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Cult Tube Talk

'Survivors' boss explains first ep twists

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So then, who was expecting that?

In the first episode of Survivors, two of the main characters were killed off after succumbing to the deadly flu virus.

Fans of the original series probably won't have been surprised to see Shaun Dingwall (David Grant) bite the dust, as Peter Bowles suffered the same fate in the opening episode of the '70s take on Terry Nation's novel.

But it may have been a shock to see Freema Agyeman (Jenny Collins) die (and yes, she really did die, as ambiguous as her final scene seemed). After all, Freema was one of the project's "big names" and the character of Jenny lasted the entire run of the original series.

Adrian Hodges - mastermind of the new series - tells me that he thought Jenny "never really found a role in the community" in the original series.

"There's nothing wrong with the character," he says, "and there's certainly nothing wrong with the actress who played her, but I didn't think she had a dynamic in the group that was particularly interesting. I felt we could give fans of the original a surprise by killing off a major character from the original that they expected to go on in the series, and at the same time create a new character in Anya (Zoe Tapper) that seemed a bit more lively and connected."

And conspiracy theorists, relax. Hodges insists that the actors weren't bumped because of their Doctor Who connections. "Oh god, I'd completely forgotten about Shaun being in Doctor Who," he laughs. "Am I saying something about Doctor Who in killing them off? No! I can't stop people theorising but I can assure you... it's not a coded reference!"

What did you think of Survivors? Were you surprised by the twists? Add your comments to this entry below!

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