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Julie Graham talks 'Survivors'

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Time for some more news on Survivors, the BBC's new drama about a devastating killer virus, courtesy of Julie Graham. Currently playing the fiery lead in archaeological romp Bonekickers, Julie has also signed up for the key part of Abby Grant in Survivors.

How's filming coming on Survivors?
"We're in Manchester at the moment, trying to find places with no people so that the end of the world looks a bit more realistic. That's proving quite difficult! You don't realise how noisy the world is. We're halfway through filming now."

How different is the new interpretation from the original?
"When the series first came out, it was science fiction. I don't think anyone believed that it could happen. But now, because it's so prescient, it's actually very, very believable and that's what makes it scary. Instead of focusing on the awfulness and the despair of the situation, Adrian [Hodges, writer] has tried to focus on the hope and the humanity. Otherwise it would be too depressing to make and to watch. That's where it differs to a certain extent, but it's still pretty bleak."

And what can you say about your character, Abby?
"She's just an ordinary housewife who wakes up, survives the epidemic and loses everything in the process. She finds that she has skills she didn't know that she had, such as leadership. She almost becomes the person that the group of survivors look up to, because she's very pragmatic, sensible and compassionate. She's an ordinary woman who finds herself in an extraordinary situation and rises to the occasion."

How was it filming scenes that deal with this loss?
"Her son is away on holiday when it happens and she doesn't know if he's alive or not. That's her reason for living, really: to try to find her son. She has to hold it together to a certain extent. The nightmare is that her son might be dead, but he might be alive and out there somewhere. She has to find him and she can't rest until she does. But initially the nightmare of it all happening was very, very harrowing. She finds a lot of dead bodies!"

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