Published today – Survivors: Mad Dog (Silver Archive)

Obverse Books - Silver Imprint - Mad Dog - front cover (complete with title typo, corrected in the final version)

A NEW BOOK, offering an in-depth study of the classic third series Survivors episode Mad Dog, is published by Obverse Books today (17 February 2022).

Written by Survivors: A World Away site editor Rich Cross, this latest entry in Obverse Books’ Silver Archive imprint, turns a critical and analytical spotlight on one of the best remembered episodes from the show’s third and final series.


Silver Archive – Survivors: Mad Dog

“Saliva only has to make contact with the skin. Rabies doesn’t even need a scratch. If it’s in the bloodstream, it’s too late.”

Mad Dog (1977) is a standout instalment of the third and final series of the BBC’s post-apocalyptic series Survivors. A touchstone in the series’ switch to a tougher, bleaker sensibility, the episode is rightly remembered for its portrayal of rabies and its gripping chase sequences. But it’s also a story offering fascinating insights into the wider human predicament, which dramatise the tension between optimism and cynicism and between altruism and self-interest. Above all, it’s a story that foregrounds the complex relationship between humanity and the natural world in a fictional post-pandemic Britain.

Rich Cross has published widely about science fiction and genre TV and retains a singular fascination with post-apocalyptic and dystopian television drama.


In an exclusive interview for this site, Rich Cross explains:

“For long-standing, knowledgeable fans of Survivors, I’m sure that there will still be a great deal of new, and hopefully insightful, analysis about one of the best regarded episodes in the show’s entire run. And I’m confident that there is a wealth of new reflections which situates the story of Survivors and of Mad Dog in the cultural, political and social times in which it was made.”

“Even for those able to recite sections of dialogue from the script, and who know each and every location in which the episode was recorded, I’m hopeful that they’ll enjoy discussions about themes and ideas in the drama of Mad Dog that they may not have considered before. That’s something that should enhance their appreciation of the work of writer Don Shaw, director Tristan de Vere Cole, and their talented cast and crew, the next time they rewatch the episode.”

“There’s certainly no requirement to be a ‘Survivors expert’ to enjoy the book, and there’s a great deal in the book that should intrigue fans of 1970s genre television, as well as cultural and political historians of the UK in the 1970s.”


The Obverse Books’ Silver Archive entry Survivors: Mad Dog is available to buy direct from the Obverse Books site – in both print and electronic formats (and in a p&e combo).

Rich Cross. 2022. Survivors: Mad Dog. Obverse Books (Silver Archive), ISBN: 9781913456221, pp.168. https://obversebooks.co.uk/product/sa07-survivors-mad-dog/

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