The End of the World?
The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Survivors

Authors: Rich Cross and Andy Priestner
Telos Publishing
RRP 12.99, US $22.95, Cdn $29.95
ISBN 1 84583 001 6
Available 15 December 2005

In an undisclosed location a scientist makes the ultimate mistake and drops a vial containing a deadly virus. Unaware that he has been affected, he travels the world spreading the disease. In an apocalyptically short time the death spreads killing the majority of the human race...

So started Survivors, a thirty-eight episode, science fiction show which was shown in the late nineteen seventies. The show was the brain child of Terry Nation, well known for his work on Doctor Who, and dealt with the realities of surviving catastrophic events. When the show was originally aired it scared the life out of me, I suddenly realised that I didn't know how to grow and process tobacco or grapes, the end of the world was going to be a very miserable place indeed.

The End of the World: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Survivors covers just about everything you would ever want to know about this thought provoking programme. Written by Rich Cross and Andy Priestner with a forward by Pennant Roberts, the book covers the show from its genesis to its final episode. In fact, the book brought back so many good memories that I instantly wanted to get my DVD's out and start to re-watch the series, however some bugger stole mine.

The main part of the book is cut into three sections, reflecting the three seasons that the show ran. Each section starts with an in-depth and detailed look at the production of each season before moving on to the individual episodes. Each episode contains a synopsis as well as a list of who was involved in the show before moving on to more background material and a critique. Each section is rounded off with a season review.

Finishing the book are five individual sections dealing with the show following its cancellation. Life after Death looks at fan fiction, the slow progress of the show first onto VHS and then onto DVD (obviously I had to stop reading at that point due to the tears in my eyes - the horror, the horror). Next up, a review of every character that appeared in the show, nice addition but a little redundant except to anyone who had never seen the show and I guess if you've never seen the show you're not likely to buy this book. A location guide, with pictures, comes next with some nice shots of the houses and farms for any die hard fans who want to plan their holidays around visiting these places.

The last section is dealt with as an appendix and looks at the connections between Survivors and Doomwatch. This section I found the least convincing, as it attempts to connect the two shows by who worked where. It's a valid point but the same point could have been made with other shows of the time, it's not like there were a cast of thousands all trying to work in television Sci-Fi, so there is bound to be a lot of cross over.

That small gripe aside, this book is a must have for any true fan of Survivors, you would have to go some way to discover a fact about the show that isn't contained in this reasonably priced information rich tome.

Charles Packer

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