Watching BBC One’s shiny new drama Survivors is a strange experience. Having grown up watching the usual glut of zombie movies, I expect to see them jump out at the characters at every turn. You see, the show – which sees a group of people survive a worldwide pandemic that wipes out most of the earth’s population – has all the elements you’d expect of a zombie movie … just no zombies.

It’s weird.

Take last night’s episode for instance. It had a classic zombie movie set-up:

A young boy goes into an empty sweetshop and starts filling his boots with the array of goodies he finds inside. So distracted is he by his good fortune, he doesn’t see the danger lurking in the shadows.

Now, in a zombie movie, the kid would be attacked by a wailing goon and would either be killed, bitten and infected or fight off the zombie using Sherbet Dips and Flying Saucers. The scene would end with the undead monstrosity crashing back into the display cabinets with a packet of Refreshers buried in his head. Job done – move on.

But in Survivors, this is not what happens. Where you’d expect a relentless cadaver raised from the dead, you actually get an old man with a baseball bat. Where you expect lots of screaming and bone crunching and blood ‘n’ guts, you get the old fella pushed into a display stand and then dying. And that’s it.

How shit is that?

Maybe it’s just me? Maybe I should get it out of my head that the armies of the undead are just around the corner? Maybe I should see this show for what it is – a survival story that’s a mildly distracting way to pass the time before the news comes on?


Every time I see the characters get out of their cars on an empty motorway, my zombie movie watcher head shouts,

“NO! Get back in the car! The zombies are coming!”

Every time I see the plucky band of survivors go foraging for supplies, the part of me that sees shuffling corpses round every corner bellows,


And then sod all happens. It’s really odd.

So, to sum up, if you’ve ever seen a zombie film, or a futuristic mutant film or one of those films where a nuclear war has turned most of the world’s population into flesh-eating, cyberpunk shitbags, then Survivors is a disappointingly anticlimactic experience. If you haven’t seen those sort of films, you’ll probably get on with it. To me, there’s something missing at the show’s heart – something that can only be stopped with a blow to the head.

Or a packet of Refreshers.

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43 Responses to “Survivors”

  1. myblog Says:

    helooo … nice to meet u

  2. Napoleon Says:

    Nice to meet you too.

  3. Swineshead Says:



  4. Sue De Nymh Says:

    When I first looked at the header graphic for this post I thought it said “One Virus, Millions Dead, A Few Viewers”.

  5. Napoleon Says:

    It’ll probably end up with a few viewers considering nothing much happens in it.

  6. ugeine Says:

    What? A zombie programme where there’s no actual zombies? Is it suffering from soap opera gangster snydrome?

  7. Nick T Says:

    It’s one of those great tv monsters like “24” “lost” that I avoid like the plague. Has it got celebrities in it?

  8. Napoleon Says:

    It’s got him off of Peep Show in it.

  9. Swineshead Says:

    Considering any championship footballer’s wife you can think of (and it’s hard to name more than 11) is considered a celebrity these days, Nick – would it matter if it did?

    Someone at b3ta should play with the Survivors footage and edit in some zombies to spice it up.

  10. Swineshead Says:

    In fact, it sounds like Twilight – a vampire movie in which the vampires drink animal blood and can go out in the daytime – completely redundany.

  11. Swineshead Says:

    Yes – ‘redundany’.

  12. Napoleon Says:

    It definitely needs some zombies. And zombie animals. And burning cars.

  13. Nick T Says:

    In other news….

  14. ugeine Says:

    A bit where a man gets his intestines eaten and he shrieks? Think Dylan Moran in Shaun fo the Dead.

  15. Swineshead Says:

    Ugeine – that bit was a homage to Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead though…. let’s be true to the source…

  16. Nick T Says:

    Whilst I’m talking doing youtube links, if you have ever played guitar watch this

  17. ugeine Says:

    Good point. I always remember the one that’s just kind of nonchelantly sticking the intestines into his mouth (In DOD not SOD) that bit freaked me out as a teenager.

    And I can’t remember which film it is but the girl who gets her belly button ripped out, that was sick.

  18. roszs Says:

    Does anyone remember a series from years ago about a load of people who are in a tunnel when the end of the world comes (possibly through nuclear explosion). Can’t remember anything else about it, but it scared the shit out of me.


  19. roszs Says:

    ugeine – that was the video for cryin’ by aerosmith, except her belly button doesn’t get ripped out, because if you bungee jump with the elastic tied to your navel piercing it can actually hold your own weight, apparently, according to aerosmith.

  20. Napoleon Says:

    Does nybody remember that series from the 80s where these giant tripods enslave the human race? There’s tripods in it, and it’s got something to do with people rebelling against the tripods. What the hell was its name?

  21. ugeine Says:

    Ros: That’s typical bloody aerosmith, that is. No wonder RunDMC hated having the studio next door to them.

  22. Swineshead Says:

    I used to love that one with the Tripods – it had a character called Beanpole in it who was tall – what was it called?

  23. Jo Says:

    Doesn’t sound like much has changed, the original series was a massive snooze fest as well. Slow as anything. Combining Survivors with the Krypton Factor would have been a better idea imo.

  24. Toothed Varmint Says:

    Haven’t seen it yet, my iPlayer is fucked for some reason. But the fact that it’s BBC1 on Sunday doesn’t inspire much confidence.

  25. Napoleon Says:

    TV – They’ve moved it to Tuesdays now. It’s part of the BBC’s bold new policy of shuffling stuff about until you completely give up on it. Worked a treat with Little Dorrit.

    Swineshead – That’s the one. Had a load of tripods in it. Damned if I can remember its bloody name …

  26. Toothed Varmint Says:

    Was it called “The Tripods” perchance?
    Or maybe “The Day of the Tripods”. About some photographers, I expect.

  27. Nick T Says:

    I just posted a heap of links!
    It’s not here…

  28. extremelisteningmode Says:

    I haven’t been watching I’m a Celeb – I prefer to read about reality shows on here, I find it more po-mo – so what’s been happening. Has Esther rantzen lost it yet and set fire to a WAG?

  29. Nick T Says:

    I’ve tried posting them again but the machine won’t let me, says I have already posted them.


  30. Nick T Says:

    Roszs I have this
    and this

  31. Nick T Says:

    Ahhh, moderation…..

  32. roszs Says:

    I cannae watch youtube at work. I HATE THEM.

  33. Napoleon Says:

    It wasn’t ‘Tripods’, was it? Doesn’t sound very likely, but you never know …

  34. Toothed Varmint Says:

    Could have been. Or “Tricorns” which I personally prefer.
    It’s a tricky one indeed, Napoleon.

  35. Napoleon Says:

    The bloody thing’s on the tip of my tongue …

    It definitely had something to do with tripods.

  36. Swineshead Says:

    I think it was ‘Thank Tripod It’s Friday’ with Crisp Heavens.

  37. Nick T Says:

    “The Tri at Night”

  38. Swineshead Says:

    Very good.

    I suspect everyone is playing that game over at Perry’s site?
    The impudent deserters.

  39. Nick T Says:

    I’m far too busy for that!

    *watches Ricki Lake*

  40. Kremble Says:

    *slinks out from under rock*

    Righto, I’ll get this out of the way quickly to save anyone any trouble.

    I’ve had a hard day at work.
    I can’t get the internet at work.
    Gosh its quiet in here isn’t it?

    Todays discussion was good, my thoughts are:
    A) Irrelevant and
    B) Too Late.

    I once met a zombie. At least I think it was a zombie. He was with a bunch of his mates, hanging about, looking dead, miserable, cold, with skin so pockmarked it could only be improved by a somme-like bombardment. Called themselves Goths, or something…

    *slinks back under rock*

  41. Kremble Says:

    I’ll probably return later with fluffy thoughts and jolly pyjamas.

  42. Kremble Says:

    Sorry everyone. I’ll shut up and hide.

    *slinks back under rock*

    *only to find rock already occupied by family of wichity grubs hiding from Ant and Dec in case they get eaten by Kilroy*

    *finds another rock*

    *hides. sighs. sleeps*

  43. Toothed Varmint Says:

    You sure like yer slinkin’, Kremble mate.
    And yer rocks.

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