8.2/10
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The Avengers 

A quirky spy show of the adventures of eccentrically suave British Agent John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and his predominately female partners.

Creator:

Sydney Newman
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Popularity
1,095 ( 41)

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7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1991   1969   1968   1967   1966   1965   … See all »
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Patrick Macnee ...  John Steed / ... 161 episodes, 1961-1969
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Storyline

John Steed (Patrick Macnee) works for British Intelligence and works with various partners, notably: Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry) (season one), Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman) (seasons two and three), Emma Peel (Dame Diana Rigg) (seasons four, five, and six), and Tara King (Linda Thorson) (season seven). The problems he finds are always a bit odd, just on the edge of science fiction (cyborg killers, a city built under a disused coal mine, a gang put together for adrenaline junkies, and a killer who used a concentrated cold virus to kill his victims by having them sneeze to death). Steed is always the ultimate in culture and grace as he saves the world each week. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Avengers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(161 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A radio version began two years after the show ended: broadcast weeknightly on Springbok Radio, the South African Broadcasting Corporation's English-speaking wing, scripts from the filmed series (often earlier versions than had appeared on-screen) were re-worked into fifteen-minute serials of varying lengths. Sponsored by Cold Water Omo and starring Donald Monat as Steed, and Diane Appleby as Mrs Peel (including scripts written for Tara King from the final season; Mother also made occasional appearances, usually played by Colin Fish, the series ran from December 6, 1971 to December 28, 1973 (plus a mini reprise in "The Great Gong Robbery", a special drama celebrating Springbok's Silver Jubilee on April 30, 1975). Laurie Johnson's theme song was used throughout, and to smooth over the more visual aspects Springbok news broadcaster Hugh Rouse was engaged as the tongue-in-cheek narrator. This was South Africa's sole experience of the show (outside of rented movie prints) at the time, since their television service only began in the mid 1970s, and the parent television series wasn't purchased until many years later. It is unknown how many serials aired: from a potential eighty-three stories (some of which appear to have been remade), only nineteen are currently known to exist in full, thanks to private South African enthusiasts, as the SABC did not retain any copies. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
John Steed: Mrs. Peel, we're needed.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits for the first half of the final season (featuring Tara King) were a parody of the gunbarrel opening sequence in the James Bond films. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the United States during the 1970's, some fourth season syndication prints lacked the chessboard sequence before the title and some fifth and sixth season episodes lacked the champagne bottle sequence before the title. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Venture Bros.: Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

"Good morning Cathy, what's for breakfast?" "Cook it and see!"
1 October 2003 | by fdpedroSee all my reviews

PART ONE: THE EARLY YEARS (61-64)

When most people think of THE AVENGERS, they often think of the Emma Peel episodes and tend to ignore the magic that the entire series is. What began as a cheap weekly live-broadcast B&W thriller managed to become a major color series with quite high production values and also the first British TV show ever to be exported to the US.

THE AVENGERS began in 1961, as an attempt to cash in ABC's previous medical thriller POLICE SURGEON. The former stared Ian Hendry who became one of the biggest TV stars of the time. The show failed to be a hit however. So Hendry and his co-star Ingrid Hafner were called in to do a replacement called THE AVENGERS. The weekly show would pair up the widowed Dr. Keel (Hendry) with charming secret agent John Steed (Patrick McNee) as they hunted down criminals and diabolical masterminds while walking on the noir-like soaked London streets wearing raincoats. Hafner starred in some episodes as nurse Carol. Only two of these episodes are known to exist, and they have been rarely seen. After many videotaped episodes, the show became a hit and Hendry decided it was a perfect time to start a movie career. He quit the show and so did Hafner. This left co-star McNee all by himself.

The second season started in 1962 and McNee was paired up with Dr. King (Jon Rollason), a temporary replacement. After shooting left-over season one scripts, King was dropped and Julie Stevens as jazz singer Venus Smith was brought in to be Steed's new female partner. A bad one by the way. Not only was Stevens a young unexperienced actress, but the character itself was a manipulative innocent teenager that would always become the damsel in distress and have to be saved during the climax. Weak material here. However, the writers decided to pair Steed up with a different kind of female partner. One that would be written as a male character on the script, and play it like a man. And so was born television's first true independent woman: Mrs. Catherine Gale. Played to perfection by Honor Blackman, the high-tempered Cathy would always have "battle of the sexes" arguments with Steed, hit him with outrageous answers and punchlines, ("Good morning Cathy, what's for breakfast?" "Cook it and see!") and always try to erase his sexist side. Also notable were Cathy's leather catsuits that launched an entire fashion in England, as well as her weekly judo fights with male thugs. The many Cathy Gale episodes have remained in obscurity during the years for the fact that they were videotaped on low production values and transfered into poor prints with lackluster sound. This makes them almost unwatchable. And the bad guest acting and all the technical bloopers that were never fixed during editing didn't help. But all the purists who try to avoid these episodes are actually missing a great load of fun. If you overlook all the negative elements, you are left with entertaining stories that always surprise you with all the wit, poison, and humor from McNee and Blackman. You would also be surprised at how superior the material is since back then the show took itself seriously.

Some episodes speak for themselves: MANDRAKE is a slow-paced but well done suspense with a great fight scene with Blackman and wrestler Jack Parlo. THE LITTLE WONDERS is a funny episode featuring Lois Maxwell (a.k.a Miss Moneypenny) as a wicked machine-gun shooting evil nun. DRESSED TO KILL is a well done variation of Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians. THE MAN WITH TWO SHADOWS was one of the first spy stories to use the look-alike element. And THE CHARMERS is perhaps one of the best episodes ever.

It is true that these shows don't even come close to the wonderful filmed seasons that would start in 1965 and they do not hold up to today's standards when compared to other shows of the time. But the biggest reason you should go back to watch these episodes is Cathy Gale herself. A wonderful actress (Blackman) and a wonderful character, Gale is one of the most important female characters of all time. She is for sure my favorite out of all of Steed's partners. Long live Cathy Gale!


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