Day: December 17, 2022

The Avengers Revisited – 10 Nov 2005

Today’s recording starts with a trailer for the Marcus Brigstocke topical comedy show The Late Edition.

I always liked the BBC Four Idents.

Today’s programme is The Avengers Revisited, a documentary about the classic 60s and 70s British adventure show.

The show started as a more traditional spy thriller, starring Ian Hendry. Patrick Macnee was his sidekick in the first series.

We hear from writer and producer Brian Clemens, responsible for so much great TV.

When Ian Hendry left the show after the first series, they needed a replacement. Patrick Macnee: “And I remember we had to look around and somebody said, well, why don’t we have a woman? A woman? Because nobody had women in sort of executive or interesting or central positions at all.”

Honor Blackman was cast as Cathy Gale.

Since the design of the show became so important, we hear a lot from Alice Rawsthorn of the Design Museum.

Also contributing a lot to this documentary is TV Historian Dick Fiddy.

When Honor Blackman left the show (she was cast as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger) Diana Rigg was cast as Emma Peel.

The Emma Peel era was marked by a lot of current fashion – she was wearing mini-skirts before anyone else, and one of the pioneers of the mini-skirt, John Bates, designed costumes for the show.

When Diana Rigg left, her replacement was Linda Thorson as Tara King. She couldn’t really match up to Emma Peel, though.

In the 70s, the show was revived, with Joanna Lumley as Purdey.

And Gareth Hunt as Gambit, brought in because they thought Patrick Macnee might not be up to the stunts.

There’s a very brief mention of the movie version, which didn’t do well (not helped by having been severely cut by the studio).

Someone has uploaded the whole thing.

BBC Genome: BBC Four – 10th November 2005 – 20:30