San Shella (Sayed)

Home > Characters > San Shella (Sayed)


Updated: November 26 2015 11:38


Survivors audio dramas from Big Finish

Sayed is a very human character, and I think that's why I maybe relate to him more than to some of the other characters

INTERVIEW series one

How easy was it to think yourself into becoming a 1970s doctor?

There weren't any difficult aspects to it, really. I wasn't made particularly aware, early on, of the date in which the drama was set. Which is great in a way, because when you read it, the story can be seen to be just as relevant to today. It still has those same central, universal themes.

I maybe should have taken more on board, really. Being a British Indian doctor in the 1970s, just out of a Med School – he'd be going through any number of experiences. But I think that the drama comes out of the situation the characters find themselves in, more so than the specifics of the location and the time: the conflict of the scenes; things that are thrown in for the characters to deal with.

So were you approaching at Survivors as a newcomer, or were you already aware of the series?

I wouldn't even have been a baby when it first went out! So, as an actor, there’s always a search to find the reality of the situation in the scenes - working with the other actors, and talking with the director. So you draw upon that, I suppose. I was aware of the recent version of the show. I was aware of the original show before that. I remember reading through the script, and there was such a sense of urgency throughout the story; and I thought 'this is definitely a story to take part in; this is definitely a story that needs to be told.'

There's this inner 'tick' within somebody from the medical profession to want to help

San Shella

And the eternal themes that come out of stories like that, of situations which are the worst-case scenario. How are we going to survive? How are we going to get through this? And regardless of where the story's set, or even what the story is, it's those challenges, that conflict, and the fact that the stakes have been raised so high – that's where the drama will reveal itself.

Could you introduce your character and say a bit about his nature?

Sayed is only recently out of Med School when the epidemic hits. Like all young students, he wants to go on into the field of medicine. Before he even gets to the point of taking his Hippocratic Oath, there's a need within this human being to help someone. Not necessarily even to provide them medicine, but there's this inner 'tick' within somebody from the medical profession to want to help, to want to put something right, to try to make things better. So that's Sayed’s character.

And there are quite a lot of characters introduced in these early stories.

There are so many different sorts of characters in this – characters with different rhythms and energies. And each one of them has come from a different background. As an audience member you will be able to associate with, to identify with, at least one of those characters; maybe subconsciously make friends with one of the characters as you’re listening, maybe thinking 'OK, if I found myself in this situation, I’d like to be this character – maybe they'll turn out to be the hero, or maybe they’ll have the answer, maybe they’ll survive.' However, there are other characters, when you hear about the situation that they’re in you’ll be thinking 'Uh-oh. I really would not want to be put in that situation. I don’t really like the idea of that.'

And where would you put Sayed on that character continuum?

He's such a charming guy. Within the circumstances of the story he's a very human character, and I think that's why I maybe relate to him more than to some of the other characters. I think and hope that I was able to bring that human side of him out in the performance.

 

Big Finish - Survivors - series one - CD cover

 


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)