Simply Media to release The Mad Death rabies drama

The Mad Death - DVD cover

THE THREE-PART 1983 BBC rabies drama The Mad Death, starring Survivors‘ Richard Heffer (Jimmy Garland) will be released for the first time ever on DVD on 7 May 2018, courtesy of Simply Media.

The drama, which also features Barbara Kellerman (1990) and Ed Bishop (UFO), focuses on the efforts of Chief Veterinary Officer Michael Hilliard (Heffer) to contain an outbreak of rabies in rural Scotland, triggered when a tourist smuggles their infected pet back into the country.

As is standard practice with Simply Media genre DVDs, The Mad Death will be a vanilla release, without any special features or supporting material. Full details can be found in the Simply Media catalogue listing for the release.

The Mad Death

The BBC’s nightmarish vision of Britain under attack by a rabies outbreak. Starring Richard Heffer, Barbara Kellerman and Ed Bishop.

Directed by BAFTA-nominee Robert Young, The Mad Death is a disturbing and chilling three-part thriller that examined in terrifying detail the potential consequences of a rabies outbreak in Britain. Shown in 1983 at the height of Britain’s paranoia about the potential outbreak of the disease.

When a tourist from France cannot bear to leave her cat at home while she travels on holiday, she smuggles it in to Scotland for her trip. But what she doesn’t know is her pet is infected with a deadly disease, which goes unnoticed as it infects the animal population. The Mad Death has already spread far when it is finally noticed when it claims its first human victim.

This sparks off a deadly rabies outbreak, which threatens to attack the entire nation. Michael Hillard (Richard Heffer) and Ann Maitland (Barbara Kellerman) join forces to fight the dreadful disease, with one trying to contain the outbreak, and the other trying to trace the virus back to its source to save others from an agonising death.

What the press Said: “a dark and sometimes shocking plot which is driven by some powerful performances. The emotional impact of certain scenes is enough to ensure you won’t forget the serial any time soon.” – Curious British Telly

Format: DVD
Release Date: 7th May 2018
Run Time: 3 hours
Discs: 1
Language: English (with English Subtitles)

Twenty years today since Survivors was last shown on British TV

Terry Nation's Survivors - on satellite and cable TV in the 1990s

TODAY MARKS THE twentieth anniversary of Survivors‘ last appearance on British TV.

Beginning in 1993, the entire three-series run of Survivors enjoyed several repeat showings on the satellite-cable channel UK Gold. As the BBC never ran repeats of Survivors, this was the first time that the programme had been seen on British television since Survivors‘ original transmission on BBC 1 between 1975 and 1977.

The final transmission on UK Gold concluded, with the broadcast of series three finale “Power”,  shortly after midnight on Monday 27 April 1998. This concluding episode was preceded by an episode of the satirical puppet show Spitting Image and followed by an instalment of crime drama The Equalizer.

The first series of Survivors was released on VHS cassette by BBC Video the same year that the UK Gold transmissions began, and again by Sovereign Video in 1998, before series one secured its first DVD release (and its third VHS release) courtesy of DD Video in 2003.

TV and Satellite Week - 26 April 1997