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Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots: The Ultimate Avengers Book
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Darren
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Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thankfully the colorisation thing died. There was a period when everything got the treatment (Laurel and Hardy). It was rarely ever successful (unless like some Doctor Who episodes where the colour was restored) and pointless. Something like the Alastair Sim 'Christmas Carol' looks awful and robs the production of it's original atmosphere. Things lit for black and white never translate well into colour due to the heavy contrast.
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren

I remember seeing some Laurel and Hardy colourized footage and thinking that it did not work and I agree that black and white episodes of The Avengers should stay black and white.
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Spaceship Dispatcher
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Joined: 01 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just learned, by reading the guide while watching the episode, that the pre-titles sequence of Dead Men Are Dangerous was filmed at Black Park; the location for, amongst other things, Blake's 7: The Web and a location I have actually visited!
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex

Yes, I've also been to Black Park, which has been a location for various film and TV productions due to it's close proximity to Pinewood Studios.
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JohnSteedFr
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Joined: 09 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeR, I bought your book.
I should get it in 8 days! I can't wait!!!!

Very Happy
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John

That's great, do let us know your views when you've had a chance to go through some of it.
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JohnSteedFr
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike, this is Tuesday, July 14th (our National Day here in France Smile ) and I received your book yesterday (it's basically 1.47AM at this very moment).
I had some time already to read it, I'm on page 45, about to embrace--oh yes--the Gale force. Laughing

This is a very detailed book, notably about the Ian Hendry era, it joins Alan's books, which makes you take things for granted and the introduction was special, even more so now after Brian Clemens' passing last January. But what he said and the way he wrote was touching: the vessel is still on its journey through time.


Alright, and off I go again (to see the rest Very Happy ).
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John

Yes, Brian Clemens was very obliging when he agreed to my request to write the forward for the book and true to his word he wrote it extremely quickly and emailed it to me.

I hope you enjoy the rest of Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots and learn a whole lot more about The Avengers.
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JohnSteedFr
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be reading the part for Series 3. I learnt new elements, like Honor's wig. I had no idea she used one for the fights. And you also confirmed me what a friend had told about John Bryce. He was more or less involved in the process of getting the avengers girl in leather. My friend had said he was the 'motorbike type of guy' and Alan's book 'With umbrella, scotch and cigarettes' also contains a comment from Richard Bates, in which he reveals John Bryce was an enigma, he would wear suits with long hair and all of the sudden, he showed a new style: short hair, wearing jeans and cowboy boots on set.

John Bryce seems to have given that breath of fresh air to the series.
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joris

Again you are very kind regarding the book.

If there was one other person associated with The Avengers beside Brian Clemens who assisted me greatly with research for the book, then it was Richard Bates, who is absolutely brilliant. Every time I exchanged emails with him he would always end by saying, "If there's anything else I can assist you with just email me."

I found the period between season 3 and season 4 when the series went onto being made on film as being extremely interesting and talking to Richard made all the conflicting reports in the media and entertainment press make sense.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnSteedFr wrote:
I'll be reading the part for Series 3. I learnt new elements, like Honor's wig. I had no idea she used one for the fights.
It was a partial hairpiece, wasn't it? At the back I think, to avoid sweat problems.
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JohnSteedFr
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely right, Franky. It was just a piece, not a full wig but I had no idea at all. Same for Diana's first Avengers casting call, I thought she'd only done it once and there she was, selected. I'm glad they eventually came to their senses and noticed her talent.

As for the time between Series 3 and 4, I really feel sad for John Bryce and Richard Bates, their hardwork meaning almost 'nuts' to Julian Wintle. In spite of their lack of experience on film, they still knew what the show needed and was about. I wonder what Patrick could have done, when he says he could have made things different if he'd wanted to. Pulling some strings seems the only logicial answer but still...

For now, I've stopped at castle dea'th, I'll read again tomorrow. One person that was a really diabolical mastermind was Brian Tesler, couldn't he just leave them alone and do their work? Laughing The production got extremely lucky to film many sci-fi based plots.
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joris

Thanks for the positive views.

For a long time John Bryce and Richard Bates were not officially told by ABC Television that they would not be continuing with The Avengers when it went over to film. Richard recalls them having a solitary meeting with Julian Wintle and him not being impressed by their lack of film experience. Feeling that things were not going well, Bryce and Bates asked Patrick Macnee to put in a good word for them, but he was busy negotiating his contract and by his own admission he did not fight their corner as well as he could have.

Even the film and TV industry press like Kine Weekly were still printing news stories that indicated that Bryce and Bates would continue with the series, albeit under Julian Wintle’s overall control. However, Bryce and Bates were still not officially informed what the situation was and so they asked ABC’s head of drama George Kerr to arrange a meeting with Brian Tesler, to as they put it, ‘clear the air regarding the future of The Avengers’. I have the memo from Kerr, copying in Tesler, Bryce, Bates and Howard Thomas (chairman of ABC). This meeting generated no further memos or letters and this is obviously where Bryce and Bates were finally informed that they would not work on the filmed episodes, but rather continue on the videotaped series Redcap and Public Eye.

As you point out Brian Tesler was very critical of some of the black and white filmed episodes. As managing director of ABC, he really had the final word regarding screenplays and makes it obvious that he does not particularly like those with elements of science fiction. The only exception being The Cybernauts that he considered to be a great thriller.
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The filmed era would have been very different with Bates as script editor. It's a shame he was not kept on. Too many of the videotape era people were discarded.
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodders wrote:
The filmed era would have been very different with Bates as script editor. It's a shame he was not kept on. Too many of the videotape era people were discarded.


Rodney

Richard told me that towards the conclusion of the black and white Rigg season he was offered the chance to go to Elstree and join the team as script editor. However, as he had just be promoted to the producer of Public Eye, Richard saw it as a backwards move in his career, so despite the fact that a script editor on a film series earned vastly more money than a producer on a videotaped one, he turned the offer down. Further to which, Richard considered that he had given all he could to the series in seasons 2 and 3.
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NOEL
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just going to order your book when I was reading some reviews online that says that some of the information on season one is wrong. I'm not saying they are right but would like to know if there was any mistakes that was in the reviews copys that got fix before your great book went on sale. Thank you for all your help and time.
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noel

I'm not aware of any problems with the first season information in Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots.
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JohnSteedFr
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm near the end of the Rigg colour period. When they changed their shooting schedule and began recording many episodes simultaneously, everything accelerates.
One element I found particularly worth studying are the cut prints some ITV stations broadcast, right from the first 35mm episodes. Is that the reason why we got many cut copies on vhs and dvd many years later?

Did the US omit some sequences during the first national broadcast too, (which I haven't seen yet in the book) due to their countless commercial breaks (6 in an hour, as of today)?
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NOEL
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeR wrote:
Noel

I'm not aware of any problems with the first season information in Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots.
sci fi online was saying that it was I'm not saying it is ture they could be wrong.
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MikeR
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joris

As you point out prints of the black and white Rigg episodes were trimmed back initially for Rediffusion, but later for some other regions. Plus, I'm sure that over the years other regional companies actually edited episodes to fit specific timeslots and then these were returned to Associated British, EMI, Weintraub Entertainment Group, or whoever the current copyright holder was.

I'm sure this editing of episodes continues to this day (in many countries including the USA) and then they are returned and so if you have someone selecting episodes to transfer to VHS or DVD, who has little or no knowledge of the series, then its very easy to get incomplete episodes placed in sets. Although a quality control check should be made on the episode timing and this should indicate if something is missing.
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