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
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.'
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
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
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
I trust your pre-orders are already in for the new Survivors
book, released 15th
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
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
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
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
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
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
involvement despite heavy work commitments, this year The Royal has
beaten us. Let
assure you no-one is more disappointed about this than Denis himself.
absentee was Ian McCulloch who declined to be involved.
However, it's by no
doom and gloom' and the good news is that an
of cast and
crew were eventually contracted, who converged on the Sound
a fun and relaxed day of recording.
Lucy Fleming (Jenny Richards) once again agreed to attend and clearly
opportunity to meet her former colleagues. In interview she talked
increased prominence in the final series and provided new insights into
Survivors' behind-the-scenes story.
Above: Stephen Dudley and Lucy Fleming ©
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
joined by his wife Sue.
Representing the final series' crew, director Peter Jefferies, who did so
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
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
Last, but by no means least, Morris Perry, perhaps the series' most
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
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
As before, the release will be a 4-disc boxset. All the episodes have
digitally remastered and include several scenes, that were cut from UK Gold
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
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
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
with a bang.
Above: Charles, Jenny and Hubert
ready to take on the dangerous post-Death world
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
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
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
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
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
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
Home Page Episode Guide Regular Characters Links Behind the Scenes
last updated: 29 November 2006
All text ©
Andy Priestner Screen Captures