LOADING ...

RIP Paul Darrow, Blake's 7's Unlikely, Sardonic 'Hero'

James Whitbrook Jun 04, 2019. 20 comments

Paul Darrow, beloved for his turn as Kerr Avon in the cult British sci-fi series Blake’s 7, has passed away after a short illness at the age of 78.

Darrow was known for turns in everything from Law & Order UK, to The Legend of Robin Hood, and of course to classic Doctor Who —appearing not once, but twice, as ill-fated UNIT Captain Hawkins in “Doctor Who and the Silurians” and in a scene-stealing performance in “Timelash” as the sycophantic Tekker in an all-star ham-off opposite Colin Baker’s sixth Doctor. He was a workmanlike actor with appearances across hundreds of TV shows in his career, which spanned the small screen and even more appearances in theatre. But Darrow achieved true cult status forever appearing in the dark, moody Terry Nation sci-fi series Blake’s 7 as the morally grey computer expert Kerr Avon.

Originally second-in-command to Gareth Thomas’ Blake, Avon was a self-serving, cunning scoundrel who fought in Blake’s crusade against Servalan and the tyrannical Federation not because he believed in the cause, but because he thought he could make money out of it for an easy retirement. But Darrow (and Avon) found himself flung into the spotlight when Thomas departed Blake’s after just two seasons, taking on the central role for the last two years of the show and quickly becoming a fan favorite not just for his hazy morality, but his biting wit. One of the few survivors of Blake’s 7's infamous bloodbath of a conclusion, Darrow would go on to reprise his role as Avon for Big Finish’s series of Blake’s 7 audio dramas, starting with The Liberator Chronicles in 2012.

Our thoughts go out to Darrows’ friends and family.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our new Instagram @io9dotcom.

20 Comments

Other James Whitbrook's posts

The Gelflings Go to War in Your First Look Inside the Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Prequel Comic The Gelflings Go to War in Your First Look Inside the Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Prequel Comic

In just a few weeks, we get to return to the world of Thra as the gorgeous-looking Dark Crystal prequel series Age of Resistance makes its way to Netflix. But why not whet your appetite with a look inside the new comic that’s actually a prequel to that prequel?io9 can exclusively reveal the first interior artwork from Boom Studios...

Here Are Your Hugo 2019 Award Winners Here Are Your Hugo 2019 Award Winners

Last night one of the biggest events in genre writing, the Hugo Awards , awarded creators at the 77th World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin, Ireland. Highlighting sci-fi and fantasy across films, TV, comics, criticism, fan works, and more, the Hugos are a celebration of some of the year’s finest—so get your notepad out and be ready to scribble...

New Wonder Woman 1984 Set Pictures Give Us a Look at Updated Amazons New Wonder Woman 1984 Set Pictures Give Us a Look at Updated Amazons

Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.  Martin Freeman assumes he’ll be back for Black Panther 2, whenever it happens. Get a look at Studio Trigger’s new anime film Promare ahead of its western release. Kane Hodder wants to play Jason again whenever Friday the 13th’s rights situation...

Superman's Homeworld Is Dead, Again: Krypton and Lobo Spinoff Canceled at Syfy Superman's Homeworld Is Dead, Again: Krypton and Lobo Spinoff Canceled at Syfy

One way or another, Superman’s home is probably doomed by the end of Krypton’s second season.Deadline reports that Syfy has decided to scrap its zany Superman prequel series Krypton, set in a scenario where DC’s cosmic adventurer Adam Strange is sent to the youthful days of Kal-El’s grandpa, Seg-El, in the hopes of preserving the timeline from attempts to...

Suggested posts

Here Are Your Hugo 2019 Award Winners Here Are Your Hugo 2019 Award Winners

Last night one of the biggest events in genre writing, the Hugo Awards , awarded creators at the 77th World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin, Ireland. Highlighting sci-fi and fantasy across films, TV, comics, criticism, fan works, and more, the Hugos are a celebration of some of the year’s finest—so get your notepad out and be ready to scribble...

Semen Smugglers, Spreadsheets, and Laughing to Death: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week Semen Smugglers, Spreadsheets, and Laughing to Death: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

It’s been a weird one this week at Gizmodo, folks: From hacking buttplugs and realizing our dog photos have personally identifiable information in them to smuggled boar semen and an Arctic weather station hitting nearly 95 degrees Fahrenheit , we’ve been hard at work churning out the content you crave and that makes our heads hurt.Other fascinating stories from...

In This Sci-fi Horror Short, Only Control Can Hear You Scream In This Sci-fi Horror Short, Only Control Can Hear You Scream

As we’ve seen in films like The Martian or Gravity, being alone in space can be terrifying—especially when something unexpected comes knocking at the door. The sci-fi short Control centers around a woman on a deep-space mission who’s struggling to cope from the sudden loss of her crew partner, only to discover that she might not be alone after...

30 Very Good Sci-Fi Dogs 30 Very Good Sci-Fi Dogs

Now that all the hype surrounding Captain Marvel’s top scene-stealer, Goose the cat (or “cat ,” if you will), has died down a little, it’s high time we shifted our adoring attentions over to the dogs of science fiction. The genre has produced many, many very good puppers over the years, including these 30 favorites.30. Boomer, Independence DayAliens invade. Cities...

Big Donors Are Pulling Out of Brazil's Amazon Fund; That Could Spell Trouble for the Rainforest Big Donors Are Pulling Out of Brazil's Amazon Fund; That Could Spell Trouble for the Rainforest

Norway and Germany have been helping support the Brazilian government for its efforts to reduce deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest for some 10 years now. These financial rewards—the annual donations to the Amazon Fund, which the Brazilian Development Bank manages—have amounted to nearly $1.3 billion.Now, that funding is coming to an end because Brazil has been failing miserably at...

Joss Whedon's HBO Fantasy The Nevers Somehow Has Room for Even More Quirky Characters Joss Whedon's HBO Fantasy The Nevers Somehow Has Room for Even More Quirky Characters

Not even two weeks ago, Joss Whedon’s HBO series about a gaggle of Victorian-era ladies with superpowers announced the addition of a dozen actors, to go along with previously announced series star Laura Donnelly . That’s a rather huge ensemble, but The Nevers wasn’t done yet!Today, the show added six more names that’ll co-star with Donnelly, Olivia Williams, James...

After Event Horizon, Here Are More Sci-Fi Horror Movies That Should Get TV Adaptations After Event Horizon, Here Are More Sci-Fi Horror Movies That Should Get TV Adaptations

Stranger Things season three , which riffed on The Thing and The Blob (among others), was the latest testament to the enduring power of sci-fi horror—until we heard that Amazon was circling a series adaptation of Event Horizon . While the iron is hot, here are four more sci-fi horror titles perfect for TV translation.Pitch BlackDavid Twohy and Vin...

The Doctor and Ace Face Their Deadliest Conflict Yet in Big Finish's Explosive New Short Story The Doctor and Ace Face Their Deadliest Conflict Yet in Big Finish's Explosive New Short Story

Have I mentioned that the conflict is Ace herself?The Seventh Doctor’s role as a shady manipulator—of humans and aliens alike, and even his own companion, molding her into a tool for him to use in his myriad schemes—is something that served as a dark thematic undercurrent throughout Sylvester McCoy’s time on Doctor Who . Now, that theme is coming...

A Wild Agents of SHIELD Rumor Suggests a Familiar MCU Face Could Appear in the Last Season A Wild Agents of SHIELD Rumor Suggests a Familiar MCU Face Could Appear in the Last Season

Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.  Quentin Tarantino thinks his tenth and ever-purportedly final film could dip into the horror genre. The Walking Dead has found its Dante. Colton Haynes clarifies his Arrow exit. Not one, but two denials come out against some Doctor Who rumors. Plus,...

Intriguing Female Characters Highlight These 8 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Shorts Intriguing Female Characters Highlight These 8 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Shorts

Not all of the women in these new sci-fi and fantasy shorts—be they astronauts, fighter pilots, ambitious office workers, criminals, or just regular folks dealing with complicated emotions and surreal situations—are heroes. But isn’t life more interesting that way ? 1) Rendezvous With MarsDivya More and Mayukh Goswami created this animated film (shared online by Dust) about a woman...

Language