The Avengers (1961-1969)

UK, 7 January 1961-21 May 1969
6 series, 161 episodes, average 50m each
35mm film, black and white (1961-1965); colour (1967-1969), 4:3
mono, English

A British fantasy television series created by Sydney Newman who was never credited on screen with devising the show. It began life as a more serious drama until gradually transforming into the often surreal and fantastic series of popular memory.

Premise

Debonaire British secret agent John Steed teams with a variety of fellow agents, usually women, to combat all manner of master criminals, mad scientists and other threats to national security.

Episodes

Series One
Hot Snow (7 January 1961)
Brought to Book (14 January 1961)
Square Root of Evil (21 January 1961)
Nightmare (28 January 1961)
Crescent Moon (4 February 1961)
Girl on the Trapeze (11 February 1961)
Diamond Cut Diamond (18 February 1961)
The Radioactive Man (25 February 1961)
Ashes of Roses (4 March 1961)
Hunt the Man Down (18 March 1961)
Please Don’t Feed the Animals (1 April 1961)
Dance with Death (15 April 1961)
One for the Mortuary (29 April 1961)
The Springers (13 May 1961)
The Frighteners (27 May 1961)
The Yellow Needle (10 June 1961)
Death on the Slipway (24 June 1961)
Double Danger (8 July 1961)
Toy Trap (22 July 1961)
The Tunnel of Fear (5 August 1961)
The Far Distant Dead (19 August 1961)
Kill the King (2 September 1961)
Dead of Winter (9 December 1961)
The Deadly Air (16 December 1961)
A Change of Bait (23 December 1961)
Dragonsfield (30 December 1961)

Series Two
Mr Teddy Bear (29 September 1962)
Propellant 23 (6 October 1962)
The Decapod (13 October 1962)
Bullseye (20 October 1962)
Mission to Montreal (27 October 1962)
The Removal Men (3 November 1962)
The Mauritius Penny (10 November 1962)
Death of a Great Dane (17 November 1962)
The Sell-Out (24 November 1962)
Death on the Rocks (1 December 1962)
Traitor in Zebra (8 December 1962)
The Big Thinker (15 December 1962)
Death Dispatch (22 December 1962)
Dead on Course (29 December 1962)
Intercrime (5 January 1963)
Immortal Clay (12 January 1963)
Box of Tricks (19 January 1963)
Warlock (26 January 1963)
The Golden Eggs (2 February 1963)
School for Traitors (9 February 1963)
The White Dwarf (16 February 1963)
The Man in the Mirror (23 February 1963)
Conspiracy of Silence (2 March 1963)
A Chorus of Frogs (9 March 1963)
Six Hands Across a Table (16 March 1963)
Killer Whale (23 March 1963)

Series Three
Brief for Murder (28 September 1963)
The Undertakers (5 October 1963)
Man with Two Shadows (12 October 1963)
The Nutshell (19 October 1963)
Death of a Batman (26 October 1963)
November Five (2 November 1963)
The Gilded Cage (9 November 1963)
Second Sight (16 November 1963)
The Medicine Men (23 November 1963)
The Grandeur That Was Rome (30 November 1963)
The Golden Fleece (7 December 1963)
Don’t Look Behind You (14 December 1963)
Death Ala Carte (21 December 1963)
Dressed to Kill (28 December 1963)
The White Elephant (4 January 1964)
The Little Wonders (11 January 1964)
The Wringer (18 January 1964)
Mandrake (25 January 1964)
The Secrets Broker (1 February 1964)
Trojan Horse (8 February 1964)
Build a Better Mousetrap (15 February 1964)
The Outside-In Man (22 February 1964)
The Charmers (29 February 1964)
Concerto (7 March 1964)
Esprit De Corps (14 March 1964)
Lobster Quadrille (21 March 1964)

Series Four
The Town of No Return (2 October 1965)
The Gravediggers (9 October 1965)
The Cybernauts (16 October 1965)
Death at Bargain Prices (23 October 1965)
Castle De’ath (30 October 1965)
The Master Minds (6 November 1965)
The Murder Market (13 November 1965)
A Surfeit of H2O (20 November 1965)
The Hour that Never Was (27 November 1965)
Dial a Deadly Number (4 December 1965)
Man-Eater of Surrey Green (11 December 1965)
Two’s a Crowd (18 December 1965)
Too Many Christmas Trees (23 December 1965)
Silent Dust (1 January 1966)
Room Without a View (8 January 1966)
Small Game For Big Hunters (15 January 1966)
The Girl from Auntie (22 January 1966)
The Thirteenth Hole (29 January 1966)
Quick-Quick Slow Death (5 February 1966)
The Danger Makers (12 February 1966)
A Touch of Brimstone (19 February 1966)
What the Butler Saw (26 February 1966)
The House That Jack Built (5 March 1966)
A Sense of History (12 March 1966)
How to Succeed… at Murder (19 March 1966)
Honey For the Prince (26 March 1966)

Series Five
From Venus With Love (14 January 1967)
The Fear Merchants (21 January 1967)
Escape in Time (28 January 1967)
The See-Through Man (4 February 1967)
The Bird Who Knew Too Much (11 February 1967)
The Winged Avenger (18 February 1967)
The Living Dead (25 February 1967)
The Hidden Tiger (4 March 1967)
The Correct Way to Kill (11 March 1967)
Never, Never Say Die (18 March 1967)
Epic (1 April 1967)
The Superlative Seven (8 April 1967)
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station (15 April 1967)
Something Nasty in the Nursery (22 April 1967)
The Joker (29 April 1967)
Who’s Who??? (6 May 1967)
Return of the Cybernauts (30 September 1967)
Death’s Door (7 October 1967)
The 50,000 Pound Breakfast (14 October 1967)
Dead Man’s Treasure (21 October 1967)
You Have Just Been Murdered (28 October 1967)
The Positive Negative Man (4 November 1967)
Murdersville (11 November 1967)
Mission… Highly Improbable (18 November 1967)

Series Six
The Forget-Me-Knot (25 September 1968)
Game (2 October 1968)
Super Secret Cypher Snatch (9 October 1968)
You’ll Catch Your Death (16 October 1968)
Split! (23 October 1968)
Whoever Shot Poor George Oblique Stroke XR40 (30 October 1968)
False Witness (6 November 1968)
All Done With Mirrors (13 November 1968)
Legacy of Death (20 November 1968)
Noon Doomsday (27 November 1968)
Look- (stop me if you’ve heard this one) But There Were These Two Fellers… (4 December 1968)
Have Guns – Will Haggle (11 December 1968)
They Keep Killing Steed (18 December 1968)
The Interrogators (1 January 1969)
The Rotters (8 January 1969)
Invasion of the Earthmen (15 January 1969)
Killer (22 January 1969)
The Morning After (29 January 1969)
The Curious Case of the Countless Clues (5 February 1969)
Wish You Were Here (12 February 1969)
Love All (19 February 1969)
Stay Tuned (26 February 1969)
Take Me to Your Leader (5 March 1969)
Fog (12 March 1969)
Who Was That Man I Saw You With? (19 March 1969)
Homicide and Old Lace (26 March 1969)
Thingumajig (2 April 1969)
My Wildest Dream (7 April 1969)
Requiem (16 April 1969)
Take-Over (23 April 1969)
Pandora (30 April 1969)
Get-a-Way (14 May 1969)
Bizarre (21 May 1969)

Alternative Titles

Agente Speciale – Italy
Chapeau melon et bottes de cuir – France
Mit Schirm, Charme und Melone – Germany
Los vengadores – Spain, Argentina

Sequels
The New Avengers (1976-1977)
The Avengers (1998)

Extracts included in
The Avengers Revisited (2005)

References

Periodicals

  • Cinefantastique vol.30 no.3 (July 1998) pp.42-57 – illustrated article (The Avengers by James Murray)
  • Cinefantastique vol.30 no.4 (August 1998) pp.32-40 – illustrated interview with Patrick Macnee (The Avengers by James Murray)
  • Cinefantastique vol.36 no.5 (October/November 2004) p.72 – illustrated article (Latent image: The Avengers by Jeff Bond)
  • Classic Images no.287 (May 1999) pp.C18-C20,33-35 – illustrated interview with Brian Clemens (The man who created The Avengers: an interview with Brian Clemens by Wheeler Winston Dixon)
  • Classic Television no.3 (February/March 1998) pp.16-19 – illustrated article (Pure in thought and Steed)
  • Classic Television November/December 2000 pp.40-42 – Illustrated article (The queen of cool by Ellen Cheshire)
  • Cult TV vol.1 no.3 (October 1997) pp.60-63 – illustrated article (Imperial leather Nick Setchfield)
  • Cult TV vol.2 no.3 (March 1998) pp.28-33 – illustrated article (Kick-Ass angels by Nick Setchfield)
  • Cult TV June 1998 pp.19-28; 58-63 – illustrated article (The 50 greatest TV moments of all time by Rob Fraser, Steve Jarratt, John Kent, Paul Kirkley et al ); illustrated article (Auto-erotica by John Kent)
  • The Daily Cinema no.9021 (29 January 1965) p.8 – note (Production-wise)
  • The Daily Cinema no.9024 (5 February 1965) p.8 – note (Production-wise)
  • Discourse vol.18 no.3 Spring 1996 pp.112-136 – illustrated article (Television’s first feminist: The Avengers and female spectatorship by Thomas Andrae)
  • Emmy vol.13 no.2 April 1991 pp.26-29 – illustrated article (The Avengers’ Patrick Macnee: Cool Before It Was Hip by Danny Biederman)
  • Empire no.96 (June 1997) p.60 – illustrated interview with Patrick Macnee (Where are they now? by Darren Bignell)
  • Empire no.246 (December 2009) p.184 – illustrated DVD review (At home/TV: The Avengers: Series 1 and 2 by Kim Newman)
  • Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television vol.1 no.3 (August 1998) pp.458-459 – review of The Avengers by Toby Miller (by Chad A. Martin)
  • Infinity no.11 pp.21-27; 38 – illustrated article (Assembling the original Avengers by Brian J. Robb); illustrated DVD review (by AB [Allan Bryce])
  • Interzone no.231 (November/December 2010) p.59 – review (by Tony Lee)
  • Interzone no.232 (January/February 2011) p.52 – review (by Tony Lee)
  • Interzone no.227 (March/April 2010) p.57 – review (by Tony Lee)
  • Journal of British Cinema and Television vol.1 no.1 (2004) pp.175-177 – book review (by Nicholas J. Cull)
  • Journal of British Cinema and Television vol. no.1 (2006) pp.164-172 – book review (by James Chapman)
  • Journal of Communication vol.4 no.3 (Summer 1999) pp.202-204 – book review (by Jonathan David Tankel)
  • Metro no.78 (Summer 1988/89) pp.23-25 – article (Have Cagney and Lacey cracked the case? by Kate Rhodes)
  • New Review of Film and Television vol. no.1 (May 2005) pp.15-32 – article (Exemplarity, pedagogy and television history by Jonathan Bignell)
  • Playback Special Collectors 1995 pp.34-35 – illustrated article
  • Primetime vol.1 no.1 (July 1981) pp.13, 14-16; 13; 14-16 – illustrated article; article; episode list
  • Primetime no.16 (Winter 1990/91) pp.28-33 – illustrated article (Under the influence of the Avengers by Michael Richardson)
  • Sight & Sound vol. no.11 November 1993 pp.62 – illustrated article (Wind Up by Peter Dean)
  • Sight & Sound vol.2 no.1 (January 2010) pp.90 – illustrated DVD Reviews (The Avengers – Series 1&2 by Sergio Angelini)
  • Starburst no.14 (1979) pp.10-14 – article
  • Starburst no.29 (1980) pp.38-42, 49 – Interview with Brian Clemens
  • Starburst no.66 (February 1984) pp.42-43 – note
  • Starburst no.198 February 1995 pp.33 – illustrated review (The Avengers: Vols 19&20 (PG))
  • Starburst no.208 (December 1995) p.47 – illustrated note (Videofile)
  • Starburst no.286 (June 2002) p.66 – illustrated DVD review (The Avengers 1965 Definitive Dossier Volume One by Alan Jones)
  • Starburst no.289 (September 2002) p.77 – illustrated DVD review (The Avengers 1968: Files 1 & 2 by David Richardson)
  • Starburst no.294 (January 2003) p.69 – illustrated DVD review (The Avengers: 1966, Volume Two by Jan Vincent-Rudzki)
  • Starburst no.297 (April 2003) p.67 – illustrated DVD reviews (The Avengers 1963/64 Box Set; Avengers 1968 – Vols 5-8)
  • Starburst no.309 April 2004 pp.24-28 – illustrated article (Top 10 RetroCool)
  • Starburst Special no.20 (1994) pp.64-67 – illustrated interview with Linda Thorson (Linda Thorson by David Bassom)
  • Starburst Special no.47 (April 2001) pp.94-98 – illustrated article (SF and The Avengers by Howard Maxford)
  • Supernatural no.1 (January 1969) pp.44-46 – illustrated article (Television fantasy by Stan Nicholls)
  • Television vol.3 no.7 (October 1997) pp.22 – review (Cult fiction by Louise Bishop)
  • Television Weekly no.4 (9 February 1983) p.11 – article
  • Time Out no.533 (4 July 1980) pp.43, 61 – article
  • Time Screen no.20 (Spring 1994) pp.4-8 – illustrated article (Tony Williamson by Michael Richardson)
  • TV Guide vol.4 no.45 08 Nov 1997 pp.24-27 – illustrated article (Wry spies by Ted Johnson)
  • TV Guide vol.4 no.33 (15 August 1998) pp.29-30; 28-29 – illustrated interview with Diana Rigg (Posh spies: Diana Rigg classic act by Vince Cosgrove); illustrated interview with Patrick Macnee (Posh spies: Patrick Macnee forever Steed by Ted Johnson)
  • TV Guide vol.4 no.30 (24 July 1999) pp.8-9 – article (The Roush review: leave our TV classics alone! by Matt Roush)
  • TV Times vol.11 no.11 (12 March 1983) p.75 – note
  • TV Times vol.112 no.40 (1 October 1983) p.68 – article
  • TV Zone no.75 (February 1996) pp.41-44 – illustrated article (Honor Blackman leather and lace David Richardson)
  • TV Zone no.106 (September 1998) pp.32-36 – illustrated article (The Avengers: blackboots & bowlers by Alex Wilcock)
  • TV Zone Yearbook 1994 pp.24-27 – illustrated article (Bringing the skills of film making to TV by John Porter)

Books

  • The Avengers by Toby Miller
  • The Avengers: A Celebration: 50 Years of a Television Classic by Marcus Hearn
  • The Avengers and Me by Patrick Macnee and Dave Rogers
  • The Avengers Companion by Alain Carraze and Jean-Luc Putheaud – articles, episode guide
  • The Avengers Dossier by Paul Cornell, Martin Day and Keith Topping – episode guide, reviews
  • The Avengers Files by Andrew Pixley
  • Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to The Avengers by Michael Richardson
  • The Complete Avengers by Dave Rogers – episode guide, production notes, credits, synopses
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.106, 152, 159, 199, 203, 210, 213
  • The Historical Dictionary of British Spy Fiction by Alan Burton pp.39-41 – note
  • The Ultimate Avengers by Dave Rogers – episode guide, production notes, credits, synopses

Other Sources

  • National Film Theatre Programmes January 2001 pp.36-37 – illustrated note regarding Avengers Day at the National Film Theatre