Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant)

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Updated: April 14 2017 14:01


Survivors audio dramas from Big Finish

This work on Survivors is back to everything that keeps me inspired. It's such a thrill. It's such a gift.

INTERVIEW series three

Well, that unexpected contact from Big Finish in 2013 has turned into quite something, hasn't it!

I know! I know!

You must be delighted?

I am. I love it. It's actually made everything very possible. Suddenly everything seems much happier. I really thought I could retire, and not act again. But when this opportunity with Big Finish came up it made me realise that I really don't want to give up acting. And as an actress, this work on Survivors is back to everything that keeps me inspired. It's such a thrill. Yes. It's such a gift. It's such a gift.

You had a cameo in the first series of audio adventures, because they'd only just managed to track you down, but in series three Abby has moved to centre stage!

She has done on this latest series, yes. It's lovely. It's heaven. The thing is that it's wonderful to meet everybody who was in the series before - the original group. A lot of the acting peers in my age group have gone. So seeing the ones that are still alive, and connecting like we did – because we were so close - is heaven.

 I just love doing it; it's just that it's incredibly hard. It takes a lot of stamina.

Carolyn Seymour

One of the things that you mentioned before is that here at Big Finish you have none of the conflicts with the producer that you had to endure on the original series. But you always said that you were pleased that the writers had found Abby's voice. That her words feel authentic.

I do feel that, very strongly. I was just saying today that my voice is very clear, again. I was also saying that the real difficulty in giving voice to Abby is going back to her as she would have sounded, then; rather than knowing what I know now as a performer. That experience still all colours everything and makes it a bit deeper. I just love doing it; it's just that it's incredibly hard. It takes a lot of stamina.

And you're working with Richard Heffer again! You hadn’t worked on anything else together since Survivors had you?

No. I went off to the States, so I wouldn't have seen him. I've really been looking forward to this.

There was such a good dynamic between those two characters

Yeah, yeah.

And, of course, Abby being axed from the show effectively "did" for Garland as well - as that put an end any chance of a future relationship for the pair!

Exactly. Richard was saying that only today. There were so many other possibilities that they could have picked up on.

Because of the sensitivities of the BBC in the 1970s, the original series stayed away from issues like sexual orientation

Completely, yeah.

The original series did not depict the unmarried Abby and Jimmy being in bed together - because the 'morality' of that was so frowned upon. So for the audio adventures to have characters openly declaring themselves as gay; raising issues of homophobia – these things would never have surfaced in the TV series.

Absolutely. It was a different time. Richard was just saying that he had to make love to a whole bunch of women in some show that he did, but he had to keep one foot on the ground!

As series three of the audio adventures gets underway, where do we find Abby?

She's still looking for Peter. But everywhere she goes, she gets held up. There's some sort of hiccup. As much as she loves Jimmy, and she does – her heart is still focused on the quest for Peter. And she explains in the episode we're working on now why she has to do it.

And along the way she encounters Paul Thornley's terrifying Vinnie!

Vinnie is an extraordinary character. But I'm sure that’s exactly how some people would feel in that sort of situation. I mean, there are people who feel that way right now – but would never dare say it. Paul Thornley is wonderful. He's wonderful in the role.

For Big Finish to commit to producing at least five series of Survivors audio adventures, it's an amazing development in the history of the series. And it shows the level of enthusiasm and affection and interest in Survivors which continues to thrive today.

 Vinnie is an extraordinary character. But I'm sure that’s exactly how some people would feel in that sort of situation

Carolyn Seymour

It does! It does. I mean, I don't Tweet, but I'm pick up that there is a lot of positive feeling out there for this show. Chase Masterson does do social media – thank God somebody does do all that. She's told me that it's terribly popular, and how excited people were to see that I was back working on the series.

Hugely! And it is also finding new fans who are picking up the Big Finish audios and then going to track down the DVDs. These are people who either weren't around at the time, or who never came across the series back in the 1970s.

Yes, I've heard that.

It's great that you're finding this return to the world of Survivors invigorating and exciting.

I love it. It's really good. Really good.

 

Big Finish - Survivors - Series three - Richard Heffer and Carolyn Seymour

 


Survivors: series nine

The ninth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Survivors - Big Finish - series nine

"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"
Cultbox

Survivors: series eight

The eight series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Survivors - Big Finish - series eight

"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

Survivors: series seven

The seventh series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Survivors - Big Finish - series seven

"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

Survivors: series six

The sixth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Survivors - Big Finish - series six

"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

Survivors: series five

The fifth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Survivors - Big Finish - series five - cover  

"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

Survivors: series four

The fourth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Survivors - Big Finish - series four - cover  

"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

Survivors: series three

The third series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Survivors - Big Finish - series three - cover detail

Survivors: series two

The second series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Survivors - Big Finish - series two - cover detail

Survivors: audio-book

A full-length audiobook of Terry Nation's Survivors novel (in CD and download formats) read by Carolyn Seymour.

Survivors: series one

The first series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Latest updates

 

Series nine reviews added

Added: 13 July 2019

 

Series eight reviews added

Added: 9 January 2019

 

Series seven reviews added

Added: 14 January 2018

 

Series six reviews added

Added: 12 July 2017

 

Series five reviews added

Added: 20 December 2016

 

Series four reviews added

Added: 26 June 2016

 

Series three reviews added

Added: 18 December 2015

 

New interviews added

Added: 21 November 2015

 

Links

Original TV series (1975-1977)
Survivors remake (2008-2010)