Survivors audiobook becomes Big Finish Listeners’ Choice title for November 2017

Survivors - Terry Nation - Big Finish - audiobook
Survivors – Terry Nation – Big Finish – audiobook

BIG FINISH’S CRITICALLY acclaimed unabridged audiobook version of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel, voiced by Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant), recorded and released in December 2014, has been selected at the company’s “Listeners’ Choice” title for November 2017.

This means that the purchase cost of the download version of the audiobook has been slashed to £2.99, on the Big Finish site, for the whole of November.

In an one-page retrospective in this month’s free-to-read Vortex magazine, producer and director Neil Gardner reflects on the experience of working with narrator Carolyn Seymour on the book:

What can I tell you about working with Carolyn? Over those days she was the consummate, but fun, professional actor, narrating superbly and with great character. All in all, it was one of my most memorable and enjoyable audiobook productions.

Kenny Smith. 2017. ‘Listen again [Survivors audiobook],’ Vortex, 105, p.22.

 

If (even at that price) you’d like to try-before-you-buy, the latest free-to-listen Big Finish podcast (hosted by Nick Briggs and Benji Clifford) includes a fifteen minute ‘Audio Tease’ of the Survivors audiobook. (In the opening segment of the podcast the pair also discuss their involvement in the music and sound design of the seventh series of Survivors audios.)

 

 

Survivors - The Listeners Choice - Big Finish

BBC Radio 4 – Dangerous Visions season – dystopia, utopia, post-apocalypse and more…

Following the success of its first run, a new season of original dramas (and selected repeats) begins on BBC Radio 4 today (22 May 2016) on the theme of Dangerous Visions: ‘uneasy reflections of the future’. The season, which run until mid-June, includes dramas with dystopian, utopian and post-apocalyptic settings.

Original highlights include: a new version of John Wyndham’s The Kraken Awakes, a contemporary reimagining of William Morris’ utopian classic News from Nowhere, a two-part adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s chilling dystopian vision Brave New World, and a set of four new short dramas under the title Dark Vignettes.

Dangerous Vision - 2016 - BBC Radio 4Dramas being repeated under the Dangerous Visions rubric include: Jane Rogers’ The Testament of Jessie Lamb, Graham White’s adaptation of J G Ballard’s The Drowned World, and Nick Perry’s London Bridge.

See the BBC Radio 4 website for full details of all programmes in the Dangerous Visions season; where there’s also the chance to play the Am I Living in a Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Hinterland? quiz.

Review: Big Finish Survivors audio-book – unmissable

Terry Nation’s Survivors: an audio-book read by Carolyn Seymour (London: Big Finish, 2014).


 

Encouraged by the critical and commercial success of the first series of new Survivors audio dramas released in June 2014, Big Finish have just made available an unabridged audio-book version of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel that is as impressively realised as the original story is absorbing.

Big Finish - Survivors - audiobook - digital versionSince its publication, Nation’s novel has remained an intriguing entry in the Survivors canon. The book weaves its way in-and-out of the storylines of the first six episodes of the TV series (sidestepping the contributions and characters of other Survivors‘ scriptwriters) and rummages through elements of some later stories; rethinking, reworking and reinventing Nation’s own on-screen narrative – before heading off in some enticing new directions.

As a scriptwriter, Nation was often sensitive to criticism of his work by script editors, producers and directors. But he was rarely reverential when revisiting and re-editing his own words. As a result, this Survivors novel is far from being a perfunctory padding-out of original TV scripts to meet the contractual commitments of a TV tie-in. Instead, this ‘novelisation’ shows a writer evidently enjoying the opportunity to re-imagine the post-apocalyptic Britain of his own creation: killing off some characters, reconceiving others, introducing new survivors – and pitching them all into newly imagined perils.

Having assembled his original triumvirate of characters (Abby Grant, Greg Preston and Jenny Richards), Nation has them put down roots in a very different sort of settlement to the TV series’ Grange; surrounds them with a different community of settlers; and then uproots them to begin a journey towards the climes of the southern Mediterranean. The book culminates with the departure of the survivors from the shores of Britain, and a tragic and deadly encounter for one of the series’ protagonists.

Introduced with only a brief unsettling musical flourish, what follows is an expertly judged presentation of Nation’s storytelling, which allows the chilling context of his end-of-the-world setting, and the plight of his scattered ensemble of survivors, to shine through without distraction or gimmick.

Carolyn Seymour - Big Finish Day 5

The character of Abby Grant provided the emotional heart, and narrative drive, of series one of the TV series; making Carolyn Seymour (the original Abby) the ideal candidate to narrate the book. Seymour delivers a first-rate, finely-balanced performance which includes a range of effective vocalizations for the large collection of characters in the story. Under the direction of Neil Gardner, voice switches in the dialogue sections are pulled off with great aplomb (with the realization of Tom Price’s Welsh timbre a star turn in itself). Seymour has taken on many roles as a narrator, audio-book artist, and computer game voice-actor over the years, and that experience shows here. Hers is a winning, compelling performance, marked by a sense of complete conviction and focus.

The atmosphere of Nation’s drama is pretty intense, and in the opening sections of the novel the ominous sense of foreboding is palpable, as the world unravels in the catastrophe of the viral apocalypse. Seymour’s tone is spot-on throughout; be it through the understated description of the onset of the disaster; capturing the emotional turmoil of the survivors and the moments of genuine horror that they confront; and relishing those dramatic ‘heroes in peril’ motifs that were such a signature of Nation’s work.

Survivors - Terry Nation - Big Finish - audiobook

Nation was never a florid writer, and (although a prolific scriptwriter) he was only an infrequent novelist. Here his prose has a simplicity and directness which helps to emphasize the natural, real-world setting of the story. Listening to Seymour read Nation’s words aloud, it’s evident just how used he was to writing pacey dialogue. Some audio adaptations stutter (literally or figuratively) as the author’s words are awkwardly exposed in the transition from page to voice. Not here. Shorn of all audio effects, this presentation of Nation’s novel relies entirely on the quality of the original story and the power of Seymour’s delivery.

It is a real pleasure to hear Seymour voice what are to Survivors‘ enthusiasts well-remembered and classic lines – Abby’s own and those of other characters. Seymour does not feel obliged to recreate the phrasing or emphasis of her original performance, but approaches then anew. This is not a reproduction of a delivery now nearly forty years old, but a confident contemporary revisiting. Tempo, rhythm, and pace remain on-target throughout, while the unabridged nature of the audio-book realization makes it an all-the-more immersive experience.

The audio-book version of a 38-year-old TV tie-in is unlikely to be a huge best seller, and Big Finish are to be commended for extending their enthusiasm for their new Survivors imprint into producing this. The 2008 remake of Survivors (cancelled by the BBC in 2010 following its second series) put paid to any prospect (already pretty remote) of a new TV series revisiting the world of the 1975 show. It seemed that the door has been closed on the original series’ canon. With Big Finish’s audio revival of Survivors now set to deliver (at least) three new series in total, in addition to this audio-book novelisation, that door has again been flung wide open (in the audio realm at least).

As a single-voice, unabridged audio-book, delivered with panache, commitment and believability by one of the original series’ best remembered cast, Big Finish’s latest Survivors offering simply could not be bettered.

Survivors series one box sets just waiting to be snapped up

Big Finish release Terry Nation’s Survivors audio-book today

Today (11 December 2014) Big Finish release the audio-book version of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel, voiced by none other than Carolyn Seymour (the original series’ Abby Grant). The audio is available to buy in both digital download and CD formats.

Carolyn Seymour’s chilling reading of Terry Nation’s Survivors novel is out today…

Big Finish are delighted to announce today’s release of Survivors by Terry Nation, a reading by TV series star Carolyn Seymour:

A deadly virus spreads across the world as quickly as the passenger jets that encircle it. Within weeks, most of the global population is dead.

The human race is thrown back into the dark ages. The few left alive must rely on the most basic skills to survive one day to the next.

Abby Grant ventures out into a strange new England, her husband dead, the fate of her son unknown. Jenny Richards flees London. Engineer Greg Preston arrives from abroad. Desperate lone travellers come together, their instinct to form a community, even if that means rebuilding civilisation from scratch. But not all who are left have such high ideals…

And while she has the chance of a new beginning, Abby cannot settle until she knows the truth. Has her son survived?

Survivors by Terry Nation is out today on CD or Download at the pre-order price until 1 January 2015. The next title in our award-nominated Survivors range is Survivors Series 2 in June 2015, with the acclaimed Survivors Series 1 released last June…

Survivors - Terry Nation - Big Finish - audiobook
Survivors – Terry Nation – Big Finish – audiobook

Carolyn Seymour interviewed in new edition of Vortex magazine

Ahead of the release of the new audiobook version of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel, Big Finish have published a new interview with Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant), discussing her work voicing the book and anticipating the release of series two of Survivors audio adventures, in June 2015.

The interview, in the latest issue (No. 70) of the free-to-download Vortex magazine, comes ahead of the imminent release of the Survivors audiobook (which is still available for pre-order on both CD and through digital download).

In the interview Seymour reflects on the continuing relevance of the themes of Survivors:

Nowadays, it’s so relevant, and very apt when you think of the danger that we’re facing today with the threat of Ebola. Survivors has never lost its appeal, as it’s so possible, and it’s not too difficult to imagine that something like that could really happen.

Carolyn Seymour interview - Big Finish - Survivors - Vortex - first page

Carolyn Seymour interview - Big Finish - Survivors - Vortex - second page

Big Finish third series of Survivors audios now available for pre-order

The third series of Big Finish Survivors audio adventures can now be pre-ordered from the Big Finish site. Scheduled for release in November 2015, series three will be available in both CD and digital download formats.

The second series of Survivors adventures will be released five months earlier, in June 2015. Series two is still available for pre-order in both formats; as is the audiobook of the 1976 Survivors novel, voiced by Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant) and scheduled for release next month (December 2014).

Still available for purchase is the critically acclaimed first series of Survivors audio adventures (released in June of this year).

Survivors - audio book of Terry Nation's novel

Big Finish podcast includes Survivors audiobook trailer… and musical musings

The November #04 Big Finish podcast includes the (previously promised but previously omitted) trailer for the forthcoming audiobook of the Survivors novel (voiced by Carolyn Seymour [Abby Grant], and due for release in just a few weeks).

“It is brilliant,” declares host Nick Briggs. “And read brilliantly by Carolyn Seymour.”



 

The podcast team briefly discuss (without, it should be stressed, a hint of seriousness) the idea of a musical version of Survivors! “We’re all dying of a horrible disease!”, sings Nick Briggs. “That’s the beginning, when everyone else dies,” he explains. This opener could be followed by the more inspiring survivors’ song “We’re alive! We’re alive!”. Amidst much laughter, the team conclude that the answer to this suggestion “is probably ‘no'”…

Survivors - Terry Nation - Big Finish - audiobook
Survivors – Terry Nation – Big Finish – audiobook

The Day of the Triffids – 1981 BBC series repeat on BBC Four

The very wonderful 1981 BBC screen adaptation of the John Wyndham classic The Day of the Triffids is enjoying a repeat broadcast on BBC Four in November and December, as part of the BBC’s Science Fiction Season. The first two episodes of this six part series were shown on BBC Four at 20:00 and 20:30 this evening (23 November), with episodes three and four to follow at the same time next Sunday, and the two concluding episodes wrapping the story up the following week. All of the episodes will be available (after transmission) through the BBC iPlayer until 23 December 2014.

The Day of the Triffids - BBC series - 1981

The Day of the Triffids - BBC series - 1981
The Day of the Triffids – BBC series – 1981

Big Finish release trailer for Survivors audio book

Big Finish have released a first trailer for the unabridged audio-book of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel, voiced by Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant).
 

 
The CD and download versions of the Survivors audio-book, which will be released in December 2014, can be pre-ordered from the Big Finish web shop.

Survivors - Terry Nation - Big Finish - audiobook
Survivors – Terry Nation – Big Finish – audiobook

Big Finish reveals cover art for upcoming Survivors audio-book

Big Finish have released the cover artwork for the upcoming audio-book version of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel. With its ‘shattered glass’ design, the cover art evokes comparison with the original UK paperback and hardback editions of the book – which featured a smashed photo frame containing a portrait of Abby Grant.

Unabridged and voiced by Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant), Survivors – audiobook of novel will be released in a six-disc CD set and in a digital download version in December 2014. Both versions of the Survivors audiobook are available for pre-order on the Big Finish site.

Survivors  - Terry Nation - Big Finish - audiobook
Survivors – Terry Nation – Big Finish – audiobook

A deadly virus spreads across the world as quickly as the passenger jets that encircle it. Within weeks, most of the global population is dead.

The human race is thrown back into the dark ages. The few left alive must rely on the most basic skills to survive one day to the next.

Abby Grant ventures out into a strange new England, her husband dead, the fate of her son unknown. Jenny Richards flees London. Engineer Greg Preston arrives from abroad. Desperate lone travellers come together, their instinct to form a community, even if that means rebuilding civilisation from scratch. But not all who are left have such high ideals…

And while she has the chance of a new beginning, Abby cannot settle until she knows the truth. Has her son survived?

Written by: Terry Nation | Number of Discs: 6 | Duration: 360ms approx | ISBN: 978-1-78178-451-8