Roger Lloyd-Pack dies (15 January 2014)

Roger Lloyd-Pack (the only actor to appear in both the original Survivors [1975-1977] and the Survivors remake [2008-2010]) has died. The well-respected character and comedy actor passed away from pancreatic cancer on 15 January 2014, at the age of 69.

In the original series, Lloyd-Pack appeared in a memorable guest-starring role in the two-part story Lights of London (series two, 1976), taking on the part of the young rebel Wally, who is exiled from the 500-strong London community for voicing discontent with the authoritarian rule of dictator Manny. He rescues Greg and Charles when they are attacked by rats on arriving in London to search for the abducted Ruth. Wally travels (off-screen) to the Whitecross community to take news of the whereabouts of Greg, Charles and Ruth. When he returns and joins in a recce mission to search for petrol supplies, he is shot by the ruthless Manny and left for dead in wasteland near the Thames. At the end of the story, a wounded Wally returns to rescue Ruth, Charles and Greg, who are trapped in the underground tunnels by gunfire from a murderous Manny when attempting to flee. After he shoots Manny dead, Wally agrees to rejoin the London community in the hope of encouraging the London survivors to adopt a more equitable, tolerant and democratic form of organisation. He also commits himself to finding a volunteer doctor to take the place of abductee Ruth – who is now free to return to Whitecross with Charles and Greg.

Some thirty-four years later, in the second series of remake of Survivors, Lloyd-Pack took on the far less heroic role of truck driver and trader Billy Stringer; who appears in episodes three and four. Initially appearing to be a benign figure, Stringer rescues Greg and the family from a Land Rover breakdown by providing them with a replacement fan belt. But Stringer later reveals to settlement leader Samantha Willis that he know knows the whereabouts of Tom Price (the man at the top of her most-wanted list) and sets in motion the events which culminate in Price’s detention, trial and conviction for murder. Stringer is revealed to be a slave trader, abducting survivors from around the country as forced labour for the brutal coal mining operation being run on Smithson’s estate: a fate which soon befalls Greg and Tom. Later, after Stringer’s truck is stolen by an escaped Tom, he is left tied to a tree in the woods. It is there that he realises that the young captive who helps to free him from his binds is Abby’s missing son Peter. Unseen off-screen, Stringer later hands Peter over to the Whitaker’s group of research scientists; setting the scene for the final showdown of the second series. Stringer’s own fate remains unknown.

Lloyd-Pack was born in 1944 in Islington, London, the son of Hammer horror actor Charles Lloyd-Pack. Early in his acting career her appeared in such shows as The Avengers, Jason King, Crown Court and Softly Softly: Taskforce, whilst enjoying a varied career in the theatre. Lloyd-Pack later found considerable fame and popular acclaim through his recurring roles in sit-coms Only Fools and Horses (as Trigger) and The Vicar of Dibley (as Owen Newitt) – roles so prominent they sometimes overshadowed his other work. More recently he appeared in Doctor Who (in 2006), The Old Guys (2009-10) and Inspector George Gently (2012) and on the big-screen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Made in Dagenham (2010) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).

News of Roger Lloyd-Pack’s passing was widely reported, including on the BBC News site (which also published an obituary and a photo gallery of his on-screen career). Obituaries appeared in The Independent, The Telegraph, The Guardian and in many other places.

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Lights of London II, 1976
Roger Lloyd-Pack, Lights of London II, 1976

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Wally, Lights of London
Roger Lloyd-Pack, Wally, Lights of London

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Survivors (2010), Billy Stringer
Roger Lloyd-Pack, Survivors (2010), Billy Stringer

Roger Lloyd-Pack, Survivors (2010), Billy Stringer
Roger Lloyd-Pack, Survivors (2010), Billy Stringer

Big Finish reveals brief synopses for series one audio adventures

Big Finish has published more details of the four episodes which will make up the first series of new Survivors audio adventures – now available for pre-order ahead of its June 2014 release.


It begins with just a few people falling ill. Another flu virus that spreads around the globe. And then the reports begin that people are dying… When most of the world’s population is wiped out, a handful of survivors are left to pick up the pieces. Cities become graveyards. Technology becomes largely obsolete. Mankind must start again…

1. Revelation by Matt Fitton
When people begin to die of a new strain of a flu virus, newspaper journalist Daniel Connor investigates. He uncovers a terrifying story – but will anyone ever get to read it?

2. Exodus by Jonathan Morris
Billions of people have died across the globe. Cities are rife with secondary diseases, and the survivors attempt to make their way out of London.

3. Judges by Andrew Smith
After a storm wipes out much of their community’s supplies, Greg and Jenny go in search of new provisions – much to Abby’s disapproval.

4. Esther by John Dorney
Greg, Jenny and their new friends are trapped. Will they ever make it out alive?


Written By: Matt Fitton, Jonathan Morris, Andrew Smith, John Dorney
Directed By: Ken Bentley


Lucy Fleming (Jenny Richards), Ian McCulloch (Greg Preston), John Banks (Daniel Connor), Louise Jameson (Jackie Burchall), Sinead Keenan (Susie Edwards), Caroline Langrishe (Helen Wiseman), Adrian Lukis (James Gillison), Chase Masterson (Maddie Price), Terry Molloy (John Redgrave)

Special appearance by Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant)

Technical details and production credits for new Big Finish Survivors audio adventures

Big Finish have published some more technical and production credits for the forthcoming first series of new Survivors audio adventures – scheduled for release in June 2014.

Written By: Matt Fitton, Jonathan Morris, Andrew Smith, John Dorney
Director: Ken Bentley
Sound Design: Neil Gardner
Music: Nicholas Briggs
Cover Art: Anthony Lamb
Number of Discs: 4
Duration: 240ms approx
ISBN: 978-1-78178-276-7
Production Code: BFPSURV001
Recorded At: Moat Studios, Audio Sorcery Studios

Big Finish have also brought together in one place the full, current set of publicity and promotional shots of series one cast members

Big Finish 4 event – Survivors audio adventures

Several member of the production team working on the new Survivors audio adventures will be appearing at the Tenth Planet Big Finish Day 4 event on 18 January 2014.

  • David Richardson (Producer)
  • Nick Briggs (Executive producer; Music)
  • Jason Haigh-Ellery (Executive producer)
  • Ken Bentley (Director)
  • Matt Fitton (Scriptwriter)
  • John Dorney (Scriptwriter)
  • John Banks (‘Daniel Connor’)

Big Finish Day 4
Saturday 18 January 2014
Copthorne Hotel
Windsor, Berkshire

Tickets are available from the Tenth Planet site

Starburst anticipates new Survivors audio adventures

The Starburst web site has published short interview snippets with cast and crew members from the forthcoming new Survivors audio adventures being released by Big Finish in June.

In the brief article, Ian McCulloch suggests to Starburst‘s Tony Jones:

‘I think Terry Nation would have approved of the style of writing and presenting the drama that Big Finish has chosen. They are very much the type of story that Terry would have liked the show to have covered [in the 1970s].’

Lucy Fleming adds:

‘I think the scripts are very well done and the idea behind Survivors is a universal story that makes you think again about what’s really important. The show always made viewers think about the basic practicalities of life as well as enjoying the adventure stories we were making.’

Blue Plaque marks birthplace of Survivors creator Terry Nation

A commemorative ‘blue plaque‘ has been added to the birthplace of Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation, to acknowledge his role as scriptwriter and ‘creator of the Daleks’ (the perennial arch-enemies of The Doctor in Doctor Who).

The plaque, added to the former Nation family home in Fairwater Grove West, Llandaff, Cardiff, was unveiled at a ceremony on 20 November 2013, to coincide with celebrations marking the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who. Terry Nation was born at 113 Fairwater Grove West in 1930. The unveiling was undertaken by Tim Hancock (the nephew of late actor and comedian Tony Hancock, and now responsible for the management of the the Nation estate) and was attended by Nation’s widow Kate.

The successful campaign to have the plaque added to the property was initiated by The Llandaff Society. The unveiling event was covered by the BBC News site, Wales Online, the Doctor Who News site, Living Magazines and many other news services.

Photos (c)

The Terry Nation 'blue plaque' at 113 Fairwater Grove West, Llandaff, Cardiff
The Terry Nation ‘blue plaque’ at 113 Fairwater Grove West, Llandaff, Cardiff
Tim Hancock is joined by a Dalek at the unveiling ceremony
Tim Hancock is joined by a Dalek at the unveiling ceremony
The unveiling event for the new 'blue plaque'  outside 113 Fairwater Grove West, Cardiff
The unveiling event for the new ‘blue plaque’ outside 113 Fairwater Grove West, Cardiff