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Questions for Roger Marshall
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodders wrote:
dissolute wrote:
I've never liked Take-Over either - it's not a "The Avengers" episode at all, it always seems more like "The Professionals" (which I don't mind, but not in "The Avengers" if you understand me).

Tom Adams is great, if a bit stagey, but the script is devoid of the twinkle in the eye that all great episodes have.


that just about sums up how he felt! Also, like Clemens, he finds Thorson disappointing after the joys of working with Rigg. As I said to him, it is unfair to make the comparison, but there you are!
We're all only human Smile If I'd seen Tara first, I'd probably dislike Emma... though I have grown to love Cathy with a fierce and passionate love Smile
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cyberrich
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodders wrote:
Also, like Clemens, he finds Thorson disappointing after the joys of working with Rigg. As I said to him, it is unfair to make the comparison, but there you are!


Following Rigg was tough for any actress. Linda improved dramatically as the series progressed though, and was probably at her best in Who was that man I saw you with, handling the comedy, drama and the action superbly. Cool I have a sneaking suspicion Roger might enjoy that particular episode, as it does appear to tick every box in the best Avengers sense. Rich.
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberrich wrote:
Rodders wrote:
Also, like Clemens, he finds Thorson disappointing after the joys of working with Rigg. As I said to him, it is unfair to make the comparison, but there you are!


Following Rigg was tough for any actress. Linda improved dramatically as the series progressed though, and was probably at her best in Who was that man I saw you with, handling the comedy, drama and the action superbly. Cool I have a sneaking suspicion Roger might enjoy that particular episode, as it does appear to tick every box in the best Avengers sense. Rich.


Who is That Man I Saw You With? is, I think, the ultimate episode for Tara as a character. She gets to be formidable, capable agent and really strut her stuff. It's also refreshing because they finally called the Avengers girl's loyalty into question, as opposed to having Steed suspected as turning traitor for the umpteenth time (something I wish they'd done throughout the series. Wouldn't the motives of "talented amateurs" like Cathy and Emma, or young blood agents like Tara, Purdey, and Gambit be more questionable than someone with a long, established record like Steed?). I'd definitely choose that one to showcase Linda/Tara's talents.
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to admit that it's one of my least favourite. Good plot but lacking quirkiness and style. To showcase Tara I'd always go for All Done with Mirrors or Requiem where I thought she was outstanding.
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cyberrich
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodders wrote:
I have to admit that it's one of my least favourite.


Who was that man? is one of my favourite Tara's. Shocked How different we all are! Laughing Makes life interesting though. Rich.
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberrich wrote:
Rodders wrote:
I have to admit that it's one of my least favourite.


Who was that man? is one of my favourite Tara's. Shocked How different we all are! Laughing Makes life interesting though. Rich.
And she was framed better than the Mona Lisa I understand.
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anti-clockwise wrote:
cyberrich wrote:
Rodders wrote:
I have to admit that it's one of my least favourite.


Who was that man? is one of my favourite Tara's. Shocked How different we all are! Laughing Makes life interesting though. Rich.
And she was framed better than the Mona Lisa I understand.


And then she does the same to Steed, just to prove a point. It's a great sequence for showcasing the character's growth.
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberrich wrote:
Rodders wrote:
I have to admit that it's one of my least favourite.


Who was that man? is one of my favourite Tara's. Shocked How different we all are! Laughing Makes life interesting though. Rich.


It would be boring, indeed, if we all liked the same things and debate would be dead! Funny how some episodes are loved by almost everyone - Stay Tuned, The Town of No Return, The Hour That Never Was etc - while others split opinion. In writing my Tara King guide I liked Have Guns which many hate; I disliked Wish You Were Here which is very popular!
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timeless A-Peel wrote:
anti-clockwise wrote:
cyberrich wrote:
Rodders wrote:
I have to admit that it's one of my least favourite.


Who was that man? is one of my favourite Tara's. Shocked How different we all are! Laughing Makes life interesting though. Rich.
And she was framed better than the Mona Lisa I understand.


And then she does the same to Steed, just to prove a point. It's a great sequence for showcasing the character's growth.


yes...Tara improved as the series went on..better scripts, and Linda feeling more comfortable with the role
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cyberrich
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodders wrote:

Funny how some episodes are loved by almost everyone - Stay Tuned, The Town of No Return, The Hour That Never Was etc - while others split opinion.


I've noticed this several times, and it's something that never fails to amaze me Exclamation As you say some are universally loved. I've yet to meet anyone who dislikes Hour that never was. I hope Roger gets to watch one Tara episode that he enjoys though. There's something for everyone in Tara's season, more variety than any other season. In trying to think of a universally loved Tara episode, how about Mirrors or Game. And talking of episodes that split opinion, Look stop me is a top 5 Tara episode IMHO, yet is loathed by others. Shocked Rich.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Mirrors, but I'm lukewarm at best to Game.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
I like Mirrors, but I'm lukewarm at best to Game.


like I've said from time to time..the Tara era, takes time to get into..factors like type of scripts, Tara/Linda's character ...as compared to Gale / Peel....but worth it, once you buckle down and watch
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger will be penning the foreword to the first Gale book we are writing, explaining what it was like to be involved hands-on in the videotape era.
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger has now penned a foreword to the future videotape-era book. I'm happy to post it on here:

We know who they were, but what were they avenging? John Steed’s original partner was Dr. David Keel (better known as Ian Hendry). He lost his fiancée, Peggy, when she was murdered days before their wedding. The men responsible had to be captured. They were. Peggy’s death had been avenged and The Avengers were born and christened. ‘Two against the Underworld’ was the boast on the first sales brochure. A succession of sidekicks came and went...a GP, a nightclub singer, an anthropologist...the only constant was Steed (Pat Macnee). This all began in 1960. By the time the series finished (for the first time) Neil Armstrong had become the first man on the moon, Winston Churchill had died, England had won the World Cup and the sixties were over.
The series was born in Teddington. It was recorded on video tape. Episodes took two weeks to make. Rehearsals began on the Monday with a read-thru. Occasionally this produced an unexpected twist. For example, an actress cast as a femme fatale had omitted to tell the director – who hadn’t seen her in two years – that she was now five months pregnant. During rehearsals, the director compiled his camera script while the cast learned their lines and moves. The pace quickened as the end of the fortnight approached. The last two days were spent in the actual studio, with a full technical rehearsal on the eve of the recording. The day itself was ‘Cup Final Day’: tension and exhaustion in equal amounts. The cameras – three or four – were enormously heavy and had to be pushed round the studio floor like manic dodgem cars. The day usually ended in sweaty exhaustion and the feeling that the actual recording hadn’t been as good as the ‘dress’. If Teddington shows didn’t always sound that good, they usually looked superb. This was because the company (ABC) devoted a larger proportion of its budget to design than its rivals. This spawned great designers and visual directors. In the archives there is a still of a 1962 recording. The studio floor is divided into eight or ten sets, most of which look no larger than a phone box.
As an Avengers scriptwriter, the video-tape experience was completely different from the later film one. In the latter era, once you sent in the script that was the end of your experience until you were either invited to a rough-cut screening or saw your episode on television. It felt ‘remote’, unlike the video-tape era which was far more ‘involving’. Attending the rehearsals and taping was, at first, nerve-jangling. However, as your confidence as an Avengers writer grew, it gradually became an enjoyable experience, even if the final product did not always tally with what you had in mind.
As a video-tape writer, you had the opportunity to get to know Pat Macnee and Honor Blackman, as well as the directors. In the case of the actors, they might want to change a piece of dialogue and you would discuss this. On the late-Season 3 episode Mandrake, Pat did not want to deliver a line about the ‘end of kitchen-sink drama’. He felt it was demeaning to actors within the profession. I explained that it was Steed – not him – expressing the sentiment but, ultimately, if the lead actor wasn’t happy with the line then it would be changed. There was a close working relationship and rapport between writer, director and cast.
For a year or so Honor Blackman (Mrs. Gale) had been championing a move from video to film. Ironically, by the time the show moved to Elstree, she had left to become James Bond’s Pussy Galore. Diana Rigg and colour film followed. The final episode was entitled Bizarre, one word that neatly defined the whole experience.
© Roger Marshall, October 2014 
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New writing on the Avengers by a Marshall, a delicious experience. The comparison the "sweaty" studio VT era with the film era is instructive and something we so rarely get to hear about - I hope one day in the not-too-distant future we may see the archived photo of the "phone box" sized sets. That time is an exciting one, even to hear about vicariously - a time of raw nerves and trying to break through with something more ambitious than televised theatre. If Roger Marshall didn't have better things to do with his time I'd be vociferously requesting an autobiography!
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
New writing on the Avengers by a Marshall, a delicious experience. The comparison the "sweaty" studio VT era with the film era is instructive and something we so rarely get to hear about - I hope one day in the not-too-distant future we may see the archived photo of the "phone box" sized sets. !


I imagine that Roger means the shot taken from the gallery of the recording of his script The Removal Men. It's a wonderful photo as you can spot all the different sets. It's in The Avengers and Me and on the dvd gallery.

Although we've not heard his reasoning, I imagine that the more remoteness of film is what Peter Hammond was rejecting when he turned down Brian Clemens' offers to direct.
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"In the archives there is a still of a 1962 recording"

I so wish we could see these and as Franky said, the phone box like sets. Cool
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
New writing on the Avengers by a Marshall, a delicious experience. The comparison the "sweaty" studio VT era with the film era is instructive and something we so rarely get to hear about - I hope one day in the not-too-distant future we may see the archived photo of the "phone box" sized sets. That time is an exciting one, even to hear about vicariously - a time of raw nerves and trying to break through with something more ambitious than televised theatre. If Roger Marshall didn't have better things to do with his time I'd be vociferously requesting an autobiography!


very well stated..i second the notion....and i would eat up an autobiography A.S.A.P.
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless someone has the time to sit with him and help coax the memories, it won't happen. I'd love to but I don't have the time.
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a perfect job for Jaz or Henry Holland, but I doubt that either has the time.
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