Virus Kills Millions:
BBC America's Survivor
From a BBC America press release: 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 13, 8:00p.m. ET/PT - subsequent episodes premiere at 9:00p.m. ET/PT.
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 surrogate father to streetwise urchin Najid. Then there is Tom, outwardly handsome and charming, but actually a dangerous and ruthless man who, unbeknown to the others, was 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 includes Julie Graham as Abby Grant, Paterson Joseph as Greg, Freema Agyeman as Jenny, Max Beesley as Tom Price, Phillip Rhys as Al, Zoë Tapper as Anya, Nikki Amuka–Bird as Samantha Willis, Shaun Dingwall as David and newcomer Chahak Patel as 11-year-old Najid.
“Survivors is about what it 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 (William and Mary, Bonekickers)
Greg Preston Paterson Joseph (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, The Beach)
Jenny Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who, Detective Agency, The Beach)
Tom Price Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon, Bodies)
Al Sadiq Philip Rhys (Nip/Tuck, 24)
Anya Zoë Tapper (Stage Beauty, Demons)
Samantha Willis Nikki Amuka-Bird
David Shaun Dingwall
Najid Chahak Patel
Whitaker Nicholas Gleaves
Sarah Boyer Robyn Addison
Dexter Anthony Flanagan
Created and written by Adrian Hodges
Based on the novel by Terry Nation
Directors John Alexander
Iain B MacDonald
Executive Producers Susan Hogg
Survivors is a BBC production distributed by BBC Worldwide.
WHAT THE UK PRESS SAID
“This is slick, modern, sophisticated drama. Leading the cast with a sturdy, gutsy performance is Julie Graham as Abby Grant… there is an unexpected twist in the final moments that will leave you eager for more. A welcome shot in the arm for the British fantasy renaissance.”- Observer
“...does science-fiction justice with the perfect balance between the most extreme of ideas and credible execution. Make a date with the apocalypse.” - Mail on Sunday
“…a strong cast led by Julie Graham and Paterson Joseph head this gripping reworking of Terry Nation’s popular Seventies drama … Don’t miss.” - Sunday Telegraph
ABBY GRANT (JULIE GRAHAM)
Abby is a mother and home-maker 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’d also planned to resume her career and re-ignite her faltering relationship with her loving but exhausted husband. But fate 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)
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, hard-scrabble 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)
Jenny is a bright and lively young teacher in a primary school. Overwhelmed by 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)
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)
A rich, good-looking playboy, Al has lived a life of privilege. 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 (ZOË TAPPER)
Anya is a young doctor who does her best to save as many people as she can when the virus hits.ut with no cure and no vaccine, all her skill ultimately proves futile. While she struggles with the enormity of events, she’s forced to stand by helplessly as her friend Patricia is among those brought to the hospital in the grip of the illness. In the 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)
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)
David is a self-employed builder, 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)
Eleven-year-old Najid is a lively little boy with all the normal interests of kids of 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.
Abby Grant is a mother and housewife, married to David. The couple returns from vacation at the point where a virulent flu virus is beginning to sweep the world. Abby is worried about her 11-year-old son Peter who recently recovered from leukemia and is on a school adventure holiday.
As the crisis deepens, Samantha Willis, Junior Minister for Health, tries to keep public panic under control as essential services start to break down. Elsewhere, in a modern high-security prison, Tom Price, a charismatic and dangerous inmate, is the only one who does not fall ill as the prison becomes a charnel house with prisoners dying one by one.
At a large inner-city hospital, services are at breaking point. Jenny, a bright and lively young teacher in a primary school, is overwhelmed by the chaos she sees all around her – but she is determined to save the life of her roommate Patricia.
Dr Anya Raczynski, a beautiful junior doctor in the Accident and Emergency department, finds she can’t save her best friend Patricia from the virus which is killing virtually everyone who contracts it. In contrast, Al Sadiq, a wealthy playboy, is determined not to let the virus stop him having fun (at this point no one understands how deadly it is). But the following morning, he finds the girl he met at a club the night before dead in his bed.
In the aftermath of the virus, Al finds himself responsible for Najid, a young Muslim boy. Al has never seen himself as the paternal type and initially proves to be a disaster as a father figure.
Greg Preston, a former systems analyst, seems more prepared than most, his car is well stocked and he seems calm in the face of the catastrophe. But when his car is involved in a collision with one of the survivors, Greg’s plans are temporarily derailed.
Meanwhile, Tom manages to escape from prison. He returns home to retrieve a bag full of cash and a gun…
With a dangerous prisoner on the loose, and other survivors who will hoard whatever spoils they can, the brave new world is a precarious place for a mismatched group of Survivors, who must stand together or die.
Abby and her new friends find a house to shelter in and set about gathering the essential supplies they need to stay alive. When they visit a local supermarket they are confronted with Dexter, the leader of an armed gang that has laid claim to the contents. Abby is shocked by how quickly people have resorted to selfishness and violence.
As Dexter’s gang is leaving, Abby sees a face she thinks she recognizes – a teacher who took her son to the hospital before the worst of the virus hit. But the gang departs before she can speak to him. Abby cannot forget about the teacher. Taking Tom with her, she goes back to the supermarket in the hope that Dexter’s gang will return. Dexter soon arrives but he has no interest in helping Abby. Instead he gives them a chilling final warning to stay away.
Greg goes in search of the main supermarket warehouse. When he gets there, he finds Bob Murphy and Sarah Boyer. Bob and Sarah had planned to use the contents of the warehouse to start a trading business, but their plans are halted when Bob has an accident and is severely injured. Greg is able to stabilize Bob’s condition and agrees to stay the night to keep an eye on the patient.
Once Sarah is alone with Greg she tries to seduce him. She needs a man who can protect her and do the heavy work. Greg can see that Sarah wants to use him, but he still finds it hard to resist this beautiful young girl who is throwing herself at him.
Abby stumbles across a community that could hold the key to everyone’s future. The group is led by Samantha Willis – the last surviving member of the Government. She has set up a community that still boasts light, hot water, food and power, all drawn from sustainable sources. Abby and Samantha hit it off immediately and Abby is full of hope that Samantha might lead the remaining population to build a new and better society. Samantha sees that Abby could become a trusted ally, but Abby’s illusions are shattered when she sees the lengths Samantha will go to in order to maintain control of her fledgling community.
Meanwhile, Greg and Tom are out searching for supplies when they encounter a family stranded on an isolated farm. The father has successfully sheltered his children from the virus by keeping them imprisoned in their own home. When the daughter of the family reaches out to Tom and Greg to set her free, they are faced with a terrible dilemma – any contact with them could kill the family.
Abby learns of a group of young boys living at a nearby mansion called Waterhouse. She is determined to see if Peter is there, and leaves her new friends in order to find her son. When she arrives at Waterhouse, she walks into the middle of a land dispute between Jimmy Garland, an ex-Army officer who has an ancestral claim to the mansion, and an aggressive group of teenage boys who have taken up residence there.
In Abby’s absence, her surrogate family is in danger of falling apart. Tom, Sarah, Al and Najid are drawn to the comfort and security that Samantha’s community provides. Tom settles into his new surroundings quickly and starts to see himself in a position of power in the new society that Samantha hopes to build.
Things quickly go wrong for Al, however, as he is ejected from the community when Samantha decides he will not fit in. Tom sees the chance to prove himself to Samantha, but will his criminal past catch up with him?
Greg and Anya, meanwhile, are left to protect the survivors’ house alone, and an encounter with some unwelcome visitors provides a vivid reminder of how vulnerable they are without the group.
When a so-called spiritual leader called John turns up at the survivors’ home with his group of followers, some in the house are suspicious of his motives. Charming and eloquent, John is a preacher with a unique perspective on the new world, but the family’s opinion of him is split. Some find comfort in his message, while others are deeply distrusting of his motives.
Linda, a woman in John’s group, is pregnant, and Abby allows her to stay until the baby is born. Anya fears that she will be forced to reveal the fact that she is a doctor if there are any problems with the birth. Worse than that, she picks up on some unusual remarks made by John, which make her concerned for the group’s safety.
Al is much more positive about John’s group. He spots a pretty woman called Louise and uses his charm to seduce her. He is feeling much more like his old self – until he realises that Louise isn’t as innocent as she seems.
Meanwhile, Anya’s fears are realized when Linda experiences complications and John’s serene façade starts to crumble. As the situation reaches crisis point, Anya is forced to confront some harrowing truths about her own past, putting her relationship with Tom on a new footing. Abby and the others also realize that, through a misguided act of kindness, they have put themselves in terrible jeopardy.
Abby and her friends find themselves on the run from Samantha and Dexter, who have formed a dangerous alliance that threatens everyone’s freedom. Meanwhile, Sarah is confronted by a face from the past which leads her to betray her new friends. When Naj goes missing, the family is forced to face the dangers of the city in order to find him. Their food and water supplies have been stolen from their car by desperate urban survivors, so they know they may not be able to survive long enough to find Naj. The family is nearly torn apart when Greg and Abby find themselves on opposite sides of an argument.
Meanwhile, Naj is befriended by a feral boy named Darren who lives with the sinister Craig and June. They look after a group of children who forage amid the ruins of the city, in return for shelter and protection.
Naj soon sees that Craig is ruthlessly exploiting Darren and the others but, without Abby, he faces a struggle to save himself. With his adopted family searching for him in the deserted city, time is rapidly running out and Dexter is only a step behind them all…
(More Synopses TK)