In 1975 the BBC (with the help of Terry Nation) ended civilisation as we knew it: not with a bang but with a smash.
The smash in question was a test-tube, shown only in the credits, as a man walks out of a door, gets into a car, goes to an airport and has his passport stamped 'Mockba'. He walks off the plane and falls to the floor. The attention switches back to a passport being stamped Berlin, then Singapore, New York, Montreal, Roma, Madrid, Orly and finally London.
And that was just the opening credits!
Survivors was not, however, about surviving the plague, but more about surviving after surviving the plague.
A small group of survivors meet up after the first few episodes: Jenny Richards, Abby Grant and Greg Preston.
Jenny has been alone for weeks after fleeing London; she is scared of being alone.
Greg is looking for civilisation; to try and rebuild it.
Abby is looking for her son Peter.
In the First Season they wander around looking for Peter. They have plenty of everything they need, but how long will it last? A teacher at Peter's school says:
'How much do you know and how much have you just taken for granted? What happens when you have used the last candle, broken the last spade? Do you know how to make anything from scratch; dig up ore, smelt it, build a house, replace a window? When all the shop are empty what do you do?'
These problems are addressed more in the Second Season for, at the moment, they are only looking for Peter. In their search they meet Tom Price, a Welsh tramp, who joins them later.
In the episode 'Corn Dolly' they go to 'White Cross1', where they meet Charles Vaughan, a friendly man who wants to repopulate the world by getting all the young women pregnant!
In 'Garlands War' Abby meets Jimmy Garland, a well travelled man who owns a manor house and land, but another group has taken it over. He fights alone to regain the house and become lord of the manor.
Then the show changes. Abby gives up trying to find Peter and the three of them settle down to farm. They take over a large house and find two kids (John and Lizzy). This is not the 'good life', however, it is much darker, with little to do but work to survive. People would kill for a tank of petrol (gas), food, or over a woman! With people falling like flys, it's a wonder that anyone was left, but Tom Price arrives, and many more join them. They even find Ruth, a medical student, who tells of a group of boys she has met led by Peter Grant. Abby goes to find him, never to be seen again.
Terry nation wrote a book called 'Survivors' that deals with Abby looking for Peter.
Season Two sees them decimated by a fire. In the middle of winter they go back to Charles at White Cross Farm. He is now with only one woman pet, Jenny, who is expecting Greg's baby.
After the birth, Jenny falls ill. Ruth needs drugs to help her, but the only place to get them is the city which is rife with dead bodies. Disease is the main problem! Paul, Ruth's man, goes into town and gets what they need, but falls ill on the way back. The show changes again when a hot air balloon lands! Greg goes to Norway, where they need food, but have electricity.
Season Three is back to the road. Greg has returned to England, but not to White Cross, so Charles goes to find him. They never meet up!
Survivors was a look at what could happen if 99% of mankind died. It was a depressing look into a possible future. It asked only one question, but asked it to everyone and asked it well. The question was:
HOW WOULD YOU SURVIVE?