1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
The character of Tarrant as seen in the tv series can be an almighty pill. The notable exception is the episode Deathwatch, the penultimate episode of season C, where Del Tarrant meets up with his brother Deeta, and which is generally considered one of the very best episodes Blake’s 7 ever did. This audio play, Kith and Kin, follows on from Deathwatch, and while it is nowhere near as good, it’s definitely one of the better offerings in the Crossfire audio series. The older Steven Pacey is an experienced and frankly fantastic audio actor, and he generally gets much more out of the twenty something Tarrant now than he ever did when he was the same age as the character.
Terry Nation goofed when naming Del Tarrant, as he had already called the villain in the very first episode of Blake’s 7 Dev Tarrant. This inevitably has led to speculation over the years as to whether the two characters were related, whether the name was simply a coincidence. I have personally never subscribed to the theory that they were related, partly because I find it extremely tedious the way characters in the show have a tendency to cross paths with long lost relations (a tradition Big Finish has carried on) and partly because the two characters don’t look anything like each other. In this play, the story hinges on the fact that the two Tarrants are indeed related, and that Dev is the older brother of Deeta and Del (who are twins, though Del was born via a later pregnancy—given Steven Pacey played both parts in Deathwatch, I was grateful to have this explanation slipped in). It’s the usual dysfunctional family revenge plot, but Steven Pacey is so good, I can forgive this. It’s also fun to get more of Tarrant's back story.
I would rate the play higher, but one character—Kimar, played by Peter Aubrey—strikes a false note from the beginning. He’s very annoying, and neither the character nor the performance seem believable. The man is supposed to be a smart corporate accountant, married to the CEO of a huge galactic business, yet he’s written and played as some kind of excruciating sub-Vila. So, marks off here, but otherwise worth a listen.