January 13, 2016

Binge Watch Postmortem-The Survivors

Originally Aired: On the BBC

Currently Available: Netflix

Dates Aired: 2008, 2010

Seasons/Episodes: Two seasons/Twelve episodes

Starring/Where do you know them from: Julie Graham/ Predominantly British TV series that haven’t had as much success across the pond, Max Beesley/ Steven Huntley on Suits, Julian Dice in Glitter (that Mariah Carey bomb), Paterson Joseph/ General Arnold Gaines in You, Me and the Apocalypse, Wayne Gilchrist in The Leftovers, Zoe Trapper/ Ellen Love on Mr. Selfridge, Phillip Rhys/ Jude Sawyer on Nip/Tuck and Reza Naiyeer on24

And I should mention a brief appearance of Freema Agyeman who plays Martha Jones on Doctor Who.

Spoilers, Sweetie

Summary The Survivors takes place in modern day Britain following global flu pandemic that killed the vast majority of the worlds population. Abby Graham, our herione, is struck with the flu en route to pick up her son, Peter, from cramp. Peter is a cancer survivor and has just been given a clean bill of health. Abby’s husband, David, assures her Peter will be fine, but Abby insists. They set off, but Abby quickly grows ill. Peter tucks her into bed and soon succumbs from the flu himself. Abby manages to awake from the flu, one of the only known people to actually contract the flu and survive it which is notable later.

Abby leaves home to try and find her son, Peter, hoping that since she survived he might have. On the way, she meets Anya Raczyinski, a doctor who is hiding her medical training, Tom Price, a convict who is hiding that he was a convict, Aalim Sadiq, a playboy who can’t do much of anything and Najid Hanif, an orhpaned boy. They join forces with Greg Preston, who kind of turns into Abby’s love interst, to stay alive and, eventually, find Peter.

Of course, the worst part of the world ending isn’t what ended the world, but what it left behind. People get bloodthirsty, ruthless, vicious and murderous and Abby is kidnapped, Tom and Greg are sold into slavery, Samantha Willis, the last vestige of the actual government, is slightly crazy and not in control and you can imagine.

The show hints at a conspiracy regarding the virus and a place of safe haven (are Greg’ children there?) but was canceled before those questions were ever answered. The show ends on a cliffhanger; Abby is reunited with Peter and Tom stows away aboard a plane bound for what the survivors assume is a virus free utopia. Oh. And the virus has mutated. Good luck.  While the series is obviously truncated, it’s still a good choice if you’re into dystopian/post-apocalyptic television.

Favorite Character 

Well, it’s probably Najid.  Najid is only 12 and both his parents succumb to the flu.  Najid finds Aalim and then they join up with Abby.  Najid manages to be loyal (insisting they find Abby after she’s kidnapped and going so far as to run away to scour the town for her himself) and not totally stupid.  He approaches the end of the world and loss of his family with sorrow, but pragmatism that isn’t over done, but is believable.  He still finds time to pray and recognizes when things aren’t right and he needs to get out.

It’s not that the other characters are bad, is that their flaws are hard to overlook and as the quality of the writing declined, they tended to become caricatures of their character.  Najid stays pretty true to himself, though.


Least Favorite Character

Samantha Willis.  She’s the worst.  She’s the health minister as the world goes to pot and then ends up being the highest ranked government official remaining post flu.  It seems she has a family, but I’m not sure that she ever makes it home to them.

She enacts a plan where she takes over a self-sustaining government complex and is attempting to rebuild Britain.  Is she crazy?  Probably not, but she’s sincerely misguided and executes a woman on the spot for a seriously minor crime.  Abby decides she can’t be trusted and warns the group against her, but when Tom ends up in a spot of hot water, they find themselves back under Willis’ thumb and she’s pretty much  villain at this point, but one of those sniveling “I didn’t have a choice” ones that are worth than the ones that own they’re awful.


Biggest Pet Peeve

If I remove the whole cliffhanger, no resolution problem, then it’s Anya and the way she manages her relationship with Tom. It’s just uncomfortable and weird.  It makes Tom far more sympathetic than he actually is and paints Anya in a bad light. It’s not that Anya is bisexual, it’s how she manages it and Tom.


How many stars: **, but had it reached resolution it would be ranked way higher.

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