Known best to Big Finish listeners as Abby Grant in Survivors, Carolyn Seymour is an actress who is equally at home in a Hollywood blockbuster, a British cult comedy or drama series. She played Jenny in Take Three Girls, Zita in the Steptoe & Son movie, and starred on the silver screen alongside Peter O’Toole, Albert Finney and Michael Keaton in a career that has lasted five decades.
Now she opens up in an exclusive two-hour interview with writer, actor and comedian Toby Hadoke, talking with openness and honesty about her astonishing career and life outside of the spotlight.
I knew Carolyn would be interesting but was thrilled by her openness, her refreshing honesty and the way she was happy to field any question I wanted to throw at her. She’s definitely a survivor. This may be a one woman show – and what a woman – but there are a host of supporting players and she brings them all to life; from HG Wells (well, bits of him) to Terence Dudley via Michael Bryant and Peter O’Toole. The time we spent chatting just flew by.
A FOUR-PAGE FEATURE on Survivors, that includes comments from Carolyn Seymour, Lucy Fleming and Ian McCulloch, appears in the November issue of SFX magazine.
Written by Steve O’Brien, who’s recently published articles on the 2008-10 Survivors remake in The Guardianand SFX, the piece attempts to summarise the history of the original series forty-five years on from its original transmission.
Those with a reasonable knowledge of Survivors won’t learn much that’s new from the feature, which includes several familiar anecdotes and quotations. There is a tiny bit more on Seymour’s departure from the show, on Terry Nation’s relationship with Terry Dudley, and on McCulloch’s abortive remake attempt, but no major new insights.
O’Brien does introduce what might be a new example of the third journalistic faux pas listed in the How to Annoy a Survivors Fan spotter’s guide (‘Make lazy, repetitive and ill-informed comparisons between Survivors and other shows’) . He describes the Whitecross era as pulling the series ‘more in the direction of Countryfile than Mad Max.’
In a short interview with David Richardson, the producer of the Big Finish Survivors audio range confirms that there are currently no plans for further instalments. With Big Finish’s run of full-cast Survivors audios coming to an end with the ninth series, there were some hopes that the show might continue on audio in the form of single-voice audio books – a transition that some other properties in the Big Finish range have made. That possibility now appears to be ruled out.
A NEW eBOOK published today by the Divergent Wordsmiths team, celebrating twenty years of creative audio work by Big Finish, includes a chapter on the company’s acclaimed nine series of original Survivors adventures.
Written by Rich Cross, the editor of the Survivors: A World Away site, the short chapter recounts the development, release and reception of the 36 new Survivors audio dramas released between 2013 and 2019.
Other chapters in the book focus on Big Finish’s Torchwood, Doctor Who and other related releases.
MY REVIEW OF the ninth and final series of the current run of Big Finish’s original full-cast Survivors audios has now been published on the Cultbox site.
The review concludes:
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.
THE NINTH AND concluding series of full-cast original Survivors audios has been released by Big Finish today.
The fourth episode final series is available to buy (in both CD and download formats) from the Big Finish website.
To celebrate the nine series’ achievement, Big Finish are offering discounts on several of the earlier series – with series one available from £8.99 (download) and £9.99 (CD); series two to six available for £12.49 (download) and £14.99 (CD); and the Survivors audiobook (voiced by Carolyn Seymour) available for £7.99 (download) and £9.99 (CD).
These offers are in place until 23:59 (UK time) on 1 July 2019. To take advantage of these discounts, visit the Survivors – The End?discount page on the Big Finish site and enter the code JENNY.
IN THE LATEST issue of Big Finish’s free-to-download full-colour magazine Vortex, the Bookclub feature turns the clock back to June 2014 and revisits the release of the first series boxset of original Survivors audios.
As a selected Bookclub title, the first four episodes of Survivors are currently (June 2019) on offer to purchase as a digital download for the reduced price of £9.99. Follow the link in Vortex to take advantage of the offer, and head over to The Big Finish Bookclub group on Facebook to join the discussion.
TODAY’S BIG FINISH podcast (19 May 2019) includes the first short clip from the nine and final series of original Survivors audios released next month by Big Finish.
Presenters Benji Clifford and Nick Briggs incorporate the brief extract in the round-up of upcoming releases (eighteen minutes into the podcast). The clip, which mixes the contents of two separate scenes, features the voices of characters Abby, Jenny, Ruth, Craig and Robert.
Introducing the extract, Briggs acknowledges that he has to fully complete the musical soundtrack he is scoring for the four episodes, although he insists that he is “not behind schedule” with the work.
Big Finish have yet to make an public announcement as to how the company might continue to produce Survivors material once series nine has been released. In the podcast, Briggs mentions in passing that “although it’s the end of the full-cast [Survivors] dramas for the moment, for the foreseeable future” that “there will be continuing audio books”.
If this is subsequently confirmed by an official statement it would mean that Big Finish are committing to releasing single-voice audio stories based in the Survivors world and narrated by actors from the series.
The ninth and final series of Big Finish’s full-cast Survivors audios is released in June 2019 and is available to pre-order in both download and CD formats, direct from the Big Finish web site.
THE LATEST ISSUE of Big Finish’s free magazine Vortex includes a preview of the upcoming ninth and final series of original Survivors audios.
In the fully-illustrated four-page feature, Survivors producer David Richardson explains:
We knew we were reaching an end point with the full-cast Survivors stories – we’ve run for nine box sets of 36 episodes (that’s just two short of the TV series), and the longevity of a series is only guaranteed by sales. There’s a law of diminishing returns with any audio series, and so we felt that by the ninth box set it would be best to conclude our ongoing storyline. It was great to have that notice, to be able to plan for a proper, final end. And I think the end is perfect – powerful, credible and with maybe a hint of a beginning too.