A routine day in Abby Grant’s cozy world starts to unravel slowly. Her son is away with friends as news of an unprecedented virulent flu outbreak grips the UK. As news – and evidence – of the spreading flu worsens, some people grow panicked while others sink into their own oblivion. Abby falls ill and her husband desperately tries to nurse her back to health while the medical and emergency services are overwhelmed. Convicted killer Tom Price sees the spreading sickness as an opportunity to shorten his 20+ year sentence, while millionaire playboy Al Sadiq ignores the news as best he can…until he wakes up in his penthouse, his latest conquest having died of the virus overnight. The virus isn’t limited to England, and soon modern conveniences are a thing of the past. Power stations and other critical services are disrupted because the people manning them have died. Overnight, the human race is reduced to foraging for its survival.
It’s into this world that Abby awakens three days after she falls ill. Her husband has died in that time, as has everyone in her neighborhood. With phone service gone, she has no way to check on her son, and so she sets out to find him. Along the way, she runs into Greg Preston, who seems to have very clear ideas on what he’ll have to do to survive, and has stocked up on fuel, food and other necessities. They soon encounter more survivors, including a disheartened doctor named Anya Raczynski, and the unlikely pair of Al Sadiq and an 11-year-old orphan, Najid. Tom Price, having murdered his last surviving jailer to escape, is also a survivor – though no one yet knows what he is capable of.
written by Adrian Hodges
based on the novel by Terry Nation
directed by John Alexander
music by Edmund Butt
Cast: Julie Graham (Abby Grant), Shaun Dingwall (David Grant), Joanne Rowden (Linda Pope), Matt Lanigan (Joe Pope), Freema Agyeman (Jenny Walsh), Amber Herod (Tina Styles), Guy Hargreaves (Mr. Styles), Christine Anderson (Marion Sturges), Max Beesley (Tom Price), Tim Dantay (Gary Wilson), Joe Jacobs (Tony Coyne), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Samantha Willis), Jamie Belman (Mark Carter), Flo Wilson (Helen Crawley), Trevor Dwyer-Lynch (Driver at petrol station), Phillip Rhys (Aalim “Al” Sadiq), Sophia Di Martino (Simone), Bryony Afferson (Patricia Kelly), Zoe Tapper (Anya Raczynski), Hazel Cadman (Hospital Receptionist), Ian Champion (Journalist 1), Sagar Arya (Journalist 2), Tom Lloyd-Roberts (Sir Brian Tilston), Geoffrey Kirkness (General Mike Stone), Rohit Gokani (Najid’s Father), Chahak Patel (Najid Harif), Francis Magee (Callum Brown), Robert Boulter (Neil), Sophie McShera (Cathy), Paterson Joseph (Greg Preston), Jimmy Allen (Man at petrol station), Nicholas Gleaves (Whitaker), Ronny Jhutti (Sami Masood)
Notes: Though it’s the equivalent of The Fourth Horseman, the first episode of the original Survivors series, this untitled pilot of the new series subtracts and adds numerous characters and changes many of the details in the name of modernizing the story. Oddly, the writers’ credit for the pilot only credits Survivors creator Terry Nation for his novel, which was in fact a novelization of the original series; as such, writer and executive producer Adrian Hodges is credited as the show’s creator. Both Shaun Dingwall and Freema Agyeman had recently appeared in Doctor Who, and much was made of their appearances in Survivors, though neither of their characters survive this episode; Paterson Joseph – who had appeared in the first season finale of the new Doctor Who – was also a hot topic as Survivors premiered, as many considered him a likely contender for the role of the Doctor, which David Tennant had recently announced he would be vacating. Another Doctor Who universe veteran prominent in the first season is Nikki Amuka-Bird, who also appeared in the second season of Torchwood.
LogBook entry by Earl Green