Lucy Fleming (Jenny Richards)

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Updated: December 23 2020 09:43


Survivors audio dramas from Big Finish

I think it's good to bring new characters in to the world of Survivors. I think it keeps it fresh.

INTERVIEW series two

Survivors does appear to be an extraordinarily resilient series, doesn't it?

It really does. It's extraordinary, isn't it? I know! It's the appeal of that sort of premise - of going back to basics, isn't it – that makes us all think? I certainly didn't think I'd be playing Jenny however many years on it is. I'm much too old for it now anyway. But it's amazing what you can do on radio!

It does seem to have long-since established itself as canonical in realm of post-apocalyptic drama.

Well, that's a good thing, isn't it?

Had you been aware of the world of Big Finish for a while before you started to get involved with their Survivors series? Was Counter Measures the first thing that you did with them?

That's right. Yes, I did do. Very sweetly they asked me to do something in Counter Measures, which was great fun. It's always great fun working there; they're a good team.

It feels very comfortable and you think "oh, yes, I remember this"

Lucy Fleming

What was it like to be back working with Ian McCulloch and Carolyn Seymour again?

It was lovely. It was lovely. Of course, we record sometimes on different days. But there was a day when we were all there together – which was great. I think there was more than one day, actually? It was lovely. We just got on with it, just the same – we'll ask about the families. It's very weird, actually – after a gap of so long, just picking up where one left off.

Is Jenny a character that it's very easy to reconnect with; is it a role that is simple to "find" again?

Do you know, it is really. It is. In some ways, I suppose, because one isn't creating anything new. Except I suppose you're in a different sort of "time frame" now, although it's not specific. You have to think about how people would react nowadays as opposed to when we did it. But in some ways it's like putting on an old familiar coat or something – do you know what I mean? It feels very comfortable and you think "oh, yes, I remember this". The voices of all of the original characters feel very familiar.

in the Big Finish adventures that we've heard so far, Jenny does appear to be a quite self-possessed and confident character. But because, at times, in the TV series she's not, is she?

No she's not. I think that is a change. I think that that's a sort of “modern take” on girls nowadays, as it were. And I think if we had done the series nowadays the character would have been more confident. I mean, you need the contrast with the stronger characters, which I think there still is. But I think you're right about that, and it's interesting – but I think that's to do with the times we live in, really.

Big Finish are obviously concentrating more on the action oriented themes of Survivors rather than on the self-sufficiency and agricultural themes. Does that sort of approach appeal to you?

I think that approach is probably better for audio. My worry when we did the television series was that it got a bit "Cowboys and Indians".

And there were some very interesting new characters joining the Survivors ensemble

Yes. It was interesting. It takes time to get to know characters when they're new to the series, and obviously I don't read all of the scripts. But I think it's good to bring new people in. I think it keeps it fresh.

I think it's very good that Big Finish have got such familiarity with the television series.

Lucy Fleming

Big Finish take great care not to contradict or conflict with the established Survivors storyline through these new stories

And I think that's quite a good thing, because there are still a lot of fans about who like the television series. And I think if we made it too different it wouldn't be, maybe, so popular. I mean, obviously, there's a lot of new listeners and people coming fresh. But I think it's very good that they've got such familiarity with the television series.

And what David Richardson and Matt Fitton have been saying is that they've been aware of people going in the other direction: people finding the audio dramas and then going back to discover the DVDs.

Oh, really? That's good. That's good!

Could you have imagined, when you signed on the dotted line with the BBC in 1974, that you'd be working on Survivors again four decades later? It's a pretty amazing situation to find yourself in, isn't it?

Yes, exactly. We'll be doing it on stage next!

A world tour!

Yes – an arena show – that would work!

Are you enjoying the studio work? How does it compare to filming on location?

Yes. You don't get freezing cold – like we used to do. And when you're not doing a scene, you can gossip with the other actors and hear about what they're up to.

With Big Finish now committed to producing at least five series of Survivors audios, there are still lots of new adventures in store for Jenny!

I think it's a thing that, as you say, has endured, and there's a great affection for it and interest in it. And, I think, if they can do five – that would be amazing, really. Extraordinary. I suppose the sales are quite good – which probably helps. It's good that it is word-of-mouth and reviews that are making it work for them, and things like Twitter. I'm on Twitter a little bit, and when the series came out I got a lot of Retweets and Favourites and all that sort of stuff.

Would you like to do more work for Big Finish outside the world of Survivors?

Yes. David Richardson did mention I might do a Doctor Who at some stage. I think there was one which I couldn't do because of timing. Yes, I'd love to do something to do with Doctor Who.

 

Big Finish - Survivors - series one: Lucy Fleming and Ian McCulloch

 


Survivors: New Dawn 2

The second series of this new Survivors audio adventure is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Big Finish - Survivors - New Dawn 2

"The New Dawn series has been a compelling, well-executed foray into a 'future' post-pandemic Britain never before attempted in the Survivors universe. Big Finish regularly jumps around within and beyond the established canon of TV series in its range, and that option would remain open in the world of Survivors. Who knows what will come next? If New Dawn 2 marks the end of Survivors journey on audio, then that will mean that an accomplished, inventive and assured series concludes with a remarkable and satisfying endpoint."
Survivors: A World Away

Survivors: Ghosts and Demons

The original narrated Survivors audiobook, narrated by Carolyn Seymour, is available to buy as a digital download from Big Finish.

Survivors - Big Finish - Ghosts and Demons

"Ghosts and Demons is a fantastic addition to the audio literature of Survivors. Author Ethan Milsea uses the cautionary tale of the predatory Tommy as a means to explore the different fears and nightmares that haunt those who have experienced the trauma of The Death and survived. This story, which locks itself in to the first TV series' timeline, delivers admirably on what can often be an elusive ambition: to be both in-keeping with the existing dramatic terrain and to break open new and fertile ground."
Survivors: A World Away

Survivors: New Dawn 1

The first series of this new Survivors audio adventure is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.

Survivors - Big Finish - New Dawn 1

"The first series of New Dawn retains the core sense of jeopardy that made the original post-Death context of Survivors so compelling. Yet it does in a way that is original and genuinely exhilarating. Imagining how the country might have moved on more than two decades after the pandemic provides Survivors with a new 'what if' premise that crackles with potential"
Survivors: A World Away

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

 

New Dawn 2 reviews added

Added: 02 March 2022

 

New Dawn 1 and Ghosts and Demons reviews added

Added: 03 January 2022

 

Series nine reviews added

Added: 13 July 2019

 

Series eight reviews added

Added: 9 January 2019

 

Links

Original TV series (1975-1977)
Survivors remake (2008-2010)