BBC America is bringing the apocalypse stateside for a weekly appointment with the popular British drama Survivors. A reimagining of the 1975 series of the same name, the basic plot may be more familiar to American audiences as similar to that of Stephen King's The Stand. A mutated strain of influenza wipes out 99% of the world population. Let the fun begin!
The second series of six episodes began broadcasting in the UK on January 12, 2010. US fans of the apocalypse -- and who isn't? -- will have to wait until Saturday, February 13, 2010 for the first series to premiere on BBC America. The main character is Abby Grant, a mother and wife who lost her husband to the virus and is determined to find her son, whom she is certain survived. Other characters include a prisoner, a Muslim child, a spoiled rich man, a pampered woman, the government official in charge of containing the virus, a doctor and a survivalist -- of sorts.
The series will follow their attempts to scavenge, survive and find a way to live their lives in this new world they find themselves in. It's always an interesting notion to take these typical apocalyptic sagas and stay with them. Usually, in the movies or in novels, we get some big climax and then we leave the characters forever. I've always been intrigued as to what happens next.
Post-apocalyptic stories have long been a staple in science fiction and horror entertainment, but the sub-genre has been enjoying a bit of a renaissance of late. Whether it's the recent Jericho, the future depicted on FOX's Dollhouse, or the zombie apocalypse in AMC's forthcoming pilot, The Walking Dead, the end of the world is very much on our minds.
In the past year, the silver screen has tackled it in 2012, The Road and the current box office hit The Book of Eli. Maybe people just want to feel prepared for the inevitable end of all that is. If so, and you think there's a chance you might be in the UK when it goes down, Survivors might just be the show for you.
I've always been fascinated with depictions of how society would crumble and how humanity would cope in a world without laws and civilization. I guess another logical question would be if US studios will be watching this to consider making their own version. Granted, Jericho already tackled similar subject matter, but this would strip us of all the trappings of a normal society. Just so long as they realize that this type of genre fare belongs on cable and not the broadcast networks.
Survivors premieres Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 8 PM ET on BBC America.
Until then, we can look forward to the British apocalypse.