Paul Darrow 1941-2019

As Avon in Blakes 7 (1978-1981), Paul Darrow made one of the great dramatic contributions to British television science fiction and fantasy. Always aware of the roots of his performance with his wide knowledge of cinema, theatre, history and many other fields, he brought an erudition and a belief to his realisation of Kerr Avon, computer genius and bank fraudster turned revolutionary, which widened the universe of Blakes 7 beyond the limitations of the multicamera videotape studio. In Doctor Who he played ill-fated UNIT captain Hawkins in Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970), with Jon Pertwee’s Doctor, and as calculating Maylin Tekker, a theatrically bad lot who overplayed his hand, was one of the memorable features of the Sixth Doctor story Timelash (1985).

Paul was also a writer and a theatre producer. In 1992 his production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, where he played the eponymous eleventh-century Scottish king himself, visited Oxford’s Apollo Theatre for a week. Several members of the Oxford University Doctor Who Society attended performances including Alison Taverner. Alison met the man himself, and her review can be found on page 4 of issue 9, available on this site as a PDF.

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