Paul Darrow died in June of this year and generation of fans mourned. The Surrey born actor appeared in two Doctor Who stories – as Captain Sam Hawkins in 1970’s Doctor Who and the Silurians and opposite the Sixth Doctor Colin Baker in Timelash. But he is best remembered as Kerr Avon in popular BBC Sci-Fi series Blake’s 7.
A highly intelligent computer expert, Avon was introduced in the second episode of the series by former Dalek creator Terry Nation. Avon would go on to appear in all the remaining episodes of the show’s four seasons. Darrow’s performance made for fascinating viewing. Avon was mysterious. An air of the psychopathic combined with an acidic wit. His interactions with archvillainess Servalan also made for electric television. In the dramatic climax to the finale, Blake, Avon is the last one seen standing. Smiling with bodies at his feet as the credits begin to roll. Unsurprisingly, such was the strength of his performance, Darrow would feel permanently associated with the character even after the series had ended.
This next month Darrow’s last performance as Avon will be released by Big Finish. Blake’s 7: Restoration Part 2 is set during the third BBC TV series, as Avon takes on the role as the leader of the Liberator and her crew. Also returning for this boxset are Jan Chappell, Michael Keating and Steven Pacey with Alistair Lock as the voices of computers Orac and Zen, and Yasmin Bannerman as Dayna. Dayna was original played by Josette Simon.
Producer and director, John Ainsworth said: “As with the first series this box set will be a mix of action and adventure, and the relationships between the Liberator crew will be sorely tested by the desperate situations that they find themselves in. Our aim, as always, is to make our stories as authentic to the original TV series as possible while exploring the characters in greater depth than ever before.”
There will be another boxset released in February 2020 – Restoration Part 3 where Avon’s character will not appear. Big Finish will continue to create Blake’s 7 but there are no plans to recast Avon with a new actor.
Blake’s 7: Restoration Part 2 will be released in November 2019 and is available for pre-order now from £24.99 at www.bigfinish.com
Blake’s 7: Restoration Part 2:
The battle-damaged Liberator is a doomed ship, and Avon must resort to desperate measures to effect repairs. Meanwhile, the new President has ambitious plans to restore the Federation and extend his ruthless control of thousands of worlds.
The New Age by Mark Wright
The dying Liberator arrives in orbit of Eloran, a world Avon believes could offer respite from their current trials. All that stands in the way is a primitive society, a charismatic leader and the fracture lines threatening to destroy the crew from within.
Happy Ever After by Steve Lyons
The people of Zareen have seen the future. Their queen will be married to a handsome stranger, and they will enjoy a blissful life together. So how can Tarrant possibly refuse…?
Siren by Sophia McDougall
In the wreckage of a ruined world, Dayna and Cally encounter Mida and Veskar, who must escape the attention of those who once ruled them. Although defeated, the System still seeks to take control.
Hyperion by Trevor Baxendale
Avon must convince the mysterious Selene to reveal the secret of Hyperion and save the Liberator – but the Federation is closing in on the crew, and what Selene knows could change everything…
BLAKE’S 7: RESTORATION PART 2
- Duration: 300 minutes approx.
- Released: November 2019, exclusively from the Big Finish website.
- Director: John Ainsworth
- Producer: John Ainsworth
- Written by: Trevor Baxendale, Steve Lyons, Sophia McDougall, Mark Wright
- Script Editor: John Ainsworth
- Series Theme by: Dudley Simpson
- Executive Producers: Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery