Big Finish confirm episodes, storylines and cover design for series six of Survivors audios

Survivors - Big Finish - series six - slipcase

Big Finish have released more details of the sixth series of Survivors audio adventures, scheduled for release this June, including titles, writers and summaries for each of the four episodes and the slipcover design, and have released a new series six trailer. Series six of Survivors audio is available for pre-order from the Big Finish web site.

We’ve got more news – and a trailer – for June’s next set of adventures for the Survivors…

In June, Big Finish releases Survivors – Series 6, the latest in an award-nominated run of stories produced as an audio continuation of Terry Nation‘s reflection of a plague-devasted world and the fight for survival for those who are left. Today we can confirm full cast and story details of this four-story set, along with unveiling the trailer:

6.1 Beating the Bounds by Ian Potter

Abby Grant’s search for her son has taken her all across Britain and back. Following every possible lead, she finds herself on long-abandoned roads to forgotten villages.
But now, two years after the first Death, such communities still wish to protect themselves. And they do not take kindly to strangers.

6.2 The Trapping Pit by Christopher Hatherall

On a routine trading mission from Whitecross to Evelyn Piper’s Foundation, Jenny Richards and community doctor Ruth Anderson are ambushed by desperate scavengers.

When the tables turn, an escape attempt becomes a struggle for survival. With a young boy’s life hanging in the balance, Ruth’s skills are put to the ultimate test.

6.3 The Revenge of Heaven by Simon Clark

Greg Preston has forged links with survivors in Norway to start rebuilding society. He’s ready to return home to his family… until an unexpected visitor drags him into a race across the Scandinavian snows.

Hope for the future lies with a kidnapped scientist, and some will go to any lengths to control that hope.

6.4 Lockup by Andrew Smith

As her journey continues, Abby encounters a secure and well-ordered community, based inside a prison complex, calling itself ‘Peacetown’.

But the settlement is not as idyllic as its name suggests, and the lockup harbours secrets. Among them, a prisoner. Someone Abby knows of old… A man called Greg Preston.

Survivors – Series 6 can be pre-ordered today on Download or CD for £20 or £25 respectively. These prices are frozen until the set’s general release at the end of July. If you buy on CD it unlocks a digital version as a Big Finish exclusive, with all digital titles being accessible on the free Big Finish download/playback app available on Apple and Android mobile devices.

Twenty years since the death of Survivors’ creator Terry Nation

Terry Nation

Today (9 March) is the twentieth anniversary of the death of Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation, who died from emphysema in Los Angeles, US on 9 March 1997 at the age of 66.

Nation enjoyed a long and varied career as a scriptwriter and show creator, notable for his contributions to Doctor Who and his work on numerous other TV series throughout the sixties and seventies and into the eighties. As well as creating Blake’s 7, Nation also devised the small-screen post-apocalyptic classic Survivors.

After he relocated to Los Angeles in 1980, Nation tried unsuccessfully to convince a US TV network to remake Survivors for the American TV market. Nation could hardly have imagined what would have become of Doctor Who in the last two decades, but the story of Survivors has also continued to evolve in ways the series’ creator could not possibly have anticipated, including:

  • The release of Survivors on DVD in different formats and packages, and for different regions, in the UK, America, Australia and Italy
  • The arrival of the first commercially published book to explore the genesis and production of the series.
  • The broadcast of a two-series, twelve-episode ‘re-imagining’ of Survivors by the BBC between 2008 and 2010
  • The re-publication in 2008 of his out-of-print 1976 Survivors novel
  • The release of the first ever audio-book version of his Survivors novel by Big Finish in 2014, voiced by Survivors actress Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant)
  • The release of a series of new and original audio-adventures, set in the time and place of the original Survivors TV series, and involving the three original core stars of the show: Carolyn Seymour, Lucy Fleming (Jenny Richards) and Ian McCulloch (Greg Preston). This audio series will result in, at a minimum, 36 new original episodes, with releases (which began in 2013) now confirmed to continue until at least the end of 2018
  • The publication of two book exploring Nation’s talents as a scriptwriter (including his work on Survivors) – Jonathan Bignell and Andrew O’Day. 2004. Terry Nation, Manchester: Manchester University Press; and Alwyn W Turner, 2001 Terry Nation: The Man Who Invented the Daleks, London: Aurum


Posting Letters to the Moon – new dates, new web site

Posting Letters to the Moon - web site

Additional dates have been added to the short tour of Posting Letters to the Moon, and a mini-website has been set up to promote current and future appearances.

In addition to the dates, previously advertised on this site, additional readings of the wartime letters between Fleming’s mother Celia Johnson and her husband Peter Fleming read by Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams have been confirmed:

Sunday, March 5, 2017
Includes a screening of Brief Encounter
£15 per head including refreshments, live performance and film
W: Keswick Alhambra | E: | T: 01768 772195

Ennerdale Bridge CA23 3AJ
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
The Gather Ennerdale Centre
£8 per head (plus book fee) via Eventbrite
E: | T: 01946 862453

Nettlebed Village Club, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 5DD
Friday, 21 April
19.30 for 20.00
Tickets £15 | Please ring Sue on 01189 345 960 for ticket details
Charity Evening to raise money for the Nettlebed Club’s Roof Fund

The Posting Letters to the Moon tour is previewed in Cumbria Life:

Posting Letters to the Moon - Cumbria Life
Image by Angela Jackson.

The reading of Posting Letters to the Moon at The Dukes, Lancaster on 1 March is reviewed on the British Theatre Guide site

Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams come steeped in their own theatrical fame, either from stage, film or TV appearances, or on radio in The Archers. This very week they both also appear in new cinema release The Viceroy’s House, which just happens to be set in New Delhi where her father was stationed.

So she can be excused if her voice just occasionally falters as she reads her mother’s adoring words of love to her father. Some people may think it was just acting, but a sold-out auditorium knew otherwise—and promptly stifled its own sniffles when her husband joked: “Pull yourself together!”

It was that kind of evening, one of sharing in another family’s heartfelt love.

An image from the Getty Images archive, pictures Peter Fleming, Celia Johnson and a young Lucy Fleming in 1955:


The Posting Letters to the Moon tour is covered in:

Carolyn Seymour narrates Jack Gerson’s ‘The Fetch’ for Big Finish


Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant, Survivors) narrates a new audio-book version of Jack Gerson’s thriller The Fetch being released by Big Finish later this month (March 2017). Gerson was the creator of The Omega Factor series (and tie-in novel), and Big Finish will release the second series of audio adventures in The Omega Factor range (starring Louise Jameson and John Dorney) in April.

Big Finish are also releasing an audio-book version of Gerson’s The Evil Thereof, read by Barnaby Edwards.

Producer David Richardson explains : “When we started work on The Omega Factor, Natasha Gerson very kindly sent me a couple of her father’s novels as an example of the kind of stories he liked to tell. And I thought, ‘Why has no one ever done audiobooks of these? And so we have, with two brilliant readers – Carolyn and Barney, who do a magnificent job of leading us through these dark, unsettling mysteries…”


It’s the 1980s and Alistair Matheson is forging a quietly ambitious path in Government. All is going to plan until a brief encounter with a man who looks exactly like him throws Alistair’s ordered world into chaos. As this doppelgänger crosses his path time and again a series of events are set in motion with increasingly disturbing consequences. Is this double a spy? A conman? Or could he be something infinitely more sinister?

Written By: Jack Gerson
Directed By: Helen Goldwyn


Read by Carolyn Seymour

The Fetch is available for pre-order on the Big Finish site, and I’ll be reviewing the release for Starburst magazine.

Both The Fetch and The Evil Thereof can be bought on download for £9.99 each, or collected together in a bundle for £16. If you’re using the free Big Finish Download/Playback App for Android or Apple devices you will be able to listen wherever you are. (Please note these will be large files, and users should be wary of bandwidth usage).

UPDATE, 1 APRIL 2017: My review of Jack Gerson’s The Fetch has now been published in the online edition of Starburst magazine. Of Seymour’s performance, the review suggests that:

Seymour’s reading of Gerson’s prose is simply superb. A performance of complete conviction (that never flags at any point throughout the eight and a half hour running time), Seymour voices the book’s range of characters with impressive confidence. She is just at home with the clipped tones of the officious bureaucrats and politicians as she is with the voices of the oddball, the outsider and the outright disturbing characters that populate the fringes of Matheson’s fast-unravelling world. Seymour invests Matheson with a soft Scottish burr that quietly slides in and out of his speech (just as it would for an aspiring expatriate, eager to advance his position within the Westminster ‘bubble’). Under Helen Goldwyn’s pacey direction, Seymour voices the drama’s chilling and distasteful moments with such restrained finesse that she could clearly bring just the gravitas required to narrate ghost and horror stories.

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UPDATE, 24 APRIL 2017: My review of The Fetch also appears in the print edition of Starburst (#436), now in the shops:

Review of The Fetch in the print edition of Starburst #436

Julie Graham joins cast for series six of Survivors audio dramas

Big Finish has announced (16 January 2017) that Julie Graham, who played the role of Abby Grant in the BBC’s 2008-2010 remake of Survivors, joins the cast for an episode of series six of new Survivors audio adventures. In the story “Revenge of Heaven”, written by Simon Clark, Graham takes on the role of Katherine Tanner in a standalone story that focuses on Greg Preston’s (Ian McCulloch) eventful trip to Norway.

Series six of Survivors audio adventures will be released in June 2017, and is available for pre-order on the Big Finish site. In December 2016, the company confirmed its commitment to releasing (at a minimum) nine series of Survivors audios.

Julie Graham joins Survivors cast for series six

Survivors – series six news

Coming in June, Survivors – Series 6 is the next of Big Finish’s listener-praised audio continuation of Terry Nation‘s 1970s BBC TV show:

“We’re trying something a little different this time,” confirms producer David Richardson, “Each disc is a separate, self-contained story – and I think it’s working beautifully. Set during the third season of the TV show, it allows us to focus individually on our leads Abby (Carolyn Seymour), Greg (Ian McCulloch) and Jenny (Lucy Fleming). Separated geographically, they each face different challenges. But might their paths finally cross again?”

Of particular note in the forthcoming set to Survivors fans is a particular casting. As David explains: “I’ve wanted to work with Julie Graham for ages, and in Simon Clark‘s Revenge of Heaven we had the perfect role for her – Katherine Tanner, an adventurer who helps Greg Preston on his mission in Norway. Needless to say, Julie was fantastic in the part, and it was lovely to sit and chat to her about playing Abby Grant in the re-imagined BBC TV series of Survivors. The show is clearly still very close to her heart.”

Survivors Series 6 is released in June on Download for £20 and CD for £25 – both pre-release prices offering a £5 discount on the price when the set goes on general release later in the year. A CD order automatically unlocks digital access on release.

Check out the entire Survivors range, including the chance for pre-orders on Series 6 through to Series 9, and to catch up with the first five sets, as well as listening to Carolyn Seymour‘s evocative reading of Terry Nation’s original novel. There’s even a free episode – Series 1’s Survivors – Revelation.

Watch this space for more news.

Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams – ‘Posting letters to the moon’ – at Carnforth Station Heritage Centre

Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams appear at the Carnforth Station Heritage Centre Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9TR) on Thursday 2 March at 19:30 to deliver a reading of the wartime correspondence between Fleming’s mother Celia Johnson and husband Peter Fleming.

These letters from Celia to her husband tell of her experiences during the war – from coping with a large isolated house full of evacuated children, learning to drive a tractor, dealing with rationing, occasional holidays in Cornwall where she took to surfing, and all the while acting for David Lean, Noel Coward and starring in the classic film Brief Encounter in 1945.

Not only are the letters highly engaging, but they also provide a fascinating historical insight into that time of true austerity and fearfulness.

Carnforth Railway Station was the filming location for the pivotal scenes in the 1945 film Brief Encounter in which Celia Johnson starred. Tickets for the event (‘Posting letters to the moon’) are £9:00 and are only available from the Centre.

Other performances are scheduled for Wednesday 1 March 2017 (Dukes Playhouse, Lancaster) and Saturday 4 March (Glenridding Public Hall, Glenridding).

Posting letters to the moon - Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams

The Westmorland Gazette carries a short preview of the event:

Brief Encounter actress Celia Johnson’s daughter Lucy Fleming to perform at Carnforth Station Heritage Centre in Posting Letters to the Moon

THE daughter of actress Celia Johnson is to make a special appearance at Carnforth railway station this spring, where her mother filmed famous scenes from Brief Encounter in 1945.

Actress Lucy Fleming and her husband Simon Williams – of Upstairs, Downstairs fame – are to appear in Posting Letters to the Moon, when they will read wartime letters between Lucy’s mother and father, Peter Fleming.

Described as touching and amusing, the letters from Celia to her husband tell of her experiences during the war, from coping with a large, isolated house full of evacuated children, to learning to drive a tractor, dealing with rationing, and all the while accepting offers of work when she could get away – for David Lean, Noel Coward, wartime propaganda films and ultimately in 1945 starring in the classic Brief Encounter.

“It was a joy to discover these letters, and I hope you will find them as funny and moving as I do,” said Lucy, whose uncle was James Bond author Ian Fleming.

The performance is to take place at Carnforth Station Heritage Centre on Thursday, March 2, at 7.30pm. The pair will also be taking their show to the Dukes Playhouse, Lancaster, on March 1, and Glenridding Public Hall on March 4.

Big Finish confirm series eight and nine for Survivors audio dramas

Big Finish have confirmed (21 December 2016) that a further two series of Survivors audio adventures have been given the go-ahead; and will be released in June 2018 (series eight) and December 2018 (series nine) respectively.

Following the release of series five last month, series six and series seven had already been confirmed for release in June 2017 and November 2017.

This excellent news means that (alongside the audio-book version of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel) Big Finish will have created and released no less than 36 original Survivors audio stories by the close of 2018.

Series six, seven, eight and nine are all available for pre-order on the Big Finish web site.

Big Finish - Survivors - Series 2 - four days to go to release...

Flashback to 2015… and a pre-release teaser poster for Survivors series two audios…

Big Finish celebrates reception for Survivors series five audio adventures

Big Finish - Survivors - recording session - December 2016

Big Finish have published an end-of-year round-up of the outstandingly positive reviews that have greeted the release of the fifth series of Survivors audio dramas.

Survivors 5 – A Critics’ Cracker!

We take a look at the critics’ reception of our most recent Survivors release…

(Thanks to David Richardson for this photo from this month’s recording of Survivors – Series 6)

Since its arrival in November, Survivors – Series 5 has received enthusiastic reviews for the four new stories from writers Andrew Smith, Christopher Hatherall and Simon Clark, starring Carolyn Seymour, Ian McCulloch and Lucy Fleming.

Starburst gave the latest release 10/10, saying: “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.”

“All the best box sets work on many levels and this is one of the best – it’s a morality tale, it’s a broken mirror to the world we live in, it’s a character study, it’s a battle of humanity against the virus but more than anything this is the story of Carol Baker. A tale of despair, a tale of hope and a tale of the spirit of humanity both good and bad – and its another classic 10/10,” – Planet Mondas Blog

Sci-Fi Bulletin judged, “Survivors Series 5 is the strongest entry in the franchise so far. It uses a string of excellent guest stars, top class writing and direction to explore the fragile, tenacious hope that powers this world… If you’ve not heard Survivors yet start at the beginning, it’s worth it. If you have, this is the best series yet. 10/10”.

“Survivors offers a challenging listening experience,” says Cultbox, “and this latest season continues to deliver some genuinely shocking moments, not least at culmination of the first episode. Despite its 70’s setting, it also contains some very pertinent parallels surrounding the movement of refugees, and makes us ask the question of how far we ourselves might go in order to survive. 5/5”.

Mass Movement Magazine‘s Tim Cundle concluded his review: “If you are a fan (and if you’re not, then you should really be asking yourself why not and doing your damndest to rectify that as soon as possible) and you are familiar with the series, then you’re going to love every single second of the rapidly unfolding drama that lives at the heart of Survivors Series Five. Survival is everything…”


Until the end of the month, Survivors – Series 5 remains at the frozen pre-release prices of £20 on Download and £25 on CD (in each case going up by £5 from January). Check out the range here, including the four previous series, Carolyn Seymour‘s haunting reading of Survivors by Terry Nation, pre-order prices on next year’s Series 6 and 7, and even a free episode: Survivors – Revelation.

Starburst preview feature of Big Finish Survivors series five – now online

My Starburst feature, previewing the release of series five of Big Finish’s Survivors audio adventures, which appeared in the November print edition of the magazine (No 430), is now available to read (for free) online (the web version was published on 21 November 2016).

These latest episodes also bring to the fore the ‘Whitecross’ community, the centre of operations in Series Two of the TV series, and explore efforts to reconnect the first electricity supplies; one of the central themes of the third TV series. But with the new virus threatening everything and everyone, the finale of the audio Series Five shows how merciless its impact can be. Despite the death toll, with Series Six and Seven now confirmed, Big Finish’s Survivors series is itself clearly in rude and vibrant health.

Starburst - Big Finish - Survivors - preview feature

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