Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Avengers

Mrs Peel... we're needed!
The Avengers was fantastic. That is, the Avengers television show as opposed to the crummy Avengers film staring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman made in 1998. That film was an empty shell compared to the Avengers from the 1960s.

Unfortunately this review will completely ignore the Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore from Goldfinger) and Linda Thorson eras. I've seen so little of the two (and none in terms of Thorson). Any attempts would be rendered futile. I've never even seen an episode of the "New Avengers" so I can't even discuss it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Avengers, each episode revolves generally around a murder or other crime (but generally someone's dead). Enter Patrick Macnee as 'John Steed', a sophisticated gent (and he even wears a bowler!). As a general rule he has a partner ("in crime" - so to speak), and all but one or two exceptions that partner is a she. For the era I've watched she's 'Emma Peel', played by Diana Rigg.

The show is abosoltely tounge-in-cheek camp, but unlike so much "camp" that goes horribly wrong, you're always along for the ride. Each episode almost plays off like a complete joke, a joke you'd expect was stolen and used for an Austin Powers film, but they play it straight enough that you just want more. Assassin cats? People who wear boots to climb on ceilings because they want to be more like birds? The list can go on and on.

In fact the direction this show takes could not be farther from the style that Danger Man, which I reviewed not too long ago, takes. Polar opposites, but both arrive exactly what they meant to.


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