Avengers Logo

Extraordinary crimes against the people and the state have to be avenged by agents extraordinary. Two such people are John Steed, top professional, and his partner, Emma Peel, talented amateur - otherwise known as 'The Avengers'. - American prologue sequence

Arguably one of the most original ‘spy’ series ever produced for television, ‘The Avengers’ is a stylish blend of espionage, fantasy and science fiction; it originally began transmission in January 1961, and soon became one of the most popular television series of all time, running for 161 episodes and reaching audiences in over 120 countries.

The main character of ‘The Avengers’ is John Steed, a quintessentially British secret agent, recognisable by his expensive suits, umbrella, steel-lined bowler hat and penchant for quaffing champagne at any opportunity. During the course of the series, Steed has six different partners; in the first season he recruits police surgeon Doctor David Keel, as together they avenge the murder of Keel’s fiancée. Shot on videotape in studio, this initial season is much darker and more serious than later ones, especially in the very early episodes, when the viewer is left unsure as to whether Steed is working for ‘our’ side or not…

Seasons two and three see the introduction of anthropologist Doctor Catherine Gale, a self-sufficient and intelligent woman whose judo skills and suede catsuit would break the mould for the portrayal of women on television, as until then ‘the fairer sex’ had never been shown in such a strong and capable way. Cathy is not always Steed's partner during the show's second season - occasionally physician Doctor Martin King, or jazz singer Venus Smith work alongside him.

The introduction of film and location work heralds the arrival of season four, as Steed gains a new partner in the form of Mrs. Emma Peel, a beautiful, highly intelligent, strong, cool and sophisticated agent, very much an equal to Steed. The stories are quirkier and more humorous than before, brilliantly written, and full of original ideas and characters. Season five sees the introduction of colour, along with the larger-than-life villains and outrageous storylines that would become the trademark of the show. Mrs. Peel leaves at the start of season six, and is replaced by Tara King, a pretty young agent fresh out of training school, who has a crush on Steed. However, despite some of the best and most bizarre storylines ever, Tara was not seen as a success; some viewers blame her for being too young and inexperienced, but it is fairer to suggest that the producers failed to maintain the winning formula of the Peel era. In America, the show was placed against the popular-hit ‘Laugh-In’, effectively killing it, and without the financial support of American backers, ‘The Avengers’ was cancelled.

But despite ending on television in 1969, ‘The Avengers’ still continued to entertain audiences with a stage-play, novels, comic books, a radio series, a ‘sequel’ television show called ‘The New Avengers’, and, forgettably, as a particularly awful movie in the 1990s. Even now, ‘The Avengers’ lives on, still reaching new viewers through constant repeat runs, and new DVD releases. Rest assured, the world is safe from the clutches of diabolical masterminds…

The Avengers - Season 1
The Avengers - Season 2
The Avengers - Season 3
The Avengers - Season 4
The Avengers - Season 5
The Avengers - Season 6
The Avengers - Season 7
The Avengers - Stageplay
The Avengers - Radio Series
The Avengers - Novels and Comics
The Avengers - Movie

The New Avengers - Episode Guide

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where you'll find guides to some of the best cult and classic science fiction and telefantasy programmes ever transmitted!

Sources: This series guide has been compiled with the aid of the invaluable work of a variety of authors and their sources; I would like to thank Dave Rogers (lots of reference books, including 'The Complete Avengers'), Paul Cornell, Martin Day, Keith Topping ('The Avengers Dossier'), David Smith at 'Avengers Forever', and of course Patrick Macnee himself ('The Avengers and Me').

Legal Bit: 'The Avengers' is a registered trademark of Canal+ Image UK ltd. and Studiocanal. The 'The Avengers' logo and all images from the television series are copyright Canal+ Image UK ltd. and Studiocanal unless otherwise stated; music is copyright the original composers and producers; no copyright infringement is intended. All specially created images and text are copyright © Clive Banks; please do not use these without my permission. All rights reserved. No profit is made from this website, and any revenue made from using the banner-links featured goes straight back into the costs of maintaining it, which comes out of my own pocket in the first place. No profit advertising is accepted. This website was created purely to entertain and amuse, and any references to persons living, dead, comatose, in suspended animation, regenerated, not born yet, or a figment of someone's imagination is purely coincidental. All opinions expressed are my own, so there...

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