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The Post Apocalyptic Story - Why The Resurgence?

Updated on August 31, 2018
A resurgence of interest in the post apocalyptic story
A resurgence of interest in the post apocalyptic story | Source

Over the last few years, post apocalyptic literature, movies and TV series are flourishing. In these tales, some cataclysmic event causes life as we know it to cease, and those who are left behind have to pick up the pieces and continue on as best they can. Television shows especially are reflecting this renewed interest in the post apocalyptic story. The TNT series "The Last Ship" premiered June, 2014. Its premise is that a global pandemic has wiped out much of the earth's population and thrown civilization into chaos. The popular series “The Walking Dead” completed season four. and is into its fifth season. In it, a disease has attacked most of the human population, causing them to die and then arise as mindless flesh-eating zombies. Falling Skies takes place in a world devastated by an alien invasion. The Web series H+ completed its first season on YouTube. In it, much of society has gotten hard wired into the Internet through computer chip implants. Unfortunately, the implants are attacked by a computer virus, and much of the world's population is killed. The Syfy Channel's show "Defiance", set in the year 2046, portrays an earth which has been terraformed beyond recognition by invading aliens. There are even two reality shows on TV – Doomsday Preppers and Doomsday Bunkers. What is causing this huge interest in the post apocalyptic theme?

Trailer for H+

Mayan Calendar
Mayan Calendar

Belief That The End Is Near

The Mayan Prophesies - The Mayan calendar came to an end in December of 2012, leading many to believe that this prophesied the end of the world. A New Age interpretation was that the earth was going to shift on its axis in December, causing a transformation in the human consciousness. The end of the world never happened, and I don't think that the earth's axis shifted, but many still believe that human consciousness was uplifted, and celebrated that fact.

Revelations and the Rapture – Many Christians, particularly Christian fundamentalists, believe that the end of the world is near. In fact a recent poll by the Barna group showed that four out of ten Americans and 77 percent of evangelical Christians believe that we are living in the end times. Such well known figures as Michelle Bachmann and Billy Graham support this theory.

The popular series “Left Behind”, written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, contributed heavily to this belief. In the Rapture series, the rapture has occurred, and those left behind face a world that is being taken over by the Anti-Christ. Nicholas Cage is starring in the upcoming movie "Left Behind" which is scheduled for release October 3, 2014.


Real Life Threats

We are witnessing climate change right now, and many experts say that if it continues we will see extreme weather patterns that will cause violent storms, draught and flood. These predictions seem to have been emphasized by the the wildfires, record heat and violent storms that have broken out recently. The possibility of a nuclear armed Iran or North Korea is a continuing problem. Newt Gingrich was so concerned about the threat of an Electronic Magnetic Pulse weapon being used, that he brought it up during a debate in the primary debates. In June of 2013 he issued dire warnings to members of the Electromagnetic Pulse Caucus, stating that an EMP attack could knock out all power grids and end civilization as we know it. The Near Earth Object Program at NASA keeps track of comets and other objects that could potentially hit earth and cause a catastrophe. With MRSA bacteria on the rise, and such horrors as flesh eating bacteria in the news, we worry about diseases getting out of control and possible world wide pandemics. There has even been a rash of zombie-like attacks in which people, thought to be fueled by the drug “bath salts”, viciously bit into the flesh of their victims. The CDC has issued a tongue in cheek warning that there is not a zombie apocalypse. With all of these real life scenarios, it's no wonder we are becoming more interested in fiction dealing with these problems.

Wanting To Rebuild Society And Have A Simpler Life

Perhaps much of the interest in the post apocalyptic theme is the fantasy of getting thrown into a time where life, although more precarious, is much less complex. So many people in the world are disgusted, angry and just plain overwhelmed with the the way the world is today. We long to have a society where things are far less complicated. After all, in the post apocalyptic world, there is no boss, no government, no mortgage, car or credit car payments. We long to have a government that is free from corruption and is truly for the good of mankind. We are disgusted with the problems that we see in society, and want to rebuild it. It's not that we really want anything horrible to happen, but the post apocalyptic world offers us a fantasy in which, if we were to survive, there is a chance for renewal and a fresh start on both an individual and a societal level.

Whatever the cause, it's a fact that there is a huge interest in these shows. Let's just hope for all of our sakes that the apocalypse is merely fictional and never becomes a reality.

Missed Any Of These Post Apocalyptic TV Series?

If you've missed any of these great post apocalyptic TV series, you can see them right now on streaming Netflix, and of course on DVD.

Jericho – Although canceled after only 30 episodes, Jericho quickly became a cult classic. A nuclear war is the culprit in this one.

The Walking Dead -Seasons 1 through 4 – In this unexpected hit series, a bacteria turns much of the world into mindless zombies.

Survivors – In this British TV series, a deadly flu attacks the world, and a small group of survivors struggle in a world of anarchy without electricity or running water.

Revolution - The world has gone dark with no electricity, and society is sent back into the dark ages.

I Want To Know What You Think

What Do You Think Is The Main Cause Of The Renewed Interest In Post Apocalyptic Stories?

See results

© 2012 Margaret Perrottet


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