Variety, exact date unknown - but sometime during the week ending January 20, 1967
With Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, others.
Producers: Albert Fennell, Brian Clemens.
Director: Robert Day.
Writer: Philip Levene
60 mins., Fri., 10 p.m.
In THE AVENGERS, ABC has found a worthy successor to "Twelve O'Clock High", which it replaces in the tail end spot of prime time on Fridays. Brought in near the end of last season to replace the faltering "Ben Casey", the British-made (ABC-TV Ltd., London) show built a respectable following when it was continued through the summer. It should certainly do no worse against the CBS feature films than the diminishing "High" and could make inroads with the adult audience against NBC's "Laredo".
The Avengers is an adult show in the best sense of the word, requiring as it does a moderate amount of intelligence to follow a fairly complex plot line and some reasonably sophisticated dialog. It avoids the spy-fi spoof trap of mashed-mouth sexiness (although Diana Rigg is attractive enough in a form-fitting jump suit), but it is a little un-Britishly dependent upon violence as a solution to its plot problems.
Patrick Macnee is appropriately dapper, suave and urbane as a free-lance opponent to evil, in this case a demented villain who used a laser beam to knock off the wealthy members of an astronomical society in order to get to their loot. Miss Rigg was charming as his derring-do associate. Part of the phantasy about the show is the lack of examination of the pair's relationship other than a mutual devotion to tracking down evildoers. It's also apparently the writer's choice never to make it clear just who the duo work for other than some sort of British "Establishment".
The producers have also taken a page from what English film directors discovered decades ago - that Old Blighty is apparently populated by a limitless number of expert bit and character actors. As a result, the dozen or so minor roles were handled shrewdly and gave a considerable added dimension to the show.
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