The Basics

A brief history of Survivors on non-terrestrial TV

< Back | Home


Survivors on UK Gold
Survivors on satellite & cable TV

Between 1977 and 1993, Survivors remained locked away in the vaults of the BBC, never once enjoying a repeat broadcast on terrestrial TV – a decision that left actor-writer Ian McCulloch “astonished” if not surprised: “From the day that we did it, they’ve never actually attempted to sell it to the public, so it sold itself to the public” (Action TV, No 10, 2004).

In 1993, the first repeat broadcast of the show began on the cable-satellite station UK Gold — the first time the programme had been screened on UK television in sixteen years — allowing fans to tape off-air copies of the complete run. Survivors appeared in a variety of time slots: including the early hours of Friday morning, breakfast-time on Sunday and in the small-hours of Monday.

Initially broadcast when UK Gold was relatively new, the programme was preceded by on-screen in-person announcers, and shared ‘genre’ slots such as The Vortex, with shows such as Blake’s 7 and Doctor Who. Several cuts were made to the broadcast of the show during its repeated transmissions on UK Gold — some for reasons of ‘inappropriateness’ or ‘unsuitability’ of some of the show’s rare ‘graphic’ content in a pre-watershed time slot, other brief scene trims were introduced to ensure that the episodes ran to the precise length required by the channel.

The series has since been run a further four times on UK Gold, with the most recent full-showing of the series concluding in April 1998.

With more recent profile changes across the UK-TV family of stations, UK Gold has become dedicated exclusively to comedy programmes, ruling out the possibility of drama repeats. In January 2011, there was no indication that Survivors would secure a fresh transmission on UK TV screens any time soon.

In recent years, Survivors has been broadcast on PBS stations in the US and on UK-TV in Australia.

A preview for the broadcast of Genesis (series 1, episode 2) on UK Gold (at 9am on Sunday 27 August 1996) from Cult Times magazine, August 1996.

A preview for the broadcast of The Lights of London - Part 1 (series 2, episode 3) on UK Gold (at 9am on Sunday 24 November 1996) from Cult Times magazine, November 1996.

Survivors: The Basics

An introduction to Survivors
Episode guide
Themes and plot 'arcs'
Survivors: main characters
Survivors on satellite & cable TV
The BBC Worldwide video release
The Sovereign Video re-release
The DD Video re-release
Survivors series one on DVD

Survivors series two on DVD
Survivors series three on DVD
Survivors three series DVD box-set
Survivors Italian DVD releases
Survivors Region 1 DVD box-set
Survivors novelisations
'Making of' and Survivors Guide Books
Fanzines and other publications
Reviving and remaking Survivors


Front cover of The End of the World?: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Survivors

Cover price: £ 12.99.

More information and reviews >>>

The End of the World?

An authoritative and comprehensive guide to all aspects of Survivors is provided in The End of the World?: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Survivors, co-authored by Rich Cross and Andy Priestner. Richly illustrated with behind-the-scenes photos, the book includes: Guides to the production of each of the three series of the show; reviews and analysis of all 38 episodes; assessments of the core themes of each series; character and location guides... and much more besides.

Published by Telos Publishing in December 2005, the title is currently out of print. Plans to publish an updated edition of the book are currently on hold.


Home | Survivors: The Basics

Basics: Introduction | Episode guide | Characters | Themes | Videos | DVDs | Novels | 'Making of...' books
Behind-the-scenes:Unseen series one location shots
Books: Survivors book: The End of the World? | Survivors book: Worlds Apart
Terry Nation study - Bignell and O'Day | Terry Nation study - Turner | Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Survivors
Cast and crew: Memorabilia 2011 | Pennant Roberts: 1940-2010
DVDs: Series 1 DVD | Series 2 DVD | Series 3 DVD | DVD news
DVD studio day photo galleries: Series 1 | Series 2 | Series 3
Interviews: Jonathan Bignell | Peter Duncan | Don Shaw | Roger Monk | Alwyn W Turner | Pete Wallbank
Locations: Genesis: 2005 location finds | Genesis: 2013 location finds | Genesis: Greg Preston's home
Gone Away: 2013 location finds | Hampton Court interiors | The Last Laugh locations
TV: 'The Cult of...' Survivors | Survivors Australian trailer | See The Enemy in 'TV Heaven'
Writing: Writings on Survivors | SciFi Now: Survivors | Action TV: Survivors
More: 'Goofs and Gaffes' | Survivors at the BFI | Survivors in SFX 'best ever' poll
Survivors on Mastermind | How to annoy a Survivors fan

Survivors book: The End of the World?

Survivors: Mad Dog