Avon/Servalan

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Pairing
Pairing: Kerr Avon/Servalan
Alternative name(s): A/S or A/Se (to distinguish it from Avon/Soolin, which is usually denoted A/So)
Gender category: het, m/f
Fandom: Blake's 7
Canonical?: yes, at least to a certain extent
Prevalence: one of the more popular het ships, often used as a background ship
Archives: Avon/Servalan on AO3, The Library at hermit.org (multi-pairing and gen archive), Liberated.org (multi-pairing and gen archive)
Other:
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Avon/Servalan is one of the few Blake's 7 ships that is arguably canon. Avon, the possibly amoral computer genius, is one of Blake's crew, and therefore theoretically opposed to Servalan, but if he could be turned he would be a great asset to her. . By series 3, the series had also begun to acknowledge that Avon was almost everyone's favourite character and highly fanciable. The first episode of this series (Aftermath) features Avon and Servalan sharing a passionate kiss after Servalan offers him a professional and sexual partnership: "You and I could build an empire greater and more powerful than the Federation ever was or ever could have been ... Imagination our only limit."[1] Avon spurns her offer ("Imagination my only limit? I'd be dead in a week.") but has clearly been considering it by the time they meet again in s3e12 'Deathwatch' when they share another kiss. Their relationship progresses no further than this on-screen, and Avon claims to want her dead several times, particularly following the (supposed) deaths of Blake and Cally, though they continue to flirt with each other, on and off, throughout series 4 (at one point Servalan almost buys Avon as a slave, and tells him: "I think, if you don't mind, I would prefer my slave to address me as `mistress'."[2]). While Chris Boucher, the writer of 'Deathwatch', apparently did not intend for there to be a kiss in that episode and seems to disapprove of A/S, the actors involved (Paul Darrow and Jacqueline Pearce) felt otherwise - and have continued to feel otherwise, touting the pairing in multiple interviews over the years.

Fanfiction

Because of this semi-canon status, the pairing tends to feature as a background pairing in gen fics, and fics about other pairings. Such fics are difficult to track from the zine-era as if the relationship isn't explicitly consummated in fic, it will not appear on Hermit's pairing lists, however they are seem to be relatively common. In general Servalan who represents wealth, power and safety (everything that Avon claims he wants) is a temptation for Avon in fics that have another pairing (such as Blake/Avon or Avon/Cally) as end-game, or alternately her desire for Avon may be a plot point (i.e. she kidnaps him), or simply a background detail that colours their interactions. Avon may either respond favourably or unfavourably to her desire.

Avon/Servalan-centric fic is much rarer. In such fics the pairing is either confrontational and potentially violent (and may include dubcon elements, including drugs, mind control and torture, with Servalan generally the aggressor although not always), or may see Servalan successfully recruit Avon to the Federation's cause. In general, therefore, it is likely to be dark fic. 'Perfect Pleasure' by Southern Comfort, published in Alternative Seven (1980 - just after s3 has aired) is probably the first A/S fic. It's also a good illustration of what would later become this pairing's popular tropes. A fan summarised it as: Avon has been captured by the Federation, but when he proves resistant to interrogation, Servalan decides to keep him as a pet. By the time Blake and the crew arrive to rescue him, he's been brainwashed and dosed with aphrodisiacs. Another fan described joining Blake's 7 fandom, and reading A/S: "having started collecting B7 zines I found some pretty sexy, twisted up stuff."[3]

Modern Archive of Our Own fandom has produced a few more flirty fics, where they both enjoy some banter before Avon escapes.

Fanart Gallery

Other fanworks

Other resources

References

  1. Aftermath, by Terry Nation, transcript, hosted at Hermit.org
  2. Assassin, by Rod Beacham, transcript, hosted at Hermit.org
  3. Author's note on Checkmate by Mybenediction1