The Avengers

First broadcast in France: 1967 (channel 2).

Number of episodes: 161

Lead performers: Patrick Macnee (John Steed), Honor Blackman (Catherine Gale), Diana Rigg (Emma Peel), Linda Thorson (Tara King) and Joanna Lumley (Purdey) and Gareth Hunt (Mike Gambit).

The subject

Originally, the series brought together a doctor helped, in his investigations, by a young British agent, a certain John Steed! The young actor, Patrick Macnee, 39, finds himself the star of the series after the departure of his sidekick in 1963. The production first decides to add a judo expert, the attractive Catherine Gale (the actress Honor Blackman, whose role as a gold woman in "Goldfinger" will circumnavigate the planet). 1965: exit of Cathy, welcome to Emma Peel, pretty brunette rightly considered by the fans like the "Steed-girl" (in reference to the James Bond girls) the most famous of the lot. In 1969, the brunette Tara King inherits the heavy burden of assisting Steed. Alas, lassitude begins to win over the good man, who leaves London for California. Back in Hollywood to conquer a well-deserved place in the cinema (he will never quite succeed) when the phone rings. It's 1975, six years later. A French producer has indeed decided to exhume the idea of John Steed, and to make him take back his hat and put his talent in the service of his very Gracious Majesty (although most episodes will be shot in France and Canada ). With a new teammate just as charming as his "sisters", and an ex-para martial arts expert (at 53, he does not really see himself moving his hock in pursuit of thugs), John Steed starts his last straight line. In 1976, when he finally said goodbye to the character, Macnee keeps the memory of Steed who, without a doubt, will survive him a long time. Moreover, his recent biography (published last year by Presses de la Renaissance) does not bear the evocative title of... "Chapeau melon"!

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