Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Coming next: The Avengers Series 1!

Having got to the end of the posts I projected on railways in cult TV I have decided that I am going to give my own opinionated view on series 1 of The Avengers. I hope nobody has come to this blog post eagerly expecting that I have visited some local TV station in some out of the way part of the world and found that they happen to have the remaining reels of series 1 on their dusty shelves, which they haven't cleared out since c. 1961. Sadly I don't think that is ever going to happen, since it seems The Avengers was not exported in the way Doctor Who was, at least until later series.
This is rather something I have been meaning to do for some time, which is to watch through the reconstructed series 1 episodes I have on my DVD box sets, read about them on the internet and with the help of the book, The Curious Case of the Missing Episodes, and try to enter the world of missing Avengers episodes.
One of the reasons it has taken me so long to get round to doing this is simply fear. When I posted about Hot Snow some time ago, I realised that I had avoided doing so because I would never really be able to post about any new Avengers episodes ever. And similarly, I have never actually watched all of the reconstructed series 1 episodes in any detail, because I know that this will be my last opportunity ever to view any 'new' Avengers stories. I think this sense a putting off a final treat and a fear of disappointment may also have been behind my major disappointment at the Big Finish treatment of the missing series 1 episodes: I am finding I would rather read about them, read snippets of scripts, and let Steed's voice come through to me as if he is still alive. Let nobody say that television destroys human relationships: I've only just realised that I am describing a bereavement experience.
Of course watching these episodes are not the absolutely last possible Avengers experiences one could have. There are the novels, which to varying degrees reconstruct the authentic Avengers atmosphere. There are also many later Avengers fan fiction stories on t'internet. But I must express a personal reservation here: some are very good, and as if the canon were continuing and the 1960s had never ended. Some others are also very good writing and authentic except in one major detail: I don't like the 'slash' fiction where Steed and Mrs Peel are a couple. To me the whole point of The Avengers is they might get it together, one can argue for and against them having been an item in the past, but the actual confirmation that that will ever happen will never be forthcoming.
Anyway, there's no danger of that in series 1. And I'm looking forward to the earliest slant on The Avengers, where Steed is a rather different, and definitely dodgy, character.
I am going to do this, I am going to make myself watch those reconstructions and write about them. And of course that is really the purpose of this introductory post: I watched The Springers last night and found myself shying away from actually evaluating it and writing about it, and this post is to make me do just that.

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