Szyzygy's Blog

February 3, 2010

Survivors as political allegory

Filed under: TV criticism,Uncategorized — syzygy @ 7:32 am
Tags: , , , ,

There’s something distinctly and fascinatingly unpleasant about the BBC not-so-cosy catastrophe series remake, Survivors. It started off a series and a bit ago with a global pandemic which obliterated almost the entirety of the population and has somehow contrived to become progressively darker and more disturbing by the episode. Most of this darkness emanates from one of the central themes which is being articulated by the series, that power is symbiotically and inextricably linked to coercion and violence.

This is not an unusual premise given all the available evidence of history, but there is much more than this going on beneath the surface. There is, inevitably, an awful lot of off-the-wall nonsense going on, notably the unlikely closed-in survivalist community with an as yet unarticulated agenda, but a lot of the mainstream of the story is concerned with political allegory. The obvious conflict between Abby Grant, the voice of reason, and the erstwhile government Minister Samantha Wilson, now transformed into a gun-toting executrix, (and who could easily have been cloned from one of the ideologues of the British mainstream political parties), is deeply interesting to the point of almost justifying the series on its own. Samantha, like many of those whom I diss on a fairly regular basis, is unscrupulous, unprincipled, dishonest, hypocritical and self-serving, which ticks all the boxes of necessary qualifications for a career in politics within the framework of the current status quo.

It’s interesting to note that the ratings for this have slowly dipped as the series has progressed, which is a shame since this is one of very few programs in the current execrable desert of imported nonsense, game shows, and candy-floss to ask hard questions of the viewer.


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