The results are in for the Apocalyptic Fiction Poll 2: “What is your favorite apocalyptic tv series ?” Jericho is the clear winner with a total of 230 votes! The Walking Dead came in a distant second place, followed by Falling Skies, Survivors and The Colony. It seems that people were not ready for Jericho to be cancelled. In fact, there is a large movement to revive the show and apparently Netflix is in negotiations right now with CBS to bring back some new episodes. If you want to support the effort to bring this excellent show back on tv, follow Jericho Rising on Facebook. Thanks to everyone that voted and left comments in last week’s Apocalyptic Fiction Poll!
With a number of new apocalyptic television series coming out this year, including NBC’s Revolution, I thought I would run a poll to get a general consensus of what people think is the best apocalyptic television show. This poll includes some of the better known past and present apocalyptic tv shows. Please vote below. If you don’t see your favorite show listed, please write it in a comment. Thanks for participating!
Survivors is a post-apocalyptic BBC television series spanning two seasons from 2008-2010 that follows a group of people struggling to stay alive after a pandemic kills 99% of the human population. I was able to watch the entire series for free when I signed up for a one month trial membership on Amazon Prime. The virus has spared a select few, with little regard to the moral standing of its victims. The main characters, brought together by chance, have diverse backgrounds, ranging from an escaped prisoner to a previously care free heir to a Kuwaiti oil fortune. This small group of survivors struggles to define their moral boundaries in their quest to stay alive. The necessity of violence is constantly in question. Most of the characters are willing to accept that sometimes violence is necessary, at least in the defense of the innocent. On some level, as humans, aren’t we all complicit to the unspeakable acts that have occurred in the defense of the lives of our ancestors? In Survivors, violence is not a forgone conclusion though, as is often the case. Through their hostile encounters with others, it becomes clear that they will need to fight to survive. Survivors is gentler in a number of ways compared to some of the other apocalyptic fiction that I have reviewed. It is “civil” in many aspects. For instance, there are minimal displays of violence. While danger is always present, violence is used sparingly and not gratuitously. The formation of relationships between the characters remains the focus throughout the development of Survivors. I would recommend the Survivors series. While it is not without its flaws, especially in terms of its realism, I found the characters and their relationships to be interesting and story to be very entertaining.
The Undisputed King of Nothing is a fascinating new post-apocalyptic comic series by Paul Stapleton. The comic follows a man as he grapples with being the last known survivor of a pandemic that wipes out the world’s human population. Due to his unique immunity to the virus, the protagonist becomes “The Undisputed King of Nothing”. Being the King of Nothing is not easy. The struggle to survive on a practical level is hard work. The loneliness is almost unbearable. Left alone with his endless thoughts, he struggles with his sanity. The Undisputed King of Nothing is survival from a British perspective. You could almost hear Pink Floyd playing in the background, “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way”. The dire nature of the situation is tempered with a dry, witty humor that is quite enjoyable. The Undisputed King of Nothing is a thinking man’s apocalypse. In terms of enemies, zombies and violent raiders pale in comparison to a ruminating mind left alone in an empty world.
Apocalypse Law by John Grit is a very entertaining story about a man and his son struggling to survive on a small farm after an influenza strain kills a large part of the human population. After the last few books that I have read, it was truly fun that the main character in Apocalypse Law, Nate, is a retired Army Ranger that can kick some major ass! (what can I say, sometimes I get tired of the bad guys running the show!:) Naturally, some unsavory types make their way past the farm in the period following the outbreak and Nate is willing and able to defend himself and his son. Apocalypse Law reads more like an action movie. It is fast paced and full of suspense. This is a good book to read after you finish The Road by Cormac McCarthy. You could argue that The Road may be more realistic but Apocalypse Law sure is a lot more fun!
Swan Song by Robert McCammon is a chilling story that takes place following an all out nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union (The book was released in the late 1980’s, near the end of the Cold War). The earth is plunged into a nuclear winter and is a complete wasteland, devoid of plant life. The story is told through a number of unique characters ranging from a New York City “bag lady” to a pro wrestler and changes perspectives frequently as they struggle to survive. Good verses evil is a strong element throughout and the evil is certainly abundant. The bad people in this book are really bad…like Stephen King bad…in fact, one of the characters is the devil himself. Swan Song delves a little more into “supernatural” territory than I like and it is also a little on the long side but it is definitely exciting. While Swan Song wouldn’t be at the top of my list of good apocalyptic fiction, it is certainly worth reading and will provide hours of entertainment.
The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 7, Pretty Much Dead Already. “The Barn is full of walkers”. Now that everyone knows that the barn is full of walkers, a choice must be made: Do the survivors live in denial and pretend that they are safe within the confines of the farm and ignore the fact that there is a barn full of bloodthirsty zombies living in their midst? Or do they blow open the barn doors and accept the ugly reality of their situation? An interesting choice, perhaps reminiscent of the choice we all are facing with the world as it is today. By the end of this episode, the choice is clear, although it is far from a unanimous decision.