What’s Streaming: The Avengers
My early recollections of television watching was the black and white set my parents had. It had tubes in it, and I remember my father taking them to the local K-Mart to the tube test station to check them when the TV went on the fritz.
But that is not the purpose of this post. One of the earliest shows I recall seeing was The Avengers. No, not the Marvel Comics Universe series, but the British spy show, with Steed and Peel. The stories are cheesy. The action is trite. And the whole concept is at times ridiculous.
And I don’t care.
The main protagonist, John Steed (played by Patrick McNee) is a member of some spy agency. We are never told what agency it is (not MI5 or MI6 for example). He is the classic English Gentleman, groomed, perfectly mannered, and impeccable in his deeds. He exudes sartorial perfection, and never loses his cool.
His partner(s) in crime (so to speak) are females, well styled, and effective foils. Over the three distinct eras, there are three leading ladies. Honor Blackman was first. Cathy Gale was a strong female character, who pushed back and pushed the boundaries, particularly for the time. The remaining videos are cruder, poorly preserved tapes. But they are a fascinating introduction to the genre. The second is the incomparable Diana Rigg. Her character was Emma Peel (or M appeal , for man appeal) and brought a level of panache. Her tenure marked a polish, and across two seasons transitioned from Black and White into the era of Color. The last was Tara King, played by Linda Thorson. That season is my least favorite, but still worthy.
I own all of the available episodes on DVD, and at least once a year I watch them all.
High quality, very entertaining 60’s vintage TV.