Today (9 March) is the twentieth anniversary of the death of Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation, who died from emphysema in Los Angeles, US on 9 March 1997 at the age of 66.
Nation enjoyed a long and varied career as a scriptwriter and show creator, notable for his contributions to Doctor Who and his work on numerous other TV series throughout the sixties and seventies and into the eighties. As well as creating Blake’s 7, Nation also devised the small-screen post-apocalyptic classic Survivors.
After he relocated to Los Angeles in 1980, Nation tried unsuccessfully to convince a US TV network to remake Survivors for the American TV market. Nation could hardly have imagined what would have become of Doctor Who in the last two decades, but the story of Survivors has also continued to evolve in ways the series’ creator could not possibly have anticipated, including:
- The release of Survivors on DVD in different formats and packages, and for different regions, in the UK, America, Australia and Italy
- The arrival of the first commercially published book to explore the genesis and production of the series.
- The broadcast of a two-series, twelve-episode ‘re-imagining of Survivors by the BBC between 2008 and 2010
- The re-publication in 2008 of his out-of-print 1976 Survivors novel
- The release of the first ever audio-book version of his Survivors novel by Big Finish in 2014, voiced by Survivors actress Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant)
- The release of a series of new and original audio-adventures, set in the time and place of the original Survivors TV series, and involving the three original core stars of the show: Carolyn Seymour, Lucy Fleming (Jenny Richards) and Ian McCulloch (Greg Preston). This audio series will result in, at a minimum, 36 new original episodes, with releases (which began in 2013) now confirmed to continue until at least the end of 2018
- The publication of two book exploring Nation’s talents as a scriptwriter (including his work on Survivors) – Jonathan Bignell and Andrew O’Day. 2004. Terry Nation, Manchester: Manchester University Press; and Alwyn W Turner, 2001 Terry Nation: The Man Who Invented the Daleks, London: Aurum