Big Finish, out now
Avon: Survivor. Planner. And now target.
It’s a long time since Paul Darrow penned fiction about the character that he memorably played on screen for four years – Avon, A Terrible Aspect came out in the States nearly twenty-five years ago. He’s now turned his attention to the other end of the character’s life and things have changed quite a bit.
It’s an interesting novel: to an extent, all the characters are described as Avon would see them. The successors to the Federation are not a pleasant bunch, all scheming among themselves and plotting each other’s downfalls. And among them is Servalan: twenty years older, but not necessarily twenty years wiser.
The book comes alive most when Darrow is writing either Servalan or Avon: he captures their mercurial relationship, and the way that knowledge of the other’s involvement leads each to act in a way they might reconsider if it were anyone else involved.
There’s also an odd quirk: Blake, Avon, Travis and Servalan are mentioned by name (don’t take that to mean that they all appear; they don’t). But the other members of the Seven? They’re physically present, but not one of them gets named…
It’s a plot-driven book: even the conversations between the characters tends to be to impart information that moves things forward. However it throws in more than a few curveballs about what might have been happening on Gauda Prime, and what comes next, and it’ll be fascinating to see where Darrow takes the story next.
Verdict: An intriguing take that might finally supplant the Tony Atwood sequel as the official view of ‘Series E’ 7/10