The Avengers Series 6

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 1 – The Forget-Me-Knot

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 1 – The Forget-Me-Knot

  Exit Diana Rigg, enter Linda Thorson. Out with the old, in with the new in The Forget-Me-Knot, a handover episode that saw Diana Rigg leave The Avengers and Linda Thorson join it. Much has been said about Thorson – a good overview can be found here at Avengers Forever – and I’m not going … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 2 – Game

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 2 – Game

After new opening titles – a mix of the medieval (Steed’s swordplay with his brolly) and the modern (Tara King in sophisticated black evening dress and then action-girl attire) – we’re off into Game, the first proper Tara King era episode of The Avengers. The excellent Robert Fuest (director of The Abominable Dr Phibes) is … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 3 – Super Secret Cypher Snatch

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 3 – Super Secret Cypher Snatch

  As mentioned briefly in the previous post (and explained much more fully on the Avengers Forever website), there was a brief interregnum in the final series of The Avengers, when John Bryce took over as producer, only for Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell to return to save the day after Bryce got hopelessly bogged … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 4 – You’ll Catch Your Death

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 4 – You’ll Catch Your Death

  Boring but prescient is how you’d describe You’ll Catch Your Death, fourth episode of the final series of The Avengers. Prescient because it’s all about biological warfare, people dying due to exposure to some deadly toxin, Steed and King investigating the demises of the dead men (naturally) who all happened to be ear, nose … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 5 – Split!

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 5 – Split!

  Split! is the title, as in personality, a mind-control episode co-written by Brian Clemens and the similarly fecund Dennis Spooner. After John Bryce’s trio of episodes, The Invasion of the Earthmen, The Curious Case of the Countless Clues and The Forget-Me-Knot (only the last of which had been seen when this first aired), Split! … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 7 – False Witness

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 7 – False Witness

  An episode of The Avengers with the name of director Charles Crichton on it is usually a good sign. A claim borne out by False Witness, a permutation on a favourite of showrunner Brian Clemens – mind control – scripted by Jeremy Burnham in such a way as to keep us guessing what’s going … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 8 – All Done with Mirrors

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 8 – All Done with Mirrors

  A strange episode in many respects, All Done with Mirrors leaves John Steed almost entirely out of the picture, instead focusing on Tara King’s attempts to find out who is leaking secrets from a communications facility when Steed is arrested as a suspect mole. It’s all a ruse, of course, Steed will in fact … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 9 – Legacy of Death

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 9 – Legacy of Death

  “A bit crap,” is what I wrote in my notes towards the end of watching The Avengers episode Legacy of Death. Perhaps I was being too harsh. My memory of it now is of being a pleasingly entertaining episode, and that’s largely down to the work of Stratford Johns and Ronald Lacey, who do … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 10 – Noon-Doomsday

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 10 – Noon-Doomsday

  High Noon, the 1952 movie starring Gary Cooper, is the inspiration behind this Terry Nation-scripted episode of The Avengers. Nation had done something similarly pastiche-y the previous week with Legacy of Death, an episode that leaned on 1940s noir. Quick thumbnail of High Noon – Gary Cooper is the good guy finding everyone in … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 12 – Have Guns – Will Haggle

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 12 – Have Guns – Will Haggle

    Intended as a 90-minute episode designed to introduce Tara King and originally called Invitation to a Killing, what became the 12th episode of the final series of The Avengers instead ran the usual 50-ish minutes, wound up being called Have Guns – Will Haggle and features not one but two iterations of King. … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 13 – They Keep Killing Steed

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 13 – They Keep Killing Steed

  Improbable and fluffy, They Keep Killing Steed is a prime screenplay by showrunner and writer Brian Clemens, and a clear sign that the series is entirely back on track with a plot pivoting on the ideas of doubles – a classic Clemens trope. The fluidly cinematic Robert Fuest does directorial duty in a plot … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 14 – The Interrogators

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 14 – The Interrogators

  Charles Crichton directs and Christopher Lee guest-stars in The Interrogators, so we’re expecting good things of this episode of The Avengers, right? The plot is a good one – writer Richard Harris fleshing out an idea by Brian Clemens – and hinges on army chaps being tested to destruction by an interrogation outfit run … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 15 – The Rotters

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 15 – The Rotters

  What do you get if you draft in a comedy writer to pen an episode of The Avengers? The answer is The Rotters, by Dave Freeman, a prolific writer for TV comedy from the likes of Benny Hill, Terry Scott, Roy Hudd and Tommy Cooper. The shape of the episode however – opening shocker, call … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 16 – Invasion of the Earthmen

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 16 – Invasion of the Earthmen

  Here we are, Invasion of the Earthmen, the first Tara King episode shot by returning showrunner John Bryce, one of three he managed to get in the can before Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell again resumed control of The Avengers. This is not Bryce’s vision of the episode. Clemens has had a hack at … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 17 – Killer

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 17 – Killer

  Were showrunner Brian Clemens, fellow producer Albert Fennell and the rest of the production team trying to get rid of Linda Thorson? She had been introduced during his brief interregnum by producer John Bryce and when Clemens and Fennell returned, they were stuck with her. Killer is an episode bursting with agents – who … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 18 – The Morning After

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 18 – The Morning After

  Peter Barkworth, Joss Ackland and Brian Blessed fortify The Morning After, a decent “abandoned town” caper with an egregious USP – Tara King isn’t in it. It’s insult added to injury, given that the previous week Linda Thorson had been substituted by obvious try-out replacement Jennifer Croxton. This week Clemens has two stand-ins, Peter … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 20 – Wish You Were Here

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 20 – Wish You Were Here

  After a couple of Tara-lite outings, a Steed-lite one for fans of Linda Thorson, who rises to the occasion in a fairly jokey episode, Wish You Were Here, which sees The Avengers doffing its hat to The Prisoner, whose 13 episodes had blazed across 1967 and 1968 (and continue to be talked about all … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 21 – Love All

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 21 – Love All

  The phrase “pale, stale and male” was still waiting to be coined when this episode was first broadcast on a dark February night in 1969. And you didn’t hear the term “misogyny” on TV much either, particularly not on a Saturday evening entertainment show. But that’s where we are in The Avengers‘ episode Love … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 22 – Stay Tuned

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 22 – Stay Tuned

  Mind control as a plot driver became The Avengers go-to narrative, and it gets another outing in Stay Tuned, a fine example of the show’s ongoing attempts to recapture old glory. It takes flight quickly – Steed with a ridiculous amount of baggage heading off on holiday. And then Steed some time later, also … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 23 – Take Me to Your Leader

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 23 – Take Me to Your Leader

  Coined as a film-making term by Alfred Hitchcock collaborator Angus McPhail, the Macguffin (spell it anyway you like) is a simple plot device which doesn’t do much on its own, but acts as a string on which a number of scenes can be strung, lending an illusion of wholeness to something which, without it, … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 24 – Fog

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 24 – Fog

  London was still notorious for its fog in 1969 when The Avengers episode Fog aired, even though the Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968 had largely consigned all-enveloping, life-shortening meteorological damp blankets to history. No matter, fog is what’s called for and so fog is what we get, a thick pea-souper so dense … Read more