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Del Tarrant was a renegade Federation officer who joined the crew of the Liberator following the Intergalactic War. He served as the chief pilot of both the Liberator and the Scorpio. Tarrant was a regular character throughout Series C and Series D.


Early life[]


Tarrant on the command deck of the Liberator. (C: Terminal)

Tarrant was a graduate of the Federation Space Academy, and his first command as a lieutenant was of the Kairopan shuttle under Captain Jarvik at the harvest 15 years prior to the visit of the Liberator. At some point he was promoted to Space Captain. Ten years prior to the Scorpio crew's encounter with Egrorian he attended courses at the Space Research Institute, shortly after Egrorian's disappearance. He was later, according to the Ultra, posted missing along with a stolen pursuit ship with which he ran contraband in the Outer Planets, and by his own account got himself "mixed up in other peoples wars": Vila at one point referred to him having an execution order placed on his head for deserting. At some point he encountered Bayban. He rose high on the Federation's "wanted list".

The Intergalactic War[]

During the Intergalactic War, he went in against the Andromedans and his ship was destroyed in their first salvo. He was picked up by a Federation ship and acquired a uniform. When that ship was destroyed, he was picked up by the damaged Liberator and presumed by the Federation officers aboard to be in charge. He cooperated with Avon to kill the Federation officers and take back the ship, after which he became a member of the crew, replacing Jenna Stannis as their principal pilot. (C: Powerplay)

He was captured by Bracheeni and questioned him with a lie detector that electrocuted him if he lied. Once such lie was that he wanted to find Blake and Jenna. He had devised a plan to get to the planet Blake was on whilst Dayna and Vila went to get Cally, but crashed on the planet due to a lack of fuel. They discovered that they were in a weapons factory. (AUDIO: Incentive)

Avon sent him and Del Grant to find a defector and assassinator. They pretended to be delegates of a conference to get into close to the federation. They encountered Servalan before heading to the conference room where they waited to perform the deed. He became paranoid that he wasn't privy to all of the conversations on the liberator about the assassination plans. Their plan was intercepted as an apparent failed assassination attempt on Servalan, however it was actually a cover for a defected federation officer, and the original rebellion had died to cover this. (AUDIO: Defector)

He went to Earth after hearing a message from Solvin Tavac about the Armageddon Storm and Blake. He teleported to the planet with the crew except Vila. He went to the remains of the city of London but was worried about an ambush. He didn't trust Tavac. He wasn't happy about not have a secure exit route. He and his friends were captured by a set of Mutoids and shown to Servalan. He managed to escape and made his way to a crashed shuttle and tried to fix it. He created an audio file to send to others to show the truth of what Servalan planned. He managed to get into orbit but was pursued by pursuit ships. He wanted to stay in orbit to get his message to send asking Vila to save the Earth. (AUDIO: Capital) Vila saved him from the disintegrating ship. He then piloted the ship to attack the moonbase to destroy the weapon. (AUDIO: Punishment)

Later career[]

Tarrant remained a key member of Avon's group through the destruction of the Liberator and their acquisition of the Scorpio. When the Scorpio came under attack off Gauda Prime and was severely damaged, Tarrant was forced to remain aboard to keep the ship stable while the others escaped by teleport.

Though injured, he survived the crash of the vessel and was rescued by Blake, whom he did not know (and whom he believed to be a bounty hunter in the pay of the Federation). He told Avon what he had learned which led to the ultimately fatal misunderstanding between Avon and Blake. In the chaos which followed he appeared to be shot and killed by Federation troopers.


Tarrant's family had a linage working under the Terran Federation, as both his parents worked for the Federation Security Service (Kith and Kin (audio)). He had two elder brothers, Dev Tarrant and an older twin brother, Deeta Tarrant.

As a Federation's Security Service agent, Dev assisted the false conviction of Roj Blake to Cygnus Alpha. Soon afterwards, he successfully infiltrated Avalon's resistance cell on Earth stopping their sabotage of a strategic Hydroponics pump. Dev later left the service to assist his wife Reeva to run a retreat for retired wealthy Federation elites on Corrolos. Tarrant would later trace Dev on instruction in Deeta's last will and testament, believing Dev to be responsible for their parent's deaths. After Reeva was exposed as their parents' killer, she was crushed to death under meteor-hit debris. Distraught, Dev made peace with Tarrant before killing himself.

Deeta referred to Del as his 'little brother'. Deeta was the champion of Teal for four years under the Teal-Vandor Convention but was killed by the android Vinni, leading Del to avenge his brother.


Tarrant Season 4

Tarrant aboard Scorpio. (D: Traitor)

Tarrant was intelligent, cunning and worldly, but could also be arrogant and impulsive. He was also heroic and idealistic - when the Liberator was being pulled into a black hole, he stopped Avon from abandoning the ship on the grounds that "we all go together." Avon once said of him, "Tarrant is brave, young, handsome - there are three good reasons for anyone not to like him." Vila, for his part, observed that "Tarrant has about as much subtlety as a Tarsian warg-strangler."


With Avon[]

He and Avon had frequent "alpha male" clashes over who was in charge of the ship. And while his idealism was central to this conflict, it also afforded Avon some tactical advantages. He would sometimes use Tarrant's headstrong approach to distract the enemy while he found a more devious solution. Despite their conflicts, Tarrant went out of his way on a number of occasions to save Avon's life.

With Vila[]

He tended to bully Vila, which Avon castigated him about on one occasion.

With women[]

Tarrant had brief romantic involvements with Servalan and Zeeona. During the Liberator crew's encounter with Ultraworld, Dayna and Tarrant pretended that they were going to have sex, so that the human reproductive process could be studied by the planet's inhabitants (at one point, Dayna is shown leaning over a prone Tarrant and remarking "I can't be all that repulsive" prior to their first kiss, but ultimately they didn't have to go through with it). He was also attracted to the freed slave Piri, with regrettable consequences.

Behind the scenes[]

  • The first episode of the series, The Way Back, features a Federation security agent called Dev Tarrant who arranges the massacre of Blake's friends and the murder of his lawyers. Big Finish productions retconned Dev as Tarrant's older brother in Kith and Kin (audio). This is just one of many instances of writer Terry Nation naming a character or other significant plot element after himself (see the various Tarons, Tarrants, and taraniums of his Doctor Who scripts, for example).
  • Given the line about his first command being 15 years prior to current events, Tarrant was probably supposed to be at least ten years older than Steven Pacey was at the time. Pacey actually performed the role in a lower pitched voice to accommodate this, on instruction of David Maloney.
  • Tarrant reappeared in the officially licensed continuation novel Afterlife, in which he is revealed to have survived the shootout on Gauda Prime and absconded to resume smuggling, eventually finding his way back to the service of the Federation. Shortly after reuniting with Vila, he is killed by tigers.
  • Duncan Preston, Andrew Ray, Paul Steed and Nick Tate were considered for the role.
  • He was originally known as The Captain and was aged around 35-55.