A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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99 percent of the planet’s population dead, the SURVIVORS find themselves in a new world, where law and order have been replaced by the rule of might.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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love thrills
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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