Updated: December 23 2020 09:43
Wounded, split apart and fighting for their lives, the survivors discover that survival isn't everything...
GREG IS A PRISONER of Ridley, while Irwin is nowhere to be seen. Ridley reveals to Greg that he, and accomplice Patty, have become cannibals, who revel in the unspeakable act of consuming human flesh. It appears that Irwin has already been sacrificed to their appalling practices. As Abby and her group tend to an injured Daniel, who they discover at the scene of a car accident, he is able to tell them of Greg's fate. Abby and Jenny insist on heading off to find him, while Molly and Jackie will return to The Grange. The rescue party make their way to an abandoned caravan site, where Abby is duped by Patty who pretends to be one of Ridley's captives. Daniel is able to free Greg from imprisonment but, as Jenny and Abby are threatened by the murderous Ridley and Patty, they need to find a way to rescue their compatriots with next to no weapons. Meanwhile, Molly, concerned that she might be pregnant as the result of the assaults she has endured, takes the most drastic action imaginable...
THE CLOSING EPISODE of the second series of Survivors audio adventures offers a picture of the corrosion and collapse of human civilisation and decency which is by far and away the bleakest yet presented in the audio series. The horrendous and inhuman acts presented in the episode serve to highlight the decency and morality of the series' heroes, whose own attempts to survive 'reasonably' stand in the sharpest possible contrast to the savagery which threatens them.
Picking up immediately after the events of The Hunted, the episode is a well-structured and effectively executed series' finale, which delivers a set of powerful, and frequently shocking turnarounds - as the show's main protagonists face an unexpected 'all consuming' threat.
It is the imprisoned Greg who first discovers the appalling truth of the guiltless cannibalistic lifestyle of sociopath Ridley and his contemptible sidekick Patricia, and it is only thanks to the bravery of the injured but recovering Daniel that Abby and Jenny are able to launch a high-risk rescue mission.
Script editor Matt Fitton, whose contributions to Survivors have been exemplary in these first two series, revels in the ability to wring the maximum impact from the ghoulish predicament in which our heroes find themselves. The way in which Fitton works the final showdown between Ridley and Patricia and the travellers from The Grange is particularly impressive, and enables Fitton to push the character of Daniel into a jaw-droppingly dark (but convincing) decision.
The way in which Fitton works the final showdown between Ridley and Patricia and the travellers from The Grange is particularly impressive
John Banks embraces Daniel's new mix of defiance and self-doubt with a well-judged, emotionally-intelligent reading of the part. Bernard Holley, meanwhile, is absolutely superb as the callous Ridley, delivering a performance that is as chilling and it is riveting. And all three of the original series leads (Carolyn Seymour, Ian McCulloch and Lucy Fleming) show themselves as completely in tune with their characters - even though the dramatic circumstances are far darker.
The secondary story of Savages offers little by way of emotional respite. There are tender and touching moments in the development of Jackie's relationship with the psychologically-scarred Molly, but, as the young survivor realises that there is the possibility that her attackers may have left her pregnant, she loses any semblance of hope.
Although the three series' leads survive their encounter with Ridley, series two of Survivors ends with some truly harrowing images: as Ridley and Patricia are burnt alive, and Molly's attempt to terminate her pregnancy places her life in immediate jeopardy.
Big Finish are attuned to the risk that this tough-as-nails approach may be too much for some listeners to take. But this second series of Survivors adventures ends by demonstrating the unapologetic, 'grown-up' timbre of the company's take on Terry Nation's end-of-the-world premise. 'A post apocalyptic scenario should never be comfortable or pleasant', suggests producer David Richardson. Perfunctory or inconsequential, this is not. But riveting, compelling drama it certainly is.
THE TWO STRANDS of the story are reunited in a desperate rescue attempt, an explosive climax to the box set, to give any more away would be spoiling the plot 10/10
Ed Watkinson, Planet Mondas
SAVAGES TWISTS THE DIAL up to eleven, shocking the audience even more, as it explores the depths that some of the survivors have plummeted to, and revel in
Martijn, Mass Movement
None - at present
The ninth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"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"
The eight series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"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
The seventh series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"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
The sixth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"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
The fifth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"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
The fourth series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
"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
The third series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
The second series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
A full-length audiobook of Terry Nation's Survivors novel (in CD and download formats) read by Carolyn Seymour.
The first series of new Survivors audio adventures is available to purchase (in CD and download formats) from Big Finish.
Series nine reviews addedAdded: 13 July 2019
Series eight reviews addedAdded: 9 January 2019
Series seven reviews addedAdded: 14 January 2018
Series six reviews addedAdded: 12 July 2017
Series five reviews addedAdded: 20 December 2016
Series four reviews addedAdded: 26 June 2016
Series three reviews addedAdded: 18 December 2015
New interviews addedAdded: 21 November 2015