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TCA Press Tour: Filming apocalyptic drama 'Survivors' was 'depressing' for actors

January 15, 2010 |  3:44 pm

Survivors While apocalyptic blockbusters like "2012" are only too happy to dispense with most of mankind in explosive fashion, BBC America's "Survivors" serves as a more intimate take. 

The series picks up just as a deadly virus has wiped out 99% of the human race and follows the drama surrounding those who survived. Executive producer Adrian Hodges said it was closer in tone to Cormac McCarthy's bleaker than bleak novel-turned Viggo Mortensen movie "The Road" than any other contemporary End Times films.

While there is a parallel story addressing the mystery behind the lab responsible for the virus, " 'Survivors' is overwhelmingly a character piece based on the whole way we as human beings would respond in this situation," Hodges said. "Recovering from the catastrophe...and the human drama that comes from that is very much the backbone of the piece."

The actors said the serious nature of the project took its toll. "Thinking about everyone I knew being dead, everything I'd ever known missing, no infrastructure in society, no electricity, no gas...I found meditating on that actually quite depressing," said one of the series stars Paterson Joseph.

Julie Graham, who plays a woman desperately searching for her son, agreed that the isolation was "was very hard to switch off at the end of the day."

But while the premise is frightening, "there is a lot of hope as there as well. Beacons of hope everywhere represented by characters, by situations, by human relationships. That's what the human race is good at. In the face of adversity, humantiy comes through." So the finish product is also "quite uplifting."

-- Denise Martin

Photo credit: BBC America