Survivors: a new BBC series

By Rich Cross   Last updated on 26 December 2020, 18:08:51

The BBC gives green-light for new series of Survivors

The 'Survivors Emerge?' report from Dreamwatch September 2006

 ON 22 NOVEMBER 2007 the BBC News site confirmed that a new series of Survivors will soon enter production, following the successful conclusion of negotiations with the estate of Terry Nation for the rights.

The new series will be made in-house by the BBC Drama Department, and will be executive produced by Sue Hogg. The series will be written by Adrian Hodges whose screen credits include Ruby In The Smoke, Shadow In The North, Charles II and Primeval.

The BBC's 'remake' of Survivors will reset the global catastrophe in the present day, and: "follow a group of individuals as they fight for day-to-day survival."

Head of series and serials at BBC Drama Production Kate Harwood, said: "The opportunity to remake Survivors for a modern generation proved irresistible... I am delighted that one of British television's great cult series will return with original stories packed with adventure and spirit set against the backdrop of our own recognisable world."

Hodges says: "Survivors was one of the bravest and most exciting programmes of its time and I'm thrilled to be involved with re-imagining it for a new audience... Its themes remain as relevant as ever and while we will be staying faithful to many aspects of the original, we will also be bringing the story into the 21st Century and making it accessible to contemporary audiences."

Survivors will be broadcast on BBC1, although no transmission dates for the new series have yet been confirmed.

New series links

The original announcement from 2006...

News of the BBC's announcement of plans for a possible revival of Survivors was picked up by the genre press in August, although no further details were confirmed in the SFX and Dreamwatch coverage beyond those already released in the original Media Guardian story of 10 July 2006.

The 'Survivors Emerge?' report from Dreamwatch September 2006
The 'Survivors Emerge?' report from Dreamwatch September 2006

The following story appeared in Dreamwatch No. 144, dated September 2006.

Survivors Emerge?

Terry Nation's post-apocalyptic drama eyed for revival by BBC

Cult 1970s' science fiction show Survivors may be poised to return to TV, with the BBC confirming that it has plans to revive the post-apocalyptic drama.

Survivors was devised by Doctor Who writer Terry Nation, who would later create the BBC space opera Blake's 7. Running for 38 episodes from 1975 to 1977 the BBC production saw a genetically engineered virus kill 95 per cent of the world's population. Lucy Fleming, Carolyn Seymour and Ian McCulloch starred as some of the remaining survivors, struggling to maintain humanity.

Creator Terry Nation died from emphysema in 1997. The BBC has now confirmed that it is in talks with his his estate about the possibility of buying the rights to Survivors. This follows the BBC's successful negotiations with the Nation estate for the use of his villainous creations the Daleks in its hits Doctor Who revival.

The new Survivors project is being developed within the BBC, with the proposed six-episode serial overseen by The Last Train and My Family and Other Animals producer Sue Hogg.

The 'Survivors Returns. Probably' report from SFX September 2006
The 'Survivors Returns. Probably' report from SFX September 2006

The following story appeared in SFX No. 147, dated September 2006.

Survivors Returns. Probably

The BBC is in talks to resurrect another '70s SF show, Survivors. The brainchild of Terry Nation, Survivors lasted three series from 1975 and focused on a post apocalyptic world peopled by survivors of a devastating plague.

It is understood that the BBC wants to make a new series of six hour-long episodes. The project's being overseen by Beeb producer Sue Hogg. But a deal has yet to be finalised and the BBC is still in negotiations with Nation's estate.

Although Nation owns the rights to the series, he left after season one, going on to create Blake's 7.

A report on the Media Guardian web site, posted at 8am on Monday 10 July 2006, suggests that the BBC is in negotiation to bring a new series of Survivors to the screen. Journalist Ben Dowell indicates that if negotiations with the estate of Survivors' creator Terry Nation conclude successfully, the BBC will begin work on a new six-part series of Survivors.

The full-text of the report, which can be found online here is as follows:

BBC set to revive 70s sci-fi show

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 charactersmof the Daleks with the BBC.'

More information will be posted on Survivors: A World Away as soon as soon as it is available.

The report on the Media Guardian web site
The report on the Media Guardian web site

Cite this web page
04 December 2021202131 January

 Cross, R. (2021). 'Survivors: a new BBC series,' [online] Survivors: A World Away, 31 January. Available at: Accessed on: 04 December 2021.


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 Site sections

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

 Genesis of a Hero was reprinted and republished as a paperback and as a Kindle title in 2015

 A sequel to Genesis of a Hero, entitled Survivors: Salvation, was published in February 2021

 Hampton Court features in Antiques Road Trip
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HAMPTON COURT IN Herefordshire, a key filming location in the first series of Survivors, features in a new episode of the long-running BBC auction show Antiques Road Trip.

 Monsal Dale provides base for new episode of Countryfile
Monsal Dale provides base for new episode of Countryfile

MONSAL DALE, THE key filming location for the third series Survivors episode Mad Dog, provides the 'centre of operations' for the 'White Peak' episode of Countryfile.

 Myra Frances (Anne Tranter, Survivors) dies at 78
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 Pete Wallbank
Pete Wallbank

ILLUSTRATOR AND ARTIST Pete Wallbank designed the covers for the Sovereign Video VHS release of series one of Survivors.