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Every new person feels like a gift.
—Abby Grant, version 2.0

Originally a 1975 post-apocalyptic drama created by Terry Nation for The BBC. It ran for three seasons (the second and third without Nation's involvement), then was "re-imagined" and re-launched in 2008, this time lasting two seasons before being canceled. Officially, the new series was based a original-series novelization which Nation wrote.

Both versions are set in the then-present day and depict the aftermath of a virulent disease — generally just called 'The Death' in the original, identified in the remake as 'European Flu' - being released from a laboratory and wiping out 99% of the human race. A disparate band of survivors is thrown together and must now face the struggle of a dangerous life with no society, police or government. (Although in both versions there eventually appear people who Have Ideas about that last one..)

Well, look on the bright side. Global warming's not going to be a problem any more...

There is a character sheet for the remake, though it may contain spoilers.


Both series provides examples of:

  • After the End: Virus version
  • Apocalypse How: Level One and a high one at that, but the existence of human knowledge in book form keeps it from a Level Two
  • Cosy Catastrophe: More so in the first version.
  • Dead Star Walking: In both, a high-profile actor (Peter Bowles and Freema Agyeman, respectively) appeared in the first episode, only for their character to die unexpectedly.
  • Depopulation Bomb
  • The Determinator: Abby searching for her son.
  • Fighting for Survival
  • The Immune: In the original, some survivors never got sick, others fell ill but pulled through. In the remake, Abby is the only one whose body managed to fight off the virus. However, we later learn that some of humanity has managed to escape exposure, in the form of a virus research facility.
  • The Plague: As noted, in both versions it is released from a laboratory. In the original, the viewer only learns this from the opening title sequence, and it never becomes significant plot-wise.
  • The Vamp: Both versions feature a woman who plies her seductive wiles to attract and keep male protectors.

The 1975 series provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Often happens; almost every episode in season two has one character or another "off gathering salt".
  • The Ace: Jimmy Garland in season one.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Abby at the end of season one.
  • Anyone Can Die: For just three years on the air, the show had quite the cast turnover.
  • Back for the Dead: Greg in season three, essentially. He appears in only two widely-spaced episodes, and in the second contracts smallpox and dies.
  • Black Dude Dies First: The only one who appears in the entire series is introduced dying of smallpox.
  • Burn the Witch: A second-season episode gets dangerously close to this.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Minor characters often disappeared with little or no explanation.
  • Darker and Grittier: Season three may be the most literal example of this ever.
  • Demoted to Extra: Jenny, as season one progresses. She begins to come back into prominence in season two, then stars in season three as she fruitlessly chases Greg around the countryside. Demoted in her place is everyone who carried over from season two besides her, Charles and Hubert.
  • Downer Ending: More than one. The episode "Law and Order" in particular.. ouch.
  • Funny Foreigner: Emma and Daniella are mild examples of this.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: Two episodes in a row, the heroes would have been a lot better off if they had locked the resident kids up somewhere for a few hours..
  • Hope Spot: The last episode of season one retroactively turned into this, when production-crew turmoil led to Abby disappearing for good and many of the remaining characters dying in a settlement-destroying fire.
  • Important Haircut: Abby at the end of the first episode.
  • Jerkass: Hubert in season two, although he shows some improvement in season three.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Abby and Jenny early on, then, somewhat infamously, Greg and everyone else all though season three.
  • The Mole: Lawson in "Something of Value."
  • One-Scene Wonder: Lots of people quickly come and go, but Patrick Troughton stands out in his one-scene turn as a doomed river-barge operator.
  • The Other Darrin: At least three characters were played by two different actors, in one case because the original had a nervous breakdown.
  • The Pig Pen: Hubert again.
  • Put on a Bus: Abby in season two; the characters aren't able to confirm it, but the strong implication is that eventually she died.
  • Real Life Relative: Both John and Lizzie were played by children of members of the show's production crew.
  • The Scrounger: Tom Price is the most prominent example of several in season one.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: A minor character gets A Day in the Limelight, with an episode devoted to his deciding to resume his pre-Death duties as a vicar. Two episodes later he is casually gunned down by a thug.

The 2008 series provides examples of:

  • Brand X: nearly totally averted- a looter is seen hanged in a Netto and the logos of many a major UK shop are to be seen
    • In one episode, a kid retrieves cooking oil from a congealed pool of it in the fryer of a MacDonalds, where there's a decomposing corpse. You want to conclude that joke or shall I?
    • There is no reluctance in calling Greg's Land Rover a Land Rover, to the point where Billy raves about how awesome they are. (As opposed to Doctor Who, also made by The BBC, where they're inexplicably and incorrectly referred to as jeeps.)
  • Cliff Hanger: the last episode of both seasons.
  • Cool Car: The Land Rover Defender
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Craig, an adult who operates a street-gang of kids in a mostly abandoned city district, often denies the children food and precious "arcade" time if they don't do a satisfactory job of looting throughout the day.
  • Disney Death: Al in the season two opener
  • Free-Range Children: Naj does this in the second series when waiting for Abby. Justified as due to the post-apocalyptic situation, rules are a little different.
  • Fridge Logic: Why are characters limiting themselves to pistols and shotguns? There's entire military arsenals out there
    • If Britain's gone off air, have the letters of last resort on the UK's nuclear missile submarines been opened? If so, what's happened?
      • Since the plague played out over time the nuclear subs would have been able to monitor the progress of the plague through public broadcasts and dispatches from their command authority. Doubtless the same would have happened with the SSBN fleets of the United States, Russia and any other navy operating such submarines.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Tom, who is very morally questionable despite being in Abby’s group. Also, Samantha, the last remaining (or is she?) government official – good, arguably. Nice? Not always.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Hey, it's the Marquis de Carabas! And Martha Jones! And Dice, even though he would like to forget that...
  • Lighter and Fluffier: As much as a show with its premise can be. Also, in this day and age guys like Talfryn Thomas and John Abineri couldn't land a role in this sort of show if their life depended on it.
  • Nakama: Abby's group of survivors
  • No Bisexuals: Averted. Ooooh... So they were more than just college roomates...
  • Rousing Speech: Several of these are given by Abby throughout the series, especially when trying to convince the group that they needed to stick together.
    • "Everything we ever knew has been ripped away from us. Our old life is dead. Now we have to build a new one... but we can't build it alone. Now there is only one choice, we either stand together or die."
  • Shoot the Dog: Or rather the looter, as the former government minister has to prevent a large-scale loss of authority in her commune
  • Shower of Angst: cold and brief one, taken by Abby after waking up from her virus-attack. It's brief as the water packs up after about fifteen seconds.
  • Too Soon: the second season was somewhat delayed because of swine flu.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Two of them - Samantha Willis, willing to do whatever it takes to restore order and Whitaker, willing to kill in the search for a cure.
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