I was searching for the best way to pay tribute to the life of Paul Darrow, who sadly passed away this week at the age of 78. I was lucky enough to meet him a couple of years ago at a Blake’s 7 event, along with Stephen Greif and Michael Keating.
I even got his character, Avon, immortalised in Lego.
I settled on coming up with a list of my favourite Avon lines from the series. Paul Darrow had such a brilliantly dry delivery and was able to inject so much scorn and sarcasm into anything. Avon was a beautifully layered character and my favourite part of Blake’s 7. This was down to the great talent that was Paul Darrow. So here is my countdown of the 12 best bits of Avon throwing shade at people (usually Vila). Hope this brings back some nice memories and makes you smile.
12. The crew are arguing over an idea. Vila comes down on Blake’s side
Blake – It’s not a question of sides, Vila.
Avon – No, it’s a question of intelligence, so your opinion has very little relevance.
11. Vila tries to make a joke about Avon having a friend
Avon – And you were right. That must be a novel experience for you.
10. Vila is complaining about his lot as usual
Vila – What have I done to deserve this?
Avon – How long a list would you like?
9. Avon explains why he’s not volunteering for something
Avon – I’m not expendable, I’m not stupid, and I’m not going.
8. Avon introducing the unconscious bodies of Cally and Vila
Avon – That one is Cally. I’ll introduce her more formally when she wakes up. This one is Vila. I should really introduce him now; he’s at his best when he’s unconscious.
7. Blake gives Avon a long list of things to do.
Avon – Is that all? What shall I do with the other hand?
6. Avon doesn’t like Cally’s idea
Avon – Auron may be different Cally, but on Earth it is considered ill-mannered to murder your friends while committing suicide.
5. Just general abuse of Gan
Gan – Can’t find ORAC. I even tried calling his name.
Avon – I’m sorry I missed that. It’s the kind of natural stupidity no amount of training could ever hope to match.
4. Discussing Blake’s plan to attack Central Command
Gan – He wouldn’t be alone if you just left him, Avon.
Avon (to Gan) – You would stay with him?
Gan – Yes.
Avon – Virtually alone, then.
3. Vila is unable to do something
Vila (to Blake) – I told you I couldn’t do it
Avon – I believed you all along!
2. Vila contemplates his escape from the organ harvesting planet
Cally (to Vila) – Given the choice, would you rather be a load of spare parts down there-
Avon (cutting in) – Or one spare part up here?
1. Vila complains of a headache
Avon – Have you considered amputation?
Rest in Peace, Paul Darrow. Thanks for the memories.