This blog only recently tracked down a two-part podcast on the original Survivors published in 2011 by the British Invaders podcast site which aims to provide: “a lively two-person exchange about different television series, tele-films and mini-series. These discussions serve as both an introduction and an entertaining conversation, catering to both those who have seen and those who have yet to see these British science fiction and fantasy shows.”
The two Survivors shows are very much ‘complete beginner’ introductions to the series (but one does includes a brief, complimentary reference to the Survivors: Mad Dog site!)
Part one is 29m 30s in length; part two is 43m 03s, and both podcast can be streamed or downloaded from the British Invaders site, which contains a large and growing archive of podcasts on a wide range of genre shows.
It is exactly ten years ago to-the-day (3 June 2004) that Lorna Lewis, Denis Lill, Pennant Roberts and Heather Wright were reunited at a studio in central London to record the ‘special features’ for the Survivors series two DVD release.
All of the participants in this reunion of series two Survivors personnel provided individual on-camera interviews recalling their time working on the show, much of it based in and around Callow Hill (‘Whitecross’) near Monmouth in Herefordshire.
In addition, Lill and Roberts provided a genuinely fascinating audio commentary on the episode Lights of London Part II; the second-half of a unique two-part Survivors story. The assembled Survivors alumni also made themselves available for interviews with journalists from the cult and genre press to promote the forthcoming release.
The commercial success of the Survivors series two DVD release ensured that DD Entertainment would exercise its option to release the third and final series of the original Survivors the following year, and agree, in the process, to fund the most extensive set of ‘special features’ seen on any of the three series DVD box-sets.
To mark the decennial anniversary of this event, we’re publishing a set of never-before-seen behind-the-scenes photos from the day.
It is a sad and sobering thought to remember that both Pennant Roberts and Lorna Lewis have been lost to us in the decade that has passed since these special features were recorded (alongside the death of several other key members of the series cast and crew): a fact which makes their recollections of the recording of the second series of Survivors all the more poignant to revisit.
Survivors‘ scriptwriter Don Shaw is selling his personal copy of his Survivors scripts for his series two episode The Face of the Tiger and series three story Reunion.
These are the scriptwriter’s copies of the shooting script for each episode, kept in Don’s personal archive since 1976 and 1977.
The scripts for The Face of the Tiger and Reunion are being sold separately, and independent offers (with an opening price for each script of £250) are invited. Each script is in very good condition and will be signed by Don. An additional handwritten message can be added to either script at the buyer’s request.
In the past couple of years, Don has sold a signed copy of one of his Doomwatch scripts for more than £200, while a copy of an signed script from his contribution to the Hammer House of Horror anthology sold for more than £400. Last year, Don sold his personal copy of his script for his series three Survivors episode Mad Dog.
If you are interested in making a bid on either the The Face of The Tiger or Reunion scripts, please submit your bid via the contact form on the Survivors: A World Away site, by the end of Wednesday 19 March. (Please note, the Survivors: A World Away site is just helping Don to get word out to Survivors‘ fans about this offer – and will not receive a penny from any sale). Remember to indicate which script you are bidding on (or if you are making separate bids for both).
If no suitable offers are received directly from the Survivors fan community (which is receiving first sight of the sale), then the script will be listed in open auction on eBay.
UPDATE (1 April 2014): As a result of the auction, the script for The Face of the Tiger was purchased by a member of the Survivors fan community. As with the previous successful sale of his personal script copy of Mad Dog, Don Shaw was pleased that the script was acquired by a dedicated Survivors fan. No successful bids were received for the script for Reunion, so this item will be listed for open auction on the eBay site shortly. A further update will follow once the Reunion script has been listed on eBay.
Based on the original series of Survivors (1975-1977), this first set of new audio adventures will compromise four stories, featuring new characters and several of the leading characters from the original series.
As well as a brief vocal appearance from key original cast members, the trailer includes extracts from the new version of Anthony Isaac’s original series’ theme specially re-recorded for this release.
A commemorative ‘blue plaque‘ has been added to the birthplace of Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation, to acknowledge his role as scriptwriter and ‘creator of the Daleks’ (the perennial arch-enemies of The Doctor in Doctor Who).
The plaque, added to the former Nation family home in Fairwater Grove West, Llandaff, Cardiff, was unveiled at a ceremony on 20 November 2013, to coincide with celebrations marking the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who. Terry Nation was born at 113 Fairwater Grove West in 1930. The unveiling was undertaken by Tim Hancock (the nephew of late actor and comedian Tony Hancock, and now responsible for the management of the the Nation estate) and was attended by Nation’s widow Kate.
The tortuous story of the long-running plan to revive and remake Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation’s space drama Blake’s 7 has taken yet another turn this week.
In April 2013 it was announced that FremantleMedia International would produce a 13-episode series remake of Blake’s 7 to be broadcast of the cable channel SyFy. This was to be a ‘re-imagining’ of the original (1978-81) show.
On Thursday 15 August, the Financial Times, BBC News and Digital Spy all reported that these plans had been shelved. Instead it was announced that the revival of Blake’s 7 would now be funded by Microsoft, with the series airing on the Xbox Live service. The London-based Motion Picture Capital company was reported to have taken over responsibility for the show’s development.
Digital Spy suggests the development is “part of Microsoft’s ambition to reposition Xbox as an ‘entertainment hub’, and to directly compete with other online subscription services.”
However, a Freemantle spokesman told BBC News that it was “not aware of any deal” with Microsoft, while both Microsoft and Motion Picture Capital declined to comment. Rights owner Andrew Mark Sewell told BBC News: “When we have news to report, we’ll let everyone know.” It seems clear that position remains far from settled.
Blake’s 7 was the show that Terry Nation created shortly after his departure from the original Survivors at the end of series one in 1975. Later in his career, Nation sought to get an American network to revive Blake’s 7, as he also (unsuccessfully) attempted to do with Survivors.
After a series of false starts stretching over more than a decade, a remake of Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation’s science-fiction space drama Blake’s 7 (1978-81) has finally been confirmed.
The BBC News site reported (10 April 2013) that, with the licensing of the project agreed with the Nation estate, a first series of thirteen episodes had been ordered by the SyFy channel, and will be distributed by FremantleMedia International, and produced by Georgeville TV and Marc Rosen. Initial reports indicate that the series will be written by Joe Pokaski (Heroes, CSI) and directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, GoldenEye).
Freemantle Media has outlined the show’s premise:
The year is 2136, Blake wakes up on one side of the bed. He reaches for the other side. There’s nobody there. As reality sets in, this handsome ex-soldier sits up, and looks at a photo of his wife Rachel. Beautiful. Deceased.
A revolutionary reinvention of the long-running BBC series made in the late 1970s, Blake’s 7 tells the story of seven criminals – 6 guilty and 1 innocent – on their way to life on a prison colony in space, who together wrestle freedom from imprisonment. They acquire an alien ship which gives them a second chance at life and become the most unlikely heroes of their time.
Blake’s 7 was the show that Terry Nation created shortly after his departure from Survivors at the end of series one. Later in his career, Nation sought to get an American network to revive Blake’s 7, as he also (unsuccessfully) attempted to do with Survivors.