10 March 2015 | pjuk-1
The iconic opening sequence of this wonderful show was something I have never forgotten and, unlike many other series from this period, I actually have the three season box set on DVD and have watched it recently and - barring a few obvious age related issues - can confirm it is as good as it initially seemed back in 1975.
The post-apocalyptic mood is brilliantly captured and although the plot and stories do dip after Terry Nation gave up full control of the project, the sense of loss and foreboding is superbly carried forward.
The absence of one of Series 1 leading characters in series 2 and 3 is managed to reasonable effect although it is obvious the writers would have preferred to have carried on from where Season 1 left off. The attempts to shoehorn the missing person's back into the show from time to time is an obvious issue. Also, there are some plot lines that don't entirely work but 'Survivors' is really about characterisation and how you relate to these people in this world. Barely an episode goes by when the viewer doesn't wonder what they would do if it were them in the situation and this adds to the feeling of belonging and care for the survivors - it also adds to the sense of fear and desperation for the viewer.
As you'd expect, the age of the show does leave some reservations and some of the stories would never make the cut now - undoubtedly it is dated, of course - but it also has to be said that the slow pace and different requirements of mid-70's TV actually enhance some aspects with regard to tension and plot building. When they tried to recreate and update the show later, the increased pace and need to make sure something was happening all the time detracted from the atmosphere and understanding of the characters. In the original, you care about the people and what happens to them. There is never any point you don't believe in this post-apocalyptic world and this is the show's strength.
Some detractors have mentioned specific story lines where people don't behave as we'd expect them to do with second decade 21st Century glasses on. This is difficult to argue but, like listening to an old record from the same time, it is a pointless exercise to bemoan the different production values or to miss a modern trope. This is of its time, of course, but it shouldn't detract from the project. Don't forget, when they tried to remake it and modernise it, it was truly awful.
For anyone with an appreciation of classic TV and good story-telling this is highly recommended.