It’s a meeting of criminal minds in The Worlds of Blake’s 7: Avalon 2, due for release in June 2021

Surprise! It’s Bayban, back a little earlier than you might have been expecting. As a juicy appetiser to his own box set, due for release in December 2021, Colin Baker’s man at the top of the Federation’s most wanted list (after Blake, of course) bursts back onto audio. And he’s in for an audacious adventure with an uneasy ally – Avalon. As previously announced, Olivia Poulet returns as the rebel leader who first appeared in the TV episode Project Avalon, originally played by Julia Vidler. Olivia first took on the role of Avalon in the 40th anniversary audio special Blake’s 7: The Way Ahead in 2018. Colin Baker, of course, was the original Bayban on TV, in classic Blake’s 7 episode City at the Edge of the World.

But Avalon has to contend with more than just Bayban. Thieves, killers, mercenaries and psychopaths all feature in the climactic box set of her saga. The closing episode, Heart of Ice, also features the return of two fan favourites. Stephen Greif reprises his role as scheming strategist Travis, a role which he has played on television and audio, and Hugh Fraser returns as the Federation President, whom he has voiced since the 2014 audio adventure Cold Fury.

 

Colin Baker returns to the role of Bayban the Butcher for Avalon 2 (c) Tony Whitmore Blake's 7
Colin Baker returns to the role of Bayban the Butcher for Avalon 2 (c) Tony Whitmore

“The scene chewing Bayban is … good at what he does!”

Colin Baker described how the arch criminal is completely different from his more familiar guise as the Doctor. “Bayban the Beserker, Bayban the Butcher, Bayban the Bold, Bayban the Bad, Bayban the Everything Beginning with B apart from Benevolent! The scenery-chewing Bayban is deemed worthy of another outing. He’s good at what he does, he’s strong, he’s powerful, he has a will to endure, and so far, he endures!”

Meanwhile producer John Ainsworth talked about how the team had been keen to include actors from the original series alongside the new cast. “Part of the way we constructed these Avalon stories was that we could have guest appearances by the surviving cast of the television show as well as guest actors. The Bayban episode with Colin Baker was huge fun to do, as was the episode with Stephen Greif as Travis – and of course there will be many opportunities in the future for other characters to make surprise appearances!”

 

The three tales in the second box set are as follows:

Bayban’s Bounty by Niel Bushnell

A sacred stone might inspire revolution on a recently subjugated planet – if Avalon can only retrieve it from a high-security prison. She enlists the help of the Vankberg Vault’s only escapee, the madman at the top of the Federation’s Most Wanted list…

Mercenary by Christopher Cooper

Funding a crusade isn’t easy, and one of Avalon’s debts has just come due. She and Madison undertake a dubious mission, in the company of an even more dubious gun-for-hire, a man who has betrayed them once before…

Heart of Ice by Steve Lyons

What is the Federation President doing on a frozen backwater world? Avalon is determined to uncover the secret buried in Cryonax’s mines. By the time she realises that Travis is setting a trap, it might just be too late…

 

Avalon Volume One. Cover by Tom Newsom (c) Big Finish
Volume One of Avalon is out in May. Cover by Tom Newsom (c) Big Finish

The Worlds of Blake’s 7 – Avalon 2

 

The Worlds of Blake’s 7 – Avalon 2 is now available to pre-order as a collector’s edition CD (at £19.99) or digital download (at £16.99), exclusively at www.bigfinish.com.

Meanwhile, The Worlds of Blake’s 7 – Avalon 1 is also due for release in May 2021 and is available to pre-order as a collector’s edition CD (at £19.99) or digital download (at £16.99), exclusively from the Big Finish website.

Big Finish listeners can save money by pre-ordering both volumes together in a bundle for £38 on CD or £33 on download.

Big Finish is currently operating a digital-first release schedule. The mail-out of collector’s edition CDs may be delayed due to factors beyond our control, but all purchases of this release unlock a digital copy that can be immediately downloaded or played on the Big Finish app from the release date.

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