Showing posts from August, 2019

The Avengers: Take Me to Your Leader

I was convinced I had already blogged about this Avengers episode, since it is one of my favourites, but am unable to find it if I have. The episode came to my mind recently, because once again I am having a spot of bother at work. I solemnly swear I don't go looking for it! But when I explained to my manager the reason that it is a phenomenally bad idea to stop anyone except management reporting incidents, I found myself using the words of Mother in this episode, when he comments that his interlocutor would be foolish not to suspect him . Nobody should be above suspicion, and the best-intentioned of people can, and do, go off the rails. Since then one of my colleagues has quite rightly blown the whistle on their failureto treat a particular event as an incident, and management have wound up looking very silly indeed. Anyway the upshot is that all three of their seniors are looking for other jobs. Incidentally, in this one Mother dictates a memo to Grandma, whom we never see, an

The Avengers: Did The Avengers Influence The Ipcress File and Then Parody It?

When I wrote my recent piece speculating whether Bond was an influence on The Avengers, I didn't envision that post becoming a series, but this is probably the second in an unintentional series of posts on The Avengers in its context of Cold War spy literature. Perhaps I should also say that probably none of what I am going to say is academically proveable, so if you're a media student please don't quote me, I am not respectable in any way. Oh, one last disclaimer, Michael Caine normally irritates me witless. In fact Ipcress is the only one of his films I have managed to see all the way through, and I notice a few other people say that they like the film despite its cast. You may also say that his Palmer character is almost diametrically opposed to Steed - definitely working class and not with the grand origins Steed refers to now and again. My theory would be that The Ipcress File may have been initially influenced by The Avengers , since it came out halfway through the

Hancock: The Craftsman

I have written about episodes of Hancock's Half Hour here before. I thought all the episodes of the earlier series just called Hancock had been wiped but have been delighted to discover some on YouTube. Perhaps I should say that they are far from archive quality, but we old TV fans mustn't be too fussy. The key difference from the later show is no Sid James, and of course his presence was the rock on which the show floundered, because Hancock didn't want to become a double act. Here the stooge is played by the familiar face Brian Wilde - at least I knew his face but had to look up his name  He makes a less sharp counterpoint to Hancock than Sid James. Set against the white hot heat of progress which is so often the setting in sixties TV, Hancock becomes the self-appointed expert, both in the old, embodied by the ancient lamp lighter and the modern, embodied by the trend for home improvement. This show is quite heavily criticised on the Internet because of the way it then

The Avengers: Could The Avengers Have Been Influenced by Bond?

Why haven't I thought of this similarity before? As I write this I am watching Never Say Never Again, and while fans will know some don't even think of this as a real Bond film, I have a weakness for the unloved and orphaned. I see from t'internet that the first Bond novel by Ian Fleming was published in 1953 - although push that back to the middle of the forties if you believe that Fleming plagiarised Bond from another writer. The first film was in 1962, although again there was a Bond episode broadcast in the 1950s US TV show Climax! I am not convinced that UK scriptwriters on The Avengers would have been that likely to have seen that show, but of course you never know. The first Avengers episode was broadcast in 1961. In novel terms Bond has the head start but The Avengers was broadcast in the UK before the first Bond film. This  page has a list of real people who could possibly have contributed to Bond's personally - I had no idea there were so many! But one thi