AUDIO REVIEW: SURVIVORS / AUTHOR: TERRY NATION / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / STARRING: CAROLYN SEYMOUR / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
In the 1970s, Terry Nation brought the show Survivors to the BBC and a novel was also released. The book was reissued in 2008 with a cover taken from the BBC remake; the content was unchanged. Big Finish has just released an audiobook read by Carolyn Seymour (Abby Grant in the original TV series). This supplements their recent and newly written Survivors boxset, and two more are expected in 2015.
The release covers six discs and is split (unevenly) into three books. The first book follows the first TV series closely, with the second book covering more time but also bringing in themes from the TV show. The final book takes the story in a very different direction and ends with a twist that links to a second book, Genesis of a Hero by John Eyers. The action revolves around Abby Grant and her attempts to both find her son Peter and to create and maintain a community of survivors of a plague that wipes out most of the world’s population.
The style is mostly action-focussing but also adds several reflective passages, giving a broader sense of future history. In style this has the same gritty darkness as Death of Grass, though covers several timeframes from the immediate aftermath of the plague to many years later. It is not just the story of individual survival, but also the meaning of society and culture in terms of survival over the medium and long term. It is impossible to listen without imagining how it would be live in the post-apocalyptic world of 1970s England.
The writing is also a time capsule of the 1970s. There is much smoking of cigarettes and a tendency to drop in product names as shorthand for better prose (e.g. brands of car to tell you about Abby’s husband). This is also a pre-mobile/tablet/Internet world! For some reason, the writing also uses American words such as gas for petrol and sidewalk for pavement.
Carolyn Seymour reads well and does several voices to characterise many characters. Between her reading and Neil Gardner’s direction, it is easy to get drawn into the story. The result is in some ways better than the book on its own, in terms of providing access to the narrative and entertainment.
Terry Nation is well known for his contributions to Doctor Who, creating Survivors and also Blake’s 7. He may not be the most noted of writers but his style is very visual and suits the audiobook format well. This release offers excellent value to any fan of the original series or anyone who has ever wondered about the end of the world.
SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG
Find your local STARBURST stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. For our digital edition (available to read on your iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Samsung and/or Huawei device - all for just £1.99), visit MAGZTER DIGITAL NEWSSTAND.
CLICK TO BUY!
MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB: