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 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 8:05 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)





There’s Never Been Anything Like It –

wink

smile













and Never Will Be Again DEFINITIVE
Department:



Let the titled tributes commence, Avengerophiles on both sides of the percolatin' Pond wink

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 9:57 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Great stuff! I grew up with this show. It started out quite straight & got more camp & way out as it went along, but that's the 60's for you. It's odd that there's no DVD's of it on sale in the UK right now. I have four box sets from a few years back & it holds up very well.
I never bothered with The New Avengers.

 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 11:14 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

As I've posted before, I initially turned the Avengers off in disgust whenever it was that A&E first aired them, maybe about 1989 or so. I mistakenly believed that this show would be about the Marvel Comics Avengers! Where was Cap? Iron Man? The Wasp? Or George Perez's artwork? I turned it off immediately and didn't think of the show until BBC America began airing the show--the color episodes; wouldn't want to scare the youngin' off with black & white--roll eyes So then I became a casual fan. It was only recently that I bought the Emma Peel Megaset and became more interested. I have yet to discover the Kathy Gale and Tara King eps. Well, I've seen one or two Tara King eps, and didn't like them.

Then, I caught up with the Prisoner, which I had seen in 1985 on PBS, and The Saint, which my grandfather liked. This was about five years ago and I'm still getting to know this wacky world of British eccentrics plotting to blow up the world and that Great Britain is composed only of two things: metropolitan London and endless, winding country roads. wink

 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 11:45 AM   
 By:   Stefan Miklos   (Member)

As a kid, I only watched "The Avengers with the characters of Emma Peel (color era), Tara King and Purdey. I watched "The New Avengers" in the late 1970's when it first aired in my country which was, back then, a very tough and gritty approach of the 1960's series.

Two decades ago, I discovered the black and white era of Emma Peel: marvelous and very Film Noir-oriented.
Find the three masterpieces for that B&W era:
"The Hour That Never Was"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-MPpANgMrw
"A Touch of Brimstone"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaV2c5VrPYE
"The House That Jack Built"

And one decade ago, I discovered the Cathy Gale era but I was not amazed.

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2009 - 8:17 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Here's Joanna still going strong, recently, doing her bit as a former colonial:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7948821.stm

Ayo Gurkhali .....!


P.S. ... She won too, just this week.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufTsp3R7A-k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeEqi7WwbPg&feature=related


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A1rKS_GpDA&feature=related

 
 Posted:   May 7, 2009 - 10:14 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Purdey Joanna has hit the top of the news headlines today again, when she publicly pursued the immigration minister and put him on the spot over the Gurkhas:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8038847.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8037181.stm

We aren't talking superficial TV eye-candy here: Miss Lumley amounts to the real thing.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2009 - 1:18 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Finally finished off the Emma Peel Megaset last week and am now going back to the monochrome episodes. I cherry-picked "A Touch of Brimstone" because of 1) Emma Peel's oufit. 2) Peter Wyngarde's great performance. and 3) The influence of this episode on the Claremont-Byrne X-Men comic. There are a few nods to this episode in the comic:

1) The Hellfire Club in the X-Men is itself a secret society bent on world domination. Of course, there really were secret societies like this in the UK.
2) The 18th century attire
3) The White Queen of the Hellfire Club from the comic is named Emma Frost.

Funny that Diana Rigg allegedly designed her bondage clothing, but in another episode, "A Sense of History", Mrs. Peel's Robin Hood outfit is so revealing that she actually puts her hand in front of her backside to keep us from peeking!

 
 Posted:   Sep 5, 2009 - 12:38 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Looks like the Emma Peel Megaset is out of print in the States, as the big bucks it's fetching on the secondary market prove. I spent $50.00 on this (new!) back in January:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000CCW2VQ/ref=sr_1_olp_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1252179271&sr=1-1

 
 Posted:   Sep 5, 2009 - 1:06 PM   
 By:   Hester_Prin   (Member)

And in the late 1960s Jim Steranko lifted the plot line from "Castle De'Ath" for an issue of "Nick Fury, Agent of Shield."

Naughty.

There are maybe 6 good Tara eps. I'll list them upon request.

 
 Posted:   Sep 5, 2009 - 3:09 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

Finally finished off the Emma Peel Megaset last week and am now going back to the monochrome episodes. I cherry-picked "A Touch of Brimstone" because of 1) Emma Peel's oufit. 2) Peter Wyngarde's great performance. and 3) The influence of this episode on the Claremont-Byrne X-Men comic. There are a few nods to this episode in the comic:

1) The Hellfire Club in the X-Men is itself a secret society bent on world domination. Of course, there really were secret societies like this in the UK.
2) The 18th century attire
3) The White Queen of the Hellfire Club from the comic is named Emma Frost.

Funny that Diana Rigg allegedly designed her bondage clothing, but in another episode, "A Sense of History", Mrs. Peel's Robin Hood outfit is so revealing that she actually puts her hand in front of her backside to keep us from peeking!


Another allusion: The villain in the X-men arc is named Jason Wyngarde, a nod to Peter Wyngarde's TV show "Jason King."

 
 Posted:   Sep 5, 2009 - 3:35 PM   
 By:   Hester_Prin   (Member)

Funny that Diana Rigg allegedly designed her bondage clothing, but in another episode, "A Sense of History", Mrs. Peel's Robin Hood outfit is so revealing that she actually puts her hand in front of her backside to keep us from peeking---------------


None of this is true.

 
 Posted:   Sep 5, 2009 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Funny that Diana Rigg allegedly designed her bondage clothing, but in another episode, "A Sense of History", Mrs. Peel's Robin Hood outfit is so revealing that she actually puts her hand in front of her backside to keep us from peeking---------------


None of this is true.


I wrote "allegedly", but here are some sources that say she did:

http://www.sk96.de/sk_dr02.htm

http://theavengers.tv/forever/peel1-21.htm

 
 Posted:   Sep 5, 2009 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)


There are maybe 6 good Tara eps. I'll list them upon request.


None of this is true.

big grin

 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2009 - 8:29 AM   
 By:   Hester_Prin   (Member)

As the previous Blackman series had made a breakthrough in setting fashion trends, ABC were determined that the new series would once again lead the way, and called in top designer John Bates to produce a new and daring wardrobe for Emma.

Bearing in mind that a filmed series has a screen-life expectancy of five years or more, and that the more extreme the fashions are, the quicker they date, Bates created designs that were as modern as her character, yet timeless enough to remain acceptable when the series was shown in some foreign country two or three years later. Since Emma was to be a younger, gayer and more feminine character than her predecessor; Bates designed a number of day and evening dresses which were both demure and daring, in materials such as lace, silk, plastics, lame and crepe. Emma's fighting suits largely discarded the leather image for a different kind of sex appeal based on form-fitting stretch jersey, or (where leather was used) on an animal look conveyed through snakeskin, or a soft-centred look achieved by wearing leather over a crepe blouse, A recurring target motif was used to symbolise the op-art space-age design.

Thigh-length skirts, catsuits, hipster pants and white berets completed the new look, ABC commissioned tie-ups with 14 British fashion manufacturers and soon major stores and boutiques in Britian and overseas were selling what became known as the Jean Varon/Avengers pack.

For the colour series fashion changes were this time in the capable hands of Alan Hughes. It was Diana Rigg herself who suggested him to ABC. The guiding principle of the brief given to Hughes by the producers was to make Emma elegant and feminine. It seems, however, that Alan Hughes interpreted this as feminine and feline. His Emma in day or evening wear looked beguilingly innocent, but was capable of delivering a knockout blow to any unsuspecting villain.

Emma's fighting suits (called by Hughes 'Emmapeelers') were in stretch Crimplene and jersey, with a recurring motif of buckles, links and braiding, but they differed from previous fighting suits by having bootees of the same material to give an all-in-one effect from throat to toe.

'In her Emmapeelers,' said Hughes, 'Emma is like a cat in the night, prowling silently on her secret assignments, ready to strike at anyone who challenges her.' To enhance the feline effect, Mr Hughes also designed several fur coats, including one with a tiger motif. Emma wore boots only with her trouser suits or, in highwayman-style, at thigh length. She wore very little leather, but lots of soft suede in coats, trouser suits and co-ordinates, which alternated skirts with bermuda shorts.

Bermudas were also used in chiffon for short evening dresses, but there was a strong Mata Han feeling about the gorgeously-coloured silk and chiffon dresses and lounging pyjamas, with echoes of Art Nouveau in the flowing curves which dominated the collection. 'All Emma's clothes are made for movement,' said Hughes. 'Skirts are easy, dresses have back pleats, coats have a slim line with back swing. I have designed the whole collection for Diana's particular kind of physical grace, and for the split personality, half warm and womanly, half cool and dangerous, that she brings to Emma Peel. ABC were surprised to learn at this time that the Americans were very worried about the avant-garde nature of Diana's wardrobe and actually asked the studio if they would change it to conform to American fashion Thankfully, this request was refused.

While plans for the new series were being formulated, Diana Rigg was finding that some of the rewards of being a celebrity were actually problems - being approached in public by strangers, signing autographs, making personal appearances, coping with fanmail. Publicity sessions worried her: she found it difficult to talk about herself or her work unless the interviewer was on her wavelength, or to relax with photographers unless there was a rapport between them.

During the summer recess, Diana, who had been earning £ 150 a week from the show, declared 'I'm worth at least three times that,' and issued an ultimatum to ABC, that unless she received more money, she would not return to the series. Diana also had plenty to say about working on the show. 'It's the life of a mole,' she said. 'My world is 15,000 feet square, lit by high-voltage bulbs, and smells of cigarettes and make-up. I rarely see daylight and sleep on a camp bed during the lunch break.' Her demands were met and she returned to her life of a mole at £450 a week. (In fairness to Diana Rigg, however, it should be pointed out that she did not return simply for the financial benefits, but more from her loyalty to Patrick Macnee, the show and all those who were involved in it. But she did make it quite clear that this would be her last series)

____________________________________

Recommended Tara King episodes:

FOG
The Rotters
Legacy of Death
Thing-a-ma-jig
Stop Me If You've Heard This One....

 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2009 - 9:28 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Interesting piece, though it doesn't state who created the bondage outfit from "A Touch of Brimstone."

My wife really likes Emma's outfits from the monochrome episodes--the dresses and skirts rather than the preponderance of "Emmapeelers" worn in the color episodes.



Recommended Tara King episodes:

FOG
The Rotters
Legacy of Death
Thing-a-ma-jig
Stop Me If You've Heard This One....


You couldn't come up with six good Tara King episodes? big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2009 - 10:14 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

After a few years of being unavailable in the UK, it looks like they're all going to be released. Next month it's series two & what survives of series one, along with a lot of extras (including new interviews). The end of the year season three, & so on. Good news.

 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2009 - 10:52 AM   
 By:   Hester_Prin   (Member)

I recently rented THE BONUS disc with interviews as well as an inferior tape of the American Chess Board Intro.... there is nothing special there. Though some of the interviews are fairly recent, as per usual, Diana Rigg had nothing to do with it. They relied on dated footage for her. For many years now she has distanced herself from the series... refusing to even sign autographs of photos from that period. "I no longer look like that," she stated.

_______________________

I'm sure it makes a great annecdote to claim Diana Rigg designed the outfit in Touch of Brimstone- but seeing that she had very little enthusiasm for the show while in production I doubt she would invest the time required for such nonsense. They had, obviously, costume designers. And when shooting for ten days on a single episode would you bother stitching together something on your free time? Don't trust fan sites.

You will have to settle on the reality of seeing through her night gown in Castle De'Ath when it comes to concrete jollies.

 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2009 - 11:04 AM   
 By:   Hester_Prin   (Member)


Recommended Tara King episodes:

FOG
The Rotters
Legacy of Death
Thing-a-ma-jig
Stop Me If You've Heard This One....


You couldn't come up with six good Tara King episodes? big grin

Sadly, it seems, no. A number of episodes were already in the can, so to speak, when the production realized they were in trouble. They were awful. So they pulled back in the original production team that did NOT like Linda Thorsen. Though she says she had a wonderful time and was confident in her performance, she also knew she was following Diana Rigg who was 'very much beloved". The story lines were more and more inferior, the production value was dropping, they were working on two episodes at the same time to save money, and in America it was DIANA RIGG that the country fell in love with. The show was doomed. To make it worse, American Television that was paying for the program by then thought the "Mother' character was a great addition. Which was awful and moved the show from tongue-in-cheek charm to more of a buffoon driven flatness. Diana Rigg left at the right time.

_______________________________________

Neverthless, after all these years, the wonderful chemistry between Mrs. Peel and John Steed remains vital and immortal.... still entertaining... even in some cases predicting future technology. But Diana Rigg could have walked in circles round an empty stage reading the telephone book and people would have been delighted. She never became a movie star, but did not want to be. It was the stage where she was admired. But no matter what, it will be her superlative creation of Mrs. Peel in which she will be remembered. And I refuse to believe a great deal of the dialogue in those episodes was scripted... the natural and effortless humor and twinkle in the eyes of both *stars* is obvious.

 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2009 - 11:14 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I recently rented THE BONUS disc with interviews as well as an inferior tape of the American Chess Board Intro.... there is nothing special there. Though some of the interviews are fairly recent, as per usual, Diana Rigg had nothing to do with it. They relied on dated footage for her. For many years now she has distanced herself from the series... refusing to even sign autographs of photos from that period. "I no longer look like that," she stated.

_______________________

I'm sure it makes a great annecdote to claim Diana Rigg designed the outfit in Touch of Brimstone- but seeing that she had very little enthusiasm for the show while in production I doubt she would invest the time required for such nonsense. They had, obviously, costume designers. And when shooting for ten days on a single episode would you bother stitching together something on your free time? Don't trust fan sites.

You will have to settle on the reality of seeing through her night gown in Castle De'Ath when it comes to concrete jollies.



Once again, keep in mind that in my initial post, I wrote "allegedly", so I took that statement with a large grain of salt. I also provided links to sites that made the claim. I had my doubts, but yes, it IS an interesting story.

Diana Rigg will always be remembered as Emma Peel, her Shakespearean aspirations or whatever else be damned. That's more than a lot of better actors can claim.

 
 Posted:   Sep 6, 2009 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

What an interesting biography of Mr. MacNee:

http://www.patrickmacnee.com/bio.html

He once related the following:

He was entering an elevator somewhere in New York, when suddenly, as the doors opened, there emerged none other than Peter O'Toole.

O'Toole, 'Why Patrick, how wonderful to see you. What on earth are you doing here?'

MacNee, 'Why Peter. how spendid to see you here of all places. We're doing 'The Avengers'.'

O'Toole, 'But Patrick .... you're ALWAYS doing 'The Avengers' ...'


Astute man, that O'Toole. There was a time to complete the opus.

 
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