Australian Financial Review, 13 March, page 10, Emma Peel and Steed
packed a post-modern punch, Liesl Schillinger, Australia.
April, page 121, Book Reviews, Anthony Brown, England. Review
of The Avengers Dossier.
The Daily Telegraph: Weekend, 23 May, pages 1 and 2,
What Makes John Steed The Perfect Englishman?, Patrick Macnee, England. Series and Steed overview.
June, pages 68,69,71,72,73, The Sidearms of Emma Peel, Leroy
Thompson. "The glamorous, leather-clad heroine of The Avengers
favored surprisingly traditional hardware." Says it all!!
Cinefantastique vol. 30 #3, July,
pages 1,32-57, The Avengers, Alan Jones, James Murray, USA. Some movie stuff,
but mainly TV show-based. Covers a lot of ground. (O)
Cinefantastique vol. 30 #4, August, pages 32,33,34,35,36, 37,38,39,40,41,
The Avengers, James Murray, Fred
Szebin, Alan Jones, USA. (Mainly movie stuff, but there is a Patrick Macnee
Mensa Quest, August, cover and pages 10-12, 14, Back With A Vengeance, Sinclair Mackay, England.
Intelligent women in The Avengers.
8 August, pages 12 and 13, The Master Avenger, Kevin O'Sullivan, England. Patrick Macnee interview.
Guide, 8 August, pages 1,4,5, World
Class, Bob Stanley, England. Avengers Fashion.
TV Guide, 15 August, pages 28,29,30, Posh Spies,
Ted Johnson & Vince Cosgrove, USA. Interviews with Diana Rigg
and Patrick Macnee. (O)
15 August, pages 42,43,44, As 'The Avengers' finally hits the big
screen, the original John Steed, Patrick Macnee, shares memories from his
home in Palm Springs, Richard Barber, England.
Wales on Sunday, 16 August, pages 2 and 3, Uma's
Emma Lacks A-Peel, Maria Williams, Wales. Interview with
fashion designer John Bates about the fashions of 'The Avengers' movie.
Weekly, 24 August, page unknown, Bumber Shooting, author unknown,
Daily Mirror: The Look Magazine, 29 August, page 19,
Peeling Back The Years, Steve Clark, England. Diana Rigg
and Satellite Week, 29 August, pages 1,4,5, Brolly Good Show, Author
Unknown, England. Repeats on Granada Plus, Patrick Macnee interview.
Sunday Telegraph Magazine, 6 September, pages
1,12,13,14,15, Swinging Sixty, Nigel Farndale, England.
Diana Rigg interview - 60th birthday.
Femme Fatales, September, cover
and pages 8-15, The Avengers - Diana Rigg On Her Timeless A-Peel, Ronald L.
Femme Fatales, September, pages 20,21, The Avengers - M. Appeal, James Murray, USA.
Brian Clemens interview about 'the ladies'. (O)
Femme Fatales, September, cover and pages 8-15, Steed
on M. Appeal, James Murray, USA. Patrick Macnee talks about his
favourite Head Postmistresses and Admirals of the Fleet. (O)
254, September, pages 24,25,26,27, Honor Role, Steven Eramo, USA. Honor Blackman interview.
254, September, pages 28 and 29, Avenging Women, Keith Olexa, USA. A look at the other Gels.
Guide, September, page 10, Back With A Vengeance!, Hilary
September, page 105, Video Reviews, Nick Setchfield,
England. Review of two Emma Peel videos.
November, pages unknown, Series Cultes supplement, pages unknown (4), author
#61, November 1998, pages 1 & ?, title unknown, author unknown, Australia.
AUSTRALIAN, November 11, page 36, Sixties myths keep swinging back,
Peter Craven, Australia.
THERE are times when the 1960s seem to provide us with the most abiding mythology. In the past couple of weeks, we have seen the death of the British poet laureate, Ted Hughes -perhaps the most famous poet on Earth because of the abiding fascination of the suicide in 1963 of his wife and fellow poet, Sylvia
Plath. And we have seen the release of a film version of The Avengers, the television show that dominates so many memories of the 60s and can seem to sum up the ambiguities of that decade's
...snip... Ted Hughes material...
* * * I HAVE just tried and failed to find The Avengers in the index of Peter Conrad's history of 20th-century culture Modern Times, Modern Places, which had its Melbourne launch last week -so the reader may conclude that the Tasmanian who jumps from the operas of Richard Strauss to the paintings of Meidner is something of a high culture man. The Avengers -the television show -however, was a rather high and mighty example of the popular thing it was.
One is forcibly reminded of this by the new film with Ralph Fiennes as John Steed and Uma Thurman as Emma Peel.
One of the troubles with the movie is that although there is a fairly energetic effort to create a plot full of Avengers-style whimsies -Sean Connery as a malevolent lord of bad weather, conferences of baddies got up as multi-coloured teddy bears, Eileen Atkins as a gun-toting old maid -the film never comes within cooee of the spoofing zest of the original.
Diana Rigg was trained to do Shakespeare; just at the moment, she's playing
Phedre in Ted Hughes' translation of the Racine tragedy. Patrick Macnee is quoted in Toby Miller's informative British Film Institute monograph on The Avengers saying that he wasn't a bad substitute for Rex Harrison or David
In one way, both Rigg and Macnee were slumming it; they represented the funny (and sexy) clash between a nascent feminism and the sort of ambiguous heterosexuality of the old-style dapper English charmer.
All of which comes vividly to mind as you read Miller's study, which has the singular advantage of reminding you of why you liked the television show in the first place, even if the combination of fan talk and cultural studies lingo has its odd
At times this can lead to a kind of post-Marxist fast-talking political allegory, which would have Steed and Mrs Peel wrinkling their noses in horror.
"While the post-war Attlee Labour government's form of life seemed to inhabit the self-consciously northern regionalism of BBC policy, Harold Wilson's combination of white-hot technological modernisation with contemporary popular culture informed ITV's espionage's unselfconsciously southern urbanism." Miller
is the son of political scientist J. D. B. Miller and the list of thank yous to such warriors of cultural studies as Ian Hunter, Ken Wark, Catherine Lumby and Noel King testifies to the fact that not so long ago he used to profess that discipline at Griffith University.
This book, which is beautifully illustrated, is the kind of thing Avengers fans will kill for and it can be picked up from the inner urban bookshops.
If Miller is a bit turgid (and a little too enthused by the S&M genealogy of The Avengers' display of leather) he has certainly done his research and there are some terrific quotes, particularly from Macnee, who says at one point: "I was an
18th century man faced with a 21st-century woman."
Video Watchdog issue 47, pages
7,8,9, "Mrs Peel... We're digitally remastered.", Tim Lucas,
USA, Reviews of First Two A&E Boxed Sets.
NOTE -Several small errors in this piece were corrected in the
following issue of Video Watchdog.