by Neil Faulkner (from Altazine-1)

The match-making game is a common one amongst fans. Top of the list for inter-character relationships of a more than platonic nature is probably that of Avon and Cally. (Although it might be Avon and Blake if we're talking wordcount.) Did they or didn't they? Paul Darrow and Jan Chappell insist not, but what do *they* know? Fanfic has set Cally against Blake to rescue Avon from certain death, sent Avon down into the bowels of Terminal to declare his unrequited love for Cally, had him say likewise to Cally's ghost, had Cally's ghost say likewise to him, and that's just some of the gen stories.

Niel Faulkner (21K)
The evidence from the series is, as usual on such matters, vague, ambiguous and contradictory. Here are what I consider some of the key moments. I'll say right now that I've got no telly in my new flat, and so I can't readily check on details. I might, therefore, have made a few mistakes, but what I remember is this:

"I'm interested in your work" - Cally The Web. Cally is under Saymon's control, so what she says herself might be relatively meaningless. It is, of course, Avon's look that matters. Just surprise? Suspicion? 'Should I/shouldn't I'?

"I say she should be dumped." - Avon, The Web again. This suggests that if Avon has any interest in Cally at this stage, it is basically physical and he's happy to have it unfulfilled. It further implies that he had himself at some prior stage suggested dumping Cally, though I don't recall this in the episode itself.

That tender lingering hover over her prostrate body in Project Avalon. This, to my mind, is very suggestive. The suggestion in question being that he has overcome his initial prejudices towards her and can recognise her strengths. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that he's grown especially fond of her. Other things might have been going through his mind, things like "What the ****'s going on here, then?"

Cally susses out Avon's guilty behaviour in Hostage. This might just have been her alien empathic talent at work. Then again, maybe she had come to know Avon rather well. Better than Jenna, certainly.

"Avon and Cally - they've teamed up" - Blake, Voice From The Past. Blake, of course, is not his normal self, but Vila is and, as someone has pointed out in a past HLZ, he's quite prepared to believe Blake's little porkie. This strongly suggests that Avon and Cally were rather close at this stage, though exactly how close might have been a secret they were keeping to themselves.

Avon and Cally working together in City. They make a good team, each prepared to follow the other's lead at various points. Cally teases Avon at least once, and is quick to follow his example with her own threats against Bayban.

Cally's bite at Avon for his plan to off Shrinker. There are two ways of interpreting this. Either she really was down on him and wanted to show it, or... she was annoyed with herself for not coming to terms with this side of him, and covered it up by flinging it back in his face. Or could it be jealousy, since he's planning all this on behalf of one of her predecessors? You could argue that if she had no interest in him at all, she'd not have cared so much about what he got up to.

"We've decided we care what happens to you" - Cally (I think), Rumours. This certainly doesn't deny that she cares about him personally, but it does rather imply that she, like the rest of them, had to think about it. She might still be smarting at his failure to live up to her idealistic expectations, but I can't honestly say I think so.

Avon's gamble that Cally wouldn't let the Sarcophagus alien kill him does suggest that some measure of affection resides between them. And earlier he had dropped by to check up on her in her cabin. But That Look at the end is, as I recall, largely one way, Cally to Avon, and not returned. Now, if there's something heavy going on between them, chances are the rest of the crew know about it, so why shouldn't Avon openly return the look? So maybe they're at it in secret. Or maybe the look implies instead something a little less prurient?

Cally's in obvious danger in Ultraworld, but Avon's dead set against racing in after her. Tarrant and Dayna have to change his mind. But I do believe it was Avon who ended up watching over Cally whilst the others trotted off to explore.

"I don't need any of you" - Avon, Terminal, presumably including Cally in this and his subsequent death threat. If he was having a serious scene with her, then this was a right nasty thing to come out with, whether he had the crew's best interests at heart or not, and Cally doesn't look particularly hurt (or if she does, it's never struck me).

Cally calls out Blake's name on Terminal. On the other hand it was Avon and Avon alone who went back down to check she was dead (and to pick up Orac while he was at it, of course). Vila might have baulked at going, but Dayna wouldn't. Did Avon insist on going alone, or did it just happen that way?

The actual conclusions you can draw from all this are flexible, but the overall impression I get is that they did not have a serious ongoing relationship. On the other hand, I can quite believe they might have explored the possibility, probably in the 2nd Season, and then decided it wasn't going to work. For one thing, Cally's clear support for Blake's cause stood to get in the way. Avon might have begrudgingly backed Blake and sniped away to make out he didn't, but I'm convinced he considered Blake's political agenda to be naive, unrealistic and generally contemptible. Cally didn't. Plenty of scope for long arguments there. In the 3rd Season, they've backed off, each acknowledging the other's capabilities. I can see grounds for supposing that they might each have individually worked hard to maintain that measure of distance between them, and Children/Rumours represents a crack in the wall. It's then sealed up again by mutual agreement, and I can regard the cabin chat at the start of Sarcophagus as Avon dropping in on his ex to reassure her that, yes, he still cares about her and all that, but they really are just good friends and nothing more. It's possible to envisage a situation where each party, perhaps Cally more than Avon, wanted something more, but also only wanted it if it could work and knew it couldn't. Since Blake was no longer present, and Cally's revolutionary commitment had (at least as I believe) lost its focus, it's tempting to conclude that there were insuperable personality differences between them that neither was prepared to reconcile. Perhaps because each was 'alien' to the other. Or maybe one of them was into something really kinky that turned the other's stomach. Or Avon liked to chew his toenails, or something. Divorces have been filed for less.

Back up to Essay index

Back up to Blakes 7

Last changed on 26th of April 1998