If you’re like me, it’s not too often you find a television show worth devoting your time to. Survival type shows are about the only TV I enjoy enough to put my phone down. So I’m assembling a list of the survival show that I’ve enjoyed.
This is a work in progress. I will update this post as I become aware of new and noteworthy content.
Survivorman (Discovery) – Survivalist Les Stroud places himself in unique survival situations. In each challenge, he demonstrates how one might survive alone in a remote location with minimal supplies until being rescued. Finding food, water, and materials to make fire and shelter pose the main challenge of each episode. Les not only needs to survive for a week with no supplies, but he must film everything himself, dragging 50 pounds of camera gear and batteries every inch of the way. Armed with a unique one-person camera rig and an abundance of wry humor, Les documents his struggles to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in climates as diverse as the Costa Rican rainforest, Georgia swampland, high Sonoran desert and Arctic ice floes.
Man vs. Wild (Discovery) – Survival instructor Bear Grills demonstrates what to (and what not to) do in various survival scenarios across the globe.
Alone (History) – Alone follows the self-documented daily struggles of 10 individuals (7 paired teams in season 4) as they survive in the wilderness for as long as possible. The participants are isolated from each other and all other humans, and the one who remains the longest wins a grand prize of $500,000.
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams – An innocent fugitive from the law lives in the wilderness with a grizzly bear companion and helps passers-by in the forest.
Dual Survival (Discovery) – Each episode teams 2 survivalists from differing backgrounds to survive with minimal gear in different locations around the globe.
I Shouldn’t Be Alive (Animal Planet) – Each episode tells the tale of a person(s) who cheated death during a real fight for survival.
Doomsday Preppers (Nat Geo) – Explore the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are going to great lengths to prepare for the end of the world.
Doomsday Bunkers – Pulls back the curtain on advanced and secretive underground bunkers – impenetrable safety zones – that feature the ultimate in security, comfort, and cutting-edge design and technology. Apparently these have been pulled from viewing…
Jericho – The struggles of a small town riding out the aftermath of a large-scale nuclear strike.
American Blackout (Nat Geo) – What if the Doomsday Preppers were right all along? Hacking into urban infrastructures isn’t science fiction anymore – it’s in the news every day. A 90-minute docu-drama, “American Blackout” reveals in gritty detail the impact of what happens when a cyber attack on the United States takes down the power grid. The question is: when the lights go out, what do we do next.
Falling Skies (TNT) – an American science fiction television series created by Robert Rodat and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. The series stars Noah Wyleas (Tom Mason), a former history professor who becomes the second-in-command of the 2nd Massachusetts Militia Regiment, a group of civilians and fighters fleeing post-apocalyptic Boston following an alien invasion that devastated the planet six months before the events of season 1.
Fear The Walking Dead (AMC) – Set in the same universe as “The Walking Dead” but told from a different location with a different cast of characters.
The Last Man on Earth (Fox) – A tongue and cheek end of the world comedy, I find this show oddly appealing as the main character wonders the earth doing whatever he wants because there’s no one around to observe him.
The Strain (FX) – A team is called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.
The Walking Dead (AMC) – The dead “walkers” are everywhere, but the living are the ones to fear.
Revolution (NBC) – Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why? Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it? On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman’s life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously – and unbeknownst to her – had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future.
Survivors (BBC) – An unknown virus pandemic kills more than 90% of the world’s population. Those immune must strive to survive and overcome the difficulties of this new world order, hoping that the virus will not mutate.
Z Nation (Syfy) – Can’t get enough “Walking Dead”? This clone will quench your thirst. – Z Nation begins three years into a zombie apocalypse caused by a virus, which has already killed most humans. In the days just before society fell apart, Murphy was one of three inmates at Portsmouth Naval Prison in Kittery, Maine, who were unwilling participants in a government-approved experiment. Each inmate was given a different test vaccine. Murphy was the only one to survive the vaccine injection. He is the only known survivor of a zombie bite who did not himself turn into a zombie, and his blood contains antibodies that are mankind’s last and best hope for a vaccine. However, something is wrong. He seems to be mutating into some form of hybrid between zombie and human, his skin is shedding and his body turning blue, and he seems to be able to control and even mesmerize certain types of zombies he encounters. Yet, he hasn’t turned, and still maintains full control of himself. The series revolves around his travelings with a small group of survivors being led through the apocalypse by Simon “Citizen Z” Cruller, who watches the world from his multiple computers. The group is looking to use him to solve the zombie pandemic. The group must transport Murphy from New York to the world’s last known functioning Centers for Disease Control research lab in California. However, Murphy harbors a dark secret about his condition that threatens them all.
Life After People (History) – Scientists, structural engineers, and other experts speculate about what might become of Earth should humanity instantly disappear. The featured experts also talk about the impact of human absence on the environment and the vestiges of civilization thus left behind.