PASADENA -- The new BBC America series "Survivors" deals with the aftermath of a virulent disease that wipes out 99% of the human race. Those left behind face a world with no modern conveniences, where the person with the most guns rules.
One small group in England tries to find a way to stay alive and hang on to the last glimmers of civilization and humanity. They must learn to communicate without cell phones, where to get water and how to start a fire.
Unlike other end-of-the-world TV series, the drama in "Survivors" doesn't come from big explosions, alien spacecraft or military conflicts. The series is all about human drama.
That's why stars Julie Graham and Paterson Joseph wanted to be part of it.
"Behind every strong storyline you have to have strong characters. Otherwise there's no point in having a great story," says Graham. "I was very, very much drawn to the fact it was a great story but very character driven."
Graham's Abby has motherly instincts that unite the strangers. Joseph's Greg provides logic. Other characters bring darker traits to the emotional equation.
For Joseph, "it's always to do with the story and the story was great. It gripped me immediately because I kept thinking, 'What would I do? What would I do? What would I do?'
"When I started reading the script I realized it was very real. That's the way things would be."
Executive producer Adrian Hodges says that from the start "Survivors" was to be a character study: "The story of recovering from the catastrophe, all of the human dilemmas, all of the conflicts that come out as a result of that is very much the backbone of the piece."
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (559) 441-6355. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.