The Avengers: A Celebration
By Marcus Hearn
Above- the opening for Series 6… UK never seen here in the US….
A Celebration originally commissioned to ring in 50 years of the series actually saw publication in 2010 and I thought since it is still in print that it was more than appropriate and most important to discuss now. Thanks to Titan Books, Marcus and Canal + Image-who owns The Avengers library now we have can be literally be transported thru time and feel what it must have been like growing up in the 60’s London and the rest of Britain and get a behind the scenes look at how and what went on during production from promo shoots to fashion shows to set production…
because The Avengers was not just about entertainment but fashion, every series 1–6 not only featured clothes from some of the most influential fashion designers by the likes of Hardy Amies and Frederick Starke but Patrick, Honor and Linda also created some of their outfits and these creations were in turn sold at places like .We were introduced to leather outfits and suits with a Victorian flair and very British. Besides how else was the world going to know how to dress and behave like a gentleman’s gentleman. Series 3 kicked off what would become an annual Avengers fashion show.
Our journey begins with a great forward by none other than Patrick Macnee and an introduction. Each chapter starts with several pages of what that particular year’s creative and development changes might have taken place from directors to writers, wardrobe to character’s nuances- then the reader is treated to some of the most sought after and some never before seen pictures BW/Color, each with a detailed caption full of facts and trivia along with highlighting the transitions over the years to lavish production values, especially when moving to Elstree Studios to even the awesome cars that appeared on camera, stars in their own right down to Steeds classic, vintage Rolls Royce, his tea dispenser and car phone.
Details of guest stars including Patrick Allen, Pamela Ann Davy and other of Steed’s partners from Dr Martin King to Venus that appeared in a handful of episodes sometimes as a trial to see audience reaction and always trying to find the right ingredient to bring that wonderful magic we call on-screen chemistry. Behind the scenes talent galore from Associate Producer-Writer Brian Clemens (The Golden Voyage of Sinbad-The Persuaders TV series) to Director Roy Ward Baker (The Saint TV series -The Vampire Lovers) to composer Laurie Johnson (First Men in the Moon-Hot Millions).And who could forget a treasure trove of guest stars and villains and sometimes one and the same in the guise of Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough-featuring all denizens deathly intent including being shrunk to the size smaller than a pencil and a “Triffid” like adventure…these are just some of the bizarre circumstances that Steed and Peel find themselves in and all the while spilling witty banter and double entre one liners.
This Book is a treasure trove of information about one of the world’s most famous duos battling against “Extraordinary Crimes”, everything you have ever wanted to know is here. So the next time a gentleman in a bowler and a fancy looking umbrella with a cane handle turns to you and says “We’re Needed!” he might not be talking about an emergency stop at the store to pick up a bottle of milk…
So enjoy this wonderfully produced salute to a British agent and three of the sexiest ladies ever to slip on a pair of boots- well I do know one other but I’m not telling, that’s personal!!
This is another assignment where I’m trying to keep the British end up and I hope yours is to…Until next time- this is Doc saying tell’em who sent ya..
- Available directly from Titan Books and various booksellers including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Home @ Titan Books
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Where to find The Avengers for your viewing pleasure:
Amazon and VUDU-
Most of the seasons starting after Season/Series 1 are available for purchase .. and Amazon has the episodes in HD and the complete seasons at 9.99…a mere drop in the umbrella…
The Avengers Season 5
(1967 in Color) includes The Forget-Me-Knot episode-Mrs Peel’s farewell, as well as the introduction of Tara King and features 25 episodes with digital HD Ultraviolet (Studio Canal -Lionsgate)
There’s even an Ultimate Collection…