Out now – Survivors Crusade audiobook

BIG FINISH HAVE today (30 May 2022) released the new Survivors audiobook Crusade, available for purchase as a digital download from the Big Finish site.

Written by Doris V Sutherland and narrated by Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant) Crusade is set at The Grange settlement during the timeline of the first TV series shortly after the tragedies of the episode Law and Order.

Big Finish press release contains the full story behind this new Survivors audio adventure.


Survivors – Crusade is out now!

The Grange residents are grief-stricken after an out-of-control party lead to a wrongful execution. When strangers turn up to cause chaos, the community is tested to its limit.  

Survivors originally aired between 1975 and 1977 — following a community of survivors in the midst of a global pandemic known as the Death. Now, in a five-hour tale, the grim aftermath of the TV episode, Law and Order, is explored.

Having played the legendary role of Abby Grant on TV and audio since 1975, Carolyn Seymour returns to read this epic audiobook.

Survivors: Crusade, written by Doris V Sutherland, is now available to own as a digital download for just £9.99, exclusively here

The survivors are usually prepared to welcome strangers into their community. But when members of a dangerous sect turn up in a double-decker bus on a crusade, a tense power struggle with a cunning new opponent result in murder and betrayal.

Will Abby be forced to leave her friends and everything they have built in their community? Or can the residents of the Grange discover the importance of their own faith in each other?

NOTE: Survivors contains adult material and is not suitable for younger listeners.

Carolyn Seymour, who’s narrating Survivors: Crusade said: “This script is very different. It brings up some interesting questions for everyone to think about around vital things such as mortality, faith, and what’s right and wrong.

“This required a lot of prep time which was great fun to do – I’ve loved it and have worked really hard on this. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

“This is a lovely follow-on from the audiobooks we’ve already done [in the Big Finish Survivors range] – we’ve done quite a few and they’re all interesting and fabulous. I hope you re-listen to them all and spend hours delving and submerging yourselves into the world of Survivors.”

Survivors: Crusade is now available to own as a digital download for just £9.99, exclusively from the Big Finish website.

Carolyn Seymour narrates the new Survivors audiobook Crusade, released in May 2022

June Brown (Susan, Manhunt) dies aged 95

June Brown as Susan in Manhunt, the opening episode of the third and final series of Survivors

JUNE BROWN, WHO appeared in the opening episode of the third and final series of Survivors, has died at the age of 95.

Brown appears in the role of Susan in ‘Manhunt’, the only episode in the series written by producer Terry Dudley. Susan is a survivor who shares a small settlement with the blacksmith Seth (Dan Meaden) who finds the ill and delirious Jack after he narrowly escapes a wild dog pack on his return from Norway with Greg and Agnes. While Seth makes contact with Charles Vaughan at Challenor, Susan tends to the injured traveller as best she can. The pair then play host to Charles and Jenny, before their two visitors head off in pursuit of Greg Preston hoping to make sense of Jack’s confused account of what awaits them at Wellingham.

Born in Needham Market, Suffolk in 1927, Brown served with the Wrens during World War Two. After the war she was accepted at the Old Vic School in London and subsequently joined the Old Vic company, appearing in touring shows and in productions at Stratford-upon-Avon and the Birmingham Rep. 

WAYMARKER

By the time she was cast in the small guest role in Survivors, Brown had already established a career on the small screen as well as on stage. On TV, she’d appeared in Armchair Mystery Theatre (1964), Z-Cars (1964-72), Dixon of Dock Green (1965-69), The Prince and the Pauper (1976) and many other series.

Amongst fans of genre TV of the period, Brown is especially well-known for playing the role of Lady Eleanor in the Doctor Who story ‘The Time Warrior’ (shown between December 1973 and January 1984).

In 1977, the same year that she featured in Survivors, she also secured guest roles in Crown Court and The Duchess of Duke Street and appeared in a television adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Her role in one episode of Survivors was a minor waymarker in her long career, and was not something that drew much attention (outside of the ranks of Survivors fans) in the years that followed.

Brown continued to win supporting and guest roles in TV series of all kinds, and appeared in numerous stage productions. But it was her audition in 1985 for the role of Dot Cotton in the BBC soap Eastenders that completely transformed Brown’s career.

PANTHEON

Dot was the “chainsmoking, hypochondriac launderette manager of Albert Square”, a role that presented Brown with “a great Dickensian character of detail, humanity and colour” that over time saw Dot secure her place in the “the long-running soap’s female pantheon” (Guardian, 4 April 2022).

Brown would go on to appear in more than 2,300 Eastenders episodes as her character became one of the most fondly-regarded of the show’s ensemble, featuring in any number of major soap storylines. The role won her several industry awards, and Brown was also awarded an MBE in 2008, and an OBE in 2022. Brown retired from the cast of Eastenders in early 2020 at the age of 93.

June Brown: 16 February 1927 – 3 April 2022

Peter Bowles (David Grant, The Fourth Horseman) dies aged 85

Peter Bowles (as David Grant) - The Fourth Horseman - at the Grants home

PETER BOWLES, who played the role of Abby Grant’s husband David in the very first Survivors episode The Fourth Horseman, has died of cancer at the age of 85.

“He was lovely,” Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant) recalled on the episode commentary for the DD Video release of the first series of Survivors on DVD. “He was just wonderful as my husband.”

By the time he was casting for The Fourth Horseman, director Pennant Roberts had been aware of Bowles’ rising stage and screen career for many years. The pair had first met while Bowles had been working at the Bristol Vic in the early 1960s.

Audience expectation

By 1974, when Roberts was looking to cast the role of the home-counties businessman David Grant, he knew he needed an actor with real presence; someone that – despite his character’s privileged social status – TV audiences would identify with. By that time, Bowles “had established himself”, Roberts recalled in 2003. He was “not as established as he became subsequently” but he was an actor that, in 1975, many TV viewers would have recognised.

That was an important consideration, because Terry Nation’s script for The Fourth Horseman deliberately confounds audience expectation about David Grant’s likely fate. The plotline strongly suggests that the ailing Abby might die, while her as-yet unaffected husband could survive the outbreak.

What Bowles captures so well is the sense of displacement that David Grant feels

“To make the story work you had to feel that [he] was another lead actor” on a par with Seymour, Roberts explained. Someone who could become a series’ regular. So when David Grant subsequently dies, his unexpected death “has a real effect on the viewer,” Roberts reflected.

The character of David Grant only appears in a few pivotal scenes before he succumbs to the virus, but Bowles’ performance leaves a memorable impression. As the virus reaches his commuter-belt village, Bowles brilliantly captures David’s rising panic – as his world comes apart, and Abby falls ill. What begins as irritation at a difficult journey home from a disrupted office, ends with David’s desperate attempts to save Abby’s life and his recognition of the full, terrible reality of the pandemic.

INNER-ALARM

What Bowles captures so well is the sense of displacement that David Grant feels. In conversation with Abby at their dinner table, it’s clear he’s attempting to silence his inner-alarm about the worsening situation in the country through denial. By the time he races off into the night to find Doctor Gordon, the businessman – who’s used to being in charge of every aspect of his life – is now struggling in a world in which nothing is any longer under his control. The fact that David dies alone (and unseen) on his living room couch, while Abby battles through the virus upstairs, only adds to the poignancy – and indeed the shock – of his passing.

Born in London in 1936, Bowles would begin his sixty-year acting career by securing a scholarship for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), going on to join The Old Vic Company. It was the start of a lengthy and diverse stage career, which saw Bowles appear in more than 40 productions over the years.

Finely judged comedic performances were balanced by serious dramatic roles

His interest in theatre never diminished, even as he secured success and recognition for his TV roles. One of his final theatrical performances, at the age of 81, was as Father Merrin in a stage version of The Exorcist.

Whilst he enjoyed a low-key career as a movie actor, appearing in films such as The Offence (1972), Try This One For Size (1989) and The Steal (1995), it was his work in television that secured him the most attention.

Good life

Famously turning down the role of Jerry Leadbetter in The Good Life in favour of some more theatre work, Bowles later found fame in TV sit-coms including Only When I Laugh (1979-82), The Bounder (1982-83) and Executive Stress (1987-88). He drew most plaudits for his role as the self-made businessman Richard DeVere in To The Manor Born (1979-2007), alongside Penelope Keith. It remained a hugely popular show throughout its run, consistently attracting huge viewing figures.

But those finely judged comedic performances were also balanced by serious dramatic roles. Building on one-off appearances in a wide variety of TV series in the 1960s, including The Baron, Softly Softly and Take Three Girls (in which Seymour starred), Bowles would go on to take more substantive roles in series such as Rumpole of the Bailey (1979-82), The Irish R.M. (1983-85), Lytton’s Diary (1985-86) and many others. His last major small-screen role was as the Duke of Wellington in Victoria (2016-2019).

Bowles’ impressive acting career saw him take on a varied and contrasting roles over course of six decades, allowing him to showcase his talents in both comedy and straight drama. He was often cast in the guise of the dapper gentleman or the charming professional rogue, but he was always keen to avoid typecasting.

Without in any sense discounting his impressive corpus of work, for enthusiasts of Survivors Peter Bowles will always be indelibly associated with the role of the doomed David Grant. David’s abrupt death comes as a body-blow to Abby Grant, confirming that her former life has gone forever. Like the passing of Jenny Richards’ flatmate Pat, this intimate, personal loss is a potent on-screen metaphor for what is, by the closing credits of The Fourth Horseman, confirmed to be a global human catastrophe.

The final image of the episode shows Abby driving away from the flames consuming the Grants’ home – an improvised funeral pyre for David Grant- and towards whatever life now awaits her.

Bowles’ death was widely covered in the British press, with obituaries appearing in The Guardian, The Mail, The Independent, The Mirror and many other publications.

Peter Bowles: 16 October 1936 – 17 March 2022

Peter Bowles (David Grant) - The Fourth Horseman - meeting Abby at Brimpsfield station.png
Peter Bowles (David Grant) - The Fourth Horseman - meeting Dr Joe Gordon

Ian McCulloch discusses his career on screen at Uni-Versal festival, Aberdeen

IAN McCULLOCH (GREG Preston) will take part in an ‘in conversation’ session at the upcoming Uni-Versal 22 mini-festival hosted by the University of Aberdeen on 5 March 2022.

With this strand of Uni-Versal focusing on the history of film, McCulloch will be reflecting, in particular, on his post-Survivors work on three Italian cult horror movies. Pre-publicity for the event summarises his screen career as follows:

Ian McCulloch is a Scottish actor best known for his performance as Greg Preston in Survivors (1975). In the 1970s and 80s, McCulloch found himself in classics of Italian horror, playing Peter West, the lead male character in Lucio Fulci’s notorious Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979) and also displaying his thespian skills in Luigi Cozzi’s iconic splatter template Contamination (1980).

UNI-Versal Film: In Conversation with Ian McCulloch (Zombie Flesh Eaters)
Room KCF8, King’s College, Aberdeen AB24 3FX
Saturday 5 March 2022 – 20:00-22:30

Tickets: £5.00-£8.00
Tickets became available to purchase online from 10:00 on 1 February 2022.

The session is part of a programme of events that includes Screenwriting with Sergio Casci, Shaken Not Stirred – Bond: Past, Present & Future and a panel discussion on Driving Diversity in the Arts.

UPDATE – 1 FEBRUARY 2022: Organisers have now confirmed that the event will include a screening of the most well-regarded of McCulloch’s three Italian horror movies Zombie Flesh Eaters. As a result, the runtime of the event has now been extended to 22:30.

Uni-Versal - Dark Nights - Ian McCulloch - Zombie Flesh Eaters screening - 5 March 2022

Robert Gillespie launches new book of reminiscences

ROBERT GILLESPIE, WHO appeared in two separate roles in Survivors, is about to publish his second book of reminiscences about “a life in sitcom, TV, film and theatre”.

Gillespie’s first role in Survivors came in 1975 in the third episode Gone Away, when he featured as John Milner – a reluctant member of Wormley’s militia, who is disarmed by Jenny Richards at the Cash-and-Carry stand-off, and who later enables Abby, Greg and Jenny to escape after the gang track down their centre of operations at the church.

Gillespie returned to Survivors in 1977, featuring in three episodes of the third series as Sam Meade, a recovering heroin addict who is determined to prevent the return of power and industry in post-Death Britain. As Charles’ group works to bring the first Scottish hydroelectric station online, would-be saboteur Meade falls to his death in the plant’s inlet turbines.

Two roles

No other actor in the original Survivors appeared in two completely distinct and unconnected roles.

Gillespie’s new book Are You Going to do That Little Jump?, is a sequel to a first volume of recollections from a supporting and character actor’s life and career published in 2017. “Robert was pleased enough with sales to launch part two which picks up where part one left off,” his publicist explains. “Part one was mostly about theatre, but part two has more of a focus on TV and film” and in particular his career in sitcom.

This new volume does include a “passing reference” to Gillespie’s work on Survivors and a photo of him as Sam Meade. “His memories of the production are hazy”, the publicist concedes, “but he does talk about going down a live mine shaft whilst on location.” That would have been during the production of The Enemy, the first episode in which Meade’s character appears.

Book launch

As part of the promotional campaign, Gillespie is hosting a “big bash book launch” featuring “chats, clips and Q&As” at 19:00 on 6 October 2021. Advanced registration for the event is available online.

Ordering details for Are You Going to do That Little Jump? will be available shortly. “Robert is launching a new website very soon,” the publicist explains. It is anticipated that the book will be available for sale direct from Gillespie’s site. The new website will also offer “extensive archive material” from across the actor’s decades’ long career.

Robert Fyfe (Phillipson, Gone Away) dies aged 90

ROBERT DOUGLAS FYFE, who appeared in the third episode of the first series of Survivors, has died at the age of 90.

Fyfe became best known to TV viewers for his longstanding role as the timid lothario Howard in the BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine. Fyfe first appeared in a stage production of the show in 1984. The following year, Fyfe joined the regular TV cast, and remained part of the series’ ensemble until the final episode broadcast in 2010.

Born in Scotland in 1930, Fyfe’s TV career began in the early 1960s with small roles in shows like The Big Pull (1962) and Moonstrike (1963). It was a pattern that continued through the sixities and into the early 1970s. He secured one-off appearances in The Onedin Line (1971), The Regiment (1972) and The View from Daniel Pike (1972) and many other series.

In keeping

Fyfe’s single episode turn in Survivors was very much in keeping with his pattern of working at that time. In the early 1980s, he would appear in one-off roles in series including Angels (1980), Third Time Lucky (1982) and Jury (1983). Being cast in Last of the Summer Wine was a career-changer for Fyfe, who would go on to appear in 230 episodes of the sitcom.

The role would open up new opportunities for Fyfe, who would secure a recurring role in No Strings (1989), a short run in Coronation Street (2012) and minor and supporting roles in the films Burke and Hare (2010), The Decoy Bride (2011) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016).

Fyfe (pictured right, above) appeared in Survivors episode Gone Away (1975) in the role of Phillipson, a survivor who has a brief confrontation with Tom Price after the young boy in his care helps himself to a chicken that Price has shot dead at an abandoned farm that he looted.

Taking shelter

Price chases the boy down a hillside to a make-shift encampment where the young lad and Phillipson are taking shelter. “The boy needs food,” Phillipson pleads when Price attempts to take the chicken carcass back.

Price is soon scared off when Phillipson raises the risk of infection, warning him that the pair may by typhoid carriers. Price leaves, abandoning the chicken (and the ailing human pair) to their fate. When he later discusses the encounter with Greg, he portrays himself as a selfless and merciful individual who willingly gave up the bird on the basis of greater need.

When Abby learns that the young lad was a schoolboy, of about her missing son’s age wering a blazer, she insist on visiting the site with Jenny and Greg. When Greg discovers that both Phillipson and the boy have died, Abby is both distressed and relieved to discover that the dead child is not Peter Grant.

As Phillipson corpse was not shown on screen, Fyfe was not required by director Terence Williams for the night shoot. His is a very brief appearance in Survivors, but Fyfe’s peformance in Gone Away hits just the right combination of desperation and resignation. In terms of the wider concerns of the series at the point, Phillipson’s fate serves to reinforce the theme that immunity from The Death is no guarantee of survival in its aftermath.

Robert Fyfe (25 September 1930 – 15 September 2021)

Morris Perry – an actor’s life

THE RESPECTED CHARACTER actor Morris Perry, who died on 19 September 2021 at the age of 96, enjoyed a long and diverse career on television and on the stage.

Fans of Survivors are likely to know Perry best from his extraordinarily well-judged performance in the third series episode Mad Dog as the misanthrope former academic Dr Richard Fenton. But this kind of exemplary character acting was the signature of a small-screen career that spanned several decades.

On TV, Perry was rarely – if ever – awarded “leading man” status. But he excelled in those supporting and guest roles that required presence, substance and intellectual or emotional intelligence – and, when the script required it, a sense of controlled menace.

Television remained a perennial feature of Perry’s working life. But while TV acting gave him the most national exposure, it was love of the theatre that shaped Perry’s career more significantly. “There’s no doubt the theatre is much more interesting, most of the time,” he reflected later.

Stage and screen

Born on 28 March 1925 in Bromley, Kent (as Frank Morris Perry), as a young man he learnt his acting craft at The Old Vic Theatre School, “one of the most successful and well-respected conservatoire drama schools in the UK”. In 1953, Perry married the British actress Margaret Ashcroft. The couple had four children, and remained together until Ashcroft’s death in 2016.

After graduating from The Old Vic, Perry began a career that combined work on stage and screen. In the theatre, Perry pursued his deep interest in the writings of Shakespeare, appearing in numerous productions of The Bard’s work.

He excelled in those supporting and guest roles that required presence, substance and intellectual or emotional intelligence

In the late 1950s, Perry appeared in minor and supporting roles in a number of TV productions, including The Man Who Was Two (1956), Charlesworth at Large (1958) and The Life and Death of Sir John Falstaff (1959). During the 1960s, Perry continued to feature in similar one-off appearances in TV shows, including Sergeant Cork (1964) and The Protectors (1964).

But he had also begun to secure more substantial small-screen commissions. In 1964, he appeared as Baron Danglars, the instigator of the plot to frame Dantès for treason, in a BBC serialisation of The Count of Monte Cristo, adapted from Alexandre Dumas’ novel. He took the role of Dr. Heddle in the 1966 BBC serial Lord Raingo, an adaptation of Arnold Bennett’s fictionalised account his wartime government service, which starred Kenneth Moore; and in 1967 appeared as the Reverend Philip Nyren in the serial Witch Hunt, a story of pastoral isolation threatened by the spectre of the black arts.

Recurring TV roles

During the 1970s, Perry’s TV career reached a new peak, with substantial and recurring roles in shows such as the police serial Special Branch (1969-1970), Doctor Who (“Colony in Space”, 1971), The Sweeney (1975-1976), and Secret Army (1979). “Around that period I did quite a lot of telly,” he remembered later. “So you’re sort of ‘known’ by people”, he suggested – most usefully by television producers and directors.

One such TV director Michael Briant, who hired Perry to appear in “Colony in Space”, said of his passing: “he was such a powerful man both physically and mentally. I liked and admired him greatly.”

Morris Perry was 52 when director Tristan de Vere Cole hired him to appear in one of the three episodes of the third series of Survivors he had been commissioned by producer Terry Dudley to deliver. The world-weary, cynical and dismissive former academic Doctor Richard Fenton, instrumental to every strand of the fabric of Mad Dog, was a first-class creation. A superbly crafted role, Fenton was gifted with finely honed dialogue throughout what was arguably writer Don Shaw‘s most accomplished script for the show. Yet it was Perry’s acutely observed portrayal of this most cynical of hermits that made his single appearance in Survivors so memorable and so impactful.

“At the time I hadn’t seen any episodes of the series”, he recalled many years afterwards. “I watched some later and it appealed to me. It’s a rich theme – humanity released from its usual restraints in a melancholy English landscape.”

Everyone involved with the (wholly location based) production of Mad Dog acknowledges that it was a tough and demanding shoot – with cast and crew required to work on day and night shoots in the wilds of the Derbyshire Peak District in the depths of a freezing winter. Leading man Denis Lill (Charles Vaughan) later recalled that the episode was “one of the most exhausting jobs I have ever done” with physical demands that were akin to “living on an assault course”.

Perry’s acutely observed portrayal of this most cynical of hermits made his single appearance in Survivors so memorable

But alongside Lill, Perry had an especially demanding time of it – required to depict the suffering of a rabies carrier in the full throes of contagion; to be bound and dragged prone through slush and snow; to be drenched in icy water; and finally to collapse to the freezing mud after Fenton is shot and killed.

When Shaw visited the shoot at Monsal Dale and Ilam, he was deeply impressed by Perry’s uncomplaining commitment to the demands of the role. When he met him again, during one of Perry’s appearance in a production of Shakespeare at Stratford, he reminded him of the challenges of the shoot. “My god, you were hours being dragged around by a horse in the snow… supposed to be suffering from rabies – you must have been absolutely frozen.” Shaw remembers that Perry was sanguine. “‘Well’, he said, ‘it comes with the job – you do it.'”

An agreeable shoot

When talking to fans, Perry was keen to downplay any sense that the actors suffered the privations of the cold on Mad Dog. “They usually have blankets standing by for that kind of thing,” he explained. “There are members of the crew who dash after you as soon as you’ve stopped filming and throw things over you – and your horse! And then take them away again before you’re on to the next take.” While he did accept that “it was good to get back to the hotel where I remember low rafters and real blazing fires”, his abiding memory of working on Mad Dog was that he “found it very agreeable.”

In August 2005, at the age of eighty Morris Perry was reunited with director Tristan de Vere Cole at a sound studio in London to record an audio commentary for Mad Dog, for inclusion in the special features of the DDHE DVD release of the third series of Survivors. The following day, Perry joined the cast of his next London-based theatrical production to continue working.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to moderate that Mad Dog commentary session, and was greatly impressed by the detailed reminiscences of both these Survivors‘ alumni of a one-week shoot that they were involved with some 28 years earlier. It was such a pleasure to be able to contribute, in a small way, to the creation of a ‘time capsule’ of memories of what, for many fans of Survivors, is one of the most highly regarded episodes of the show’s three year run.

Perry’s theatre work continued unabated in the decades following Survivors, over time eclipsing his more infrequent TV appearances. “I haven’t done much telly lately,” he noted in a letter from the late 1990s. “I seemed to be into priests and judges for a bit but that’s dried up.” At the same time, theatrical roles, large and small, continued to draw his interest. “I did my second King Lear recently at The Tabard,” he explained in the same correspondence. “Currently, I’m doing a butler in An Ideal Husband at The Old Vic.”

Perry was keen to downplay any sense that the actors suffered the privations of the cold on Mad Dog

Throughout this, his close attention to the nature of the actor’s craft remained keenly in focus. Reflecting on roles in The Merchant of Venice and The Honest Whore at the signature Globe Theatre in 1998, he observed: “It’s important to get really prepared to go on stage, getting the mind right. It means getting your imagination into a state that is responsive. You probably need to be much more alert than usual.” 

Perry’s intellectual curiosity, and in particular his fascination with words and language, continued through his eighties and into his nineties. “He’s the kind of chap who is… learning Latin and Ancient Greek in his spare time”, Toby Hadoke noted, when promoting a podcast interview with Perry in 2016.

Those who worked with Morris Perry are most likely to recall a gregarious actor possessed of talent, quiet professionalism and a warm and self-effacing demeanour. To return to the words of Don Shaw, Morris Perry can quite properly be remembered as a: “Great trooper, wonderful actor, and a delight to work with.”

Morris Perry (28 March 1925 – 19 September 2021) 

Morris Perry (Fenton, Mad Dog) dies aged 96

Tristan de Vere Cole and Morris Perry at the Survivors series three DVD special features studio day in 2005

MORRIS PERRY, THE celebrated theatre and television actor who played the role of the misanthrope Dr Richard Fenton in the acclaimed third series Survivors episode Mad Dog, has died at the age of 96.

Expressing his sadness of Perry’s passing, Toby Hadoke praised him as: “A very subtle actor with presence and elan, memorable in so much excellent TV.”

An appreciation of the stage and screen life of Morris Perry will be published on this site in the next few days.

Photo: Director Tristan de Vere Cole (left) and actor Morris Perry reunited at a London studio in 2005 to record an audio commentary track for the episode Mad Dog for inclusion in the DDHE DVD release of the third series of Survivors. Credit: Rich Cross

Cast and story details confirmed for Survivors: New Dawn 1 audio

BIG FINISH HAVE confirmed full cast details for the forthcoming new Survivors audio boxset Survivors: New Dawn 1. More details about the plot of each of the three stories in the set have also been released.

A new press release from the company confirms that the New Dawn series sees Abby Grant and Jenny Richards “reuniting fifteen years after they parted ways, as they face a renewed fight for survival against foes old and new.”

“The brief was to set our stories several years after the end of the last audio series, some twenty years after the Death first devastated the world,” explains scriptwriter and series script editor Andrew Smith. “It’s been so interesting to add this extra development to the series, and to place our characters in settings where society is beginning to knit together again, with a few of the trappings of everyday life restored. We’ve imagined how Britain –and to some extent the rest of the world – would look after all that time.”

“The New Dawn of the series title signifies that this is a time of hope for our characters and for the wider population, particularly with the imminent prospect of democratic elections in Britain. But that future is more uncertain, and society is less orderly, than many believe. There’s still lawlessness and corruption, and people being terrible in true Survivors fashion – and we’ve stuck Abby Grant and Jenny Richards right in the thick of it.”

Smith – is an experienced writer for Survivors on audio, who most recently scripted Conflict, the closing episode of series nine of the original Big Finish audio run – is delighted at the series’ return.

“It’s been a treat to return to the world of Survivors, which has always been one of my favourite Big Finish writing gigs,” he says.

The newly released New Dawn 1 plot summaries introduce the stories of Tethered, My Generation and Behind You.

Survivors: New Dawn 1

The world has ended. The pandemic crossed continents, sparing only a fraction of the global population. The survivors are now trying to pick up the pieces and rebuild society to create a new future. But with only a handful of towns and cities starting to rise from the ashes, and governance and law-making in a fragile, fledgling state, everyone must start over. And the worst of human nature has survived along with the best.

Abby Grant and Jenny Richards return to an England devastated by disease, and face a renewed fight for survival…

1.1 Tethered

Abby Grant is heading home on a tragic mission when she meets an apparent Good Samaritan, who may be nothing of the sort. And in Cambridge, the seat of the New Federal Government, the Prime Minister tasks Law Minister Jenny Richards with a secret assignment. Both women soon find themselves in deadly peril.

— Written by Andrew Smith

1.2 My Generation

Abby is on the run, and Jenny risks her future to protect her. An old friend, Jackie Burchall, is also eager to help. But when Abby falls in with an activist group called The Veil, it jeopardises everyone.

— Written by Katharine Armitage

1.3 Behind You

Abby remembers Leonard Cross as the awful children’s entertainer who came to one of her son’s birthday parties before the Death. She doesn’t expect to find herself relying on him as she recovers from injury and tragedy. And he may be even more awful than she knows…


— Written by Roland Moore


Big Finish have also confirmed the full cast details for the series, which are as follows:

Survivors: New Dawn 1 will be released in November 2021 and is currently available for pre-order, in both CD and digital download formats, from the Big Finish site.

Survivors: New Dawn 2 will be released in February 2022 and is also available for pre-order. Both releases can also be pre-ordered, in both formats, as part of a Big Finish bundle.

Out now – Carolyn Seymour: In Conversation

BIG FINISH HAVE today (6 April) released, in digital download format, Carolyn Seymour: In Conversation – a two-hour conversation between the celebrated genre actor and voice artist and interviewer Toby Hadoke.

A new Big Finish press statement announcing the release gives more details:

Released today is an in-depth conversation about the life and career of Carolyn Seymour, an actress of renown in the UK and the US and best known to Big Finish listeners as Abby Grant in Survivors. Now she sits down to talk to Toby Hadoke about her astonishing career and life outside of the spotlight, unfiltered and unvarnished. 

This is the latest release in the incredibly popular Big Finish in Conversation series, where listeners get the opportunity to spend quality time in the company of their heroes, exploring their life stories in frank detail. 

Big Finish in Conversation: Carolyn Seymour is now available as a digital download for just £7.99, exclusively HERE!

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. 

Carolyn Seymour said: “I have always hated giving interviews, and always, in my effort to be diplomatic, my words would be twisted into some kind of other person’s thoughts. This interview isn’t like that! I didn’t have to worry about that with Toby, so he asked the questions, and I gave him the answers, unedited and totally frank. What you get is purely and simply me. I hope that you get to know me a little, I hope that I don’t seem as distant as I might have done. My life has been full, challenging, sometimes a joy, and other times not so much… but work has always saved my soul. I thank [Big Finish senior producer] David Richardson for helping me to heal, and listening to my myriad stories with patience and humour!” 

David Richardson added: “I first noticed Carolyn Seymour when I was 14 years old – her performance as Abby Grant in Survivors made me take notice. Abby was, without a doubt, one of the first strong roles for women on TV. And from there I carried on watching Carolyn’s amazing work through her career – over to America, playing such memorable characters on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, Quantum Leap… so many, many shows. I never dreamed I’d be lucky enough to work with her, or even better to know her as a friend, but in 2014 I was able to track her down to France, and over the last seven years she has become a regular player at Big Finish.  

“I know, from sitting in the green room with her, that Carolyn has the most fascinating life stories to tell. It’s a rich and sometimes dark journey – but here she shares it with Toby Hadoke without varnish. She calls herself an open book, and this is a book you won’t be able to put down. This time spent with Carolyn Seymour is time well spent indeed.” 

Big Finish in Conversation: Carolyn Seymour is now available as a digital download for just £7.99, exclusively HERE!

This release contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.