Character Review - Abby Grant


The character of Abby Grant takes centre-stage for the whole of the first series of
Survivors. It is through Abby's eyes that we witness 'the death' and the consequences
of this catastrophe and it is this connection with the viewer which makes her the series'
first heroine.

Over the course of just 50 minutes, the events of
The Fourth Horseman transform Abby
from a carefree member of middle class society into a determined survivor, who is ready
to stand up to anyone. This is evidenced by her early run-ins with Wormley and his
cronies. Not only is there a discernible alteration in her character but her appearance from
Genesis on is clearly an important departure for her too. Her long brown locks are traded
for a striking short crop, emphasising the change in her priorities.

As the series progresses we see Abby become ever more resourceful, strong-willed and
resilient, to the point that it becomes difficult to believe that she started the series as a
seemingly traditional housewife.

It is Abby's decisions that drive the events of the first six episodes as she searches for
her son Peter, with the aid of Jenny and Greg. As the series reaches its halfway stage, the
viewer, and seemingly her fellow
survivors, tire of her hopeless quest. From this
point on Abby fuels her energies into the establishment of the first community instead.
It is interesting to note that this was something Greg had attempted to initiate a lot
sooner, as far back as
Gone Away, but Abby had refused to listen and got her way as
usual.

The community set-up sees Abby and Greg form an uneasy leadership alliance which has
its ups and downs as tragedies and unforeseen predicaments occur. During this time Greg
sees Abby as the community's figurehead and himself as the caretaker, but the split is
perhaps less obvious in execution. The pair most notably come to blows in
The Future Hour over the pregnant Laura and in A Beginning over a sick Ruth. It is telling
that Abby wins out on both occasions.

Abby's softer side is explored when she encounters Jimmy Garland in
Garland's War
and
A Beginning. Jimmy's presence allows Abby a break from her decision-making
norm and the dependence of her fellow survivors which often weighs heavy on her
shoulders. With Jimmy, Abby lets down her guard. Their love for each other is
obvious. Both admire each other's strength and yet neither are afraid to show the
other their weaknesses. It is in many ways a perfect match.

Abby's other notable relationship is with Jenny, with whom she goes through a great deal.
On two particular occasions, in
Gone Away and A Beginning, she and Jenny spend time
together discussing the challenges of their new existence and it is obvious that joint
hardships has formed a bond between them.

The last we see of Abby is her return to the Grange with Jimmy, when she hears from
Jenny that Peter may be alive in
A Beginning. By the time the second series has
begun, which is set three months later, we learn that Abby has left the community in
search of Peter. We hear further news of Abby in
The Lights Of London Part 1 when
Penny and Amul convince Ruth to come with them on the pretext of going to see Abby.
It later transpires that Abby had met with them in London, some weeks earlier, as she
continued her quest to find Peter. The London survivors did not think much of her
chances of getting out of London alive, but then they didn't know Abby like we do! Finally
in
Face of the Tiger we learn from Alistair McFadden that Jimmy is trying to locate Abby
again.

Abby's absence is palpable as the series continues into its second series and it is a
great shame that her quest is never resolved on screen. Nevertheless the series had
new avenues to explore and new characters to introduce. However none of these
could hope to match Abby who will always remains THE survivor.

Terry Nation concluded Abby's search for Peter in his Survivors novel, precursoring the
events of the final episode of Blake's 7 by some years, by having Peter gun down Abby.



Other Abby Grant / Carolyn Seymour pages on this site...



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Page last updated: 22nd November 2002    All text Andy Priestner   Screen Captures BBC