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Casino Royale

Mrs Peel?

Thanks to an eagle-eyed atommickbrane, last night she and I and my scootering friend Kate went on a mission to the Barbican for The Avengers 50th Anniversary Evening: two classic episodes (oh, like every single episode isn't a classic) and a Q&A with director Gerry O’Hara and set designer David Marshall.

Both episodes were black-and-white, new to me, and highly entertaining. Mandrake, the tale of an unscrupulous doctor and a Cornish churchyard, was not only a Mrs Gale story (Honor Blackman, rowr) but guest starred the ever-sexy John Le Mesurier as the doctor and featured an entertainingly ditzy performance from Randall & Hopkirk's Annette Andre as a cracker salesgirl with theatrical leanings.

The Hour That Never Was is a fantastic Diana Rigg story (though poor Patrick had noticeably chubbed out in the face department between series), full of eerie abandoned-airfield shots and with a lovely glimpse of Steed's wartime past as the heavy-drinking hellraiser of RAF Hamelin.

The two old boys made the subsequent Q&A a lot more fun than I expected, especially naughty Gerry.

And I got to introduce friends from different areas of my life, and they seemed to get on OK. Though who wouldn't when there's Avengers to bond over?

Today I have the theme tune lodged firmly in my head, which makes a change from Comedy Central's jingle advertising its 'Joey Tribbiani's Guide To Dating' Friends marathon ('All the sexy ladies, guess what? you're in luck / Joey's gonna invite you up to see his chicken and his duck').


Coincidentally enough that second episode you mention there is one of the few Avengers episodes I've seen all the way through.

(I've though about...acquiring it off and on over the years but I'm determined that when I watch it it'll be on DVDs that I actually own.)
There is an awful lot of it; I rely on repeats and the goodwill of friends, though I may crack and buy a Cathy Gale Years box set!
Perhaps a silly question, but - The Avengers is just old enough to have been shot entirely on film, ne? Presumably, then, the possibility exists of HD releases - but, as far as I can see, there are none such. Might you have any inside word regarding their ushering into the sparkly new future of laptops and flying cars?
Ah - I'm well placed to answer that question, as we watched one episode from the earlier videotape era of the show and one from when it had moved to film.

We were watching 'best quality available' copies, and they were still a bit flakey...
Quack quack.
Ahem, Yay Avengers!
And in my sleep deprived state I thought you said Annette Andre was a crack salesgirl! Then I went O_o;;
She would have been a totally charming one!