Survivors – BBC TV

The BBC's revival of the classic 1970s post-apocalyptic drama by Terry Nation

Archive for the ‘Terry Nation’ Category

Julie Graham (Abby Grant) returns to world of Survivors – in original series audio

Posted by Rich Cross on January 17, 2017

Julie Graham (Abby Grant, 2008-2010) will return to the world of Survivors later this year when she guest-stars in series six of new Survivors audio adventures (set in the time and place of the original 1970s’ BBC TV series) being released by Big Finish.

Graham features in the sixth series episode “Revenge of Heaven”, one of four standalone stories within the timeline of the third original BBC TV series, playing the character of Katherine Tanner. Graham’s episode focuses on the trip undertaken by Greg Preston (played by Ian McCulloch) to Norway in the hope of bringing hydroelectric power stations back on line and encouraging a new era of trade and federation between the two countries. Series six will be released in June 2017, and is available for pre-order (in both CD and download formats) on the Big Finish site.

Julie Graham is the second cast member from the 2008-2010 remake of Survivors to appear in the Big Finish Survivors audio stories. Zoë Tapper (Anya Raczynski) appeared in series four and series five of the Survivors audio adventures playing the role of former junior civil servant Evelyn Piper.

Five series of Survivors audio adventures have already been released by Big Finish (all of which are available to buy on the Big Finish site), along with a complete audio-book version of the 1976 Survivors novel (which provided the inspiration for the BBC’s 2008-2010 remake of the series). The company has committed to releasing (at least) nine series of original Survivors audios.

Read reviews of every episode released so far across all five series and check out interviews with cast and crew members.

Julie Graham joins the cast of series six of Survivors audios


Posted in Post-apocalyptic, Survivors, Terry Nation | 1 Comment »

Zoë Tapper to return to the world of Survivors – in 1970s-set audios

Posted by Rich Cross on December 2, 2015

Ian McCulloch, Zoe Tapper. Lucy Fleming - Survivors - Big Finish - Series 4
Ian McCulloch and Lucy Fleming (Greg Preston and Jenny Richards, original series) with Zoë Tapper

Zoë Tapper, who played the role of doctor Anya Raczynski in both series of the BBC’s TV remake of Survivors in 2008-2010 will be joining the cast of series four of Big Finish’s new Survivors audio adventures, set in the time and place of the original 1975 TV series.

Like the remake of Survivors in which Tapper co-starred, Big Finish’s Survivors audios are inspired by the work of dramatist and author Terry Nation. But Big Finish’s Survivors adventures return to the 1970s timeline of the original BBC series.

Audio drama producers Big Finish today (2 December 2015) revealed that Tapper would be appearing in the fourth series of Survivors audio adventures, in the role of government official Evelyn Piper “who listeners will first encounter in a flashback to the beginnings of the plague that decimated the globe”.

Recording on series four of Big Finish’s Survivors audio adventures will take place early in 2016, with the fourth series scheduled for release in June 2016 (with series five following in November 2016).

Series three of the Big Finish Survivors audios was released earlier this month, and was greeted with an immediately positive critical reception, and is available to buy in both CD and digital download formats. Series one and series two, and an unabridged audiobook of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel, are all available for purchase from Big Finish. The award-nominated first series opening episode Revelation is available as a free download from the Big Finish site.

Zoe Tapper - Survivors - 2008

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Original Survivors novelisation – review of the audio-book

Posted by Rich Cross on December 23, 2014

Over on the original Survivors (1975-1977) series blog, I’ve just posted a review of the new audio-book version of the 1976 Survivors novel written by the show’s creator Terry Nation. This is the novel that provided the inspiration for the BBC’s remake of Survivors in 2008-2010, and acted as the sourcebook for showrunner Adrian Hodges as he set about crafting his updated vision of a twenty-first century post-apocalyptic Britain.

Voiced by Carolyn Seymour (who played Abby Grant in the 1975 series of Survivors), Big Finish’s new audio-book is a triumph:

As a single-voice, unabridged audio-book, delivered with panache, commitment and believability by one of the original series’ best remembered cast, Big Finish’s latest Survivors offering simply could not be bettered.

The audio-drama company Big Finish released the first series of new adventures (based in the time and place of the original Survivors series) in June 2014, and two further series of new and original audios are scheduled for 2015.

erry Nation - Survivors - Big Finish audio-book

Posted in 1975-1977, Big Finish, novelisations, Post-apocalyptic, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Big Finish to release audio-book version of original Survivors novel

Posted by Rich Cross on September 20, 2014

Audio-drama specialists Big Finish have confirmed their intention to release an audio-book version of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors novel – the book which was the inspiration and source material for the 2008-2010 BBC Survivors TV series. The audio version will be read by Carolyn Seymour (who played Abby Grant in the original 1975 TV version). Survivors: Audiobook of Novel will be released as a 6-disc CD set and as a digital download in December 2014. Both formats are available for pre-order.

Terry Nation’s Survivors novel – new audiobook

Big Finish are pleased to announce a release of the Survivors novel, written by series creator Terry Nation in 1976. Out in December it will be read by Carolyn Seymour – Abby Grant in the 1975 series, a role she reprised in a special appearance in Big Finish’s first Survivors release in June:

A deadly virus spreads across the world as quickly as the passenger jets that encircle it. Within weeks, most of the global population is dead.

The human race is thrown back into the dark ages. The few left alive must rely on the most basic skills to survive one day to the next.

Abby Grant ventures out into a strange new England, her husband dead, the fate of her son unknown. Jenny Richards flees London. Engineer Greg Preston arrives from abroad. Desperate lone travellers come together, their instinct to form a community, even if that means rebuilding civilisation from scratch. But not all who are left have such high ideals…

And while she has the chance of a new beginning, Abby cannot settle until she knows the truth. Has her son survived?

Survivors: Audiobook of Novel is available as a Download or 6-disc CD set, at a special pre-order price held until the end of December.

Survivors  - audio book of Terry Nation's  novel

Following the extremely well received first series of new audio dramas, based on the original TV series, Big Finish has committed to releasing a further two series of new and original audio stories; with series two scheduled for a June 2015 release.

Posted in 1975-1977, Big Finish, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Big Finish release new audio dramas based on original (1975-1977) Survivors

Posted by Rich Cross on June 5, 2014

Audio drama specialists Big Finish have today (5 June 2014) released series one of their new Survivors audio adventures set in the time of place of Terry Nation’s original TV drama (1975-1977). Big Finish say:

WE ARE IMMENSELY proud to announce the release of Terry Nation’s Survivors – Series 1.

The original TV series ran from 1975 to 1977, and portrayed the outbreak of a plague that wipes out most of the world’s population, and told the story of the few people who survived…

Our original audio series begins again with the plague outbreak, introducing new characters before running parallel with that TV show, as Lucy Fleming (Jenny) and Ian McCulloch (Greg) reprise their roles. Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant) also has a cameo role, and will appear in a larger capacity in Series 2.

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…

Series one of the new Survivors audio adventures is available to buy (in CD format or by digital download) from the Big Finish web site. Series two will be released in June 2015.

Find out more about the Big Finish audio dramas from the Survivors: A World Away blog.

Please note: These audio dramas are set in the time and place of the original Survivors (1975-1977) and NOT in the world of the Survivors remake (2008-2010).

Big Finish - Survivors - Series One - CD cover

Big Finish – Survivors – Series One – CD cover

Posted in Big Finish, Series one, Survivors, Terry Nation | 2 Comments »

Trailer for new audio adventures (based on the 1975-1977 Survivors) released

Posted by Rich Cross on March 7, 2014

Big Finish have released the first teaser audio trailer for the new series of Survivors audio adventures, to be released on CD and via digital download in June 2014, and available for pre-order from the Big Finish online store.

The trailer is available to stream online and for free digital download.

Based on the original series of Survivors (1975-1977), this first set of new audio adventures will compromise four stories, featuring new characters and several of the leading characters from the original series.

Find out more about the release from the Survivors: A World Away blog (which focuses on the original series).

Big Finish - Survivors - Series One - CD cover

Big Finish – Survivors – Series One – CD cover

Posted in 1975-1977, Remake, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Blue Plaque marks birthplace of Survivors creator Terry Nation

Posted by Rich Cross on January 5, 2014

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

Posted in 1975-1977, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Remake of Terry Nation’s Blake’s 7 takes new turn

Posted by Rich Cross on August 17, 2013

The tortuous story of the long-running plan to revive and remake Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation’s space drama Blake’s 7 has taken yet another turn this week.

In April 2013 it was announced that FremantleMedia International would produce a 13-episode series remake of Blake’s 7 to be broadcast of the cable channel SyFy. This was to be a ‘re-imagining’ of the original (1978-81) show.

On Thursday 15 August, the Financial Times, BBC News and Digital Spy all reported that these plans had been shelved. Instead it was announced that the revival of Blake’s 7 would now be funded by Microsoft, with the series airing on the Xbox Live service. The London-based Motion Picture Capital company was reported to have taken over responsibility for the show’s development.

Digital Spy suggests the development is “part of Microsoft’s ambition to reposition Xbox as an ‘entertainment hub’, and to directly compete with other online subscription services.”

However, a Freemantle spokesman told BBC News that it was “not aware of any deal” with Microsoft, while both Microsoft and Motion Picture Capital declined to comment. Rights owner Andrew Mark Sewell told BBC News: “When we have news to report, we’ll let everyone know.” It seems clear that position remains far from settled.

Blake’s 7 was the show that Terry Nation created shortly after his departure from the original Survivors at the end of series one in 1975. Later in his career, Nation sought to get an American network to revive Blake’s 7, as he also (unsuccessfully) attempted to do with Survivors.

Posted in Remake, Terry Nation, Transmission | 1 Comment »

Original Survivors (1975-1977) – Big Finish to produce new audio dramas

Posted by Rich Cross on July 9, 2013

Audio-drama genre publishers Big Finish have reached agreement with the estate of creator Terry Nation to produce a new series of audio dramas based on the original Survivors (1975-1977). The first set of four dramas will be released (on CD and through download) in 2014, with a second series following in 2015.

For more details, see the full story on the Survivors: A World Away blog (which focuses on the original series, rather than the 2008-2010 remake).

Survivors (1975-1977) - Big Finish audio

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Terry Nation’s Blake’s 7 finally secures remake treatment

Posted by Rich Cross on April 14, 2013

After a series of false starts stretching over more than a decade, a remake of Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation’s science-fiction space drama Blake’s 7 (1978-81) has finally been confirmed.

The BBC News site reported (10 April 2013) that, with the licensing of the project agreed with the Nation estate, a first series of thirteen episodes had been ordered by the SyFy channel, and will be distributed by FremantleMedia International, and produced by Georgeville TV and Marc Rosen. Initial reports indicate that the series will be written by Joe Pokaski (Heroes, CSI) and directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, GoldenEye).

Freemantle Media has outlined the show’s premise:

The year is 2136, Blake wakes up on one side of the bed. He reaches for the other side. There’s nobody there. As reality sets in, this handsome ex-soldier sits up, and looks at a photo of his wife Rachel. Beautiful. Deceased.

A revolutionary reinvention of the long-running BBC series made in the late 1970s, Blake’s 7 tells the story of seven criminals – 6 guilty and 1 innocent – on their way to life on a prison colony in space, who together wrestle freedom from imprisonment. They acquire an alien ship which gives them a second chance at life and become the most unlikely heroes of their time.

Blake’s 7 was the show that Terry Nation created shortly after his departure from Survivors at the end of series one. Later in his career, Nation sought to get an American network to revive Blake’s 7, as he also (unsuccessfully) attempted to do with Survivors.

Posted in Terry Nation | 1 Comment »

George Baker (Arthur Wormley, original Surivors) dies aged 80

Posted by Rich Cross on October 9, 2011

British actor George Baker (who memorably played the guest-starring role of union president Arthur Wormley in Genesis, the second episode of the original Survivors) has died aged 80 after a short illness (7 October 2011).

Baker enjoyed a long and varied career on the big and small screen, and in the latter part of his career became best known for playing the lead role in the Ruth Rendell Inspector Wexford detective series.

Genesis was written by series creator Terry Nation, and the character of Wormley appears in the 1976 Survivors novel which Nation also wrote. In the 2008-10 remake of Survivors (developed from Nation’s novel) the character of Wormley was reinvented in the guise of junior government minister Samantha Willis (played by Nikki-Amuka Bird) who appeared as a recurring character in both series.

Obituaries for Baker appear in The Guardian and other newspapers, and on the BBC News site.

Posted in Remake, Survivors, Terry Nation | 1 Comment »

Roger Hancock of the Terry Nation Estate dies aged 79

Posted by Rich Cross on June 7, 2011

Roger Hancock (brother of comedian Tony Hancock, and for many years agent for Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation) has died at the age of 79.

Roger was the emeritus head of the Terry Nation estate, and for many years proved himself to be a tough and resolute negotiator, determined to get the best deal possible from anyone seeking to licence any of Terry Nation’s intellectual property – the Daleks foremost amongst that body of work.

The Doctor Who News Page reports:

He was involved in many protracted negotiations with the BBC and others over their use of the Daleks, refusing any use which was thought inappropriate. In July 2004 it was reported that talks between the BBC and Hancock, representing the estate of Terry Nation, had broken down over issues of editorial control and as a result the Daleks would not appear in the relaunched series. An agreement was later reached which saw the return of the iconic monsters to the series.

In 2006, lengthy negotiations between the Terry Nation estate and the BBC over the use of Terry Nation’s 1976 Survivors‘ novel concluded successfully – clearing the way for Adrian Hodges’ revival of Survivors in 2008.

Posted in Survivors, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Audio interview with Nation author Alwyn W Turner

Posted by Rich Cross on May 29, 2011

A new audio interview with author Alywn W Turner, discussing his new book on Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation is now available from Tim Haigh Reads Books. Johnny Mindlin of Green-Shoot explains that in the book: “Alwyn busts the myth of the Daleks’ name and points out that Nation didn’t think much of the Daleks when he first got the job, writing the first season in a week between other jobs. The interview also covers Survivors, Blake’s Seven and Nation’s time with Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Ted Ray, Erik Sykes and other comedy writers.”

Alwyn W Turner – The Man Who Invented The Daleks, The Strange Worlds Of Terry Nation

You may remember Survivors and Blake’s Seven. You may even remember that they were created by Terry Nation. But Terry Nation’s immortality will always be tied up with invention of The Daleks. Alwyn W Turner has written a lively and fascinating account of Terry Nation’s times and career, from his radio days with Ted Ray and Tony Hancock, through the glory years of The Saint, The Avengers and countless others. Tim chased Alwyn through a petrified forest towards a steel-covered city populated by the last few mutant descendants of the human race, while a doomsday bomb ticked its countdown to oblivion, pausing only to chat about why Terry Nation’s television shows got under your skin.

The interview is available to stream online; to download (right-click to Save), and through iTunes

Alwyn W Turner. 2011. The Man Who Invented The Daleks, The Strange Worlds Of Terry Nation. London: Aurum Press is available from Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith and other retailers.

A review of the book will be published on the Survivors: A World Away web site shortly.

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Terry Nation documentary on BBC Radio Wales

Posted by Rich Cross on January 2, 2011

A sixty-minute radio documentary exploring the career of Survivors‘ creator Terry Nation was broadcast on BBC Radio Wales on 25 December 2010 and 1 January 2011.

The BBC Radio Wales web site explains that The Terry Nation Story explores:

How the Welsh writer became the cornerstone of cult television in Britain with creations like Blake’s 7, Survivors, and The Daleks. Nicola Heywood Thomas narrates.

The documentary is available (to UK listeners) on the BBC iPlayer until Friday 7 January 2011.

The documentary features brief excerpts from The Fourth Horseman and Genesis; extracts from the Cult of… Survivors interviews with director Pennant Roberts and Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant); and commentary from author Jonathan Bignell.

Posted in Survivors, Terry Nation, Transmission | Leave a Comment »

Survivors in Total Sci-Fi’s ‘top 100 shows’

Posted by Rich Cross on November 21, 2010

The original Survivors ranks at the paltry position of 54 in Total Sci-Fi‘s rundown of its ‘top 100 Greatest Sci-Fi & Fantasy TV Shows’ published on 15 November.

54) Survivors (1975-77)

A pandemic wipes out modern society as we know it, leaving a small group of people facing life in a desolate Britain in Terry Nation’s downbeat and thought-provoking ‘70s drama. When the show started going in directions he didn’t like, Nation departed and penned a Survivors novel – which became the basis for Adrian Hodges’ not-bad 2008 reinvention.

Posted in 1975-1977, Survivors, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

Author of forthcoming Terry Nation book interviewed

Posted by Rich Cross on September 6, 2010

An interview with Alwyn W Turner, author of a new study of the screen work of Survivors creator Terry Nation has been added to the Survivors: A World Away site.

Also added to the site (which focuses on the original Survivors [1975-1977]):

* A guide to the newly accessible interior Survivors filming locations at Hampton Court, Herefordshire, used in 1975

* A brief appreciation of original series Survivors director Pennant Roberts

* An updated comparative guide to the release of the original three series of Survivors on DVD (Region 1 and Region 2)

Posted in 1975-1977, Survivors, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

New study of the work of Terry Nation

Posted by Rich Cross on August 7, 2010

A new work by author Alwyn Turner will provide a fresh perspective on the televisual works of Survivors creator Terry Nation in the 1960s and 1970s. Due for publication in the spring of 2011, The Man Who Invented the Daleks: The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation, will be the first book-length study of the writing career of Nation since Jonathan Bignell and Andrew O’Day’s Terry Nation (Manchester: Manchester University Press) published in 2004. Publishers Aurum Press announced the publication of Turner’s new study as follows:

The Man Who Invented the Daleks

Sam Harrison of Aurum has acquired The Man Who Invented the Daleks: The Strange Worlds of Terry Nation by Alwyn W. Turner.

Cardiff-born Terry Nation was one of the most successful, prolific and celebrated writers for popular television that Britain has ever produced. His science fiction series Survivors and Blakes 7, from the late-1970s, have been durable cult and critical hits, one being re-made thirty years on and the other constantly rumoured for return, while his villainous creations the Daleks ensured, and at times eclipsed, the success of Doctor Who.

Scheduled for Spring 2011, The Man Who Invented the Daleks will focus on Nation’s work in the 1960s and 1970s, charting a career that also saw him join the legendary Associated London Scripts, become chief writer for a troubled Tony Hancock and play a key role in hit international adventures series such as The Avengers, The Saint and The Persuaders!.

Sam Harrison said: In his acclaimed histories Crisis? What Crisis? and Rejoice! Rejoice! Alwyn has proven himself one of the most stylish and authoritative writers on British popular culture working today. By drawing together the various strands of Terry Nation’s life and career, this book will offer a captivating window onto the creative melting pot without which British television today would look very different.

Anyone who knew and wishes to share their memories of Terry Nation can contact the author at:

Posted in 1975-1977, Survivors, Terry Nation | Leave a Comment »

BBC Four to repeat ‘Cult of… Survivors’ – 16 December 2008

Posted by Rich Cross on December 8, 2008

The well-received 2006 BBC documentary on the original series The Cult of… Survivors is to be repeated on BBC Four at 10.00pm on 16 December 2008. The transmission will follow straight-on from the broadcast of the penultimate episode of the new series on BBC One.

As well as clips from across the three series, the documentary features interviews with Ian McCulloch (Greg), Carolyn Seymour (Abby), Lucy Fleming (Jenny), director Pennant Roberts and scriptwriter Martin Worth.

The documentary is also included as a special feature on the three-series DVD boxset released in November.

Posted in 1975-1977, Cast interviews, Survivors, Terry Nation | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

New edition of Survivors novelisation reaches the shops

Posted by Rich Cross on December 2, 2008

With an official publication date of 27 November 2008, the new edition of the 1976 Survivors noveliation penned by Terry Nation, republished by Orion Books has now reached major highstreet books and online retailers. The press release from Orion announces:

The BBC cult plague drama of the 1970s is finally back in print!

Abby Grant, widowed by the plague, is sustained by hope that her son, who fled his boarding school at the onset, has survived. Determined to construct a new society from the surrounding wasteland, she joins with others to form a commune. The technology and skills of the old life are now obselete and the group must relearn the skills on which civilisation was built.

For Abby, there’s a chance for a new life and love when she encounters James Garland, the fourteenth Earl of Woodhouse, who is engaged in a desperate fight to save his ancestral home. But more importantly, she must find her son.

Written by Terry Nation, who notably created Doctor Who’s mortal enemies, the Daleks. Survivors is a prescient and terrifying vision of a post-apocalyptic world.

A remake of the Survivors television series, starring Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon) and Julie Graham (William and Mary; Bonekickers), premiered on BBC One on 23 November. Set in the present day, the new series is based on the story arc of the novel, rather than that of the previous television series.

Terry Nation's Survivors novel - Orion re-release

Terry Nation's Survivors novel - Orion re-release


Terry Nation. 2008. Survivors. London: Orion Books. ISBN 978-1-40910264-9. £6.99

Posted in novelisations, Survivors, Terry Nation | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Pennant Roberts, original series director, rates the new Survivors

Posted by Rich Cross on November 29, 2008

*** EXCLUSIVE *** Pennant Roberts, who directed numerous episodes of the first and second series of the original Survivors – including the classic opening episode The Fourth Horseman – shares with this blog his initial reaction to viewing the first two episodes of the remake:

“on the whole I enjoyed watching the first episode. Remakes often have a chequered history, but writer Adrian Hodges never permitted his audience to lose the plot. Terry Nation’s storyline was faithfully reproduced, even some of his actual lines recycled. The timing of the remake appears perfect. We find ourselves challenging ‘difficult times’ once more, as Gordon Brown is so fond of saying. What a relief! Things could be far, far worse for us all.

I didn’t enjoy the second episode as much, because it contained more of Terry Nation’s bish-bash-bosh philosophising, which thankfully I was able to avoid first time around. Nevertheless, I’ll be watching the new series to the bittersweet end.”

Pennant Roberts, 28 November 2008

Posted in 1975-1977, Episode one, Episode two, Remake, Reviews, Terry Nation | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

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