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Ben Austwick [Cathode Ray Mission 12.10.08] Tuvalu post apocalyptic review



Year: 2008
DVD Release date: January 26th, 2009
Directors: John Alexander / Andrew Gunn
Writers: Various
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Ben Austwick
Rating: 6 out of 10

Episode four and "Survivors" continues to explore its post-apocalyptic vision through short, self-contained storylines, the main strands examining a group of teenage boys running amok in an abandoned country mansion while its former owner stalks the grounds; and a return to the eco commune of the previous episode, where Nikki Amuka-Bird puts in a good turn as increasingly despotic Health Minister Samantha, and Tom's criminal background begins to cause him problems.


The storylines are well written and interesting (taken as they are from the original script), exploring unique dilemmas and situations posed by an ungoverned, chaotic world that nevertheless contains ample resources and minimal risks. Danger is posed by other people, and though no doubt such a threat would exist, you do wonder how realistic a world where every other person the main group of characters meets wants to kill them is. It's all necessary to keep the drama and tension flowing, but did feel a bit far-fetched in this episode.

This wasn't helped by some poor action sequences. Despite being fundamentally stupid violence does need some directorial care, and it was lacking here, especially in Greg and Anya's fight with intruders back at the house. The speed the tables were turned on the aggressors was faintly ridiculous, and the scene was reminiscent of a stage farce rather than the Funny Games lite it wanted to be. A shame, because with a bit of care this scene could have really upped the scares.

Apart from this, episode four generally kept up the good work set out in episode three, sticking to a formula that suits the drama. But things just aren't coming together as they should. None of it is either engaging or convincing enough, and it's only wanting to know what happens next and how it will conclude that is keeping me watching. The next episode promises a return to the bio lab plot line - let's hope it injects a bit of purpose into the series.

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rek (10 years ago) Reply

Damn, I hit Clear instead of Add Comment...

The attack on Greg and Anya was pointless and ridiculous. Over fast, yes, but telegraphed from the moment the two guys arrived. Being treated with hostility and suspicion is probably what made them come back later.

The eco-commune is ridiculous. Work shifts, a guy in a tower, an escape alarm? New people ejected in under 24 hours? How exactly did Samantha get Tom's record?

The storyline of Abby and the Estate was good though. I liked how varied the guy's character was; played a little different and he would have been taking Abby to his Rape Cave instead of a hideout. If only Abby had the sense to combine the camps and bring her people to the estate...

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tom (10 years ago) Reply

its really not adding up
but i still love it.
it seems to be falling into all
the same traps of the original.
which is a shame.

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Ben Austwick (10 years ago) Reply

I thought the estate storyline was good too, the guy playing the ancestral owner was great - shows what a difference acting can make.

I know what you mean about the eco commune, but it has a sinister atmosphere I like and I'm looking forward to it all going pear-shaped!

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Ben Austwick (10 years ago) Reply

Tom - wish I'd seen the original. What was wrong with it?

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Gary London (10 years ago) Reply

I want to add my two penneth about Survivors. Well, one penneth actually. What a load of poorly acted, poorly cast and poorly written garbage this "reimagining" is.

It irks me to think that a large amount of people have been paid probably large amounts of licence payers money to come up with this crap.

Totally dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.

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Jonathan (10 years ago) Reply

responding to the "how Samantha knew about Tom" comment, she'd worked previously with ex-offenders and thus recognised his prison tattoo. The character explained this to Tom!

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trogen (10 years ago) Reply

ill give it one more chance. If the next episode is no better i think ill give the rest a miss!

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rek (10 years ago) Reply

Jonathan - I thought she said something about his record.

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Ben Austwick (10 years ago) Reply

I've been trying to remain positive Gary, but I know how you feel.

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Phil (10 years ago) Reply

What a waste of money this series is proving to be. When news of a remake of the Survivors was announced, it promised so much. Episodes 1 was fair, it was the first, and had to set the theme, unfortunately it didn't pick up, the story has been handled badly, the scripting is abismal, the acting little better, continuity poor, the locations are laughable, and too many "stars" all trying to get a bite of the script. The storyline of episode 4 was so mixed up, and pathetic, a bunch of kids keeping a Garling at bay, he could easily have picked them off one at a time. The character Abby should be renamed Gobby, that's all she seems to do. No practical survival skills are displayed, no indication of how they are living day-to-day, coping with no running water, electricity, mains gas, sewage. DIRE, lets hope talks of a second series are just talk, the third series of the original series lost its way, this series has lost its way from the start.

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John Vipond (10 years ago) Reply

Most of us have an idea what we would do in such a situation- move to a fortified house ( or castle) on a hill with waterpowered generators- get weapons- set up a small farm ( not just a few chickens kept as pets), not too dissimilar to the original series. But this lot- well it all seems rather like an extended vacation in the Big Brother house. I'm very disappointed in what seems a great missed opportunity to embellish the original series what with the huge advances in CGI etc since the 1970's. The first series wasn't perfect and lost its direction in series 3 when it began to be too introspective. This series began like that and hasn't moved on significantly.I'm watching it now out of pure exasperation- in other words-I started so I'll finish- and lets be honest- its not as if theres a huge amount of competition out there.TV nowadays is becoming more and more pathetic- and people watching are becoming more apathetic! No doubt the BBC couldn't care less- I'm sure it'll make huge profits via worldwide sales, DVD's etc. But as to it being an improvement on the original- get real.

I hope the next Sci-fi series- Day of the Triffids- is better than this- otherwise Beeb- stick with what you do best-Lark Rise to Candleford etc.

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macstu (10 years ago) Reply

The worst TV series ever made for love of god CANCEL
this abomination.

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Anonymous (10 years ago) Reply

Actually, I've enjoyed the show -- the characters are interesting and appealing, although it's too bad we don't get to see more of the post-human collapse of cities and infrastructure. I was originally skeptical because of the mixed reviews, but am glad I was able to catch it.

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afwuk (10 years ago) Reply

no abandoned cars on motorway totally clear, no bodies in the street, tom's hair as sharp as the 1st episode, the bad guy only has a shot guns, you would of thought they would have found some decent guns by now and you would of thought Abby and the crew would have found guns by now as well. Loads of agravating things that would / wouldn,t happen but all this aside and to my suprise I'm enjoying it..........


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