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Old January 7 2011, 06:37 PM   #1
23skidoo
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50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

I just had it pointed out to me that today (Jan 7) is the 50th anniversary of the broadcast of "Hot Snow", the first episode of The Avengers.

Back in 1961, the series was a gritty, crime-based show, and in the first episode (the first 15 minutes of which still survive and has been released on DVD), Patrick Macnee debuts as John Steed, a mysterious government agent who recruits recently widowed medical doctor Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry) to fight crime after Keel's wife is murdered by drug dealers.

Of course, it took a year or so before the series really began to resemble The Avengers we know. It was in 1962 (after a strike curtailed production of the first season, giving Hendry an excuse to bolt for a film career) that Honor Blackman was introduced as Cathy Gale, a template for Diana Rigg's later Emma Peel. And the storylines started to become more fantastical and spy-based.

One little fact about The Avengers that doesn't get circulated a lot is that the man credited with creating the series is Sydney Newman, a Canadian ex-pat who was working for British TV companies at the time. A few months after The Avengers started, Newman was hired by the BBC and he became a driving force behind (and is often credited - if slightly erroneously as the record shows it was a team effort - with creating) Doctor Who.

I'll have to dig out my champagne glasses and raise a toast!

Alex
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Old January 8 2011, 12:47 PM   #2
Pemmer Harge
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

The Avengers was a great show. Steed and Mrs Peel were about as cool as it's possible to be.

Did you ever see The New Avengers from the '70s? I didn't like it as much, but Joanna Lumley's generally worth watching.
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Old January 8 2011, 01:48 PM   #3
Count Zero
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

Happy birthday!

Certainly an outstanding series. I was always amazed at how modern it was, with emancipated women aplenty, and how good it still looks, especially the fight scenes.

There's also a little 'crossover' with Doctor Who, in one episode, I think it's 'Death at Bargain Prices', Emma works undercover in a department store and is seen decorating a wall with little toy Daleks.
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Old January 8 2011, 02:23 PM   #4
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

Count Zero wrote: View Post
Happy birthday!

Certainly an outstanding series. I was always amazed at how modern it was, with emancipated women aplenty, and how good it still looks, especially the fight scenes.

There's also a little 'crossover' with Doctor Who, in one episode, I think it's 'Death at Bargain Prices', Emma works undercover in a department store and is seen decorating a wall with little toy Daleks.
The Dalek toys appear in more than one episode, IIRC.

Of course, the show was created by Sydney Newman, who defected to the BBC a year or so later and created Dr Who!

There's also an episode with Roger Delgado as a master hypnotist, albeit before he was in DW.
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Old January 8 2011, 02:58 PM   #5
barnaclelapse
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

One of these days I'm gonna have to watch the whole thing. I've really enjoyed the handful of episodes I've seen.
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Old January 8 2011, 03:18 PM   #6
Ensign_Redshirt
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

Well, happy birthday!

A very influential show that was often ahead of its time. And lots of fun of course. (So, pretty much like Star Trek actually ).
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Old January 8 2011, 05:02 PM   #7
Calhoun24
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

Great show. Only saw a few episodes, but now, I wish I had the Steed/Peel era on DVD. Those were classic episodes.
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Old January 8 2011, 05:30 PM   #8
Ensign_Redshirt
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

Besides, Emma Peel was one of the hottest women in the history of TV.
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Old January 8 2011, 05:39 PM   #9
Forbin
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
Besides, Emma Peel was one of the hottest women in the history of TV.
Amen, brother! Nobody has ever rocked a catsuit like that woman.

I have the A&E DVD releases of the Emma peel, Tara King, and New Avengers series. I watch them often.
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Old January 8 2011, 05:43 PM   #10
Count Zero
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

They just released the complete series (as much as it still exists) in a very appealing box set here. I've had my eyes on it but I don't have the budget at the moment.
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Old January 8 2011, 07:24 PM   #11
RoJoHen
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
Besides, Emma Peel was one of the hottest women in the history of TV.
Agreed.

I'm 25 and have only seen a few episodes from my dad's DVD collection, but I love The Avengers. Steed and Peel are an awesome crime-fighting team.
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Old January 8 2011, 07:54 PM   #12
Marc
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Count Zero wrote: View Post
Happy birthday!

Certainly an outstanding series. I was always amazed at how modern it was, with emancipated women aplenty, and how good it still looks, especially the fight scenes.

There's also a little 'crossover' with Doctor Who, in one episode, I think it's 'Death at Bargain Prices', Emma works undercover in a department store and is seen decorating a wall with little toy Daleks.
The Dalek toys appear in more than one episode, IIRC.

Of course, the show was created by Sydney Newman, who defected to the BBC a year or so later and created Dr Who!

There's also an episode with Roger Delgado as a master hypnotist, albeit before he was in DW.

Ditto for Jon Pertwee who was in a epsiode called from Venus with Love.

Saw on DVD one of the very early ones that might not go down to well today. A group was causing planes to crash and using the survivors as slave labor or something along those lines.

Appearently one of Gareth Thomas (Roj Blake - Blakes 7) earliest roles was a bit part in an Avengers ep.
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Old January 8 2011, 07:55 PM   #13
Mr. Adventure
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

23skidoo wrote: View Post
Back in 1961, the series was a gritty, crime-based show
When it shifted I wonder if people at the time cried out about how they've ruined the show?
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Old April 3 2011, 11:12 PM   #14
avengers_chi
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

For those who are fans of The Avengers you may be interested to hear about an event we're putting on this year to celebrate 50 years of the TV series.

It's the biggest reunion of cast & crew in 40 years, all happening at the University of Chichester on the 25th & 26th June.

More info on our website here: http://blogs.chi.ac.uk/theavengers/

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Old April 3 2011, 11:37 PM   #15
Greg Cox
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Re: 50 years of The Avengers (John Steed)

"Mrs. Peel, we're needed."

One of the best shows ever.

Time to put Laurie Johnson on the CD player, I think.
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