Survivors TV Poster Image

Survivors

(i)

 

Thought-provoking post-apocalyptic drama has mature themes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show's overall message focuses on the human need to band together, both for survival and for companionship -- as well as how, in the face of tragedy, some are able to maintain their dignity and humanity. But it also shows how people, when society crumbles, can devolve into selfish brutes.

Positive role models

The main survivors struggle to act with decency when many others have joined roving gangs and are willing to shoot each other for canned food and gasoline. Characters are nuanced, though, so several "good" survivors -- including a former criminal -- struggle with putting the group's needs above their own.

Violence

Plenty of tense standoffs, sometimes with guns and other weapons, as the survivors of the virus battle for food and other necessities. Though there are few actual fights, many scenes have a strong undercurrent of intimidation. Some explosions, and several scenes with deformed or rotting dead bodies. One character is held against her will and used as a medical guinea pig.

Sex

No sex or nudity, but some scenes make it clear that sex is imminent. Some men openly leer at women, and in a world without laws, some women trade on their looks to earn the affection -- and protection -- of powerful men.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some social drinking. A few characters, especially the villains, like to get drunk and can be quite thuggish after drinking. Occasional smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this post-apocalyptic drama -- which follows a band of survivors who struggle to retain their humanity after a plague has wiped out 99 percent of the world’s population -- includes terrifying scenes involving the realization that loved ones are dead, multiple corpses, and tense confrontations with guns and other weapons. The main characters try to work together for the greater good, but they must battle roving packs of thugs who use force and intimidation to take what they need to survive. There’s no swearing, not much in the way of graphic/explicit violence (though there's plenty of tension and scariness), and only a few hints of sex, but some scenes feature mature interactions as people discover just how low they're willing to go to survive.

What's the story?

After a virus leaves 99 percent of the planet’s population dead, the SURVIVORS find themselves in a new world, where law and order have been replaced by the rule of might. Abby (Julie Graham) emerges as a maternal figure and unexpected leader of a small group of people who hope to eventually restore civilization but for now just want to survive. Her new “family” includes Greg (Paterson Joseph), whose self-sufficiency and common sense make him a valuable asset; Tom (Max Beesley), a hardened criminal who understands that the strong will try to take advantage of the weak; and Sarah (Robyn Addison), an attractive but selfish woman with few useful skills who seeks protection by trying to attach herself to strong men. They're surrounded by dangerous gangs who will do whatever is necessary to accumulate food and other necessities, while Abby and her friends struggle to retain their decency in the face of chaos and disorder.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

So what happens when civilization breaks down? Abby insists that people are basically good, but the struggle for survival demonstrates what people are really like, and her belief is tested daily by other survivors who are driven by greed and self interest. The last-people-on-Earth drama is an old idea, but it's always interesting when it's done right. Eliminating social conventions, law enforcement, and morality brings out both the best and worst in people and creates high-stakes drama as individuals discover what they're capable of doing to survive.

This thought-provoking British drama is done right. The few survivors are surrounded by what was, until quite recently, a thriving civilization and now have their pick of huge mansions and fancy cars. But the electricity has failed, gasoline is increasingly hard to come by, and few things are as valuable as canned food. Each character is separate and distinct, and they all have very different ideas of how to get by in this strange new world. Some, like Abby, assume that everyone should help each other, while others, like Tom and Sarah, think of themselves first and are very aware that they can't count on anyone else to watch their back.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this drama taps into cultural and human anxieties. What exactly is so compelling or frightening about the show? How do the directors and producers play up these sensations? How do music, setting, and dialogue contribute to the show's emotional impact?

  • What would you do if you managed to survive a terrible disaster that left

  • most of the world dead? Do you have any special skills that would help

  • you in a survival situation? What would you be willing to do? Is

  • there anything you wouldn't be willing to do?

  • How does this vision of a post-apocalyptic world compare to other

  • movies or TV shows? Why do you think the show opted to use a disease to

  • kill off the population? How would it be different if another kind of

  • disaster had destroyed civilization?

TV details

Cast:Julie Graham, Max Beesley, Paterson Joseph, Robyn Addison
Network:BBC America
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Survivors was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 14 year old Written byVicky567 September 3, 2012

Survivors alright for 14 or up

This show is fantastic when it was airing me and my pals always tuned in to watch, however I would probably not recommend it to anyone who is younger than the age of 12 or 14. This show, although has not got much sexual content, contains quite a bit of sexual threat. There are two main scenes that would concern me. One is where two men drag a woman upstairs with obvious motives. However she quickly escapes and the two men eventually get caught. The other one is when a main character goes up to a powerful man for help who says she will have to pay a prove and since she had nothing to give, he rapes her... The violence isn't too graphic but can be pretty strong at times. But another problem with the show Is the medical scenes at times which can be disturbing and iffy. People are operated on and wounds are stitched back together (all which are incredibly bloody and iffy).
Teen, 14 years old Written bytidal9334 October 12, 2014
Teen, 17 years old Written bymaskedmoose February 13, 2010
Survivors is an exciting, gritty series. I'm currently enjoying series 2, but it is a lot darker. The main issue I have is the frequent occurences of sexual threat. Early on in series 2, one main character is raped and it's all quite disturbing. Still, very enjoyable series, just keep in mind the mature subject matter before showing it to kids!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models

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