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Emma Peel

The Avengers (from the Paul Rance book 50 Great Moments and Memories of the 1960s)


Pairing a middle-aged man with an attractive young woman is old enough when it comes to TV and film. But it has rarely been done as entertainingly, as when Patrick MacNee played the bowler-hatted, umbrella-wielding John Steed - with a succession of feisty women by his side fighting crime together.

Honor Blackman as Cathy Gayle, Diana Rigg as Emma Peel (m appeal = man appeal. Get it?) and Linda Thorson as Tara King appealed to men and women alike. This was down to their being strong women, but while still retaining their femininity. John Steed was really a cool throwback to a pre-War English gentleman, but the contrast between him and his hip young female companions worked.

Few shows highlighted trendy Britain as much as The Avengers. Though, skilfully, the creators of the show certainly included enough aspects of 'old' Britain to give The Avengers generational appeal.

Copyright © Paul Rance

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