Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant)

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Updated: April 14 2017 14:00


Survivors audio dramas from Big Finish

Terry Dudley hired me because I was a strong woman, but what he didn't want was a strong woman.

INTERVIEW series two

You were only able to contribute a small 'cameo' role to the first series of Big Finish Survivors audios. What did you think of them as a listener?

I thought they were excellent! I thought everybody was really excellent on that first series. There is some wonderful acting going on.

And are you happy that Big Finish writers have found Abby's voice? Do the words feel natural to you? Have they connected to that character in the way that you would hope?

They have. They really have. I think all of the characters are much as we had done them originally. It's been 11 years since we've seen each other. We were terribly close, terribly close.

How easy has it been to get back into Abby's skin? Is it an easy connection to find again?

Oh, yes. She's just below the surface. Abby was a lovely role and I brought all of my own feelings to it. Which is why the biggest fight in the whole production was in "Law and Order", the episode about capital punishment. Because I don't agree with it, and I don't think it solve anything. I really, really didn't want to do it. I didn\t want it to end that way. I fought them tooth and nail. And it got very unpleasant. They were implacable. Dudley was just not going to budge. And, you know, I never had a good relationship with him. He never was going to like me. He hired me because I was a strong woman, but what he didn't want was a strong woman. He got one, and he got very upset, and I got fired.

I never watched the rest of the TV series, because I was too busy. Professionally, I didn't draw breath after that.

Carolyn Seymour

But it was so short sighted, really. However difficult my relationship with him was, to take away the third leg of the tripod was really stupid. Because I was the tough one in the group. And they all used Abby as their spokesperson. Without her it didn't seem to me it could have any... There was any kind of frisson left in it. There was no one to argue with because Jenny and Greg were definitely together, so who was going to be that person? I don't think you can have that kind of arrangement. We're not autonomous, we do need someone to look up to. There's always an unspoken leader. But I never watched the rest of the TV series, because I was too busy. Professionally, I didn't draw breath after that.

But listeners will immediately recognise Abby Grant?

She's still the same. She's the one who has the tacit leadership quality, this innate leadership quality, that everybody responds to. She still "calling the shots". She seems to be a little more willing to give it up this time. She seems to be listening to other people more, and isn't given such complete control as she was before.

And you credit Terry nation for devising that brilliant triumvirate of core characters in the first series?

I think so yes. I think that was his choice, and I think that is what he did. It is interesting. He was an interesting man. Having just done the audio book of his Survivors novel – it was interesting doing that.

As Nation himself described it when he spoke about it, there is a very "operatic" finale to the book, isn't there?

Yes, absolutely.

That's certainly one way Abby's reunion with her son Peter could play out!

And to happen just at that last moment – and include her recognition of the son who is about to kill her!

How have you enjoyed working on these new stories in the Big Finish studios?

And there will be moments in every day that she will recognise as "gifts", and she will take those and cherish them and live them

Carolyn Seymour

I was really excited to come and work on this. I keep thinking that I can give it up - acting - but I can't. It's not going to work. And I'm in such a great position of being able to hop across the Channel, and I can always find someone to stay with. I've not been sleeping much in the UK. I'm not used to noises now. Living in France – it's so quiet. You're lucky if you hear the owls (you've no idea how many owls there are out there) and the foxes. But this is so nice. And I'm hoping that it might lead to other things. So, we'll see. I mean, I've only been living in France for two years, and this has enabled me to start dipping my toe back into the business – which is very exciting. I am very spoilt. My life is rather good.

As things play out in the Big Finish Survivors universe, is Abby destined to have a grim, tough time of it?

I wouldn't say "grim", but it is about acceptance. Acceptance of the situation. Because she understands her importance in the great scheme of things. But I think that she'll come to a point where she accepts it. And there will be moments in every day that she will recognise as "gifts", and she will take those and cherish them and live them: which is exactly how we all should live!

She's not going to be going anywhere soon, is she?

No, she can't. She does step up to the plate.

 

Survivors - Big Finish - front cover of the series two CD

 


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)