Sinead Keenan (Susie Edwards)

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Updated: November 26 2015 11:46


Survivors audio dramas from Big Finish

I think tonally it is quite bleak. It is the end of the world. It's not light and fluffy. There might be brief glimpses of two characters having a bit of banter with each other but it's tough stuff.

INTERVIEW series one

Were you aware of the original series of Survivors when you agreed to take on the role of Suzie in the new Big Finish Survivors audio adventures

I didn’t see the original Survivors; I wasn't around then! But I did see the Survivors remake in 2008, on the BBC. And any opportunity to do a little bit of work for Big Finish is always a lovely thing. So I was delighted to say yes.

Did the 1970s setting of Survivors, given that it wasn't very familiar to you, raise any particular challenges when it came to getting into the time and place of the show??

It's not an 'everyone just out for themselves' type of end of the world situation

Sinead Keenan

In my ignorance (and I am just flagging up my ignorance here) I didn’t consider the time and place of Survivors. And if there are any actors listening to or reading to this they will baulk at the idea! I didn't consider it. From a character point of view they are facing the end of the world; and that's how I approached it.

Tell us a little bit about your character's story, as she finds herself as a survivor at the end of the world

Some survivors have built a compound at Feltham Polytechnic, where Gillison is their leader. And he's very good at delegating, and at giving people different tasks, and has developed a very strict system around what happens when you come into the compound. He purports that 'this will be a very safe place for you; you'll have food – you'll survive.' At least, that is the hope. And then Suzie and her friend Sayed, who is a medical student, are sent out to scavenge. They’ve gone to look for medical supplies. I'm not sure what Suzie did before the disaster, but certainly Gillison views her as a reproductive vessel, part of the plan to procreate to keep the population going. And they begin to realise that perhaps Gillison isn't all that he seems. And then things begin to unravel. They go a little bit renegade; they head out on their own to get supplies, but Gillison has led them into a trap.

They go a little bit renegade, they head out on their own... but Gillison has led them into a trap.

Sinead Keenan

How do you view the tone of the drama? Does it take a pessimistic or an optimistic view of human beings in conditions of extremis?

I would say that, certainly in the episode that I've just done (and obviously it's a series, so I imagine a lot more hope will come into it) I would say that Gillison does seem to be getting away with, despite Suzie’s and Sayed's best efforts to expose him: because they get shot, as soon as he knows that they’re on to him. So its tone does seem to be veering to the cynical at the moment: suggesting that if things to come to this end that power will go to somebody's head and that all hell will break loose. But I'm sure that, as the series develops, the morality components might rebalance a bit and good will out in the end.

You make it sound as though things are pretty grim?

There are tiny moments of levity, maybe; some snippets in the conversations between characters. But on the whole, it is fairly bleak. I suppose if you consider 'the end of the world' that is a pretty bleak premise. So it’s not a comedy! I can tell you that. [Laughs]

It's important then for the audience to have some affinity with those characters who do care about the fate of other people!

Oh, absolutely. It's not an 'everyone just out for themselves' type of end of the world situation; certainly not in this episode. There are definitely people who have friendship, who have bonds, who stick by each other.

 

Big Finish - Survivors - series one: Sinead Keenan

 


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)