The actor who speaks out on this occasion is Paul Darrow,
who is best known for his role as the callous Kerr Avon in
Blake's 7, and who has more recently portrayed the
equally cynical Kaston Iago in Magic Bullet's series of Kaldor
City audio dramas.
and interviewer Mark J. Thompson cover a range of topics including,
naturally, Blake's 7. It is interesting to note how
Darrow's approach to playing Avon differs radically from that
of Jacqueline Pearce (the subject of the previous Actor
Speaks release) with her role as Servalan. Whereas Pearce
based her performance entirely on what was set down in the
script, Darrow claims to have significantly fleshed out the
bare bones of the character Terry Nation put on paper. Consequently,
Avon would appear to be much more Darrow's creation than Nation's.
The performer also sheds light on his participation in Nation's
proposed Blake's 7 follow-up mini-series/TV movie.
Darrow's guest-starring role as the villain Tekker in the
Doctor Who story Timelash is not mentioned -
clearly this isn't one of the actor's prouder moments. Instead,
he and Thompson move on to the subjects of age, Elvis Presley
and the role of Iago in the Kaldor City series. The
actor dismisses suggestions that Iago is in any way connected
to Avon, and points out that their voices are quite different.
When Darrow explains where he got the inspiration for Iago's
gruff tones, I couldn't believe I had never noticed before!
Listeners get a chance to apply this newfound knowledge while
listening to the track "Kaldor City - The Prisoner", a short
duologue written by Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore of the Magic
Bullet team. Also featuring Peter Miles in his familiar role
as Landerchild, this is an appropriately mind-bending battle
of wills between interrogator and interrogated.
Other dramatic segments include the monologue "Sunset in the
City" by Blake's 7 contributor Tanith Lee. This bitter
tale of betrayal and revenge, delivered by Darrow in the role
of a 14th-century king, ties in perfectly with previous discussions
of Avon's character traits and motivations.
contributes the monologues "The Unwelcome Visitor" and "The
Woman in My Dreams". The former, like a good poem or short
story, gains added meaning upon repeated listening. The latter,
which acts as a prelude to a proposed new MJTV audio series
The Binding Force, which will star Darrow and Jacqueline
Pearce, is full of passion, sexually connotative language
and a hint of suppressed violence.
Even a cynic of the calibre of Kerr Avon would find it hard
not to be impressed by the 80 minutes' worth of enlightenment
and entertainment found on this CD.