Home > Characters > Andrew French (Dalton)
Updated: December 04 2015 19:06
That's the big difference between living and surviving. It's not skills, it's what you've got going on in your head
How does your character of Dalton first enter the story?
Dalton first comes in when Abby Grant falls ill; and he and helps her, rescues her and gives her a tot of rum. And then they go off together and they go through various mishaps and then they join with the rest of the group. And then, to rescue some other people, he volunteers to go back; and actually volunteers to get himself recaptured. And when he gets recaptured, things start to go wrong.
I think he is a bit of a hero. What is so wonderful about Survivors and other post-apocalyptic tales: they all pose the question: "What would you do? What kind of person are you?" They asked the question: "What is survival and what does it mean to be human?" Dalton is a brilliant survivor, because he doesn't ignore what makes him human even when humanity has fallen to pieces
So do you see Dalton as quite a moral character?
By some people sacrificing themselves there is a strength that is given to the rest of the people afterwardsAndrew French
I think he is. I think these stories are quite moral. If you were in this situation, what kind of leadership would you want? Would you want someone who would kill anybody else as long as you were safe? I think most people would probably say "yes", in the final analysis. But what does that make you? I think that these are incredibly moral tales. Certainly, Dalton is quite moral. I don't think he's too "preachy". There is a wonderful little reference to him maybe to him having been a bit of a "ladies man". But that's lovely, because he talks about it as if he "can't help it". I'm a ladies man; well, actually, I'm a romantic!"
What is Dalbon's back story? What sort of life did he have before the plague struck?
He sounds relatively well educated. I get the hunch that he left Barbados very young. There's a line where he says: "It's been a long time since I've been in Bridgetown" or something like that. And it sounds like, even though he holds his homeland, where he was born, in his heart, there is a sense that the world is really his home. He wants to travel and to experience things.
Dalton certainly seems to be a motivated, can-do sort of a guy
Yeah. When people are sick, he's like "I'll drive; I'll do this; we will get there; it's not that far." There's lots of times where – something that must happen a lot in post-apocalyptic worlds – people lose hope. But he doesn't really lose heart. That something is quite impressive about him. I've done a bit of survival study, and the trainers do say that the first thing that you need to keep hold of is the belief that you will get through it. "I will make this". I think Dalton has got that.
Of course his nemesis Vinnie Vincent takes a very different view of what's necessary for survival: for him, it's a question of power, it's about authority, it's about enforcing control.
Well, yes, and Vinnie might "win" – in quotations marks - but he's not a man any more, he's become a sadistic animal. And I think that Dalton comes to the realisation that if the world is going to be like this, if the choice is going to be between being who he is or becoming something like Vinnie, he'd rather death. "Give me liberty or give me death" – it's a very famous quote.
If the choice is going to be between him being who he is or becoming something like Vinnie, he'd rather deathAndrew French
When "good people" make sacrifices and confront bullies and tyrants like Vinnie, and pay a price for doing so, do you think that sacrifice is in vain?
I really don't think so, because they remind you of what might have to be the sacrifice. We see this in revolutions and in struggles throughout the world – in South Africa or in India. People die – but there's a sense that by some people sacrificing themselves there is a strength that is given to the rest of the people afterwards: a wonderful transference which says "we must continue to fight".
Have you enjoyed your time in the studio working on Survivors?
I've really loved it. It's a wonderful company to work for. I'm still a believer in the magic of the story. I often listen to radio plays or tapes or CDs whilst doing housework. And it's an incredibly vivid medium. And in many ways you can be even more subtle – there's space for quite broadly drawn characters but sometimes it just takes a sharp intake of breath by a character to really hit home. That means I find it very attractive as an actor. I'm still a believer in the magic of the story. "Once upon a time" was a story opening that most of us have heard from a very early age and it still has the power to enthral, the power to take you to incredible places. And when the pictures aren't drawn for you, you find your imagination is a wonderful artist.
How would you sum up Dalton's Survivors' story?
I think Dalton goes on this journey. He realises that maybe he won't get to the destination but he won't let the journey change who he is.
The ninth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"There's still great potential here, as the UK begins to emerge from the dark ages of The Death, for more stories set in this uniquely realised dystopia, should sufficient numbers of those who have yet to purchase copies of this extraordinary audio series belatedly recognise the error of their ways. If that doesn't happen, this will remain a stunning finale for what must be celebrated as a consistently compelling audio drama, 5/5"
The eight series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"This latest boxset delivers an impressive mix of large scale, high stakes and small scale, intimate stories which set in motion the events which will come to an explosive conclusion in the final set in this current run of post-apocalyptic dramas, 5/5 " - Cultbox
The seventh series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"At times harrowing, at other moments uplifting, and never anything other than completely riveting listening, this latest series of Survivors audios delivers drama that is simply unmissable. As the series leaves behind the timeline of the TV incarnation of the show, Big Finish's writers, cast and crew are all clearly brimming with fully deserved confidence. The two series of new Survivors audios coming in 2018 could scarcely be a more exciting or (in the best sense of the word) a more unpredictable prospect, 10/10" - Starburst
The sixth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"After five extraordinarily well-received box sets, each of which offered a self-contained and themed collection of four episodes, the sixth series of Survivors audio adventures confidently takes a fresh approach... It's a liberating shift in format and, under the keenly judged direction of Ken Bentley, these scripts make exceptional use of the opportunity to tell diverse, if equally compelling, standalone stories, 10/10" - Starburst
The fifth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"As it explores the highest stakes possible, this develops into the most thrilling and compelling set of stories in Big Finish's Survivors series to date: which, considering the exceptional quality of the drama in the preceding four instalments, is quite some achievement. This is extraordinary, exemplary human drama; by any standard, 10/10" - Starburst
The fourth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"Intelligent, literate and superbly scripted and performed, this is a post-apocalyptic drama of the highest possible calibre. Determined to avoid the predictable tropes of that genre, it invites its listeners to navigate a moral minefield in a way that few other dramas of this type would attempt. This comes recommended without reservation" - Starburst
The third series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
The second series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
A full-length audiobook of Terry Nation's Survivors novel (in CD and download formats) read by Carolyn Seymour.
The first series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
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