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Julie Stevens
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
Since everyone else is dismissing her, I'm going to stand up for Venus Smith.

She was in the Avengers and she was a "girl", therefore she was an Avengers' Girl!

Julie Stevens gives a lovely performance; wonderful, quirky, warm, funny, entertaining, innocent. I think her songs are brilliant for just being so bizarre. Box of Tricks is really the only episode to feature Venus that I don't engage with but she is a ray of sunshine is all the rest.

So there




Count me in as one of her supporters...c'mon, she's a part of the shows evolution-and-history...
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Brendan Jones
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've so far reviewed the first three Venus episodes. I find Stevens to be a very fun actress, and I'm sensing a developing character now having watched five of the six.

Cathy was definitely the better character, and I can see why Venus is sidelined in fan estimation. However, this is often done when the two women are compared- if you watch Venus without thinking "Where's Cathy?", she's very enjoyable.

Overall, Julie and Venus get a 7 from me. Smile
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was certainly more variety on The Avengers than most other shows - it had real 'eras' that we should embrace, and I hope we don't get too passionate in our views that we would carve up the show into the individual eras we like and dismiss the others.

One of the strengths the show has is a real sense of you're part of a journey, from Dr Keel to The New Avengers. All done because of circumstance - video to film, b/w to colour and change of actor; there was no grand plan.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
There was certainly more variety on The Avengers than most other shows - it had real 'eras' that we should embrace, and I hope we don't get too passionate in our views that we would carve up the show into the individual eras we like and dismiss the others.

One of the strengths the show has is a real sense of you're part of a journey, from Dr Keel to The New Avengers. All done because of circumstance - video to film, b/w to colour and change of actor; there was no grand plan.


well stated...couldn't have said it any better...
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brendan Jones wrote:
Cathy was definitely the better character, and I can see why Venus is sidelined in fan estimation. However, this is often done when the two women are compared- if you watch Venus without thinking "Where's Cathy?", she's very enjoyable.
Great idea. Since I'll watch the Dr King stories as a group, I might as well watch all Venus's stories in one block before I get to the Cathy ones. If nothing else, I may learn to put up with the Dave Lee Trio (but I doubt it).
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
There was certainly more variety on The Avengers than most other shows - it had real 'eras' that we should embrace, and I hope we don't get too passionate in our views that we would carve up the show into the individual eras we like and dismiss the others.


I find that the more years I watch the show, the more my opinions on the eras I wasn't initially fond of soften. With the new Optimum set, my opinion of the Gale era (well, season 2, anyway) has improved exponentially. I don't know if it's because I have a better idea of what to expect, and thus find the tone easier to deal with, or if it's just the fact that I can actually hear/see what's going on most of the time, but I'm enjoying the stories much more on this go-around, and find myself feeling more forgiving, even of stories I found unbearably dull years ago. I've come to the conclusion that anyone who refuses to at least try all of the different eras is missing out on a lot of good stuff. There's something to be enjoyed in each and every one of them, and no other show has ever given its viewers so much choice.
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Halfhide
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with your comments wholeheartedly Timeless! When I first watched the Cathy Gale eps back on Channel 4 all those years ago (?18 years ago) I found them boring. However, now I'm watching Season 2 from Optimum I'm finding things to like about every episode! Maybe I've matured enough to like them now?
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halfhide wrote:
I agree with your comments wholeheartedly Timeless! When I first watched the Cathy Gale eps back on Channel 4 all those years ago (?18 years ago) I found them boring. However, now I'm watching Season 2 from Optimum I'm finding things to like about every episode! Maybe I've matured enough to like them now?


I don't know what it is. Maybe it's just maturity, or maybe it's the fact that I'm coming at the episodes with an understanding of how they're going to work, both in terms of style/content, and in terms of characterisation, and therefore I don't have such high expectations of them, and can just sort of drift along and enjoy them. I think the Gale era is the hardest one to adjust to for people coming from the Emma/Tara episodes. It's such a radically different show in so many ways, I think the viewer goes into a bit of shock. But once you know what to expect, you can sort of get past the slower pace and the fractious Steed/Cathy dynamic, and really appreciate them for what they are. That's my take on it, anyway.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the advantage of being very familiar with videotaped studio shows from the 50s and early 60s - Quatermass, Dr Who, Likely Lads, numerous plays... so a "live"play with 3 'acts' and piped-in music wasn't too hard to adjust to. The filmed episodes are obviously faster, "bigger" in scope and more slickly edited, and with more expensive sets (though the design sometimes looked naffer, oddly) - the monochrome season is never-bettered, but that's the common fan view these days. I think the characterisation in the pre-Emma days was better - "thicker cardboard", like in TNA. Not just of the leads, but the motivations of the incidental characters - even the villains were less like things out of "Batman", and appeared to have real lives, not just one-dimensional fetishes.
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
I had the advantage of being very familiar with videotaped studio shows from the 50s and early 60s - Quatermass, Dr Who, Likely Lads, numerous plays... so a "live"play with 3 'acts' and piped-in music wasn't too hard to adjust to. The filmed episodes are obsiously faster, "bigger" in scope and more slickly edited, and with more expensive sets (though the design sometimes looked naffer, oddly) - the monochrome season is never-bettered, but that's the common fan view these days. I think the characterisation in the pre-Emma days was better - "thicker cardboard", like in TNA. Not just of the leads, but the motivations of the incidental characters - even the villains were less like things out of "Batman", and appeared to have real lives, not just one-dimensional fetishes.


The first time around it was the sheer difficulty in hearing/seeing what was going on that was one of the biggest deterrents. The new sets fixed this, but after I watched the Gales the first time, when I wanted something to watch in the evening that I could just relax and enjoy, I always skipped over seasons 2 and 3 because it was just too darn hard to view them with what little mental energy I had left. Production values and pacing aside, there's just a critical mass of changes that sort of overwhelm you after being weaned on the Emma and Tara stories. Steed's just so nasty, and Cathy can be pretty hard to like, and they seem to be yelling at each other all the time. And on top of that, there's something inherently grimmer about the storylines. It's enough to make you think you're watching another show entirely. It's a huge adjustment. It probably says something that, now that I'm watching them the second time around, I like Steed and Cathy much better, and they don't seem to spend as much time yelling at each other as I remember (either that, or it all went on in season 3, and I'm in for a nasty surprise when I get to the next set).

I have to agree about the characterisation, though. The more Cathy I rewatch, the more you can see the source for a lot of TNA, from the way the leads are constructed to the seriousness of the storylines, and a general focus on making things a little more real and a little less fantastic. I adore the Emmas, but there's definitely something appealing about the overall "thicker cardboard" feel.
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Purrr
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 1973 Julie Stevens performed a guest role in an episode of the British sitcom "The Dick Emery Show". This BBC program was produced from 1963 to 1981, in total 166 shows aired. Click "Sample Clip" on top of the page to view.

The Dick Emery Show
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That lady is not Julie Stevens.
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, really, the lady in a wig do not remind Julie even on a voice timbre. It is a pity that in this fragment of an episode I and could not see it.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
That lady is not Julie Stevens.


I think you're right. It makes me doubt in any case. Could it be Rose Hill?
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is Rose Hill, yes.

I recognised the face, but I had to go to the Britmovie forum where someone gave me her name. I remember her mostly from Allo Allo



In the clip she reminds me a lot of Beryl Reid. Smile
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Purrr
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think she was in one of the 'Thriller' episodes as well. Back to 'The Dick Emery Show', Julie Stevens' name is in the end titles but she's nowhere to be seen in the episode. Well, I will remove the page and clip.
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if it's any consolation, I enjoyed seeing that Dick Emery clip again.

Julie Stevens is best known as one of the presenters of Play School. That's certainly where I remember her from anyway, so I don't know if any of those episodes are available to you.

Great website by the way, I spend far too much time on there looking at the clips.
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ischtar
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following the departure of Ian Hendry after the first year of The Avengers, three new companions were appointed to partner John Steed, who had now taken centre stage, before it was decided who would be the permanent replacement.

Although Honor Blackman's Cathy Gale would eventually take the coveted role, for six episodes Patrick Macnee was partnered with the platinum blonde night-club singer Venus Smith, played by Julie Stevens.
There is a small article on this site about Julie Stevens:

http://www.cult.tv/index.php?view=article&catid=65%3Astar-profiles&id=140%3Ajulie-stevens&option=com_content&Itemid=72

Best known as a children's television presenter, she hosted The Sunday Break, ABC Weekend Television's religious programme for teenagers, during the early 1960s and ITV's Sunday 'Family Hour' which featured the seven-part Pathfinders in Space and its two sequels, devised by The Avengers and Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman.

Between 1966 and 1979 Julie was a regular on Play School, which catered for the pre-school audience, and its companion show, Play Away from 1975 and 1979. In 1972 she played alongside Johnny Ball and Derek Griffiths in Cabbages and Kings, taking part in the historical comedy sketches the series was based around.

As an actress Julie appeared in episodes of Z Cars, Not For Women Only and The Dick Emery Show. For three years she played Rosemary Pilgrim in the ATV sitcom Girls About Town, and appeared in the cinema as Gloria, the slave girl, in Carry on Cleo.

Having spent many years as Harry Secombe's personal manager she recently returned to acting with an appearance in the hospital drama Holby City.

And this is a site about someone, who asked her for an autograph; with a photo of her.
http://members.tripod.com/autograph_heaven/carryon/jstevens1.htm
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Rhonda
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ischtar wrote:

Having spent many years as Harry Secombe's personal manager she recently returned to acting with an appearance in the hospital drama Holby City.

That's interesting. It seems she played the character Pat Fitzjohn in two episodes of Holby City (not that recently!) : Hearts and Flowers, May/29/2001 and The Road Less Travelled, Jun/05/2001.
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a lovely woman, phoning up to apologise for being late with her autograph. I still have a soft spot for Venus, and Julie's commentary on the first Optimum set just reinforced it. Thanks for this. Very Happy
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