As I've mentioned a couple of times, I've been reading a bunch of post-apocalyptic fiction for a project, picking and choosing from the fiction section of this list. Just this week I switched to the film and television section, downloading both seasons of BBC's Survivors from iTunes and devouring them. I managed to watch it late at night, after the children were asleep, and therefore I've been a bit of a zombie during the days. Happily, though, there are no zombies in Survivors, something that, obviously, can not be said about a lot of post-apocalyptic stories. Although I am a big fan of fantasy, magical realism, and the like, for some reason I prefer my post-apocalyptic fiction as realistic as possible -- straight up, as it were -- maybe because the circumstances of these stories are surreal enough already. Survivors is this kind of story, about how a small, diverse group of ordinary people manage to keep it together after 95% of the world's population is decimated by a flu pandemic. The leader of the group is a middle-aged woman, Abby Grant, who is looking for her twelve-year-old son who was away at camp when the virus struck. She meets up with a survival-minded systems analyst, the recently divorced Greg; Tom, a career criminal who'd been serving a life sentence in prison; Anya, an altruistic young doctor; Al, a wealthy playboy, and Naj, a twelve-year-old boy and a devout Muslim. Beyond the group's survival efforts and Abby's search for her son, a great deal of the show is devoted to an exploration of morality in a completely broken society.
Survivors is a remake of a BBC television series of the same name produced in the early 70s, based on a book by Terry Nation. I've reserved the book at the library and would love to watch the early 70s version. Now, because when I think "BBC television series" I think "The Prisoner," that odd yet oddly appealing late-60s show featuring a guy trapped in a village by an enormous white beach ball that moved in slo-mo, I suppose I was unconsciously expecting the current series to have low production values or something. Boy, was I wrong. I was especially impressed with the casting and the quality of the acting.
While looking for a link to The Prisoner, I've discovered they'd made a remake of that, too. Excuse me while I disappear for another week. And by the way, Survivors, which I highly recommend, is available through netflix, too.