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Bright Horizons book
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that's the kind of response we want the book to have!Smile
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denis
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ve just read THE MURDER MARKET chapter.
I’d say it’s totally astonishing and I don’t share some points of view which are un-Avengerish for me. The series were written with ‘devious mind’ but not ‘disturbed mind’ as most of the series are nowadays written.
First example: ‘The sexual frisson that results from seeing Diana Rigg performing on the instrument while Steed plays with his club could hardly be more Freudin’. Maybe for some, but not for French fans who were a little confused by this sentence.
But the ‘worst’ is to come, when Lovejoy, Dinsford and Steed are tasting cakes and drinking champagne: it’s supposed to be ‘homo-eroticism’!
‘A row of carefully positioned bottled canted at waist level behind which the three actors suggestively present themselves. A daringly provocative hint at then illicit sexual practise’.
My goodness! What are these British ‘illicit sexual practise’ that ‘poor’ French fans do not know?
More seriously, I think that this fabulous season 4 was written with an evident devious mind but in no way with pornographic and lunatic spirits that don’t match the sophistication of the season.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

denis wrote:

My goodness! What are these British ‘illicit sexual practise’ that ‘poor’ French fans do not know?
Just that homosexual activity was illegal in Britain until 1967.
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dissolute
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's because the author of the chapter is a Freudian psychologist, so everything is phallic.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

denis wrote:
I’ve just read THE MURDER MARKET chapter.
I’d say it’s totally astonishing and I don’t share some points of view which are un-Avengerish for me. The series were written with ‘devious mind’ but not ‘disturbed mind’ as most of the series are nowadays written.
First example: ‘The sexual frisson that results from seeing Diana Rigg performing on the instrument while Steed plays with his club could hardly be more Freudin’. Maybe for some, but not for French fans who were a little confused by this sentence.
But the ‘worst’ is to come, when Lovejoy, Dinsford and Steed are tasting cakes and drinking champagne: it’s supposed to be ‘homo-eroticism’!
‘A row of carefully positioned bottled canted at waist level behind which the three actors suggestively present themselves. A daringly provocative hint at then illicit sexual practise’.
My goodness! What are these British ‘illicit sexual practise’ that ‘poor’ French fans do not know?
More seriously, I think that this fabulous season 4 was written with an evident devious mind but in no way with pornographic and lunatic spirits that don’t match the sophistication of the season.


I agree Denis. After reading this chapter I went back and watched the episode to see if I had missed the sexual references and concluded that the author's interpretations of the scenes were really a stretch. It's overall a very good chapter but it seems to me that the author is projecting things that aren't really there in this episode. Of course, I'm simply a fan, not a psychologist.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Sam a psychologist? I knew Margo is a psychiatrist. Quite a collection of mind experts! I'll have to be careful what I reveal...
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Speed Six
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

denis wrote:
I’ve just read THE MURDER MARKET chapter.
I’d say it’s totally astonishing and I don’t share some points of view which are un-Avengerish for me. The series were written with ‘devious mind’ but not ‘disturbed mind’ as most of the series are nowadays written.
First example: ‘The sexual frisson that results from seeing Diana Rigg performing on the instrument while Steed plays with his club could hardly be more Freudin’. Maybe for some, but not for French fans who were a little confused by this sentence.
But the ‘worst’ is to come, when Lovejoy, Dinsford and Steed are tasting cakes and drinking champagne: it’s supposed to be ‘homo-eroticism’!
‘A row of carefully positioned bottled canted at waist level behind which the three actors suggestively present themselves. A daringly provocative hint at then illicit sexual practise’.
My goodness! What are these British ‘illicit sexual practise’ that ‘poor’ French fans do not know?
More seriously, I think that this fabulous season 4 was written with an evident devious mind but in no way with pornographic and lunatic spirits that don’t match the sophistication of the season.


I wouldn't claim to be a Freudian psychologist, but anyone with a basic knowledge of Freudian symbolism in the visual media will understand how sexually provocative the positioning of the champagne bottles in The Murder Market scene is - likewise the use of props in the golf/tuba scene. Perhaps something is lost in the translation of the dialogue to French, but the English dialogue certainly reinforces the subtext. Throughout The Avengers there are similar examples of Freudian symbolism - as there are in many Hitchcock films, which are often cited as inspiration for the Avengers' creative team. It's an element of the kind of humour that Brian Clemens is referring to when he describes the series as working on different levels.
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Speed Six
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
denis wrote:
I’ve just read THE MURDER MARKET chapter.
I’d say it’s totally astonishing and I don’t share some points of view which are un-Avengerish for me. The series were written with ‘devious mind’ but not ‘disturbed mind’ as most of the series are nowadays written.
First example: ‘The sexual frisson that results from seeing Diana Rigg performing on the instrument while Steed plays with his club could hardly be more Freudin’. Maybe for some, but not for French fans who were a little confused by this sentence.
But the ‘worst’ is to come, when Lovejoy, Dinsford and Steed are tasting cakes and drinking champagne: it’s supposed to be ‘homo-eroticism’!
‘A row of carefully positioned bottled canted at waist level behind which the three actors suggestively present themselves. A daringly provocative hint at then illicit sexual practise’.
My goodness! What are these British ‘illicit sexual practise’ that ‘poor’ French fans do not know?
More seriously, I think that this fabulous season 4 was written with an evident devious mind but in no way with pornographic and lunatic spirits that don’t match the sophistication of the season.


I agree Denis. After reading this chapter I went back and watched the episode to see if I had missed the sexual references and concluded that the author's interpretations of the scenes were really a stretch. It's overall a very good chapter but it seems to me that the author is projecting things that aren't really there in this episode. Of course, I'm simply a fan, not a psychologist.


Again, perhaps I have a better understanding of how the creative minds behind the series approached their work, but there's no doubt at all that these references were entirely intentional and part of the show's ethos.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speed Six wrote:
Dan wrote:
denis wrote:
I’ve just read THE MURDER MARKET chapter.
I’d say it’s totally astonishing and I don’t share some points of view which are un-Avengerish for me. The series were written with ‘devious mind’ but not ‘disturbed mind’ as most of the series are nowadays written.
First example: ‘The sexual frisson that results from seeing Diana Rigg performing on the instrument while Steed plays with his club could hardly be more Freudin’. Maybe for some, but not for French fans who were a little confused by this sentence.
But the ‘worst’ is to come, when Lovejoy, Dinsford and Steed are tasting cakes and drinking champagne: it’s supposed to be ‘homo-eroticism’!
‘A row of carefully positioned bottled canted at waist level behind which the three actors suggestively present themselves. A daringly provocative hint at then illicit sexual practise’.
My goodness! What are these British ‘illicit sexual practise’ that ‘poor’ French fans do not know?
More seriously, I think that this fabulous season 4 was written with an evident devious mind but in no way with pornographic and lunatic spirits that don’t match the sophistication of the season.


I agree Denis. After reading this chapter I went back and watched the episode to see if I had missed the sexual references and concluded that the author's interpretations of the scenes were really a stretch. It's overall a very good chapter but it seems to me that the author is projecting things that aren't really there in this episode. Of course, I'm simply a fan, not a psychologist.


Again, perhaps I have a better understanding of how the creative minds behind the series approached their work, but there's no doubt at all that these references were entirely intentional and part of the show's ethos.


As someone who is purely a fan with no insider knowledge whatsoever, I'll defer to your better understanding here.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the writer did not prove their point based on available textual evidence, as well assumptions about the creative minds behind it, then there's probably a problem with the media scholarship.
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denis
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, Frankymole, I did not know that homosexual activity was illegal in Britain until 1967. That explains the behaviour of Lovejoy and, especially, Dinsford.
I did not know as well, dissolute, that the author of the chapter is a Freudian psychologist, and indeed, for most of them, ‘everything is phallic’. As we say in France : ‘on met le sexe ŕ toutes les sauces’.
Honestly, I do not think that the Avengers writers had Freudian symbolism in mind when they developed the scenarios. Of course, there are some subtle devil minds (some of them are not even translated into French) but nothing to do with the positioning of champagne bottles! Champagne is only part of celebration, nothing else. And I do specify that I watch the series in English.
For the other scene, I don’t see anything sexual in the tuba scene. I have written about this point of view on the French forum and French Avengers Facebook and nobody has this approach. Yet, we, French people, we are not known to be prudish!

Never as well had I heard of writers’ references to Freud (and it’s just as well). I’ll ask Rodney as soon as I can.
I don’t think Avengers fans would have had a better understanding of the series if they had read Freud before…
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

denis wrote:
Ok, Frankymole, I did not know that homosexual activity was illegal in Britain until 1967. That explains the behaviour of Lovejoy and, especially, Dinsford.
I did not know as well, dissolute, that the author of the chapter is a Freudian psychologist, and indeed, for most of them, ‘everything is phallic’. As we say in France : ‘on met le sexe ŕ toutes les sauces’.
Honestly, I do not think that the Avengers writers had Freudian symbolism in mind when they developed the scenarios. Of course, there are some subtle devil minds (some of them are not even translated into French) but nothing to do with the positioning of champagne bottles! Champagne is only part of celebration, nothing else. And I do specify that I watch the series in English.
The bit in the colour title sequences where Emma shoots of the top of Steed's tilted champagne bottle and the white stream spurts out is followed by a suggestive glance from each of them to the other... Macnee often refers to the series sauciness and that he was a very kinky man, so I think both he and Diana Rigg (and the filmmakers) had something in mind there... it was the Swinging 60s and the sexual revolution, afterall... it is, shall we say, "open to interpretation" anyway.
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam's chapter on The Murder Market is one of the book's highlights and I feel that everything he covers was there in Williamson or Clemens' creative mind. As BC suggests, the show is very kinky, if you have the right or wrong sort of mind!
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denis
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We can write anything about any series. If I have the right sort of mind, I can also see something devious in Little House on the prairie….and in Kojak, my best cop show.
However there were not so many series at that time which were successful playing on the double meaning sexy and even putting the heroines in situations clearly, if not erotic, fantasy anyway! The examples are numerous ... But this has nothing to do with the unconscious! It's even the contrary, always in the foreground! So of course it is possible to have fun seeing psy symbols everywhere, it is quite easy!
Just start, as Frankymole stated, with the colour title sequences of season 5 (and here it is obviously voluntary) or even the final battle of Positive -negative man, with the malicious replica of Emma Steed in the tag: Are you AC or DC? But that's not how Clemens and his writers were working. We first had a typical theme Avengers, a construction with regular strong scenes (murder, prosecution, fights ...) and a writing emphasizing humor and double meanings. Of course, the author had the right to let his libido filter in the writing, it was even recommended ... but I doubt that Tony Williamson thought of the Freudian involvement on these accessories while writing the golf and tuba scene and the positioning of the champagne bottles in the Togetherness premises.
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roland Barthes once said that the birth of the reader necessitates the death of the author.
I don't agree with him but I do think that there is a sub-text to many Avengers episodes.

Both Bright Horizons and Mrs. Peel, We're Needed have sold large numbers this month in the Christmas build up, but Anticlockwise has barely sold a copy. Maybe in the New Year...
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though I know this feeling is not shared by many on this board, I would argue that any claims about the meaning of an episode should be supported based on textual evidence first, and claims about knowing the minds of the writers/creators after. If the episode itself doesn't support those claims, then the claims are specious. Most film studies classrooms will teach "death of the author" because, for all intents and purposes, media productions (unlike novels) have no single author (auteur theory has been misused by popular film writing to a degree that it no longer means anything).
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denis
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodders wrote:
Both Bright Horizons and Mrs. Peel, We're Needed have sold large numbers this month in the Christmas build up, but Anticlockwise has barely sold a copy. Maybe in the New Year...
I will make some advertising for the book tomorrow at the French Avengers meeting. Hope it will help a little.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be fair to Barthes, his "Death of the Author" theory was actually in favour of opening up the consideration of a text to many valid interpretations, not to restrict it to having fewer. "To give a text an Author" and assign a single, corresponding interpretation to it "is to impose a limit on that text."

So the Freudian interpretation is perfectly valid, regardless of one's attitude to the writer and his biography. And so are many others - they don't have to be "supported by the text", merely not contradicted by it.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All analysis has to be supported by evidence. You can overlay a Freudian interpretation and look at the work through that lens, but you still have to be able to find evidence within the text to support your analysis. Not all texts lend themselves to a Marxist, feminist, Freudian, etc. reading. And not all analysis is created equal - a Freudian interpretation can be based on a scarcity of evidence such that the interpretation itself does not hold water. Not saying that that's what's happening here; simply making a general statement. The writer has to make a convincing argument for whatever interpretation they've chosen to apply to the text.

I am not arguing for a single interpretation - just evidence that supports any interpretation.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reminds me of the old joke about the guy who went to see a psychiatrist:

Guy: "Doc you gotta help me - I think I'm obsessed with sex."

Doc: "Hmm... let's do a little experiment." (Doc then pulls out a piece of paper and draws a straight vertical line on it.) "Now what does that remind you of?"

Guy: "Oh boy! That's a naked woman standing there!"

Doc: "Hmm..." (He then pulls out another piece of paper and draws a horizontal line.) "How about this? What does this remind you of?"

Guy: "Wow! That's a naked woman lying there!"

Doc: "My goodness! You certainly are obsessed with sex!"

Guy: "What are you talking about? You're the one drawing all the naughty pictures!"
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