Television Outbreaks

12 May 2016
We look at deadly outbreaks on TV.
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There’s nothing quite like an end-of-the-world, panic-filled, hysteria-induced show riddled with a deadly disease to make you hyper-aware of your own mortality – and there are plenty of them on M-Net and M-Net Edge.

The latest offering is Containment, a show about an epidemic that breaks out in Atlanta, confining its citizens within the city limits. Based on the Belgian series Cordon, you can expect bucket loads of frenzied paranoia, anguish, and antagonism.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the other outbreaks that have occurred on TV screens.

12 Monkeys

Based on the Bruce Willis' movie, which in turn is based on a French film, it’s full of time travel and futuristic fanaticism, as a deadly virus threatens to wipe out practically the entire human population.

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12 Monkeys Season 2 will start later this year on M-Net Edge.

The Andromeda Strain

Based on a novel by Michael Crichton, it was adapted into a movie in 1971 and a miniseries in 2008. While the author’s focus in Jurassic Park and The Lost World was on distressed dinos, The Andromeda Strain focuses on an alien outbreak in Arizona.

Ash vs Evil Dead

Of course, zombies had to factor into this somehow. They’re the freakiest kind of outbreak we know, but Ash vs. Evil Dead brings the funny with the freaky. It’s one of many TV series that developed from a movie (much like the previous two examples), which you can read more about here.

The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead

Zombies. The apocalypse. The adaptation of the comic book series The Walking Dead has both and was such a hit it spawned a companion series: Fear the Walking Dead. Humanity may be dying in these shows, but our love for zombies never will.


It’s another variant of the disease-breaks-out-send-a-team-of-scientists-to-investigate type of show, but this time it’s set in the Artic. We get annoyed when someone turns on the office air-con in winter, so you can just imagine what these scientists must feel like.

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Helix Season 2 starts on Monday 30 May at 20:00 on M-Net Edge.

The Last Ship

The crew aboard the USS Nathan James feel a similar pressure to the scientists in Helix. Unaffected by a nasty virus that’s wiped out most of humanity, it's up to them to find a cure. Clearly their cruise is no holiday.

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The Last Ship Season 2 will air on M-Net City later in the year. Keep an eye on mnet.tv for news about Season 3.

The Strain

Mixing up the zombie plot is this TV series, where a mysterious outbreak turns its victims into vampires. Like Helix, it features the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Based on the novel trilogy written by horror maestro Guillermo del Toro, along with Chuck Hogan, the pair is also the creative force behind the show.

Watch the next deadly disease break out in Containment Season 1 on Wednesday 18 May at 21:30 on M-Net.