Survivors novelisations

By Rich Cross   Last updated on 26 December 2020, 11:23:09

Details of the two Survivors novels from the 1970s


Detail from the front cover of the hardback edition of Terry Nation's 1976 Survivors novel

TWO TIE-IN SURVIVORS novels were published in the 1970s, both of which offer different perspectives on the post-Death world than those appearing on screen in the original TV series.

In 1976, Survivors, written by programme creator Terry Nation, was published in hardback by Weidenfeld and Nicholson and in paperback by Futura. The work was also later published in the USA and in Italy. Nation's novel is a 're-imagining' of the events of the first half of series one, which then departs from the TV storyline to explore a far wider and more 'epic' vista than it was possible to realise on a BBC series budget — focusing on the efforts of a group of British survivors to relocate to the more hospitable climes of Mediterranean Europe.

Front cover of John Eyers' novel Survivors: Genesis of a Hero
Front cover of John Eyers' novel Survivors: Genesis of a Hero

Survivors: Genesis of a Hero, published in the UK in 1977, was authored under the pen name of John Eyers — the identity of the real author (Peter Hill) has only recently been disclosed. In the vein of 'the apocalyptic adventure story', Genesis of a Hero offered a fast-moving and frequently violent sequel to Nation's original novel, which departs from the established TV canon completely. Less concerned with issues of character, or the complexities of the human predicament in an end-of-the-world setting, Genesis of a Hero offers a striking alternative vision to Nation's own — in which the character of Peter Grant (never seen on screen in the TV series, though repeatedly refered to) takes centre stage in a Britain plunged into a civil war between feuding gangs of warlords.

Both long since out of print, copies of both novelisations can occasionally be found on internet auction and second-hand book sites — often at considerable cost.

Bibliographic details

Terry Nation. 1976. Survivors, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, ISBN 0297771078 (hbk), 205p, 23cm.

Terry Nation. 1976. Survivors, London: Futura Publications, ISBN 0860071707 (pbk), 205p, 18cm.

John Eyers. 1977. Survivors: Genesis of a Hero, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, ISBN 0297773364 (hbk), 189p, 23cm.

John Eyers. 1977. Survivors: Genesis of a Hero, London: Futura Publication, ISBN 0860075583 (pbk), 189p, 18cm.

New 2008 edition

To coincide with the transmission of the new series of Survivors on BBC One in November 2008, Orion released a new edition of Terry Nation's original Survivors novelisation.

The new edition uses, as its main illustration, a detail from the BBC group promotional shot, featuring Greg (Paterson Joseph), Abby (Julie Graham), Tom (Max Beesley) and Jenny (Freema Ageyman).

This new edition also features the cover flash "Now a major TV series".

Terry Nation. 2008. Survivors. London: Orion Books. ISBN 978-1-40910264-9. £6.99


Cite this web page
20 June 2024202131 January

 Cross, R. (2021). 'Survivors novelisations,' [online] Survivors: A World Away, 31 January. Available at: https://www.survivors-mad-dog.org.uk/a-world-away/Basics_Novelisations.php. Accessed on: 20 June 2024.

 
   

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Terry Nation's Survivors

 Survivors is a 38-episode, three series British post-apocalyptic TV series, created by Terry Nation, and first shown on BBC 1 between 1975 and 1977

 Two Survivors novel were published in the UK, USA and Italy in the seventies: Terry Nation's part-novelisation of the first TV series Survivors was published in 1976; with John Eyers' original follow-up Genesis of a Hero appearing the following year

 A 12-episode, two series remake of Survivors was broadcast on BBC One between 2008 and 2010

 A 36-episode, nine series run of new and original Survivors audio adventures, set in the time and place of the original programme, were released by Big Finish between 2014 and 2019

 Terry Nation's Survivors novel was released as an audiobook, voiced by Carolyn Seymour, in 2014

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