A game for the ZX Spectrum in which you had to pretend to be an animal, and wander around the world finding food and avoiding predators. You could play as a hawk, lion, robin, mouse, fly or butterfly. Since baby animals are very vulnerable, you started the game as a young adult. Aging was built into the game - it was harder for old animals to hunt their prey. One game could take quite a long time, but it had the great advantage that as it was turn-based, you could start a game before school and leave the computer on until you got home.

Survival was the final Dr Who story produced. It was broadcast in 1989, closing off a 26 year history as being a flagship BBC programme.

As I recall, the story concerned a race of interdimensional-travelling cat-like people who had abducted a number of people, including a youth group from some English town led by a redneck ex-squaddie, and the Doctor's old nemesis, The Master.

Ratings were declining from eight odd million in the 1970s to closer to four. A season that tried to appeal to every conceivable audience in Britain fell flat. Younger audiences could no longer accept unrealistic special effects or the programme's self-referential nature, while existing fans were not impressed by simplistic plots, melodramatic acting and scripts heavily-laden with political correctness. Perhaps because the final explanation how daleks climb up stairs proved to be an anti-climax, or simply the fans had grown up and it was time to move on.

Ironic then that the final story was called Survival.

To begin, we must first define our terms. To put it simply, survival is what you must do whenever you find that you and civilization have parted ways. This can happen, broadly speaking, in four ways.

  1. Day to day events, such as a mugging, or a vehicular accident.
  2. Natural disasters, like hurricanes, floods, wildfires, etc. Manmade disasters, such as terrorist attacks, can also be included in this category.
  3. Getting lost in the woods.
  4. Societal hiccup, or The End Of The World As We Know It, abbreviated as TEOTWAWKI.

The above have been ordered from most- to least-probable. Keep in mind there is a vast probability gap between two and three, and a huge gap between three and four. In duration, the above can be categorized as:

  1. A few minutes to a few hours
  2. A few hours to a few days
  3. A few days to a few weeks
  4. A few weeks or much longer.

These situations will be covered later in the nodes (tentatively titled)

  • A Bad Day
  • Surviving A Disaster
  • Help, I'm Lost in the Woods!
  • It's TEOTWAWKI and I feel fine

But first, we cover the basics of survival. Taking care of your needs. To stay alive you need (in order of importance) air, shelter, water, food, a way of staying warm/cool, and the means to protect yourself and the things covering your previous needs. There are both tools and skills available to make this daunting task easier, never fear. The one thing you cannot get, but must already have, is the will to survive. This may sound trite, but will is everything. The will to fight and survive are what allowed your ancestors to produce you, and hopefully they will help you carry on.



Basic Needs

  • Air
  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Fire/Shade
  • Security
(More will follow as the project progresses)

Sur*viv"al (?), n. [From Survive.]


A living or continuing longer than, or beyond the existence of, another person, thing, or event; an outliving.

2. Archaeol. & Ethnol.

Any habit, usage, or belief, remaining from ancient times, the origin of which is often unknown, or imperfectly known.

The close bearing of the doctrine of survival on the study of manners and customs. Tylor.

Survival of the fittest. Biol. See Natural selection, under Natural.


© Webster 1913.

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