The Wisdom of Auron

“A man who trusts can never be betrayed only mistaken.” -Cally, Blake’s 7

These  words are spoken to the second and later first male lead of that series Kerr Avon played by Paul Darrow who delights in some outrageous scenery chewing in later episodes. Trust is clearly an issue for the character who is an ardent criminal who pretty much is a cyber hacker who tried to electronically rob the Federation banking system only to be caught. Now it is clear to me that Avon’s attempt at Cyber-hacking was and is only the pinnacle of his life of crime hence his sentence to exile of the penal colony of Cygnus Alpha which puts him in the company of a compulsive thief, a smuggler and a man (falsely) accused of child abuse. We never get to  learn a great deal about his life pre-Blake aside from him losing the love of his life when his heist plans went awry and that her brother set out to kill him if they ever crossed paths again, but what we don’t know is how the brother related to that plot of Avon’s. Was Del Grant in on the scheme? A distinct possibility considering that when we meet him his a mercenary for hire, or was he just simply Anna Grant’s brother? The episode in which we meet Del Grant, Countdown, is something of a Terry Nation run around in some sense in that the central plot of the episode is to stop a neutron bomb from being set off but it is the secondary character plot between Avon and Grant where the episode shines, Avon begins to open up a little for the first time in the presence of Grant. Gone are his talks of his plans to indulge his greed for his own personal wealth, with impending doom on the horizon the mask slips. Now this may well be due to the presence of Grant and Avon wanting to clear his name, it could be because he wants to find out more about what happen to Anna as it becomes apparent that Del Grant knows very little more then Avon, or it could be that Avon is putting himself in a life and death situation thinking he isn’t getting out the other end and he chooses to reach the end with the nearest he can get to his deceased lover.

We never see Del Grant again but the following series picks up on the Anna Grant plotlines in Rumours of Death  as Avon tracks down the federation torturer who he believes killed Anna Grant. Now where he got the information from is never stated but it isn’t too far of a stretch to think that Del Grant provided Avon with the information and has left Avon to deal with it due to the greater resources available at his disposal. Rumours of Death is very much a character examination of Avon as we once again get glimpses of a pre-Blake Avon and his life. Greed seems to be part of his motivation as does a desire to settle down with Anna, the one person  he trusts, and it is that greed that is ultimately his down fall. Again we never really learn what actually happened, we only hear snippets but when it transpires that the whole scheme was doomed from the start the cracks in Avon’s facade form again and he begins to show the first signs of psychosis. Cally’s words ring true as Avon seemingly trusts Blake enough to risk the entire crew in Terminal and it is a mistake that costs him dearly and by the time the series ends Avon has no trust left in him what so ever and ultimately that is why he declares Blake to have betrayed him. Avon’s trust towards Blake was replaced by a particular version of Blake in his own mind, had he simply trusted Blake and taken his word… well the ending would be very different.

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