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 the 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.