Season 1 Episode 1

Episode 1

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Nov 23, 2008 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
77 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A new strain of the flu virus emerges, with a devastating effect on the population. Those who survive the epidemic must adapt to a new world in which government has collapsed and the old certainties have disappeared. A disparate group of survivors find themselves drawn together in adversity.moreless

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  • The new beginning

    In the first episode we see a UK, devasted by a flu pandemic, with the subsequent breakdown of all infrastructure. Its a very chilling scenario, and it was handled excellently. I am really looking forward to following the rest of the series.

    I particularly liked how the government didn't take the threat seriously enough, and when it did realise the implications it was too late to do anything. Sounds familiar!?moreless
  • At last, a decent bit of apocalyptic drama on the BBC.

    I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching Survivors' opening episode on Sunday Night. I was glad they kept plenty of mysteries to be unravelled in the future episodes and didn't wrap up everything in the first episode.

    I too was a bit mystified that Freema Agyeman appeared to die half way through the first episode but we are convinced that she must have survived and is still somewhere in London. Can't wait to see whether she reappears or not.

    I thought this was a very promising start to the series and hope it will be as successful as the 1970s cult version was.moreless
  • Good start to a show that seems like it could be great but the first episode comes across as a tad confusing.

    Well, it starts off slow but improves throughout.

    The acting is good (especially Julie Graham's character) and all of the cast play their part well.

    The story itself is a tad confusing, I understand how everyone died but those who are immune to the virus but I don't get how Julie Graham's character had the virus and seemed to die but came back to life 3 days later. Maybe it will be explained in a future episode.

    Also, what happened to Freema Agyeman's character? She's been portrayed as a Star but was killed off in the first episode? That is a bad, bad PR stunt on the BBC's part. I can only hope that whatever brought Julie Graham back to life will miraculously bring Freema back too.

    I also think that everyone seems to be handling the fact that everyone they know is dead, all of the amenities they are used to has gone, they have no idea how far spread the "Flu" is (Or why they are still alive) and they also have to start over from scratch. Have none of them thought about what caused the Flu? Or how they are going to restart their new life? Or, even, what they re going to do now?

    I this is a lot of expectations for the first episode but it just feels like they didn't give enough information to make make viewers return for the second episode, no sense of direction. It just seems like the show is there but there is no point to it (Even though it appeared at the end that the Flu was made by the government, it still felt like there nothing else for the Survivors to accomplish or look forward to)

    Anyway, watch it yourself and see if you agree because this is just my over critical opinion and you may love it. I will, however, be tuning in to episode 2 to see if there is going to be more to this somewhat bland story.

    Steve Pmoreless
  • Definitely got my attention.

    All good so far. Not the most original opener, but still very entertaining and even though it hasn't covered any new ground just yet, it's already got me pretty invested in the series. I'm a big fan of apocalypse fiction and this pilot definitely hit all the right notes for me. There were also a lot of references to classics like "the stand" "day of the triffids" and of course the original survivors that i really dug.

    As an adaptation it's pretty faithful, however, they've made some pretty bold character changes. Greg, a skilled engineer in the original series, is now a convicted felon with a fairly troubling blood lust. The character reminded me of Lloyd from the stand, but only in terms of situation. As a character he's a lot more confident and also cold and unnerving. Max Beesely was a good casting choice. It didn't hurt the show to cast paterson joseph either. But then patersons good in everything. Heres hoping he gets the doctor who gig. I was really surprised that freema agymens character was killed off less than half way through the episode as she'd been publicized as a main character of the show. She may still be alive, but only time will tell. All the actors seem pretty capable at this stage and i have faith that they'll continue to deliver great performances.

    I liked how the narrative covered the viruses effects on a country wide scale and effectively showed societies collapse in a matter of minutes.

    Society literally collapsed overnight and yet it all seemed perfectly plausible. We also got to see members of the government react to the pandemic. I really hope they revisit those characters at some point.

    Some of the scenes of chaos and death were very effective and the closing scene definitely had me hooked. The shows writers really gave this episode a boost by introducing an element into the show that wasn't in the original survivors or day of the triffids or any other apocalypse story i can think of. They've introduced the idea that a group of individuals may have intentionally instigated the pandemic for reasons unknown. I was a little annoyed by Abbies speach near the end. It sounded a little bit too much like "live together die alone", but it still captured the truth of the situation and showed how important it would be to join forces when faced with such an uncertain future. Not a lot of character development so far, but its just the pilot so i can't complain. All the right elements are there and the shows cast and crew have demonstrated that they are perfectly capable of giving us a good show. Can't wait for the next episode, which as luck would have it is only a day away.moreless
  • OK re-make for 21st century audience

    I was a big fan of the original series written by Terry Nation, so I tuned in with mixed feelings for this new version. The plot is pretty well unchanged, with some changes in the detail of the characters. Abby's motivation remains the same -- to find her son Peter, who she desperately hopes is still alive somewhere. After a gloomy noir-ish series of sequences leading up to the death of 90% of humanity, the story steps up a notch. Very much in the style of John Wyndham, we follow the handful of survivors as they meet and begin to understand that they need to stay together. The finale, however, will make old-time fans sigh. We can see a lot of new plot elements foreshadowed that will change the direction of the story -- and not necessarily for the better.moreless
Matt Lanigan

Matt Lanigan

Joe Pope

Guest Star

Amber Herod

Amber Herod

Tina Styles

Guest Star

Guy Hargreaves

Guy Hargreaves

Mr Styles

Guest Star

Nicholas Gleaves

Nicholas Gleaves


Recurring Role

Ronny Jhutti

Ronny Jhutti

Sami Masood

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: The virus takes effect very quickly as witnessed by the bodies lying around. The motorways are shown completely devoid of traffic. It is likely that at least some car drivers would have died at the wheel and wrecked their cars along various stretches of the road.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • (Abby checks her phone for a signal.)
      Callum Brown: Oof, well that way of life is gone now. Mobile phones, computers, the electricity that powers them—all gone for good.
      Abby: Well, we'll soon get things working again.
      Callum Brown: Do you think so? When was the last time you did anything truly practical, Mrs Grant?
      Abby: Like what?
      Callum Brown: Well, like milked a cow, or slaughtered a pig, or, you know, grew a vegetable? I mean, do you know what mushrooms are okay to eat and which ones will kill you? Because that's the kind of knowledge you're going to need now.
      Abby: Well, we still have books. We can learn what we need from them.
      Callum Brown: Well, we're going to need to, and soon.
      Abby: There must be millions of tonnes of preserved food left, a-a huge stockpile of things—cars, clothes, petrol.
      Callum Brown: Yeah, but how long do you think that's going to last? We're going to have to start all over again. We're gonna have to re-learn the skills we've forgotten. We've become like helpless babies, pushing the buttons of our fancy technology whilst distancing ourselves further everyday from the reality of what it actually is to be human.
      Abby: Well, perhaps I have more faith in people than you do.
      Callum Brown: You know, we can save ourselves all right, but the work starts now and, uh, mobile phones won't help.
      Abby: Well, I'm going to hang onto mine for now… just in case.

    • Jenny: There must be some hope.
      Anya: There are bound to be some people who are naturally immune. The lucky ones. If you can call them that.
      Jenny: Why shouldn't you?
      Anya: Can you imagine what their lives will be like now? How scared and lonely they'll be.
      Jenny: But… whatever happens, I'd rather live.
      Anya: Perhaps you will. If you stay wekk for another few days… Jen?
      Jenny [ sobbing ]: My head hurts and I'm too hot and there's a lump.
      Anya: Oh, Jenny.

    • Abby: There is only one choice. We-we stand together or– or– or die.
      Al: (whistles) I'm going where she's going.
      Tom: I'm in. What else have we got going for us?
      Najid: I've got to find my cousins, but I don't mind hanging around for a while.
      Anya: Why not?
      Greg: All right. But just till you get yourselves settled, then I'm away.

    • Abby: Are you all completely crazy? You can't just go!
      Greg: Why not?
      Abby: Because we've only just found each other!
      Greg: We don't know each other. We've got nothing in common.
      Abby: We survived!

    • Abby: Hello.
      Najid: Hi.
      Abby: It's so good to see you.
      Najid: I don't know you, do I?
      Abby: There's so few of us left, every new person feels like a gift.

    • Abby: Is that what you're going to do, find a farm?
      Greg: Something like that. Just a small place where I can grow a few things. Keep a few animals.
      Abby: You make it sound quite nice.
      Greg: It won't be. It'll be hard work.
      Abby: Well, maybe you'll find other people to help.
      Greg: I don't need other people.

    • Greg: What are you doing? You could have killed us both!
      Abby: I'm sorry!
      Greg: I mean, of all the terrible pieces of driving!
      Abby: Is your car badly damanged?
      Greg: It's okay,
      Abby: I mean, how was I supposed to know you were there?
      Greg: I had right of way! You do know how to drive, don't you?
      Abby: Fine… It was my fault. Would you like my insurance details?
      Greg: Is that supposed to be funny?
      Abby: Well, I thought so!

    • Najid: Where are we going?
      Al: To get some petrol.
      Najid: Where from?
      Al: Where do you think?
      Najid: They don't just keep it lying around in cans, you know. We need to get another car.
      Al: I don't want another car. I want my car.
      Najid: My dad would know what to do.
      Al: Well, I'm not your dad, am I? [ pause ] All right, we'll find another car. But it'd better be a decent one.

    • Tom: It's all wide open now, isn't it?
      Neil: What is?
      Tom: The future. We can make it whatever we want.

    • Abby: Have you had the illness?
      Callum: Never touched me. You?
      Abby: I recovered.
      Callum: I'm Callum Brown, I'm one of the instructors here. Well I, you know… I was.
      Abby: Don't take this the wrong way, Mr Brown, but I think you might be the most beautiful man I've ever seen!

    • Al: Get in.
      Najid: I told you I don't need looking after.
      Al: Just bloody get in.
      Najid: No funny stuff, okay.
      Al: What?
      Najid: You're not a paedophile, are you?
      Al: No, I'm not a bloody paedophile, now get in the car!

    • Tom [ while stabbing a prison guard to death ]: Now that is what I call ironic. You survive the plague and you get yourself killed over something silly like this.

    • Samantha: During this period of uncertainty it is possible there will be temporary losses of power and water. I urge you all to behave responsibly, to be good neighbours and to avoid panic. As soon as it is practically possible, your government will restore services and normalise the situation. Rest assured we continue to work on your behalf. In the meantime, good luck and God bless you all.

    • Jenny: How many?
      Anya: Hundreds. In the last few hours, alone. It's the same everywhere. The virus causes our own immune systems to turn against us. It rips our natural defences to shreds. Some people can fight it for longer, but in others it moves so quickly.
      Jenny: What about the jab?
      Anya: Useless. Fiction to keep the panic under control. It takes years to develop effective vaccines. We've had days.

    • Reporter: It's true, isn't it, that the government has lost control?
      Samantha: We're a very long way away from that situation.

    • Jenny [ to receptionist ]: Excuse me, can you page Dr. Anya Raczynski for me, please? Tell her it's Jenny. [ grabbing microphone ] Dr Anya Raczynski, please come to reception immediately!

  • NOTES (4)

    • To tie in with the broadcast of the series, Terry Nation's original 1976 novelisation was released in a new edition by Orion Books. The new series is credited as being based on this novelisation.

    • The show was filmed in Manchester.

    • Executive producer Sue Hoggs was inspired to remake the 1970s Survivors following the outbreak of SARS, the emergence of bird flu and by growing worldwide concerns over a possible flu pandemic.

    • This first episode is 90 minutes long and was broadcast on a Sunday. Subsequent episodes are 60 minutes long and broadcast on Tuesdays.