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'Bleak' Survivors back on the BBC

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Survivors returns to the BBC after a 31-year break

A new drama about a world where only a handful of survivors are fighting to stay alive doesn't exactly sound new.

28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, and I Am Legend have all been done before.

But the new BBC One series Survivors is based on the 70s original, which ran for 38 episodes and became cult viewing.

Max Beesley, who plays armed robber Tom Price, said: "The original show was amazing. So we've got a bit of a responsibility to put a flip on the whole thing."

As well as Beesley and Doctor Who's former assistant Freema Agyeman, the series features one of those casts where you know you recognise some of the characters, but you just can't think where from.

Nikki Amuka-Bird was in Torchwood, Paterson Joseph starred in Casualty and Phillip Rhys was the suspicious yet innocent fiancÚ in series two of 24.

Deadly virus

The premise of the series is a world where a virus spreads to kill millions, leaving only a handful of survivors.

The government struggles to cope, while random individuals defy the odds by banding together to survive.

Cast of Survivors
The original series of Survivors was on the BBC between 1975-77
So don't expect too many laughs.

Zoe Tapper, who was in The Last Van Helsing, said: "It's very bleak. And as a doctor when your job is to save people's lives, if everyone's dying on you it puts you in a pretty bad place."

In the first episode the main characters all meet each other in very difficult circumstances.

And to make it more realistic, they were kept apart on set until the last possible moment.

Max Beesley says that really worked for his character.

"When he comes together with the rest of the survivors who haven't got a clue about his past, it just ups the stakes," he said.

"The audience know a bit more about him than the actual survivors do, which is brilliant."

Survivors starts on BBC One on Sunday 23 November at 9pm.

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