The Avengers and The New Avengers


The New Avengers (1978)
The Avengers (1966-1969)
Type: Revival

   Yet another classic 60's spy show. Man there were a lot of them: I Spy, Mission: Impossible, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Saint, Secret Agent... the list goes on and on. All these shows were largely inspired by the popularity of spy movies, most notably those featuring British super agent James Bond. One spy show to air in America that also had a British pedigree was The Avengers.

   The Avengers starred Patrick Macnee as a straight laced looking British agent named John Steed. Over the course of the series he had a number of female partners who were all daring, liberated and sexy - a nice contrast to the proper Mr. Steed. The most well know of his partners was the sexy and charismatic Emma Peel.

   The show was an import from Britain so the air dates listed above are when the shows were "repeated" on U.S. television and fail to take into account the early years that were only originally aired in Britain.

   In 1976, The New Avengers hit the air in Britain only to sneek its way over to the U.S. on late night TV in 1978. John Steed now had two young agents helping him, female agent Purdey amd male agent Mike Gambit. My bet would be that Macnee's Steed was brought back to tie the new show to the old and lure in viewers with the idea of then shifting the focus to the new young male/female duo.

   In 1998, The Avengers was resurrected one more time as a feature film. I only mention this for the sake of completeness because if I think about the movie too long I want to cry. It holds the distinction of being the only movie that I have ever gone to see in a theater and walked out on. Okay, it was the $2.50 theater but still. The movie actually featured former James Bond Sean Connery as the arch villain. Unfortunately the entire film was just.... bad. When Sean Connery came on screen I sat there feeling full out pity for him. They made him deliver such bad dialogue. As the movie went on I started to think that if they made him do one more humiliating thing, I would walk out. Before I could even finish that thought, they did and I was out of there like a bullet.


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