Big Finish relaunches Terry Nation’s Survivors

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    This pre-Blake’s-7 ’70s epidemic-apocalypse show was either awesome or awful on an episode-by-episode basis, seldom “just okay”. There was a revival of it a few years ago which really was “just okay” – it was a prime example of how much TV storytelling has “sped up”, as it covered the first four episodes of the ’70s series in 45 minutes (!!). Now Big Finish is taking a swing at it. Unlike the recent TV remake, this is apparently in the same universe with the original series, and will feature some of its original cast, though likely as a gateway to introducing new characters in a parallel storyline. [LINK]

    Big Finish has signed a licence with the estate of the acclaimed writer Terry Nation to make the 1970s post-apocalyptic drama Survivors on audio. The series ran for three seasons between 1975-77 and told the story of a small group of people who survive a plague that wipes out most of the world’s population.

    ‘Survivors made a huge impact on me when I first saw it – as it did on many people of my generation,’ says producer David Richardson. ‘It’s long been a dream of mine to bring it back on audio, exploring the human drama and the many challenges in a world where the majority of people have died and most technology is useless.’

    Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery adds: ‘I am very proud to have another Terry Nation series associated with Big Finish. His influence on British television in the Sixties and Seventies was massive and I grew up knowing that any show with his name on it was going to be both exciting and thought provoking. Survivors is one of the seminal series of the Seventies, with themes that have been visited again and again over the years, most recently by series such as The Walking Dead. We all look forward to working on what we know will be a fantastic new audio series for Big Finish.’

    Executive producer Nicholas Briggs: ‘Over the years, so many people have asked us about the possibility of doing Survivors on audio, and now, with the right team in place and agreements signed, we can finally deliver yet another series that our loyal listeners have been waiting for. My early teens were haunted by Terry Nation’s stark depiction of a world decimated by a virus, and I’m looking forward to being terrified all over again!’

    Like Nation’s TV show and novel of the same name, the audio series will begin with the terror and torment as a global pandemic breaks out, and gradually the very fabric of society falls apart. These terrible events will be told through the eyes of a handful of characters whose lives are changed forever…

    A number of actors from the original TV series Survivors will be reprising their characters for the audios. These will be announced once recording commences later in the summer.

    Survivors – Series One will be released in June 2014; the box set will comprise four hour-long full cast audio dramas.

    Survivors – Series Two has been commissioned and will follow in 2015.

    The writers of the first four episodes are Matt Fitton, Jonathan Morris, Andrew Smith and John Dorney, all of whom are seasoned contributors to the Doctor Who audios at Big Finish.


    This is starting to sound awesome. In case you forgot the original Survivors, Carolyn Seymour’s Abby departed at the end of season 1 to try to find her missing son (a plot change dictated by the actress leaving the show to seek treatment for alcoholism). Now it looks like we might finally get the other side of her story after all. [LINK]

    The lead cast members of Terry Nation’s Survivors are returning to play their roles on audio, for a run of new episodes from Big Finish Productions. The series originally ran for three seasons on BBC1 between 1975-77 and told the story of a small group of people who survive a plague that wipes out most of the world’s population.

    Lucy Fleming plays Jenny Richards, Ian McCulloch is Greg Preston, while Carolyn Seymour is Abby Grant, the leader of a community starting a new life in rural England.

    “We’re thrilled to have Lucy, Ian and Carolyn on board,” says producer David Richardson. “Our initial episodes will introduce a new set of characters that will encounter Jenny and Greg as they search for supplies. Abby Grant will make cameo appearances, before taking on a major role in later stories.”

    Survivors – Volume 1 will be released in June 2014; the box set will comprise four hour-long full cast audio dramas – Revelation by Matt Fitton, Exodus by Jonathan Morris, Judges by Andrew Smith and Esther by John Dorney.

    The leading cast also includes John Banks, Louise Jameson, Sinead Keenan, Caroline Langrishe, Adrian Lukis, Chase Masterson, Terry Molloy, Phil Mulryne and Camilla Power.

    Memo to Big Finish: feel free to rope Carolyn Seymour into doing some Doctor Who or Blake’s 7 while she’s there. She’s been in TNG, Voyager, Babylon 5, Quantum Leap… let’s not leave any gaps in the lady’s resume, okay?

    Steve WSteve W
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    Is the storyline going to pick up in the late ’70s, or could it be set in current times? It’d be interesting to see how society evolved in the 30-something years since the plague thinned the proverbial herd.


    ’70s – the Big Finish audios will run parallel to the original series, intersecting with it at various points.

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