Binge watch: Survivors


If you are looking for something to binge watch on Netflix, I recommend Survivors, a 2008 BBC TV series. Both Seasons 1 and 2 are available and short enough to conquer on a wintry weekend. Also available on DVD.

The series is about survivors of a flu pandemic which kills most of the world’s population. At times the show can be rather soap-ish, but more often it explores deeper issues such as security versus freedom, reliance on technology, and how people make connections and form societies after an apocalyptic event.¬† No zombies here, though, most everyone just catches the “European Flu” and dies rather quickly.

The 2008 series is actually a remake of a 1975-77 BBC series written by Terry Nation, of Doctor Who and Daleks fame. The original series (and Nation’s book that followed) was bleak but fondly remembered. For the 2008 series, head writer Adrian Hodges updated the original with a more diversified cast and included topical issues such as disease outbreaks and increasing reliance on technology. Unlike The Walking Dead, the lead character in Survivors is a mother looking for her son. I found all the characters to be well fleshed-out. There is a low gore factor.

The first episode, at 90 minutes, drags on a bit, but stick with it. Season Two is a winner. Unfortunately, it ends with some unanswered questions. There was no season three. BBC canceled the series because of low ratings. Even so, a worthy watch. There is enough closure to justify the time.

For some time, the series was one of the most popular on Netflix. There were discussions about Netflix producing a continuation, but nothing has materialized so far. Instead, we are treated a new audio series from Big Finish Audio. Set in the same era at the 1975 series, it features some new characters dealing with the same apocalypse. I’m on the first CD. I’m disappointed¬† that it is not set during the 2008¬† series, for it would seem more relevant.

Published by Scott Davis

Former newspaper journalist, now government webmaster. Life-long geek.