TV on DVD 04/27/10 – Survivors (then and now), John Mortimer before Rumpole and Rita Rocks on Lifetime

Survivors: Complete Seasons One and Two (BBC) – A worldwide pandemic rips across the face of the planet in what seems to be mere days, killing off over 90 percent of the population and leaving the rest to fend for themselves. The BBC remake of its seventies cult series of the same name is a plague thriller turned apocalypse conspiracy, a bit like the American show Jericho but without the comforting sense of community. British TV stars Julie Graham, Max Beesley, Paterson Joseph and Zoe Tapper are among the six strangers who band together can’t quite trust each other but must at least make the effort to survive a world gone tribal, where feral gangs prey on the weak and proto-societies become ruthless authoritarians who enslave outsiders.

Survivors trying to keep on surviving

BBC also releases the hugely popular Survivors: The Complete Original Series (BBC) on DVD this week. It unfortunately arrived too late to get more than a cursory look at the first couple of episodes, which moved at a much less hurried and harried pace, setting an atmosphere of loss and loneliness and fear of the unknown as the few Survivors go out looking for anyone left alive. But from what I could see (and glean from other commentaries on the show), the original series charted its way from scavengers and gangs of marauders to the attempt to creates a communal agrarian society.

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