Avengers '62

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Click for availability and more information Avengers '62

Fans of 60s television remember The Avengers, which first aired here in 1966-69, as a colorful, tongue-in-cheek send-up of the spy genre, with various science fictional elements thrown in, as well as Patrick Macnee as suave agent John Steed and Diana Rigg and intelligent, sexy and independent partner Mrs. Peel. Well, before the Macnee-Rigg episodes were first produced, the series had already run in England since 1961, shot in one-take-only sequence, in black and white and on videotape. The earliest surviving episodes have now been collected as part of the Avengers '62 DVD set  and they're quite a contrast to the later episodes. Fourteen episodes from 1962, featuring Macnee's Steed working with three different partners (only one of which, Honor Blackman's Mrs. Cathy Gale, would last beyond three episodes; Blackman stayed with the series until 1964) and going after mundane killers and enemy spies. Yet the shows do have a certain crude charm (the fight scenes, done live, are unintentionally funny), with a slowly developing sense of wit coming through (such as a hitman using a teddy bear to interview clients) that would develop in future seasons. Plus, Blackman's Cathy Gale predates Rigg's Mrs. Peel as an independent and self-reliant woman, able to take care of herself without any help from men, which wasn't the norm back in the early 60s. Recommended episodes: "Mr. Teddy Bear", "Death Dispatch", "Propellant 23".
-Ed

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This page contains a single entry published on July 25, 2007 8:37 PM.

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