Original series discussed in Guardian article on Survivors remake

“I COULDN’T WATCH that first season again. It’s too harrowing,” says Adrian Hodges of the remake of Survivors shown on BBC One in 2008. “It’s so close to what we’re going through now.”

In an interview in the Guardian, with genre journalist Steve O’Brien, Hodges looks back at the reception and impact of his remake of Terry Nation’s classic 1970s’ original tale of post-apocalyptic survival.

Illustrated with one of the familiar publicity shots of the original three series’ leads from third episode Gone Away, a short section of the article compares the revival with the original.

In doing so, O’Brien only commits three of the regular journalistic faux pas documented in How to annoy a Survivors fan.

When it’s suggested that, in depicting the impact of a global pandemic on screen more than ten years in advance of its real-world arrival, Hodges should be seen as a “prophet”, he disagrees. “I don’t think I am,” Hodges tells O’Brien. “It’s Terry Nation who should be called that.” 

Steve O’Brien. 2020. “‘I couldn’t watch it now’: Survivors was the pandemic drama years ahead of its time”, Guardian, 26 May. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/may/26/i-couldnt-watch-it-now-survivors-was-the-pandemic-drama-years-ahead-of-its-time

Entertainment Focus enjoys a full rewatch of Survivors

Portraits of Abby Grant, Tom Price, Greg Preston, Charles Vaughan, Jenny Richards and Arthur Russell by artists Tom Bailey - illustrating the critical rewatch of Survivors by Entertainment Focus
Portraits of Abby Grant, Tom Price, Greg Preston, Charles Vaughan, Jenny Richards and Arthur Russell by artist Tom Bailey

TWO JOURNALISTS FROM Entertainment Focus have recently been enjoying a full rewatch of all 38 episodes of Survivors from all three series of the show, and sharing their thoughts, criticisms and observations in a series of linked articles in the online magazine.

Good-humoured, interesting, sometimes contentious, but usually well-informed, Greg Jameson and Samuel Payne began their journey with The Fourth Horseman several weeks ago and are working their way right through to Power.

The five linked articles published so far take the form of a conversation between the two. As you track their critical rewatch through each of the three series, you’ll find yourself nodding in vigorous agreement at some points, and shaking your head in disbelief at others – but then that’s a key part of the fun in hearing someone else’s perspective on what might well be your favourite TV show.

As well as screen-shots from different episodes, the series includes an original artwork by Tom Bailey – which presents six portrait caricatures of Abby Grant, Tom Price, Greg Preston, Charles Vaughan, Jenny Richards and Arthur Russell (see above).

Series one

Series two

Series three

Portraits of Sam, the Laird, Alec, Agnes, Brod and Hubert from series three of Survivors by artist Tom Bailey

Survivors ‘reaction videos’

There’s a different perspective on the early episodes of Survivors‘ first series in the form of a new set of ‘reaction videos’ available on YouTube. ‘Reaction videos’ are now a common format of fan participation on the platform. In them, fans video their reactions to watching film and TV shows, so the viewer sees their responses to the drama as it unfolds on-screen.

YouTuber medusa cascade produces ‘reaction videos’ exploring a variety of sci-fi, cult and TV shows, and has uploaded her responses to the first nine episodes of series one of Survivors. Each video is a 10-15 minute edit of the highlights of each episode view. Medusa Cascade is new to Survivors so her reactions are those of a first time viewer – and she has a particularly intense and emotional reaction to seeing Law and Order for the first time.

Celebration of Big Finish’s Survivors audios in new Divergent Wordsmiths eBook

A NEW eBOOK published today by the Divergent Wordsmiths team, celebrating twenty years of creative audio work by Big Finish, includes a chapter on the company’s acclaimed nine series of original Survivors adventures.

Written by Rich Cross, the editor of the Survivors: A World Away site, the short chapter recounts the development, release and reception of the 36 new Survivors audio dramas released between 2013 and 2019.

Other chapters in the book focus on Big Finish’s Torchwood, Doctor Who and other related releases.

The Meaning of Big Finish, edited by Alan Camlann is completely free to download from the Divergent Wordsmiths site.

Alan Camlann (ed). 2019. The Meaning of Big Finish. Divergent Wordsmiths.

Divergent Wordsmiths - The Meaning of Big Finish - front cover
Divergent Wordsmiths - The Meaning of Big Finish - Table of Contents
Divergent Wordsmiths - The Meaning of Big Finish - extract from Survivors chapter

Survivors series eight audios – Cultbox review published

Big Finish - Survivors - series eight - cover art

A FIVE-STAR REVIEW of the eighth series of Big Finish’s Survivors audios, written by the editor of the Survivors: A World Away site, has been posted on Cultbox.

The review explores some of the distinctive elements of this penultimate series in the current Survivors audio run:

As well as introducing a key new protagonist whose fate becomes entangled with Abby Grant’s and Jenny Richards’ own, series eight also makes good on the much-trailed reunion between Abby and the son she has been searching for since the outbreak of The Death some four years earlier: Peter Grant. It’s a gambit that pays off brilliantly, with each of the four stories offering fresh perspectives on the world that the survivors of Britain now inhabit – as the plague recedes into recent history.

After revisiting the storylines and the in-studio realisation of each of the four episodes, the review concludes by acknowledging the sense of anticipation that now surrounds the upcoming finale.

With series nine confirmed as the end of the line for the current run of Survivors audios, Big Finish can focus on delivering a fitting final reckoning for what is indisputably one of the most compelling, insightful and thought-provoking audio series that the company has yet produced.

The ninth and final series of Big Finish’s full-cast Survivors audios is released in June 2019 and is available to pre-order in both download and CD formats, direct from the Big Finish web site.

Rich Cross. 2019. ‘Big Finish: Survivors series eight review,’ Cultbox,
26 February http://cultbox.co.uk/reviews/big-finish-survivors-series-eight-review.


The ninth and final series of Big Finish’s full-cast Survivors audios is released in June 2019 and is available to pre-order in both download and CD formats, direct from the Big Finish web site.

Series one to series eight of Survivors audios are still available for purchase from the Big Finish site, along with the audiobook version of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel, voiced by Carolyn Seymour.

‘Gone Fishing…’ in the Monsal Mad Dog valley

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - title plate

THE MONSAL VALLEY filming locations used in the classic third series Survivors story Mad Dog featured in an episode of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing shown on BBC Two earlier this month.

The BBC’s cameras (at both ground and drone level) took in shots of the valley floor, the valley’s bridges, the viaduct, the weir and (of course, given the subject matter) the river Wye as it meanders its way through the valley.

The series shows the efforts of comedians Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse to fish in a variety of locations (with Whitehouse as the expert and Mortimer as his apprentice). With both of them having to adjust their lives after recovering from major heart surgery, the pair spend as much time joking, teasing one another and reflecting on their lot as they do attempting to catch-and-release fish.

Episode three “Rainbow Trout – Derbyshire Wye” was first shown on BBC Two at 22:00 on 4 July 2018, and will be available on the BBC’s iPlayer (for viewers in the UK) for thirty days following transmission.

A fully-illustrated guide to all of the Monsal Valley filming locations used in Survivors can be found on the Survivors: Mad Dog site.

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - the bridge close to Netherdale Farm

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - the Monsal valley

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - the Monsal valley floor, looking towards the viadcut

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - the bridge near Upperdale House

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - Bob Mortimer shares the Wye with a farmer's cow

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing - the Weir in the Monsal valley

‘British Invaders’ sci-fi podcast discusses Big Finish Survivors audios

British Invaders - podcasts

THE BRITISH INVADERS sci-fi podcast team have dedicated the two most recent shows (episodes 270 and 271) to discussing the first six series of Big Finish’s Survivors audio dramas.

The podcasters, who previously discussed the original Survivors TV series in a 2011 edition, turn their attention to the audio incarnation of Survivors, discussing themes, characters, realisation, sound design, plot and more. Each instalment addresses three series (Part 1 – series 1-3; Part 2 – series 4-6).

Spoiler alert: both instalments are highly complimentary and enthusiastic about Big Finish’s Survivors imprint. Although some key plot points and character developments are revealed along the way, this is more of an introductory overview. For detailed synopses and reviews of all of the episodes released so far, head over to the Episodes section of the Big Finish: Survivors mini-site.

Listeners can stream or download the content; and subscribe to the podcast series on iTunes or through another pod capture service.

British Invaders 270: Big Finish Survivors (Part 1)

Survivors was Terry Nation’s post-apocalyptic drama from the 1970s. Big Finish Productions is now producing brand new Survivors audio dramas with original cast members and some new characters. This time, we discuss these audios (10 September 2017). [Listen to the episode on the British Invaders site]

British Invaders 271: Big Finish Survivors (Part 2)

Survivors was a 1970s BBC post-apocalyptic series created by Terry Nation. Big Finish Productions is now producing Survivors audio dramas with new characters along with some of the originals. We are discussing the audios (24 September 2017). [Listen to the episode on the British Invaders site]

Series six of Survivors audio adventures reviewed in Starburst magazine

My review of series six of Big Finish’s Survivors audio dramas is published today in the online edition of Starburst magazine. The review, which awards a maximum ten-out-of-ten, rating observes:

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. This new release offers a quartet of single adventures, all set within the timeline of the third television series, which follow the parallel exploits of Abby Grant, Jenny Richards and Greg Preston before delivering an unexpected reunion in the closing story. 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.

Series six is available to buy on the Big Finish web site (alongside the previous five series and Carolyn Seymour’s reading of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel). Series seven (November 2017), eight (June 2018) and nine (November 2018) are also available for pre-order.

Survivors - Big Finish - series six - slipcase

Big Finish Survivors series five review in Starburst: 10/10

My review of the fifth series of Big Finish’s Survivors audio adventures has just been published in the online edition of Starburst magazine. Awarding the release a deserved 10/10, the review concludes:

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. As The Death again looms large, Survivors crackles with life.

Starburst - Big Finish - Survivors series 5 - review

Starburst preview of series five of Big Finish’s Survivors audio adventures

An illustrated two-page preview of series five of Big Finish’s Survivors audio adventures appears in the new issue of Starburst magazine (No 430, November 2016). Written by the author of this web site, the features includes commentary from stars Carolyn Seymour, Ian McCulloch and Lucy Fleming, producer David Richardson and script editor Matt Fitton.

Due for release in November 2016, series five of Survivors audios is available for pre-order on the Big Finish web site; where digital download and CD copies of the previous four series, and the audio-rook reading of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel, are also available for purchase.

Survivors - series five - preview - Starburst - 430 - November 2016 - p60

Survivors - series five - preview - Starburst - 430 - November 2016 - p61

Rich Cross. 2016. ‘The Fourth Horseman Returns’, Starburst, No 430, November, pp.60-61.

Lucy Fleming in new play ‘As Good A Time As Any’

Lucy Fleming (Jenny, Survivors) appears in a new play As Good A Time As Any, written and directed by Peter Gill. The play is described as:

a witty and ironic portrait of eight women on a spring morning in London. The play is divided into five choruses. The eight women are the ordinary, unheroic inhabitants of the city, who speak for the continuity of everyday life, and its inexhaustibility. The world of As Good A Time As Any is on the face of it a small one, yet it has an intensity and depth of emotion which make it feel transcendent and universal.

Fleming plays the role of Slyvia, a character described in The Guardian review (5 May 2015) of the production as ‘an upper-middle-class scatterbrain ruefully dwelling on the amorous path not taken.’ She is joined in the production by Roberta Taylor, Tessa Bell Briggs, Indira Joshi, Olivia Llewellyn, Eileen Pollock, Hayley Squires, and Sharlene Whyte.

The play runs at The Print Room at the Coronet, 103 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3LB until 23 May 2015. Tickets for all performances can be purchased online.

Lucy Fleming as Sylvia in the play 'As Good A Time As Any'