Survivors: 1:4 Esther

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Updated: November 26 2015 17:12


Survivors audio dramas from Big Finish

Greg, Jenny and their new friends are trapped. Will they ever make it out alive?

Survivors - Big Finish - Series 1 - Episode 4 - Esther

SUMMARY

AT THE POLYTECHNIC settlement, growing doubts about the wisdom of Gillison's rule are met by increased security and surveillance. Greg, Jenny and Connor scrutinise maps and blueprints in the hope of finding a means of escape. While Jackie is a doubtful recruit to the escape committee, the loyalty of Gillison's lieutenant Fiona appears to be wavering. When Gillison shows no mercy to two members of the community accused of theft, Fiona agrees to help Greg and his friends get out. When their escape attempt is intercepted by Gillison's men, they discover that an anxious Jackie has betrayed them. With the trio locked up, Fiona and Gillison clash over the community's future. To her surprise, he agrees to a full meeting of the community at which both of them will put their case to an open vote. With the assembly under, Jackie sneaks away to free the prisoners who begin to make their way to freedom. When they realise what Gillison is planning, they race back to the centre – but will they be in time...?

COMMENTARY

THE SERIES FINALE of Big Finish's first set of Survivors audio adventures serves up some impressive and tense drama, a set of unexpected twists and turn, and a shocking denouement, before signing-off with a renewed focus on the original triumvirate of characters from the TV series.

Esther is a thoroughly engaging tale, which takes its fairly simple central premise (the heroes need to escape from the clutches of the increasingly unhinged Gillison) and spins the story in some surprising directions which ratchet up the tension and genuine sense of peril.

Switching allegiances is a recurring theme of the episode, as Jenny, Greg and Connor attempt to build a critical mass of escapees willing to risk all to escape the lockdown in their polytechnic prison camp. Both Greg and Jenny get the opportunity to flex some adventurous (and some emotional) muscles, and McCulloch and Fleming acquit themselves with rich, textured and fully believable performances.

Although it's clear that Gillison's leadership is headed for some sort of meltdown, the final outcome of his loss of reason is as unexpected as it is horrific. It provides an emotionally-wrenching finale for the series, and proves beyond question that Big Finish are not flinching from the tough and grown-up tenor of Survivors.

It makes continuity sense that when Jenny and Greg are reunited with Abby back at The Grange that Connor and Burch have opted not to join them, but it is to be strongly hoped that both these characters will make future appearances in the audio universe of Survivors.

The first series of Survivors audio dramas comes to an end in a satisfying and convincing way, having shown how effectively new characters and situations can be stitched into the fabric of an existing TV canon, when sufficient care, attention and creative talent is applied. Big Finish are to be congratulated for delivering so confident and sure-footed a first series of Survivors, an all the more impressive achievement when considering how far from the Big Finish mainstream Terry Nation's post-apocalyptic drama sits.

Series two of these new Survivors audio dramas (due in June 2015) is now eagerly anticipated

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REVIEW QUOTES

JOHN DORNEY... PROVIDES a tale which is likely to have you shouting at your iPod as the sheer horror of what is unfolding becomes clear... There's been a lot of talk about this being the best thing that Big Finish has ever done, and I would agree. Verdict: A triumph across the board. 10/10
Paul Simpson, scifibulletin.com

THERE IS AN unsettling end with little to sing and dance about. John Dorney takes up the reins for this one and drives us into even darker territory.
Sue Davies, SFcrowsnest

SURVIVORS IS IRRESISTIBLE, because no matter how bleak it gets, at its core, it offers the listener the same thing that lay at the bottom of Pandora's Box. Hope.
Tim Mass Movement, Mass Movement Magazine

AUDIO EXTRACTS

As they become available...


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)