry record the Mad Dog commentary Rich Cross

Recording finished around 5pm, by which time all the attendees had given 110%.
It was great to hear their memories of Survivors and to witness just how much the
series still means to them all.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Series 3 DVD is due for release in November.



SERIES 3 DVD CONFIRMED!

9th July 2005

I am thrilled to be able to tell you all that the third series of Survivors will now definitely
be released on DVD by DD Home Entertainment in November 2005.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Hubert and Jenny in Manhunt BBC

As before, the release will be a 4-disc boxset. All the episodes have already been
digitally remastered and include several scenes, that were cut from UK Gold satellite
transmissions, which have not been seen since the series was first broadcast in 1977.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Lucy Fleming and friend Denis Lill

DD will be financing a range of special features to accompany the release and these
provisionally include:

  • interviews with key cast and crew members

  • audio commentaries on two episodes

  • a 40-page behind-the-scenes booklet

  • 2 x photo galleries

Once again I will be putting these features together, this time with an experienced
television production company called Phoenix (who like me are very keen to improve
the quality of the camera interviews in particular) to ensure that the final release goes
out with a bang.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Charles, Jenny and Hubert ready to take on the dangerous post-Death world BBC

There is no firm news as yet as to who will be taking part in the studio recording, but I
will post here as soon as any names are confirmed.

Its amazing to think that by Christmas 2005 we'll be able to watch any episode of
Survivors whenever we want, with a picture quality better than that of the original
broadcast. A great 30th Anniversary present for us fans!

The long wait will soon be over...


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Denis Lill and Lucy Fleming pose for photographs during recording of Manhunt BBC


THE END OF THE WORLD? - THE UNOFFICIAL AND UNAUTHORISED GUIDE TO SURVIVORS


11th April 2005

The first commercially
published book to scrutinise Survivors in depth and in its entirety is now available for pre-order online here.

 

 

Rich and I are pleased to reveal that the book comes in at 400 pages and will retail at the very reasonable price of 12.99. The End of the World? will be published in the UK in September and in USA and Canada in March 2006. The foreword  is written by Survivors director Pennant Roberts.


More details are available on Telos Publishing's website, including biogs of the authors

Still no news to report on the possible DVD release of Series 3.



NEW SURVIVORS BOOK in 2005!


18th March 2005

It's time for the DVDs to take a backseat for once, as I can now reveal that a new guidebook to Survivors, co-authored by myself and Rich Cross, will be published by Telos Publishing in Autumn 2005.

This new book - provisionally titled 'The End of the World? - will be part of the 'unofficial and unauthorised' range of cult film and TV books produced by Telos. The contents of the book are still being finalised, but 'The End of the World?' will certainly include: detailed production essays about the making of each of Survivors three series; comprehensive analysis and reviews of all 38 episodes of the show; and much more besides. It is expected that the book will include a range of behind-the-scenes photographs taken by cast and crew members - many of which have never been
published before.

The book will be available through high street bookshops and online retailers such as Amazon, as well as direct from Telos. The company does distribute its titles in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. The cover price has not yet been finalised, but previous books in the series (including the Blake's 7 guidebook 'Liberation') have retailed for 9.99.

Much more information about the book will be made available in the coming weeks (with a dedicated mini web-site online later in the spring) - but in the meantime, please feel free to post any questions or queries about the project to Bob's Survivors Forum or the Yahoo Survivorstvseries list.

It is planned that the book will be published to broadly coincide with the (hoped for) release of Survivors third series on DVD: although DD Entertainment have yet to confirm that the DVD release is going ahead.

More details on 'The End of the World?' will be available in the new July-December 2005 Telos
catalogue which will soon be available for download from http://www.telos.co.uk

 

 



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