AN INTERESTING - IF frequently contentious - analysis of the implicit and explicit social, moral and political themes of Survivors features in British Science Fiction Television: A Hitch-Hiker's Guide, published by I B Tauris.
This guide is the fourth entry in the 'Popular Television Genres' series, primarily intended 'for use on television and media studies courses' but designed to provide "informed and accessible reading for scholars students and general readers alike."
The chapter "Everyday life in the post-catastrophe future: Terry Nation's Survivors" has been written by Andy Sawyer, librarian of the Science Fiction Foundation Collection of the University of Liverpool Library.
The work does not offer any new archival evidence or original interviews with any of the show's stars or creators, but does provide a thoughtful new interpretation of the series' core themes and preoccupations.
Sawyer attempts to situate Nation's work within the wider canon of post-apocalyptic literature, as well as amongst its televisual forebears and contemporaries. He also looks at the political and social context in which Nation devised the series, scrutinising, in particular, the emergence of the green, ecological and commune movements, and their influence on the development and evolution of the programme.
Sawyer goes on to examine how such issues as wealth, power, security, class and gender are articulated in the programme's storylines, looking in particular at the moral and political messages he discerns in the episodes of all three series.
Sawyer provides an often unexpected and provocative analysis of Survivors, but his reading is well argued and entertaining throughout. He concludes his account by suggesting that following the events of series three finale Power, viewers "seem not to be offered much hope for the future of post-industrial society."
Other chapters in the guide offer studies of Blake's 7, Quatermass, The Uninvited, Invasion: Earth, The Last Train, The War Game, The Day After, Threads, and, of course, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, alongside several others.
John R Cook and Peter Wright (eds). 2006. British Science Fiction Television: A Hitchhiker's Guide. London: I B Taurus. ISBN 1-84511-048-X (pb).
Cite this web page
Cross, R. (2021). 'A hitchhiker's guide to Survivors,' [online] Survivors: A World Away, 31 January. Available at: https://www.survivors-mad-dog.org.uk/a-world-away/Survivors_Hitch_Hikers.php. Accessed on: 11 May 2021.
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