Survivors:
The Basics

Survivors DVD releases in Italy

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  Front cover of the first Survivors Italian part-work released by Hobby & WorkSurvivors Italian DVD releases

ALL THREE SERIES of Survivors have been released in two different DVD formats in Italy. In 1975 and 1976 Survivors received an extremely strong popular and critical reception in Italy, and the show continues to enjoy a strong cult reputation in the country. A full Italian DVD release of the series has therefore been long anticipated.

When first shown in Italy, cuts were made to Survivors. These new fully-complete versions have been re-dubbed into Italian (as the show was when originally transmitted on Italian TV - in edited form), but both releases also include the original English soundtrack. In 2009-2010 Survivors was released both as a part-work, available in newsagents, and as a three separate box-sets.

Italian Survivors DVD part-work

Covers of several of the Survivors Italian part-work DVDs released by Hobby & Work
  • Released under the Hobby & Work imprint, Survivors were issued in a set of DVD part-works, with each release including two episodes (see the illustration of the first release above).

  • Hobby & Work released all 38 episodes of the programme over the course of 19 issues. The first DVD in the set was released on 27 December 2008

  • The first double-episode DVD includes a short full-colour booklet (see illustration below)

  • The launch of the release was promoted by television adverts on the Italian terrestrial stations Canale5, Italia1 and La7 and on satellite station SKY FOXCRIME.

Booklet from the first Survivors Italian part-work released by Hobby & Work

The company have loaded a seven-second promotional video to YouTube (which is understood to be identical to the TV advertisement).

Italian series one DVD box-set

  • Released on the Yamato Video and Dolmen Home Video labels, the first series DVD set includes all 13 episodes of series one, complete with English and Italian audio tracks (and Italian subtitles)

  • Each episode features a slightly extended end credit sequence to include the names of the voice actors and various production staff involved with the release. This effect is achieved by looping a section of the closing musical theme and freeze framing the on-screen image

  • This release includes some (though not all) of the special features previously included on the DD Video and DD Home Entertainment releases - specifically the interviews with cast and crew (which are accompanied with Italian subtitles rather than being dubbed), and the mute cine-camera footage from the recording of A Beginning. However, the episode commentaries on The Fourth Horseman or Law and Order and the photo galleries are not included

  • Rescheduled several times, the first series DVD set was released on 4 February 2009

  • Yamato has now released series two (see below) and plans to release series three "to form the complete edition"

Promo sheet for the Yamato Video series one Survivors DVD
 

Italian series two DVD box-set

  • Released on the Yamato Video and Dolmen Home Video labels, the first series DVD set includes all 13 episodes of series two, complete with English and Italian audio tracks (and Italian subtitles)

  • Each episode features a slightly extended end credit sequence to include the names of the voice actors and various production staff involved with the release. This effect is achieved by looping a section of the closing musical theme and freeze framing the on-screen image

  • This release includes some (though not all) of the special features previously included on the DD Video and DD Home Entertainment releases - specifically the interviews with cast and crew (which are accompanied with Italian subtitles rather than being dubbed). However, the episode commentary on The Lights of London II and the photo galleries are not included

Front cover of the Italian series two DVD Survivors boxset

 

Italian series three DVD box-set

  • Released on the Yamato Video and Dolmen Home Video labels, the first series DVD set includes all 12 episodes of series three, complete with English and Italian audio tracks (and Italian subtitles)

  • Each episode features a slightly extended end credit sequence to include the names of the voice actors and various production staff involved with the release. This effect is achieved by looping a section of the closing musical theme and freeze framing the on-screen image

  • This release includes some (though not all) of the special features previously included on the DD Home Entertainment release - specifically the New World Rising documentary on the making of series three. However, the episode commentaries on Law of the Jungle and Mad Dog and the photo galleries are not included

  • To celebrate and promote the launch of the series three box-set, a premiere screening of episodes from Survivors third series was held in the La Capella Underground cinema in Trieste in May 2009. As series three was never broadcast on Italian television, this was the first time that these Survivors episodes have secured a public screening in Italy. As part of the build-up to the series three premier, earlier episodes from Survivors first two series were also screened - including The Fourth Horseman, Garland's War, Lights of London and Parasites

Front cover of the Italian series three DVD Survivors boxset

More information can be found in the Yamato catalogue listing for all three series.

Many thanks to Luca for helping with information about these releases.

 

Background to the Yamato release

Italian DVD label Yamato confirmed its intention to the release an Italian DVD boxset of Survivors series one in 2007. The company announced that the release would include both Italian and English audio tracks, as well as Italian subtitles. Yamato's catalogue listing also indicated that the release would include "behind-the-scenes interviews with the actors and crew" - which suggested that the company had licensed at least some of the 'special features' material include in the original 2003 UK release by (what was then) DD Video. The listing also suggested that the boxset will include an unspecified 'trailer'.

The original release date for the set was 1 May 2008, but - following a number of delays - the set was made available in early 2009.

For more information on the release, see the Yamato catalogue entry (translated below).

Survivors: series one Italian box set

In the beginning they thought that it was just a normal influenza epidemic. Then people started dying. Then they realised that this was something new and frightening: a completely new disease; incredibly contagious it spread around the globe with terrifying speed... Now humanity stands on the brink of complete extinction. The few who remain alive inherit and all-but-empty world; where they are forced to confront the challenge of rebuilding the world from scratch, and need to learn again long-forgotten technologies. They had come from a society able to put men on the moon, but now, as individuals, the survivors of the plague have the skills and capabilities of the iron age. Nonetheless, they have no choice but to fight to survive and to ensure above all else that human life on the planet is not extinguished for ever...

Yamato will present this legendary TV series, a masterpiece of British science fiction, in a new remastered and unedited version. The intention is, in due course, to release all three series of the original series.

The first series of 13 episodes will be presented in a single boxset; which will be followed by two further boxsets to complete the release.

Audio: Italian 2,0, English 1,0
Subtitles: Italian
Extras: Behind-the-scenes interviews with the actors and crew
Format video: 4:3
Trailer: Yes

Developed from an initial Babelfish translation

Yamato Video plans Italian series one DVD

The Italian cult DVD company Yamato Video announced its plans for an Italian-dubbed release of Survivors series one on DVD in 2007

When Survivors was broadcast in Italy (under the title I Sopravvissuti), first by RAI (1978-1982) and then by TMC (1983), the series was a critical and ratings hit. The first two series were entirely re-dubbed by Italian actors and the episodes saturated by extensive background music selected by the Italian broadcasters. In the end, the third series of Survivors was not licenced for broadcast in Italy; although Terry Nation's Survivors novel was translated and published by three Italian publishers between 1978 and 1980.

Yamato Video indicated that they intended, later in 2007, to release a dubbed version of series one, although few details about the release were as yet confirmed. The licensing complications that would follow any attempt to resurrect the earlier TV version of Survivors series one, made it seem likely any Italian release would need to be re-dubbed afresh; and the inclusion of background music re-assessed from scratch.

The following is a translation of the company's announcement of its plans for the release:

Yamato Video to release Survivors

Another TV classic is soon to be released on DVD, courtesy of Yamato Video — a leading distributor in Italy of animated Japanese features and live action cult series: recognised cult classics from an earlier television era.

With the current success of major American TV shows such as Lost (2004-) and Jericho (2006-) now is an ideal time to rediscover an earlier English television series that enjoyed both popular and critical success: Survivors, a three-series end-of-the-world drama produced by the BBC in the 1970s. Thirty-nine episodes of the show together attempt to answer the most alarming of questions: "what if the world we all know unexpectedly ended?" The end of the world in Survivors takes the shocking and dramatic form of a pandemic, unleashed by a virus that kills more than 95 per-cent of the earth's population and which spares neither industrialised nations nor the developing world. All corners of the globe succumb to the spread of this invisible killer.

Only a few fortunate people survive the calamity, and they must now try to find way to live in the new, desolate and empty world. Knowing that the loss of civilisation is total and irreversible, these survivors must band together in the ruins of the world and stand up to those who would try to amass power and profit from this tragedy. The only alternative is to isolate oneself completely for anyone else remaining alive.

Into this post-apocalyptic setting, Survivors introduces characters such as Greg Preston (played by actor Ian McCulloch) who returns home from abroad to an alien and unrecognisable country; housewife Abby Grant (Carolyn Seymour), who learns that London is descending into chaos; or like secretary Jenny Richards (Lucy Fleming) who flees from the capital as the contagion rages. The three of them meet by chance, thrown together by the calamity, and join forces in the quest to locate Abby's missing son. Other men and women will join them as their adventures unfold, all of whom have fled — in various ways — The Death in the hope of finding new life.

First screened by the BBC in 1975, Survivors had been created by Terry Nation, a writer whose background in the field of comedy had developed into a passion for science fiction which would culminate in the creation of the celebrated Blake's 7. Terry Nation was known in the profession above all as a thrilling adventure writer — one whose scripts focused more on action than the subtleties of wordplay. Nation had originally pitched the idea of the series to Andy Osborne, Head of BBC Drama in 1973, and on the strength of his previous canon of work had been given the go-ahead.

Survivors mines a number of rich dramatic themes: the dangers of unrestrained scientific experimentation; the loss of civilisation; the instability of progress; humankind's changed relationship with nature after The Death, and the regression of society to the level of the medieval.

The first series of 13 episodes (first broadcast between April and July 1975) focuses on the loss of the old world and the efforts of the survivors to find renewed hope through the establishment of new communities and settlements. The second series of a further 13 episodes (shown between March and July 1976) examines in depth the challenges posed by the struggle for long term survival, and the multiple dangers and problems the survivors need now to confront. The third and concluding series (transmitted in the UK between March and June 1977) is comprised of 12 episodes. Amongst this final selection of Survivors stories, Mad Dog is recognised as one of the most popular ever episodes amongst fans. This Survivors classic was written by the veteran scriptwriter Don Shaw and brought to the screen by the experienced director Tristan de Vere Cole.

Survivors was shot on location in often memorable settings. The latter part of the first series made extensive use of Hampton Court, near Hope-under-Dinmore — a regular destination for location-visiting fans of the series, more interested in its TV associations than the stately home's long and illustrious history.

Developed from an initial Babelfish translation

The news article appeared in the January edition of the Italian genre magazine Series:

Article on the DVD release of Survivors first series in Italy from Series magazine, January 2007

Survivors: soon on DVD

Yamato Video has in store, some time in next few months, an exceptionally welcome surprise for lovers of genre and cult TV. The company is preparing the release of an Italian edition of the classic seventies English series Survivors. This unique television programme (three series of which were produced) can be seen as the precursor of current shows such as Jericho and Lost, sharing with them a deeply alarming end-of-the-world premise. In Survivors it is an epidemic that has wiped out around 95% of the world's population. More details about the project will be made available closer to the release date. In the meantime - prepare yourselves!

Developed from an initial Babelfish translation
Series magazine, January 2007
http://www.seriesmag.it/series/index.aspx


 
Survivors: The Basics

An introduction to Survivors
Episode guide
Themes and plot 'arcs'
Survivors: main characters
Survivors on satellite & cable TV
The BBC Worldwide video release
The Sovereign Video re-release
The DD Video re-release
Survivors series one on DVD

Survivors series two on DVD
Survivors series three on DVD
Survivors three series DVD box-set
Survivors Italian DVD releases
Survivors Region 1 DVD box-set
Survivors novelisations
'Making of' and Survivors Guide Books
Fanzines and other publications
Reviving and remaking Survivors

 

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

Cover price: £ 12.99.

More information and reviews >>>

The End of the World?

An authoritative and comprehensive guide to all aspects of Survivors is provided in The End of the World?: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Survivors, co-authored by Rich Cross and Andy Priestner. Richly illustrated with behind-the-scenes photos, the book includes: Guides to the production of each of the three series of the show; reviews and analysis of all 38 episodes; assessments of the core themes of each series; character and location guides... and much more besides.

Published by Telos Publishing in December 2005, the title is currently out of print. Plans to publish an updated edition of the book are currently on hold.


 

Home | Survivors: The Basics

Basics: Introduction | Episode guide | Characters | Themes | Videos | DVDs | Novels | 'Making of...' books
Behind-the-scenes:Unseen series one location shots
Books: Survivors book: The End of the World? | Survivors book: Worlds Apart
Terry Nation study - Bignell and O'Day | Terry Nation study - Turner | Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Survivors
Cast and crew: Memorabilia 2011 | Pennant Roberts: 1940-2010
DVDs: Series 1 DVD | Series 2 DVD | Series 3 DVD | DVD news
DVD studio day photo galleries: Series 1 | Series 2 | Series 3
Interviews: Jonathan Bignell | Peter Duncan | Don Shaw | Roger Monk | Alwyn W Turner | Pete Wallbank
Locations: Genesis: 2005 location finds | Genesis: 2013 location finds | Genesis: Greg Preston's home
Gone Away: 2013 location finds | Hampton Court interiors | The Last Laugh locations
TV: 'The Cult of...' Survivors | Survivors Australian trailer | See The Enemy in 'TV Heaven'
Writing: Writings on Survivors | SciFi Now: Survivors | Action TV: Survivors
More: 'Goofs and Gaffes' | Survivors at the BFI | Survivors in SFX 'best ever' poll
Survivors on Mastermind | How to annoy a Survivors fan

Survivors book: The End of the World?

Survivors: Mad Dog