POWER: PAUL DARROW WRITES

Blake's 7, 'A Marvel Monthly', was launched to tie-in with the broadcast of Series D on BBC 1 in September 1981. A highlight of later issues was a regular feature called 'Paul Darrow Writes' featuring the actor's personal reminiscences about the series. Here we present his recollections of Power which he included in his Top 8 episodes of the entire series.

Paul Darrow Writes (Blake's 7 Monthly)

Of the fifty two episodes that constituted Blake’s Seven, I thought least of Harvest of Kairos in series three. To redress the balance then, I must say that Power, episode two of series four - written by the same author, turned out to be one of the best. Ben Steed put everything into that script.

Sex - in the shape of Juliet Hammond Hill. Violence - in the shape of Dicken Ashworth. And he confirmed two new members into the regular cast.

The first of the newcomers was a computer that replaced the sorely missed Zen. Slave was the creation of Script Editor Chris Boucher, but its servile voice belonged to none other than Peter Tuddenham.

It was a standing joke that, as Peter had been the voice of three major characters - Orac, Zen and now Slave - he must be one of the highest paid actors at the BBC. Although he insists that this is not so, perhaps he ought to be! To create three such characters as completely as he had done deserves some reward.

Of all the members of Blake’s seven, I miss the computers the most. But then, Avon was always much more at home with machines that he ever was with people! Machines, if you look after them, rarely let you down.

Power dealt with the conditions on the surface above our new base - Xenon. Inevitably, it was ruled by a bunch of hairy primitives. In space - nobody shaves!

Despite the hindrance of Miss Hammond Hill, Avon and Vila and the rest fought for, and gained control of the planet and the new spaceship - Scorpio.

It was a pity that Juliet had to die. But then, no-one could ever mistake Avon for Romeo!

This was pure hokum and greatly amused me. It had a lot going for it. Ben Steed wrote the episode, I feel, with his tongue firmly in his cheek. Michael Keating responded with one of his funniest performances and the rest of us had difficulty in keeping straight faces.

Like Headhunter, it was one of the less serious episodes and, as light relief, was played with vigour and enjoyment.


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