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Showing posts from May, 2017

The Avengers: Strange Case of the Green Girl

The Avengers spinoffs are coming to my attention thick and fast at the moment. At the start of this year I hadn't heard of the comic strips. I knew about the Right Guard advertisement, but I didn't know that a decade before Patrick Macnee had appeared in a more-overtly Avengers-inspired fashion shoot. It was a promotion for clothes by Austin Reed in Terylene fabric and took the form of a spy story in the Man's Journal, presented with Woman's Realm in April 1966. You can download a PDF of the whole thing  here  and my source for the images is  here . I like this spin-off enormously because it manages to capture the visual world of The Avengers so perfectly.

The Avengers: The Secret Six and a Giveaway

This is of course an adventure from The Avengers' comic book adventures. I bought the second set of adventures published by Big Finish, only to find that there is a printing error on one of the discs of this set in the first edition. The upshot is that through Big Finish being keen to bend over backwards to please their customers I have wound up with two copies of the disc of The Secret Six (both of which are printed with the name of another adventure. Rather than throw away the surplus one, if anyone wants it, just drop me your address in a comment on this post (I won't publish it), and I will put it in the post to the first commenter. There is a sense in which this is both a return to the early days of The Avengers (literally two against the underworld), and yet also manages to reference virtually every mystery in history, as well as referencing various Avengers adventures, which themselves already reference or parody many adventures! It may sound overly postmodern but this A

The Frighteners: Bed and Breakfast

I have a somewhat ambivalent relationship with the whole genre of scary TV shows. Last year, for example, I bought the boxed set of Thriller, only to find that it didn't really do a great deal for me. And yet this is strangely idiosyncratic, because as a child I loved both Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Tales of the Unexpected. Yet strangely I have never taken to Hitchcock's films, finding them too biased towards the suspense and away from things actually happening, and the two TV shows I loved so much as a child have failed to hold their interest for me as an adult. Another classic film series of the horror genre to which I was exposed as a child and which I find has lost its interest now is the Hammer House of Horror films. I have a feeling that their interest as a child was contingent on the fact that I was staying up beyond what mother would want, she was asleep upstairs, and the films contained a hint of sex - once again the horror and the sex alike never really came to fru

Coming up...

I wrote a whole post recently about the contents of my Amazon basket. Some of those things have moved from my basket into my possession, so this post will be more about things I actually have in hand. I have bought the second volume of  Big Finish's  dramatisations of the Steed and Mrs Peel cartoons from the sixties. You can of course imagine my joy at having another four new Avengers adventures. It was cheapest to buy the CDs from an Amazon marketplace seller and you can imagine my disappointment at finding that my new, sealed set contained two discs the same so that I was missing one adventure. Kudos to Big Finish for sending me a replacement disc without fuss - I really hope it was just mine that was like this, a whole run gone wrong could really be expensive. The first volume of Spike Milligan's show  Q  has found a home on my shelves. I love Milligan's humour, although I would say that I suspect the confusing and eccentric numbering of this series (beginning at numbe

The Avengers: Patrick MacNee/John Steed in a Right Guard Advertisement which has caused me to reflect on how sexy old TV is

(Edit: this is my first experiment with the Blogger video player and I find it's not working for me so if you have trouble seeing the video I've also uploaded it here ) The fact that I am devoting a whole post to an advertisement does not mean that I have finally run out of TV to write about - it means that this advertisement has made me want to share some reflections here on the, well, sexiness and world of old TV. 'Sex began in 1963,' was how Larkin phrased the sexual revolution, and of course that was before the TV I write about here, or else more or less coincided with its start. Regular readers will know that I don't shy away from writing about the sexiness of the TV I watch. Yet on the whole it is a rather 'underground' sort of sexuality, which I suspect could be because of broadcasting standards at the time. And here's the thing - look up The Avengers on the internet, and I have to say that you will find some of the shows appearing on what I c

Special Branch: Intercept

I have honestly no recollection whether I have posted about Special Branch here before: I have a feeling that since it is a show which took a marked change of direction from its 1960s incarnation to its 1970s incarnation, I may have posted about the 1960s incarnation before, and left the 1970s version to be dealt with on a different day. That day has npw arrived, and frankly I am surprised that I haven't got round to posting about how much I love this series here. It has literally everything. It has 1970s nostalgia (my dad had a Ford Cortina like that), it has politics in their broader sense, it has the internal politics of the special branch, it has the personality clash between Craven and Haggerty, and most particularly it has that wonderful 1970s feel. WHat I like very much about Intercept is the political topic of the South American oil and how this is all related to a parcel bomb which goes off right at the beginning. Energy and violence: what more 1970s subject matter coul