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Christopher Webster [Cathode Ray Mission 09.14.08] Tuvalu post apocalyptic review



Year: 1999
DVD Release date: Unknown
Director: Stuart Orme, Alex Pillai
Writer: Mathew Graham (4 episodes)
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: agentorange
Rating: 6.5 out of 10



It ain't no Survivors but ITV's six part production of The Last Train is another great example of the love our friends across the pond have for post-apocalyptic television. The show, which takes on a decidedly more science fictiony spin than it's 70s sister show, is about a group of people who get trapped in a train car and frozen for many years. When they finally wake up, they emerge into a world devastated by a meteor strike. Together, they must reconcile their differences in order to find refuge in a wasteland overrun by killer hounds, the odd mute marauder, and one touchy panther.

Despite being remembered fondly by hard-core fans, the show premiered back in 1999 to little fanfare and was rarely seen again. No VHS, DVD, or even across the pond syndication followed, so if you have trouble tracking it down, don't say I didn't warn you. I've seen some bootlegs fetch a whopping price on ebay but even those are becoming few and far between as time goes on. Hopefully we'll see a release soon though.



You can probably tell by the rating that I didn't exactly love the show. While it masterfully handles the main overarching mysteries and questions like, what's happened to the earth and are there any survivors, it's far too episodic for my likening. I would expect a show that runs only 6 episodes to tell one solid story and build on the characters as it moves along, not sidestep into an episode about hunting a wild boor when it knows the audience is desperate for the story to charge along.

Also, the characters are, at best, sketches and, at worst, stereotypes. The cop, the crook, the scientist, the pregnant woman, the crazy old lady, the bratty kid. They all seem developed for the sole purpose of manufacturing quick drama. Of course one of my favorite primetime shows is LOST which basically took the same road but somehow (perhaps due to its much longer than 6 episode run) it handles it a little better.



What the Last Train lacks in the writing department though, it makes up for in visuals. Made right before the turn of the millennium, when CGI was finally making its mark in the realms of television, The Last Train is full of some amazing post-apocalyptic vistas created as a marriage of practical locations and digital touch-ups. And, even though some of show's scifi elements come across worse than a cheap episode of Doctor who, they're good enough to get you through an episode unscathed.



When it comes down to it, The Last Train may not be as unflinching as Threads or as dramatic as Survivors but, If you're someone who craves a little more adventure and mystery in your post-apocalyptic viewing, then The Last Train is probably for you. With the BBC remake of Survivors on the way this Fall I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a DVD release, if not a re-broadcast at least, so keep your eyes on the guide.



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Daverat (9 years ago) Reply

Awww man! You get me all excited with this headline only to remind me that it is still not available on DVD. I have it on DVD but it is a low quality copy of a copy of a copy. And you IMDB link is wrong.

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digitalgodd (9 years ago) Reply

I actually liked this mini series. I have a pretty good copy on DVD if anyone wants to see it, just email me.

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zenseeker (9 years ago) Reply

Umm...This was an ITV show, not BBC.

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agentorange (9 years ago) Reply

Man, was I on crack when I wrote this? Thanks guys. Links and stuff fixed.

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Anonymous (9 years ago) Reply

Just found this on DVD for sale at iOffer. Great series, despite some of its quirks.

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fishboy (8 years ago) Reply

the dvd can be bought at raretv.com

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fishboy (8 years ago) Reply

correction
the dvd can be bought at
raretelevision.com


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