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DVD Shopping Bag: The BBC’s Survivors

A Zombieless 28 Days Later

By Robert T. Trate     May 11, 2010


The cast of Survivors by the BBC
© BBC America/Bob Trate

 

As you know or have probably already read Rob Vaux’s TV Wasteland column that another season of TV is ending. There will of course be True Blood and a few others but TV pretty much shuts down for the summer. Most of us are super busy anyway with vacations and summer movies so we pay it little mind. I usually pick a show that everyone tells me they love during the year and catch up via Netflix. This summer I plan on catching up on Dexter. What I have seen so far is really good. Last summer I became a diehard fan of Doctor Who doing this and discovered Torchwood and BBC TV altogether. I thought I would throw a show out there for you that might be right up your alley also from BBC, Survivors.
 
First, take a dash of 28 Days Later and the comic The Walking Dead then subtract the zombies. Next add a secret group of scientists a la LOST, subtract the smoke monster and you’ll get Survivors. Now before you think you don’t have the time relax. The show is a mere twelve episodes. I happened to catch season one via the complete series that was released a few weeks ago. The plot is really nothing we haven’t seen before. Only this time there aren’t zombies or infected bringing humanity together to fight a common enemy. We know the plot of these zombie/ infected apocalypse movies all end the same; mankind turning on one another for the dumbest or greediest of reasons. In Survivors they skip the flesh eating people and move right into humanity fighting while they make up their own laws as they go. This looks like your typical eighties apocalyptic survivor movie yet Survivors throws in that conspiracy element that the nineties has left lingering. There is a group of scientists, totally isolated, doing experiments and they acknowledge (to the audience) that they put the virus into effect.
 
The cast is your standard group of survivors; a mother, Abby (Julie Graham), who is looking for her son, the loner, Greg (Paterson Joseph), who reluctantly joins her band, the Criminal, Tom (Max Beesley), who says he wants to start anew but constantly does the foul deeds that no one else will do, the disillusioned and extremely hot doctor, Anya (Zoe Tapper), the playboy, Aalim (Phillip Rhys), and his recently adopted religious son Najid (Chahak Patel). Finally there is the woman, Sarah (Robyn Addison), who has the body to get what ever she wants.
 
One would think that six episodes would not be enough to time to flesh out these characters. In that time I was emotionally invested enough to find myself concerned for their well being at the end of season one. This might have something to do with the quality of British Television but I think that it just has to do with the quality of the British Actor. It appears to me that in Britain acting is not just another job. Acting is a profession and one that they take pride in. The BBC and its shows are funded by the government as well so this ups the ante in delivering quality TV; unlike here where we get sitcoms about Cavemen and Xerox copies of Doctor and Police shows.
 
Survivors takes the whole apocalypse premise in some different directions early on. With only six episodes in the first season it has to. If you think about it, how many episodes do we need where our survivors help other people? Sure the journey would probably be worth taking yet we have all seen those plots done over and over again. The premise that really stood out was the re-established government. One of the last surviving members of parliament has established a new place and wants to rebuild England. What she’ll do to keep her civilized civilization is both shocking and completely realistic. This gives us a perfect contrast to our band of survivors who openly rely on one another.
 
Unfortunately, Survivors has been cancelled. Isn’t it just the best discovering something new and then learning it has gotten the axe a week later? This hasn’t deterred me. I plan on savoring each episode. I’ll even go one further and say that I plan on watching the original Survivors TV show that the BBC did in 1975 that ran thirty-seven episodes. It’s going to be a great summer as I further immerse myself in the British Sci-Fi culture. This is far better then sitting through Legion and Daybreakers again; both of which came out today on DVD and Blu-ray.
 
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
 
Bandit of Sherwood Forest ~ Anita Louise, Jill Esmond, Edgar Buchanan, and Cornel Wilde
 
Edge of Darkness (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) ~ Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, and Bojana Novakovic
 
Edge of Darkness ~ Mel Gibson
 
The Edge [Blu-ray] ~ Anthony Hopkins
 
Elysium ~ Erin Biszak, Christian Briceno, and Andrew Roth
 
Fire From Below (Ws Sub Ac3 Dol) ~ Kevin Sorbo, Glenn Hampton, and Burtn Gilliam
 
Hang Em High (2pc) (W/Dvd) (Ws) [Blu-ray] ~ Clint Eastwood
 
Kid With the Golden Arm (Dub Sub) ~ Feng Lu, Philip Kwok, and Lung Wei Wang
 
Legend of the Tsunami Warrior [Blu-ray] ~ Sorapong Chatree, Dan Chupong, Ananda Everingham, and Winai Kraibutr
 
Larry McMurtry's Dead Man's Walk ~ F. Murray Abraham, Keith Carradine, Brian Dennehy, and Edward James Olmos
 
Larry McMurtry's Streets Of Laredo ~ James Garner, Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard, and Ned Beatty
 
Magnificent Seven Collection (4pc) (P&S Ws) [Blu-ray] ~ Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, and Eli Wallach
 
Maneater Triple Feature Three (Croc/Sea Beast/Swarm) ~ Burt Reynolds, Arthur Kennedy, Silvia Pinal, and Barry Sullivan
 
The Man In The Iron Mask (w/DVD) [Blu-ray] ~ Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, and John Malkovich
 
Marked For Death [Blu-ray] ~ Steven Seagal, Basil Wallace, and Keith David
 
Prince of Thieves ~ Jon Hall, Patricia Morison, Adele Jergens, and Alan Mowbray
 
Rogues of Sherwood Forest ~ John Derek, Diana Lynn, George Macready, and Alan Hale
 
S.e.r.e. ~ Justin Huen, Kevin Nichols, Meeghan Holaway, and Gary Perez
 
Rundown & Spy Game (2001) (2pc) (Ws Btb) [Blu-ray] ~ Dwayne Johnson
Sword of Sherwood Forest ~ Richard Greene, Sarah Branch, Peter Cushing, and Richard Pasco
 
Tidal Wave [Blu-ray] ~ Kyung-gu Sol
 
Tidal Wave
 
Tour De Force ~ Kim Sønderholm, Toke Lars Bjarke, Ole Ernst, and Alice Haaber
 
U-571 & Waterworld (2pc) (Ws Btb) [Blu-ray] ~ Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, and Jon Bon Jovi
 
Westbrick Murders ~ Eric Roberts, Vernon Wells, Daniell Edwards, and Anna Bård
 
ANIME
 
Huntik: The Complete Season (8pc) (Full Dub) ~ Yuri Lowenthal
 
Initial D: Third Stage Movie ~ Joel McDonald, Brina Palencia, Eric Vale, and Christopher R. Sabat
 
Initial D: Fourth Stage, Part 1 ~ Joel McDonald, Brina Palencia, Eric Vale, and Christopher R. Sabat
 
One Piece: Season Two, Seventh Voyage ~ Colleen Clinkenbeard, Luci Christian, Eric Vale, and Sonny Strait
 
Samurai Harem: Complete Collection (2pc) (Ws)
 
CARTOONS
 
Daria: The Complete Animated Series ~ Tracy Grandstaff, Wendy Hoopes, Julián Rebolledo, and Russell Hankin
 
Kung Fu Magoo ~ Alyson Stoner, Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, and Tom Kenny
 
Mr. Magoo In Sherwood Forest
 
Shin Chan: The Complete First Season ~ Laura Bailey, Chuck Huber, Cynthia Cranz, and Colleen Clinkenbeard
 
Shin Chan: The Complete Second Season ~ Laura Bailey, Chuck Huber, Cynthia Cranz, and Colleen Clinkenbeard
 
Toy Story (Special Edition) ~ Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Annie Potts, and John Ratzenberger
 
Toy Story 2: Special Edition - DVD ~ Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Joan Cusack, and Kelsey Grammer
 
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
 
Computer Wore Tennis Shoes & Strongest Man World ~ Kurt Russell, Cesar Romero, and Joe Flynn
 
Robin Hood: Men in Tights [Blu-ray] ~ Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, Roger Rees, and Mark Blankfield
 
Criterion Collection
 
Essential Art House: Kurosawa Collection (Hidden Fortress/Ikiru/Throne of Blood)
 
M (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] ~ Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, and Otto Wernicke
 
HORROR
 
Daybreakers [Blu-ray] ~ Willem Dafoe
 
Daybreakers
 
Disposal of A Corpse ~ Alex Safi
 
Flesh for the Beast Media Mix (4pc) ~ Jane Scarlett, Sergio Jones, and Clark Beasley Jr
 
Malice in Wonderland ~ Maggie Grace, Danny Dyer, Matt King, and Nathaniel Parker
 
Tsunami Beach Club ~ Robert McAtee
 
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
 
Abyss-Special Edition
 
Billy Owens and the Secret of the Runes ~ Roddy Piper
 
El Mago ~ Cantinflas, Leonora Amar, José Baviera, and Alejandro Cobo
 
Legion ~ Dennis Quaid
 
Legion [Blu-ray] ~ Paul Bettany
 
TV LAND
 
Deadliest Warrior: Season One ~ Geoffrey Desmoulin, Armand Dorian, and Max Geiger
 
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Complete Fifth Season ~ Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro, James Avery, and Karyn Parsons
 
Raising the Bar: The Complete Second Season ~ Mark-Paul Gosselaar
 
thirtysomething: The Complete Third Season ~ Patricia Wettig, Peter Horton, Ken Olin, and Timothy Busfiel
 
UNDENIABLE CLASSICS on BLU-RAY
 
High Anxiety [Blu-ray] ~ Mel Brooks
 
History of the World Part 1 [Blu-ray] ~ Mel Brooks, Dom Deluise, and Harvey Korman
 
The Karate Kid [Blu-ray] ~ Ralph Macchio
 
Rock 'N' Roll High School (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) [Blu-ray] ~ P.J. Soles, Mary Woronov, Joey Ramone, and Dee Dee Ramone
 
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 8 of 8
1 
hanso 5/11/2010 2:31:54 AM

I will be sitting through Legion & Daybreakers this week :(  

Survivors sounds a bit like Jericho, in that they too had to set up laws after everything went to hell.  I may check this series out after I rewatch some other series like The Shield.  If anyone is thinking about getting Shield Complete Series, just know that the packaging sucks major balls!  

Hobbs 5/11/2010 7:25:06 AM

So you spent the 60 bucks on it?  Good to know about the packaging.  Have to be careful about those complete series DVD's.  I heard BSG sucked too and Stargate SG-1 complete series are packaged so bad it scratches the disks.

redhairs99 5/11/2010 9:38:44 AM

My SG-1 complete series discs are fine.  You just have to be careful, but yeah, I was more than a bit disappointed by the packaging for it.

hanso 5/11/2010 12:07:08 PM

 Yes I did Hobbs, I had stopped buying the seasons after Season 3 and at $60 for the whole set, it was too good a deal to pass up.

I don't t like what they did with the packaging, it does have some sort of covers slip for each individual disc so they don't get scratch but it still sucks balls.  Still you can't beat the price.  Only thing is it wasn't  Blu Ray but I read somewhere that there are no plans to release The Shield on Blu Ray ever, something about how they shot the series.  

I heard what you heard about the BSG, but if I can find a good deal for the Blu Ray set I'll jump on it.  Probably just switch the discs somewhere else if the packaging does scratch the discs.

themovielord 5/11/2010 3:12:14 PM

Just say no Hanso... LEGION is by far the worst picture of the year... Prince of Persia is on that list too...

Wyldstaar 5/11/2010 3:12:39 PM

I was beginning to think that Daria was never going to be released on DVD.  For ages it could only be seen late at night on some cable kids network, and even then they edited the hell out of it.  That show was way too smart for MTV.  I don't know how it survived there for so long.

hanso 5/11/2010 4:21:41 PM

 Too late Trate, its done.  Legion sucked balls yo!  I didn't finish Daybreakers but it wasn't looking too good.

I'm very disappointed to see you say Prince of Persia sucked :(  

themovielord 5/11/2010 10:45:17 PM

hanso it was just so run of the mill and dull. They should have went with "based on the popular video game" and not "from the producers of Pirates of the..." I think my expectations were too high. With a based on the video game tag line they would have been mucgh lower.

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