EXCLUSIVE! Survivors

The BBC isn’t actually remaking the old <i>series</i>! It’s more complicated than that

Hold the front page! The BBC isn’t remaking the ’70s Terry Nation post-apocalyptic series Survivors. Well... not technically anyway.

Don’t worry. The Corporation hasn’t already cancelled its recently-announced new version of Survivors. But when SFX had a natter with BBC Head of Series and Serials Kate Harwood recently about the series (and boy, is she excited about it) she revealed this interesting little nugget:

“We’ve brought the rights to the novel – so, of course, we’re adapting the novel… It’s quite complex, and probably I shouldn’t go into too much detail, but Terry Nation wrote a very fine novel based on the first series, and that’s what we have the rights to. There are some scripts that he wasn’t involved in later ion the series. But I think the novel is very much the key to the series, really.”

So, the BBC is creating an adaptation of a novel based on a series that was originally broadcast on the BBC. The world truly is run by lawyers. Still, it shouldn’t really make much difference to the final outcome.

SFX also asked Harwood about whether the new show would replicate the famous opening credits sequence from the original show, which spookily showed each week how a killer virus escaped from a lab and spread around the world. After all, opening credits seem to be a dying art these days.

“I think they’re coming back into vogue actually,” says Harwood. “The last three things that I’ve exec-produced have had them. We had an opening title sequence for Cranford, Oliver Twist and Bleak House. In this busy, busy world where everything started to have film-style titles with the credits over the opening scenes, I think we’re coming back to properly-designed titles. And I agree, the titles for the original Survivors were fantastic, and much imitated. But I don’t know. We haven’t got that far. We’ll see…”

There will be more from our interview with Kate Harwood, revealing all sorts of interesting titbits about we can expect from the updated Survivors, in SFX166, on sale 16 January 2008.

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