Survivors Comes To BBC America

Is it the end of the world that they have come to know in Survivors? Photo copyright of the BBC

IMAGINE what would happen if a virulent disease scoured the planet, wiping out 99% of the human race. It kills every member of your family, your lovers, friends, neighbors and probably everyone you have ever known. Imagine the world stripped of all the conveniences of the 21st century – no law, no shops, no communications, no transport, no electricity, no clean water. This is the apocalyptic scenario facing the heroes at the center of this chilling new drama series, brought to you by the co-creator and writer of Primeval. Set in the present day, Survivors focuses on the world in the aftermath of a virus where only a lonely few are left to start over in a devastated world where everything that was once safe and familiar is now strange and dangerous. The 12-episode season of Survivors premieres Saturday, February 13th @ 8:00 p.m. EST/PST on BBC America, with subsequent episodes premiering at 9:00 p.m. EST/PST.     

In the middle of the story is a bewildered but resilient group of survivors led by Abby Grant, a woman whose strength comes from a burning need to find out if her young son is still alive. Other members of the group include Greg (a good man who hides the pain of his past), Anya (a doctor who has seen too many people die), and Al, a former playboy who becomes the surrogate father to streetwise urchin Najid. Then there is Tom, outwardly handsome and charming, but actually a dangerous and ruthless man who, unbeknownst to the others, was in a high-security prisoner before the virus hit.     

This brave new world brings an opportunity for new beginnings, but also terrible dangers – not just the daily struggle for food and water, but also a deadly threat from other survivors. The cast of Survivors includes Julia Graham as Abby Grant, Paterson Joseph as Greg, Freema Agyeman as Jenny, Max Beesley as Tom Price, Phillip Rhys as Al, Zoe Tapper as Anya, Nikki Amuka-Bird as Samantha Wills, Shaun Dingwall as David and newcomer Chahak Patel as 11-year-old Najid.     

Survivors is about what is means to be human,” says award-winning writer and executive producer Adrian Hodges (co-creator and writer of Primeval). “It asks questions about our nature and confronts us with our deepest fears. When everything else is stripped away, would we band together and find the best in ourselves, or would we fall apart and retreat into barbarism and savagery?”     

Hodges’ Survivors is a re-imagining of the classic 70s BBC drama series, and is based on the novel by Terry Nation. Hodges adds, “Survivors is about adventure, fear, love, loyalty and friendship. But above all, it’s about new hope.”     

Abby Grant (Julie Graham). Photo copyright of the BBC

Julie Graham as Abby Grant – Abby is a mother and homemaker to her son Peter (11) and husband David (Shaun Dingwall). Before the virus struck, Peter successfully defied a near-terminal illness and Abby had reluctantly agreed to let him go on an adventure holiday. She had also planned to resume her career and re-ignite her faltering relationship with her loving but exhausted husband. Fate, however, has decreed otherwise, and in the wake of the virus, Abby finds a strength within herself she never knew she had. Refusing to give way to grief and despair, she channels her energy into trying to find her son, who may or may not have survived. Joining forces with a few other survivors, she becomes the leader of the group and a living symbol of the resilience of the human spirit.   

Greg Preston (Paterson Joseph). Photo copyright of the BBC

Paterson Joseph as Greg Preston – A former systems analyst for a big multi-national, Greg felt trapped and dreamed of a new life. But his wife, who had grown used to a wealthy and comfortable lifestyle, was appalled by his Utopian vision of a new, hardscrabble future. Nursing bitter personal wounds, Greg is now a man who believes he can live without love, friendship or family, but human nature is not so easily denied.   

Jenny Collins (Freema Agyeman). Photo copyright of the BBC

Freema Agyeman as Jenny Collins – Jenny is a bright and lively young teacher in a primary school. Overwhelmed bu the chaos she sees all around her, she is determined to save the life of her dying flatmate Patricia. Nothing will stop her taking her friend to the hospital and saving her life. But fate intervenes to confront Jenny with choices beyond anything she could have imagined.   

Tom Price (Max Beesley). Photo copyright of the BBC

Max Beesley as Tom Price – In prison when the story starts, Tom Price is handsome, charming and capable, but also very dangerous. A man who will stop at nothing to achieve his own ends, Price finds himself locked in his cell while all around him people are dying. As the long night of the virus wears on, survival and freedom become the only issues that matter. 

Al Sadiq (Phillip Rhys). Photo copyright of the BBC

Phillip Rhys as Al Sadiq – A rich, good-looking playboy, Al has lived a life of priviledge. In the aftermath of the virus, he finds himself responsible for Najid. Al has never seen himself as the paternal type and he initially proves to be a disaster as a father figure. But strangely, this frightening new environment ultimately makes him a better man than he would ever have been if he had continued his old life. 

Dr. Anya Raczynski (Zoe Tapper). Photo copyright of the BBC

Zoe Tapper as Dr. Anya Raczynski – Anya is a young doctor who does her best to save as many people as she can when the virus hits. But with no cure and no vaccine, all her skill ultimately proves futile. While she struggles with the enormity of events, she is forced to stand by helplessly as her friend Patricia is among those brought to the hospital in the grip of the illness. In this new world, Anya knows that her skills make her a valuable commodity, the kind of commodity people might kill for.

Samantha Willis (Nikki Amuka-Bird). Photo copyright of the BBC

Nikki Amuka-Bird as Samantha Willis – Samantha is a junior minister delegated to handle the press in the midst of the crisis. Dealing as best she can with an anxious media and her own stunned colleagues, at first Samantha has no idea how serious the crisis is becoming. Forced to put aside her love and concern for her own family, Samantha becomes the last contact between the Government and the people whom it can no longer protect. Her journey from innocence to full knowledge of the truth is laced with bravery and horror. 

David Grant (Shaun Dingwall). Photo copyright of the BBC

Shaun Dingwall as David Grant – David is a self-employed builder and a loving family man who is competent, brave and determined. Abby and David’s marriage is a solid and loving one, although they have been worn down by the illness of their beloved son Peter. But nothing in David’s life has prepared him for the crisis which is about to sweep away everything he ever knew and loved.

Najid (Chahak Patel). Photo copyright of the BBC

Chahak Patel as Najid – Eleven-year-old Najid is a lively little boy with all the normal interests of kids his age – football, his Gameboy, school. He is also a devout Muslim. On the night of the crisis he and his family go to the local mosque, but in the morning, Najid is forced to grow up very fast when the virus causes a violent change in his circumstances and his life is transformed in ways he could never have anticipated. His relationship with Al is at times funny and poignant, but in the end Al and Najid need each other, no matter how much they try to deny it.

As noted above, all photos copyright of the BBC, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

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2 Responses to “Survivors Comes To BBC America”

  1. sylvia Says:

    I think I have missed an episode – or two or three maybe ! What has happened to Shaun Dingwall’s character, David ? He doesn’t seem to be around now, was he killed off ?

    • scifiandtvtalk Says:

      From all the early press releases it looked like Shaun Dingwall’s character of David was, indeed, supposed to be one of the “survivors.” But when Abby woke up after surviving the illness, she found David sitting dead in the first floor of their home. So unless there is a massive plot twist, it looks like he was killed off.

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