Kerr Avon

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Kerr Avon
Blake's 7 character
First appearance Spacefall
Last appearance Blake
Portrayed by Paul Darrow
Information
Species Human
Gender Male
Affiliation Resistance

Kerr Avon is a fictional character from the British science fiction television series Blake's 7, played by Paul Darrow (in the later B7 audio series, Avon is played by Colin Salmon). Initially a supporting character, he became the lead after Gareth Thomas left the series at the end of series 2.

Fictional biography[edit]

Avon is an aloof and sardonic computer expert, who is introduced by Vila Restal as being "the number two man in all the Federated worlds" when it comes to computers[1]. He was found guilty of an attempt to embezzle five (or five hundred million credits) from the Terran Federation banking system. First seen in the second episode, Space Fall, as a prisoner aboard the London, a cargo vessel transporting a group of convicted criminals to the penal colony on the planet Cygnus Alpha, he assists Blake in his attempted mutiny on the journey, using his skills to take over the ship's computer. He subsequently boards the Liberator along with Blake and Jenna, and becomes a member of the original "seven." The ship's security system caused Avon to see a projection of his brother.

Avon maintains that he is self-serving, and only out for money and security for himself, maintaining that "Wealth is the only reality. And the only way to obtain wealth is to take it away from somebody else."[2]. This puts him into conflict with the more idealistic and reckless Blake. During the first two series Avon threatens to leave the ship (and thus Blake's 7) on several occasions. He only offers his help in destroying Federation Central Control (and later Star One) in exchange for control of the Liberator. In actuality, Avon is not as heartless as he wishes to appear, and often saves the crew at the expense of his own life. He also continues the fight against the Federation once Blake has left, although he claims this is because "In the end, winning is the only safety."[3]

By the end of the series, Avon and crew re-discover Blake who now seems to be working as a Federation bounty hunter. Avon reacts badly to the knowledge that Blake has apparently betrayed them all, and responds by shooting Blake. He later discovers that Blake's role as bounty hunter was a masquerade, as revealed by a real Federation agent who herself (unbeknownst to Blake) was masquerading as Blake's rebel accomplice. Having witnessed the massacre of Vila, Tarrant, Dayna and Soolin, Avon's fate is uncertain. He smiles as he raises his gun.

Avon quickly became the most popular character on the show due to his darker nature, his unclear motives, and sardonic wit. Paul Darrow's portrayal led to the actor being permanently associated with the character. He has written several novels about the character, including (Avon: A Terrible Aspect), which examined the early years of the character prior to the TV series.

Personal life[edit]

Anna Grant[edit]

Some time before the series, Avon fell in love with a woman called Anna Grant, who may or may not have been married at this point to one of Servalan's inner council members. Until series 3, Avon and Anna's brother Del Grant believe that Anna's death was indirectly caused by Avon. His criminal activities drew the attention of Federation investigator Bartholomew, and Anna was captured, tortured and executed by the notorious Federation torturer, Shrinker. However, in the episode 'Rumours of Death', Avon discovers that Anna is alive and that she is, hereself, Bartholomew and a Federation agent (she had been "running him.)" Avon kills her as a result of her betrayal, but her dying words, "I let you go," imply that she had allowed him to escape. Avon's statement, "You never did," implies that he still loved her.

Paul Darrow
Paul Darrow.JPG
Actor Paul Darrow

Servalan[edit]

Avon had a flirtatious relationship with Servalan in series three and four. During the episode "Aftermath," Servalan offers Avon the chance to rule the Federation by her side; however, regardless of whether she is serious or not, Avon pointedly refuses, shoving her to the ground during their embrace and stating, "I'd be dead within a week." In the episode "Rumours of Death," Avon takes pity upon Servalan who is chained to a wall; similarly, it is she who reveals to him the truth about Anna Grant. In the episode "Death-Watch," the two meet on a neutral planet, and after discussing Servalan's latest scheme, embrace and kiss roughly (Servalan also remarked that she viewed Avon not as an enemy, but as a future ally).

First name[edit]

Avon's first name is usually given as Kerr, with a double r. However, it is occasionally spelled Ker, and in Darrow's noncanonical novel Avon: A Terrible Aspect, this is explained as a short form of his full name |Kerguelen, roughly meaning desolation.

Avon's possible survival[edit]

In the novel Blake's 7: Afterlife, Avon and Vila survived the shoot-out in Gauda Prime and eventually wound up on a new ship (captained by Avon's sister) which was christened "Blake's 7". This novel was not well received and is generally discounted by fans. Paul Darrow purchased the rights to the show and was originally part of the recent project which would have been called Blake's 7: A Legacy Reborn. Reportedly, Darrow would have made an appearance as an aged Avon in what he described as "Napoleonic Exile" on a penal planet, his exploits long forgotten, most or all of the others long dead. (This scenario is close to one described by Blake's 7 creator Terry Nation.) Avon would have passed the torch on to a new group of escaped prisoners who would become the new Seven. It was not clear if Avon was to be their leader or he was to die. Due to creative differences, Darrow left the project which has since gone into development hell.

In 2012, Big Finish approached Paul Darrow to write a Blake's 7 novel set after Gauda Prime dealing with the life of Avon after the death of Blake; Darrow agreed and his novel Lucifer was released in both printed and audiobook (read by Darrow, ISBN 978-1-78178-110-4) form in June 2013. The plot takes place twenty years after the death of Blake; the old Federation has fallen to be reformed under the leadership of the four leaders known as The Quartet (two male former military leaders, a male economist and Dr. Pandora S [a ruthlessly ambitious female scientist]) who co-exist in an uneasy alliance. Avon has been living in exile, but even though he has no ship or shipmates to help him he has his own plans and agendas for survival while old enemies (including Servalan) and dangerous new ones (including Gabriella, Travis' daughter) appear.

End credits[edit]

The ambiguous ending was done with the possibility that those who wished to stay on for the proposed fifth serial would only be stunned or wounded, while the others would have been killed. Blake's actual death was in the contract (as per Gareth Thomas' request, a different type of gun was used by Avon as well as showing blood and Blake's dead body). The end credit sequence for this episode is interpreted several ways by fans. The last scene of the series ends in Avon pointing his gun at the camera and smiling. The scene freeze frames for a few seconds and abruptly switches to the end credits. Instead of the end credit music, a single shot followed by several others in quick succession is heard. Among the more wild theories is that Avon gets off a few shots or that he might have escaped after shooting all the Federation troopers. However, since a follow-up serial never materialised, most fans assume that the gunshots heard represent Avon shooting once before the guards open fire and kill him.

Trivia[edit]

  • Paul Darrow appeared as Avon in 51 of the 52 episodes of Blake's 7. The only episode in which he did not appear was the very first episode, The Way Back.
  • In the final season, the BBC demanded that the metal studs on Avon's boots should be removed, as they were "unacceptably aggressive."[citation needed]

References[edit]