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Questions for Roger Marshall
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Artanis
Have Fingers... Will Type!


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
I'm not sure that Steed would have got away with bottom smacking Gale or Peel!


I know that Cathy would have thrown him across the room!
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Artanis wrote:
Rodney wrote:
I'm not sure that Steed would have got away with bottom smacking Gale or Peel!


I know that Cathy would have thrown him across the room!


At the very least. If she didn't break something first.
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Peel era she actually smacks him playfully on the bottom at the beginning of one of my dad's episodes. I still love the moment when she dusts him in The Cybernauts while spring-cleaning. I've always wondered if this was Rigg improvising or not. I think that Steed's smacking of Tara was unnecessary and I'm surprised that Macnee was willing to do it.
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Dandy Forsdyke
Diabolical Mastermind


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
In the Peel era she actually smacks him playfully on the bottom at the beginning of one of my dad's episodes. I still love the moment when she dusts him in The Cybernauts while spring-cleaning. I've always wondered if this was Rigg improvising or not.


Possibly, at the rehearsal stage. It's such as 'Diana Rigg' thing to do...

Rodney wrote:
I think that Steed's smacking of Tara was unnecessary and I'm surprised that Macnee was willing to do it.


Absolutely agree. Even for those less enlightened times...
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

especially when you consider how innovative the show was in terms of having a female protagonist who was both intelligent and physically able to defeat men.
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Dandy Forsdyke
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Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timeless A-Peel wrote:
Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
Timeless A-Peel wrote:
I suppose if Linda hadn't nixed being "Mrs." King we wouldn't have had a change at all.


Yes, Linda Thorson says that doesn't she? I don't buy it...


I think it's possible. The attitude was still such that it was a bit dicey to have a single female character hanging around with a guy she wasn't married to, so I can see them trying to foist the "Mrs." mantle off on Tara, too. What I don't buy is that they planned on giving Tara a living/present husband, which is what Linda seems to say. I can't see them writing that into the show at all.


Yes, you've elborated why I don't think there was any question about making her yet another Widow (being a divorcee would have been a no-no and being currently married would have been just plain odd!). Far easier to say she's a Miss. Done, dusted.
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mousemeat
A Touch of Brimstone


Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Questions for Roger Marshall Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
As it proved popular on a previous forum, my father is happy to answer any questions about The Avengers, seasons 2 to 5 only though as these were the four eras which he worked on.


I guess this question would be geared towards Rodney..

I was wondering if he has a favorite script by his father, if so,
which one ?
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Mandrake from the Gale era. Peel favourites include Dial A Deadly Number and The Danger Makers. I even like that controversial one, A Funny Thing Happened...but if I had to choose one it would be The Hour that Never Was. I think it was a very brave idea: Steed and Mrs Peel alone for half the show. I love the backdrop of the deserted airbase. Hickey the tramp is a great character. The absence of a memorable mastermind doesn't seem to matter as the atmosphere is so mesmeric. It was directed by my father's friend as a one hour fim and I think that shows.
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helenofirvine
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Joined: 02 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
I love Mandrake from the Gale era. Peel favourites include Dial A Deadly Number and The Danger Makers. I even like that controversial one, A Funny Thing Happened...but if I had to choose one it would be The Hour that Never Was. I think it was a very brave idea: Steed and Mrs Peel alone for half the show. I love the backdrop of the deserted airbase. Hickey the tramp is a great character. The absence of a memorable mastermind doesn't seem to matter as the atmosphere is so mesmeric. It was directed by my father's friend as a one hour fim and I think that shows.


I absolutely adore that episode. Appeals to me on so many levels: a nice does of nostalgia, humour, mystery, and a bit stark and surreal in a disturbing sort of way.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. My father has always regretted not being there when it was filmed. He'd always been in the studio for the Gale video taping.
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Boswell
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Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Norwich, England

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Rodney,

You mentioned in a few posts above that your father prefered well researched plots. I very much enjoy The Golden Fleece as it seemed to sum up the period of 'decline' very nicely; the way the army was being cut back, the old colonies getting independence and so forth. I loved the way that the 'villains' of the piece were only in it to look after their own whom they felt 'betrayed' by the government, an attitude shared by many in the services and the establishment at that time - and it got worse over the next decade! Was this something in the ether at the time?

Secondly, who is Phyllis Norman and how did they write the scripts together? Was it a Galton/Simpson approach or did they thrwo pages at each other and say 'Carry on,' or rewrite it?

Best wishes,

Michael

PS: Death of a Great Dane is often an episode I reach for when I want to watch a Honor Blackman. Simply great.
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phyllis Norman - who unfortunately died quite recently - was a doctor who my father often consulted for advice, from Emergency Ward Ten to The Avengers and on until he retired a few years ago. On any of the Avengers episodes where medical advice was useful (e.g. Mandrake) Phyllis offered invaluable medical information. In the Gale era my father often used to include a friend on the credit (Phyllis or Jeremy Scott) as he was feeling his way into a show which had yet to establish itself fully. Jeremy Scott - as is pointed out on the TAF website - provided the then script editor Jonathan Bryce with pot and Bryce gave the nod to early scripts such as Death of a Great Dane which was probably one of the most innovative episodes in Season 2.
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it made a nice change to have baddies who were not actually bad!
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Boswell
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Joined: 10 Sep 2008
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Location: Norwich, England

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Rodney. I didn't know the Scott the Pot/Bryce thing though!

Death of a Great Dane is one of my favourite episodes, often a one to watch in the wee hours after the kids have gone to bed. Superb plotting, and some wonderful moments. Plus very strong performances from a potential Doctor Who, Fraser from Dad's Army, not to mention Frederick Jaeger.
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Charlie Parker
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Joined: 08 Sep 2008
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When your Father scripted 'The Removal Men', was it intended for it to be Venus Smith's last episode? Because from what I've read of the synopsis it does seem a bit final for her. Incidentally can your father shed any light on to why they kept the character on after John Bryce stepped down as produce?r
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies for my delay in replying as I have been in France and my father has been away too. I will get a definitive answer from him as soon as possible as I'm not sure of the answer myself.
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Removal Men was not intended - from the writer's perspective - as the last ever Venus Smith episode. My father recalls that the idea for the character was lifted from a lot of Warner Bros American shows where it had become a standard format to have a blonde night club singer in a main role. My father did not mind the Venus Smith character and remembers that the production team would simply state that Blackman was unavailable for said episode so please use Venus, or vice versa.
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Darren
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Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rodney,

Was your Father close to Peter Hammond, as in did they socialise?

And in more general terms was their any meetings for the writers to share ideas or inspire one another creatively? Or did they keep much to themselves?
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father was always invited - in the Gale era - into the studio by Hammond and Leaver to offer his imput. This was not feasible when the show moved onto film with lots of location shooting. However, while he knew Hammond well, it was Leaver and O'Hara who he socialised with and who he continues to see regularly. Richard Bates encouraged dialogue between writers and directors and this continued until he was replaced by Clemens.
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mousemeat
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Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
The Removal Men was not intended - from the writer's perspective - as the last ever Venus Smith episode. My father recalls that the idea for the character was lifted from a lot of Warner Bros American shows where it had become a standard format to have a blonde night club singer in a main role. My father did not mind the Venus Smith character and remembers that the production team would simply state that Blackman was unavailable for said episode so please use Venus, or vice versa.


interesting...yet, venus did have a 'charm' of her own...sadly, many fans of the show, have ignored her etc..
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