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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find this discussion very interesting, and I just wanted to add two very minor things:

1) This forum is not the only Avengers fanbase on the Internet. It does seem to have the largest group and include the most people in a position to actually communicate with those who made the show and to produce books about The Avengers. However, there are multiple, smaller sections of the "fandom" scattered across the internet, many of them including a large generational cross-section (everyone from teenagers on up). So I'd say that interest in The Avengers hasn't vanished - it has simply shifted and the discussion has been dispersed.

2) Where digital media could help in the expansion of interest in The Avengers is via internet content that even talks about it (a lot of my friends will not get interested in a show until multiple people on the internet make them interested). What's more, digital media seems the perfect place to actually sell The Avengers. I'm still amazed that no one appears to have licensed the full series for streaming or download - it would be cheaper than producing big box sets, and would mean that a larger cross section of people who COULD love The Avengers would have access to it. I don't know if it is being artificially limited by the distributors, or if they don't think it will be worth digitizing, but it seems like a happy medium between box sets and piracy.
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:
I find this discussion very interesting, and I just wanted to add two very minor things:

1) This forum is not the only Avengers fanbase on the Internet. It does seem to have the largest group and include the most people in a position to actually communicate with those who made the show and to produce books about The Avengers. However, there are multiple, smaller sections of the "fandom" scattered across the internet, many of them including a large generational cross-section (everyone from teenagers on up). So I'd say that interest in The Avengers hasn't vanished - it has simply shifted and the discussion has been dispersed.

2) Where digital media could help in the expansion of interest in The Avengers is via internet content that even talks about it (a lot of my friends will not get interested in a show until multiple people on the internet make them interested). What's more, digital media seems the perfect place to actually sell The Avengers. I'm still amazed that no one appears to have licensed the full series for streaming or download - it would be cheaper than producing big box sets, and would mean that a larger cross section of people who COULD love The Avengers would have access to it. I don't know if it is being artificially limited by the distributors, or if they don't think it will be worth digitizing, but it seems like a happy medium between box sets and piracy.


It's quite interesting, because I was waiting for such an answer, as to the first paragraph. Wink This happens rarely, but it seemed to me that someone is bound to be to focus attention to it.

So...

Thanks to my good friend was born this forum, which for many years gathers interesting and important people in Avengerland from around the world and most importantly, that there is finally stable.
Prior to that, there was another main location, which is now discontinued development, but nevertheless continued to grow even when the increased activity of this forum. It's group alt.tv.avengers


In the 1990s, good times for the series, if not consider that small segment after the movie, the fans were in seventh heaven as they could finally see their favorite episodes of the series on video, buy the trading cards (not just a five or ten pieces from the series, but the whole large sets), enjoy calendars, etc., have all contributed to the rapid development of the Avengerland in Internet and sites about Avengers appeared like mushrooms after rain. Appropriately, it was not spared and fan-sections. There have been very popular Yahoo! groups, Facebook was created only in 2004, forums, which was more than today, and the small communities that in no way inferior to today's Tumblir, etc.
It was a great difference between then and today. Then I came home from work every day and get a lot of news but today, I can do it once a week.
So I want to say that with the advent of the first site of the Avengers, for which we must thank Piers, soon came the rest.
But I do not want to say that in recent years did not happen wave of interest to the series, Jaz, Alan and many others have done a real gift for fans, the latest UK DVD release of the series. This is a great thing, because when you look at the approach to the material, you will feel the love of these people to fandom, there simply would not have had such a zeal, if would it let someone just for the money.
Here, on this basis, there are many fan communities today who discuss the Avengers, the characters, the actors and all the rest of the series around.
Well, if there would were not for this DVD editions, you lose some fans who follow the updates. It becomes just a boring always discuss old topics, and this affects the statistics of any fan communities. Lack of interesting new products also does potential negative impact on the some fans, as they look in Avengerland and begin to think that this series is a dying species, quite sad.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

denisrigg wrote:
Lhbizness wrote:
I find this discussion very interesting, and I just wanted to add two very minor things:

1) This forum is not the only Avengers fanbase on the Internet. It does seem to have the largest group and include the most people in a position to actually communicate with those who made the show and to produce books about The Avengers. However, there are multiple, smaller sections of the "fandom" scattered across the internet, many of them including a large generational cross-section (everyone from teenagers on up). So I'd say that interest in The Avengers hasn't vanished - it has simply shifted and the discussion has been dispersed.

2) Where digital media could help in the expansion of interest in The Avengers is via internet content that even talks about it (a lot of my friends will not get interested in a show until multiple people on the internet make them interested). What's more, digital media seems the perfect place to actually sell The Avengers. I'm still amazed that no one appears to have licensed the full series for streaming or download - it would be cheaper than producing big box sets, and would mean that a larger cross section of people who COULD love The Avengers would have access to it. I don't know if it is being artificially limited by the distributors, or if they don't think it will be worth digitizing, but it seems like a happy medium between box sets and piracy.


It's quite interesting, because I was waiting for such an answer, as to the first paragraph. Wink This happens rarely, but it seemed to me that someone is bound to be to focus attention to it.

So...

Thanks to my good friend was born this forum, which for many years gathers interesting and important people in Avengerland from around the world and most importantly, that there is finally stable.
Prior to that, there was another main location, which is now discontinued development, but nevertheless continued to grow even when the increased activity of this forum. It's group alt.tv.avengers


In the 1990s, good times for the series, if not consider that small segment after the movie, the fans were in seventh heaven as they could finally see their favorite episodes of the series on video, buy the trading cards (not just a five or ten pieces from the series, but the whole large sets), enjoy calendars, etc., have all contributed to the rapid development of the Avengerland in Internet and sites about Avengers appeared like mushrooms after rain. Appropriately, it was not spared and fan-sections. There have been very popular Yahoo! groups, Facebook was created only in 2004, forums, which was more than today, and the small communities that in no way inferior to today's Tumblir, etc.
It was a great difference between then and today. Then I came home from work every day and get a lot of news but today, I can do it once a week.
So I want to say that with the advent of the first site of the Avengers, for which we must thank Piers, soon came the rest.
But I do not want to say that in recent years did not happen wave of interest to the series, Jaz, Alan and many others have done a real gift for fans, the latest UK DVD release of the series. This is a great thing, because when you look at the approach to the material, you will feel the love of these people to fandom, there simply would not have had such a zeal, if would it let someone just for the money.
Here, on this basis, there are many fan communities today who discuss the Avengers, the characters, the actors and all the rest of the series around.
Well, if there would were not for this DVD editions, you lose some fans who follow the updates. It becomes just a boring always discuss old topics, and this affects the statistics of any fan communities. Lack of interesting new products also does potential negative impact on the some fans, as they look in Avengerland and begin to think that this series is a dying species, quite sad.


but part of it, is true. the series is a DYING species...so to speak, and I don't see a lot of
'new' fans watching and coming on board to this and other forums...and yes, new dvd-even radical upgrades can help keep the series fresh.....yrs after it's demise...eventually, there will be a time, when the bulk, or even ALL of the actors, will have passed on....including many of us 'older' fans....
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Andrew Pixley
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The discussion about the demise of "Avengers" fandom/fanzines/etc is very interesting! To my mind, in many respects during the 1980s - a golden age of television fandom - "The Avengers" never got going fully. There were more zines for "Doctor Who" and "Star Trek" and of course, Six of One was backing "The Prisoner", Horizon and others kept "Blake's 7" alive and Fanderson/SiG were there for all things Gerry Anderson. Of course, with "The Avengers" we did have Dave's zines by the mid-1980s ... but that was all really. I think I came along marginally too late for "Umbrella Charm and Bowler" ... and you never had the big conventions either like for many of the other shows. There were the three issues of "Bizarre" and the screening event at Bradford from people like Chris Bentley and Andrew Staton ... but fandom for "The Avengers" never really took off in the same way as for many other shows in the 1980s.

And there does come a point with all fan activities where you just naturally grow tired (especially if you're the sole writer/designer/publisher) because you're running low on things to say which either interest you or think will be of interest to others. And also a lot of fanzines/events seemed to be run with an intention to be loss-making ... but that was okay because people were having fun doing it and it was like a hobby that you invested in. You spent the money and had fun. But, of course, you can't necessarily do that forever.

None of these old shows really had a massive audience appeal by the 1980s. "The Prisoner" got a modicom of interest for the 1983/4 repeats, but - frankly - a lot of the British television audience wasn't that bothered about "The Avengers" on Channel 4. It performed reasonably for the minority channel in the right slot ... but by the 1990s nobody wanted it (witness the swift removal of the b/w episodes to be replaced by the colour editions and the subsequent graveyard slot). It was possible that the film could have kick-started interest (a la "Mission: Impossible" ... a great film with sadly little to do with the TV series beyond the theme music), but the rumours during production coupled with the suddenly withdrawal of press screening really killed it stone dead before it even opened. I remember very much enjoying the sense of fun of the movie in an empty cinema the first time it played in Nottingham. But basically - nobody cared. And certainly fandom for the show was so niche I don't think it did anything to hasten its demise. I think that - by 1998 - the internet was making its presence felt and it was the natural new home for specialist hobbies of many sorts.

I actually rather liked the issues of Dave's zine which covered the movie, because for me I was reading something new. One of the reasons that I have sadly let my subscription to Six of One lapse after many years is that it wasn't covering the more recent version of the series which - while it will never rival the 1960s original - I did find interesting to watch (if blandly made in places) and would have loved to have read more about. With Dave's zine, I suspect that the coverage of the movie would have fizzles out after a few issues and the content would have been back to the usual mix of material. I really don't the movie would have had that big an impact on the zine's demise ...

Market saturation and diversification - as Jaz says - means that people have the chance to ultimately buy less of more products rather than more of key products. And so some items - notably zines - which were viable when there was a limited number in a fixed market suddenly found their markets falling away and dwindling across more titles. Titles which existed purely on news and reviews were the worst hit. Certainly I stuck with zines which offered meaty, unique articles in terms of research or new interviews which were so extensive that they didn't appear online.

The online era is just another slice of fandom. Looking at some of the older fanzines - particularly in "Doctor Who" and "Star Trek" - it's like having a hard copy of a forum; same discussions, same debates, some flame wars ... all just taking months rather than minutes!

I still like to get decent paper zines and old-fashioned paper books because my eyesight often makes prolonged reading from a screen awkward. But there's also some very neat stuff to be found online ... and I'm very glad that it's there ...! Smile

All the best

Andrew
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jaz
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew Pixley wrote:
The discussion about the demise of "Avengers" fandom/fanzines/etc is very interesting! To my mind, in many respects during the 1980s - a golden age of television fandom - "The Avengers" never got going fully. There were more zines for "Doctor Who" and "Star Trek" and of course, Six of One was backing "The Prisoner", Horizon and others kept "Blake's 7" alive and Fanderson/SiG were there for all things Gerry Anderson. Of course, with "The Avengers" we did have Dave's zines by the mid-1980s ... but that was all really. I think I came along marginally too late for "Umbrella Charm and Bowler" ... and you never had the big conventions either like for many of the other shows. There were the three issues of "Bizarre" and the screening event at Bradford from people like Chris Bentley and Andrew Staton ... but fandom for "The Avengers" never really took off in the same way as for many other shows in the 1980s.


I think you're right Andrew - the 80s certainly seemed to have a lot more people running zines, clubs, societies, and the like. The magazines might look slightly amateur compared to some more modern offerings but there was a lot of enthusiasm, people prepared to offer help and co-operation. I don't any of the shows were hugely popular, remember they were termed Cult TV (a term that was so stupidly copyrighted by Alex Geairns - he seems to think he came up with it), and suppose the highest profile of any of them was Thunderbirds due to it's huge on-going popularity with children.

Quote:
And there does come a point with all fan activities where you just naturally grow tired (especially if you're the sole writer/designer/publisher) because you're running low on things to say which either interest you or think will be of interest to others. And also a lot of fanzines/events seemed to be run with an intention to be loss-making ... but that was okay because people were having fun doing it and it was like a hobby that you invested in. You spent the money and had fun. But, of course, you can't necessarily do that forever.


From my own point of view, I put a lot of my own money into running my magazine and never made a penny profit but I didn't mind doing that for a long time. It was only really when in the last couple of years a large amount of people failed to resubscribe that I got frustrated as I thought the magazine itself was getting better and better (in my own humble opinion) and that I had to take the very difficult decision to cease publication. I still had a lot to write about but if less than 200 people want to read about it then I felt what is the point of continuing.

Quote:
None of these old shows really had a massive audience appeal by the 1980s. "The Prisoner" got a modicom of interest for the 1983/4 repeats, but - frankly - a lot of the British television audience wasn't that bothered about "The Avengers" on Channel 4. It performed reasonably for the minority channel in the right slot ... but by the 1990s nobody wanted it (witness the swift removal of the b/w episodes to be replaced by the colour editions and the subsequent graveyard slot). It was possible that the film could have kick-started interest (a la "Mission: Impossible" ... a great film with sadly little to do with the TV series beyond the theme music), but the rumours during production coupled with the suddenly withdrawal of press screening really killed it stone dead before it even opened. I remember very much enjoying the sense of fun of the movie in an empty cinema the first time it played in Nottingham. But basically - nobody cared. And certainly fandom for the show was so niche I don't think it did anything to hasten its demise. I think that - by 1998 - the internet was making its presence felt and it was the natural new home for specialist hobbies of many sorts.


I imagine if the film had been better there might have been some uptake in interest in the original series. I must admit if there had been a Persuaders! remake film I would have been torn over if I would have been pleased or frustrated. Pleased because it might be good (with the right nods to the original series) and raise interest in the original series - frustrated because it might turn out as bad as other remake movies like The Saint, The Avengers, Thunderbirds, even the Reeves and Mortimer remake of Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased).

Quote:
I actually rather liked the issues of Dave's zine which covered the movie, because for me I was reading something new. One of the reasons that I have sadly let my subscription to Six of One lapse after many years is that it wasn't covering the more recent version of the series which - while it will never rival the 1960s original - I did find interesting to watch (if blandly made in places) and would have loved to have read more about. With Dave's zine, I suspect that the coverage of the movie would have fizzles out after a few issues and the content would have been back to the usual mix of material. I really don't the movie would have had that big an impact on the zine's demise ...


Fair point too - if Dave hadn't covered it while it was in production I'm sure fans would have questioned this decision.

I let my Six of One membership go in the early 90s after being a member for about 7 or 8 years. I found the magazine became repetitive and when they started doing write ups on 'Cafe in Indonesia uses Penny Farthing as a logo' I thought they were scrapping the barrel. I also hated the very obvious factions in Prisoner fandom which still persists today and why I wouldn't touch Six of One with a bargepole. The people in Ipswich run a Stalinesque operation, quashing any dissenting voices, alienating some very creative and enthusiastic people. I actually think they have damaged The Prisoner as a 'brand' and no wonder Patrick McGoohan wanted nothing to do with them.


Quote:
Market saturation and diversification - as Jaz says - means that people have the chance to ultimately buy less of more products rather than more of key products. And so some items - notably zines - which were viable when there was a limited number in a fixed market suddenly found their markets falling away and dwindling across more titles. Titles which existed purely on news and reviews were the worst hit. Certainly I stuck with zines which offered meaty, unique articles in terms of research or new interviews which were so extensive that they didn't appear online.


It also hit magazines too - TV Zone, Cult Times, etc. With the exception of ANdrew's articles, I found a lot of these magazines very light on detail in their articles and heavy on full page colour photos (only last weekend while going through some stuff in my own archive I came across about a dozen issues of TV Zone which I had a look at and couldn't believe how poor they were - I actually dumped some of them as I didn't see the point of keeping them).

Quote:
The online era is just another slice of fandom. Looking at some of the older fanzines - particularly in "Doctor Who" and "Star Trek" - it's like having a hard copy of a forum; same discussions, same debates, some flame wars ... all just taking months rather than minutes!


Couldn't agree more - it does seem to effect those two titles in particular - both of which I've never liked personally and find incredibly dull (perhaps with the exception of a few b/w Troughton Who episdoes).

Quote:
I still like to get decent paper zines and old-fashioned paper books because my eyesight often makes prolonged reading from a screen awkward. But there's also some very neat stuff to be found online ... and I'm very glad that it's there ...! Smile

All the best

Andrew


Books, magazines, for me any day - on-screen stuff is OK but I'm a tactile person and like to have the physical object in my hand.

Thanks for your thoughts Andrew - always good to read your opinions
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mousemeat wrote:
but part of it, is true. the series is a DYING species...so to speak, and I don't see a lot of
'new' fans watching and coming on board to this and other forums...and yes, new dvd-even radical upgrades can help keep the series fresh.....yrs after it's demise...eventually, there will be a time, when the bulk, or even ALL of the actors, will have passed on....including many of us 'older' fans....


I'm a new fan - I'm 27 and I came to The Avengers just from renting the DVDs on Netflix and then seeking out the rest of the series. I know quite a few people that are in their twenties and several in their teens who just recently got into the show. And I've been pleased with the number of my own peers from film forums and communities who have expressed interest in The Avengers, and have gone on to buy the Emma Peel set available here in America. So, yeah, it's a niche/cult show, and it probably always will be. But interest in it is far from dead.

Forums, I think, become the place for people who REALLY get into something - not the casual viewers who buy the DVDs and watch them for fun.
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lhbizness wrote:
mousemeat wrote:
but part of it, is true. the series is a DYING species...so to speak, and I don't see a lot of
'new' fans watching and coming on board to this and other forums...and yes, new dvd-even radical upgrades can help keep the series fresh.....yrs after it's demise...eventually, there will be a time, when the bulk, or even ALL of the actors, will have passed on....including many of us 'older' fans....


I'm a new fan - I'm 27 and I came to The Avengers just from renting the DVDs on Netflix and then seeking out the rest of the series. I know quite a few people that are in their twenties and several in their teens who just recently got into the show. And I've been pleased with the number of my own peers from film forums and communities who have expressed interest in The Avengers, and have gone on to buy the Emma Peel set available here in America. So, yeah, it's a niche/cult show, and it probably always will be. But interest in it is far from dead.

Forums, I think, become the place for people who REALLY get into something - not the casual viewers who buy the DVDs and watch them for fun.


It is true, Lhbizness, the series is far from dead. Once again, I do focus on the sentence from my last post:

Lack of interesting new products also does potential negative impact on the some fans, as they look in Avengerland and begin to think that this series is a dying species, quite sad.

Despite the fact that this is already not the fandom as in the distant past, it keeps a stable position for last years.

And it may very dramatically reborn, if someone starts to filming modern The Avengers series with other performers (and as yet, it is logical) or a good movie. There can be surges interest in connection with interest goods. And even if there will the long time absence of news in Avengerland, it certainly falls to a certain bottom bracket but it will never die, because it is a landmark in the history of the TV. Well, it is as to think that someday everyone will forget about the Beatles, I do not think it would happen. Some fan communities will always operate, replace the old fans come new - a sort of circuit in nature.

As for forums, I think this is the REAL place for anyone who takes one or other savor in the series. And all these people are able to tell something of their own, it would be the desire or time.
Well, I just think that if a someone really watch it just for fun and does not go into the show, he just does not see much sense to communicate on the forums, as it will be for him a waste of time.
This is so because such people perceive it as a leisure, they on rare occasions go in touch with the fans, the maximum leave a review or comments and think to see other funny.
So I want to say that if someone here is in contact with the fans, and it seems that he is not interested in anything other than a simple look at the DVDs of the series, in fact he maybe a very good expert in their field, such as knowledge of the nuances of the "film" of the series etc.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only speak from personal experience; when The Avengers was rerun on Channel 4 in the early 1980s it was the first time I'd seen it (bar an episode or two of The New Avengers back in 1977).

And what made me seek out fanzines/clubs for both The Avengers and The Prisoner during the 1980s (and Blakes 7 and Sherlock Holmes and...) was the fact we had no video recorder nor any means of seeing it again - unless a TV company was merciful enough to show reruns, but in those days it was a very rare thing for anyone to show repeats of things that were more than a year or two old, until Channel 4 started in 1982. There was no guarantee that Channel 4 would show the same series twice anyway. It was another 9 years before they showed The Prisoner again, and satellite and cable stations (which we couldn't afford) started showing things like The Avengers so they were unavailable to me.

So I really wanted to know more about these programmes. Episode guides were thin on the ground or non-existent.

I didn't join the clubs to meet fans, but to get information and maybe experience again some of the buzz of seeing the shows that I couldn't see again unless they came out on video - and in the early 80s, TV shows simply didn't come out on video unless as extremely expensive (£40+) tapes holding one or two severely-edited episodes, never a whole season! And famously The Avengers took forever to see a tape release; there were pirate versions around in awful quality but I had no means to see these.

The Prisoner society drew me into my first fan convention, so I could see episodes on video or even in the cinema - and an unexpected bonus was that I found the "buzz" of seeing the episodes became additionally a "buzz" of talking about the show with like-minded fans. Some great friendships resulted (one my best friend), some of which have gone on nearly 30 years from since my teens and now into my middle-age. In fact they've outlasted the fan clubs that spawned them!

I don't think I'd have joined clubs or bought 'zines now, in the age when you can read everything about a series at the click of a mouse (well, almost everything - the info from Andrew Pixley's detailed works on the production of shows are unlikely to be found on any web page). But you can get episode guides, cast lists, interviews, trivia - and for fan interaction you can be instantly up-to-date and make friends on the numerous Facebook pages and fora.

And of course almost every popular show has a plethora of DVD releases or Netflix streams, etc. So you can scratch the viewing itch as well. The incentive that drove me to be a zine-buying, club-joining fan is no longer there. These days when I find a show I like I just buy the DVDs - though I do buy old-fanzine reprints as well Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I do miss from the age of the hard-copy zine is the more considered opinion piece. Yes, we can buy books on the production of shows - a very good one on The Avengers has just been published, and companies like Network have tremendous "viewing notes" tomes by Andrew which are books in themselves. The research is staggering. They even cover the contemporary press and public reaction to shows, as well as internal production memos and script changes.

What the internet rarely has is a set of articles, or essays examining series critically. Rodney Marshall has addressed this for The Avengers with the Bright Horizons volume and others planned in the Avengers on Film series. Dave Rogers's On Target/Stay Tuned was massively useful in this regard. He also included fun trivia and news (both of which the internet fan groups do well) but the only place online to find articles of critical analysis on narrow aspects of certain episodes of certain shows is in an enthusiast's blog - if you can find one! They're rare beasts because they're hard to do, and are even harder to find especially if someone has only written one or two entries on your favourite show.

That's why I still buy books like Bright Horizons and zine reprints like Jaz's Morning After. You don't really get that stuff from the internet, not in that amount.

There are some tremendous Dr Who "fanzines" (made to a better standard than professional newsstand magazines - they're essentially very glossy paperback books) like "Vworp! Vworp!" and "Nothing at the End of the Lane", which I buy, but they come out at the rate of one tremendously in-depth researched volume every 4-7 years. They're not what we called fanzines back in the day. I do buy them though as they have a similar depth of information as the detailed books by Andrew.

I do miss Time Screen though! Picking up the latest copy at Portmeiricon made it feel like a proper holiday.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jaz Smile

jaz wrote:
I think you're right Andrew - the 80s certainly seemed to have a lot more people running zines, clubs, societies, and the like.


As Frank says, one of the main reasons for these organisations to thrive was that there wasn't necessarily easy access to either programmes or background. Looking at when Dave Rogers' book came out in - I think - April 1983, we'd just started some repeats on Channel 4 a few months earlier. And as for other books on the market there were several on "Doctor Who", one on "Blake's 7", a couple on "Star Trek" (the behind the scenes aspect) ... and that was about it. And that's where the fan network was so very, very important. Just getting basic information on airdates and episodes. I remember being delighted when I got an issue of the WTVA's late lamented "PrimeTime" that actually has a listing for "The Phil Silvers Show" ... Something that would be easily available now via the interweb ...

Quote:
The magazines might look slightly amateur compared to some more modern offerings but there was a lot of enthusiasm, people prepared to offer help and co-operation.


To write, assemble, design, print and distribute a print fanzine required a massive amount of effort and commitment. And that's probably why the quality actually seemed comparatively good, because they were driven with people who felt that they had something worthwhile to say and communicate to like-minded people - be it information or ideas. The enthusiasm that you see in many of the pre-2000 fanzines is quite, quite stunning ... just because of the fact that they existed!

Quote:
I don't any of the shows were hugely popular, remember they were termed Cult TV (a term that was so stupidly copyrighted by Alex Geairns - he seems to think he came up with it), and suppose the highest profile of any of them was Thunderbirds due to it's huge on-going popularity with children.


I think some shows were popular, certainly on first run. "Doctor Who" was generally popular through to around 1985 when the suspension damaged its public profile (although it continued to offer many fine programmes through to 1989). "Star Trek" also had a strong following. "Blake's 7" too during the time that it was on air, and also the Anderson shows at the relevant time, with "Space: 1999" hampered from reaching its full potential by ITV's abominable scheduling ...

"Cult TV". Hmmm. Odd term. Did we ghettoise our hobby and so minimise its appeal to a wider audience? I remember the old "Cult TV" fanzines; Issues 4 and 5 were rather excellent with a lot of very useful episode guides in them, some of which I still refer to to this day.

Quote:
From my own point of view, I put a lot of my own money into running my magazine and never made a penny profit but I didn't mind doing that for a long time. It was only really when in the last couple of years a large amount of people failed to resubscribe that I got frustrated as I thought the magazine itself was getting better and better (in my own humble opinion) and that I had to take the very difficult decision to cease publication. I still had a lot to write about but if less than 200 people want to read about it then I felt what is the point of continuing.


The reason why we write and draw and script and design and print and publish and blog and post on forums etc etc is a very interesting one, and one that I've been pondering a great deal of late. Ideally for me, it's got to be something where I'm having fun. If it's a chore, then there's something wrong. This should be a fun hobby. Sometime it's the items which the smallest circulation that give me the greatest pleasure - certainly I think that a book I did for Kaleidoscope entitled "The Goodies: Super Chaps Three" has given me the most pleasure and made me no money whatsoever. But if I felt "Oh, what is the point of continuing ..." then I agree totally - it's time to stop.

I've written a great deal on certain shows over the years, but realise that I eventually get to a point where I have nothing new I feel I want to say about them. And so I move on. I still love "Doctor Who", but I find it very difficult to find new things to say about it. So I tend not to ... after all, it's eating into time when I could be watching "M*A*S*H" or "The Twilight Zone" or "Black Butler" or ... all those other amazing shows. And I think if I'm forcing myself to write about them, then the finished result won't be that good. I think understanding that one's relationship with a hobby changes across time is very important ... and that every so often you'll reach a point where you can't take it any further in a manner which fires you with that love and burning enthusiasm that you originally had. The great thing in that respect with the internet is that there's plenty of other people at a different stage in their relationship to the hobby who will keep it alive and keep it going. It's like a never ending party ... every so often you feel tired and need to take a break, so you can step outside, wander around a bit, and then when you come back the party's still there and people are still pleased to welcome you back.

Quote:
I imagine if the film had been better there might have been some uptake in interest in the original series.


That would have been lovely. In the same way that I feel so happy when I meet people who never watched "Doctor Who" before March 2005 ... and who are now talking about how they've just loved watching Patrick Troughton or Sylvester McCoy or whoever. They've tapped into a slightly different version of the same thing, but fallen in love with it, and that's led them to the whole ... the biggest concept.

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I must admit if there had been a Persuaders! remake film I would have been torn over if I would have been pleased or frustrated. Pleased because it might be good (with the right nods to the original series) and raise interest in the original series - frustrated because it might turn out as bad as other remake movies like The Saint, The Avengers, Thunderbirds, even the Reeves and Mortimer remake of Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased).


It's tricky isn't it? While I see "Doctor Who" as a whole, the others have separate and distinct incarnations. Odd moments of the "Thunderbirds" film I loved ... but it can never match the original series (although I'm very, very keen to savour the new incarnation that ITV have lined up). The new "Randall ..." I also enjoyed a lot of, but in a totally different way to the original; indeed, some of the newer scripts were far more fun and adventurous then some of the originals, whereas there's an atmosphere to the 1968/9 incarnation that I'll always adore and value. Totally appreciate where you're coming from on that one!

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Fair point too - if Dave hadn't covered it while it was in production I'm sure fans would have questioned this decision.


True. For any editor it's that decision: "Am I writing this for me or am I writing this for the readership?" The best editors normally manage to combine the two! Smile

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I let my Six of One membership go in the early 90s after being a member for about 7 or 8 years. I found the magazine became repetitive and when they started doing write ups on 'Cafe in Indonesia uses Penny Farthing as a logo' I thought they were scrapping the barrel. I also hated the very obvious factions in Prisoner fandom which still persists today and why I wouldn't touch Six of One with a bargepole. The people in Ipswich run a Stalinesque operation, quashing any dissenting voices, alienating some very creative and enthusiastic people. I actually think they have damaged The Prisoner as a 'brand' and no wonder Patrick McGoohan wanted nothing to do with them.


Factions in fandom are a shame ... but I guess it's what you get with groups of equal and opposite passions. Occasionally it's actually very healthy for fandom as it keeps everyone on their toes, needed to keep ahead, deliver something new. By comparison, other fandoms can (but thankfully not always) stagnate if there's one one person or team dominating an arena. When numerous non-DWAS fanzines on "Doctor Who" sprung up in the late 1970s/early 1980s, it was one of the best things that could happen to the sub-culture.

I know that during the period that I've been with Six of One, I still rate "In the Village" was one of the very best zines I've ever received. Great design and content. Back in the 1980s as well, it was difficult for any other zines to level the quality of Six of One's output and I still look back on them very, very fondly. But to a certain extent with only 17 hours of television to study and analyse, it's comparatively easy to run short of material after a couple of decades. I know I always valued the interviews, the script comparisons, etc. etc.

Quote:
It also hit magazines too - TV Zone, Cult Times, etc. With the exception of ANdrew's articles, I found a lot of these magazines very light on detail in their articles and heavy on full page colour photos (only last weekend while going through some stuff in my own archive I came across about a dozen issues of TV Zone which I had a look at and couldn't believe how poor they were - I actually dumped some of them as I didn't see the point of keeping them).


The collapse of the Visual Imagination titles was terrible ... especially for all the poor people who lost their livelihoods when the company hit problems. But it was perhaps indicative that the market that was prepared to pay for the product wasn't big enough ... or too diverse. Future's "Cult TV" also collapsed, as did the massively promising "The Box", and various proposed reboots of "PrimeTime" have floundered as well.

Some of the "TV Zone" issues may look poor now, but I keep thinking back to 1989 when it began and they were doing some neat stuff with coverage of things like "Moonbase 3" which I never thought I'd see even an entire page devoted to, let alone an article. I loved working on the title, particularly with Jan Vincent-Rudzki and Tom Spillsbury, because they were often keen to push the envelope and try to do something a little less mainstream. Of course, it's possible that by doing this, they diffused their readership even more and it impacted on sales. Did people really want to read about "Virtual Murder" even although I really wanted to write about it? I'm not so sure now. Maybe that should have been in a fanzine where the people who wanted to could have found it, without alienating the potential market if a commercial project ...

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Couldn't agree more - it does seem to effect those two titles in particular - both of which I've never liked personally and find incredibly dull (perhaps with the exception of a few b/w Troughton Who episdoes).


I think what both "Doctor Who" and "Star Trek" offered was a sense of scale. Large number of episodes, distinctive characters, and stacks of trivia which a fan could bury themselves in and gorge themselves on ... wallowing in all the storylines and concepts. There aren't that many series which generate that enormous amount of loyalty and debate.

Quote:
Thanks for your thoughts Andrew - always good to read your opinions


... as I always enjoys too Jaz. You're somebody who did invest the time and effort at a key moment and helped to move things along, fuelling some amazing projects with your passion and understanding!

All the best

Andrew
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Frank Smile

Hope all is well.

Frankymole wrote:
I can only speak from personal experience; when The Avengers was rerun on Channel 4 in the early 1980s it was the first time I'd seen it (bar an episode or two of The New Avengers back in 1977).


I'd seen the odd episode of "The Avengers" during Yorkshire's late-night runs of 1975/6, but I really became a big fan when "The Eagle's Nest" went out on Yorkshire and then caught up with the parent series properly when "From Venus with Love" aired in the middle of the night on Channel 4 in November 1982.

Quote:
And what made me seek out fanzines/clubs for both The Avengers and The Prisoner during the 1980s (and Blakes 7 and Sherlock Holmes and...) was the fact we had no video recorder nor any means of seeing it again - unless a TV company was merciful enough to show reruns, but in those days it was a very rare thing for anyone to show repeats of things that were more than a year or two old, until Channel 4 started in 1982. There was no guarantee that Channel 4 would show the same series twice anyway. It was another 9 years before they showed The Prisoner again, and satellite and cable stations (which we couldn't afford) started showing things like The Avengers so they were unavailable to me.


Absolutely! In those days, half the battle was getting to see the shows ... or find out about them, or get to meet like-minded people. And even when Channel 4 screened "The Avengers", we were soon aware that at least the first 16 episodes had substantial cuts made to them. So there was a mystique even about those ... let alone the videotaped shows! That was one of thing that made Dave's book and a lot of the early zines so very, very important to me!

Quote:
So I really wanted to know more about these programmes. Episode guides were thin on the ground or non-existent.


There was Gary Gerani's amazing "Fantastic Television" (plus the "Starlog" guide books), "PrimeTime" ... and, erm, that was about it ...

Quote:
The Prisoner society drew me into my first fan convention, so I could see episodes on video or even in the cinema - and an unexpected bonus was that I found the "buzz" of seeing the episodes became additionally a "buzz" of talking about the show with like-minded fans. Some great friendships resulted (one my best friend), some of which have gone on nearly 30 years from since my teens and now into my middle-age. In fact they've outlasted the fan clubs that spawned them!


Attending my first PortmeiriCon in 1983 was amazing. To be able to discuss the show and see the odd episode I'd not managed to catch before ("Hammer into Anvil" as I recall - still a favourite) was a terrific experience.

And meeting people like that does last a lifetime. Hopefully. I met various people - including Anthony McKay - on Sunday 11 January 1981, and they're still part of my life today because of our affection for these shows - laughing, joking, enthusing, swapping notes and ideas some 33 years later and being as wonderful and vivid in my life as ever.

Quote:
I don't think I'd have joined clubs or bought 'zines now, in the age when you can read everything about a series at the click of a mouse (well, almost everything - the info from Andrew Pixley's detailed works on the production of shows are unlikely to be found on any web page). But you can get episode guides, cast lists, interviews, trivia - and for fan interaction you can be instantly up-to-date and make friends on the numerous Facebook pages and fora.


But the accessibility to information - and the shows themselves - is incredible. In fact, it's as fantastic as so many elements of "The Avengers" were when I first watched them! And to be able to communicate, quickly, clearly, directly on forums like this is quite, quite amazing. Even just reading all the enthusiasms of others gives me a nice happy feeling, knowing that people around the world of all ages, cultures, whatever are engaging with and enthused by these amazing and imaginative programmes.

Quote:
And of course almost every popular show has a plethora of DVD releases or Netflix streams, etc. So you can scratch the viewing itch as well. The incentive that drove me to be a zine-buying, club-joining fan is no longer there. These days when I find a show I like I just buy the DVDs - though I do buy old-fanzine reprints as well Smile


... and at the moment, the DVD is generally the most pure form of appreciation. Sure, there's websites and zines and forums ... but unless you still care about and enjoy the core product, the show itself, then you do at times query why you should be devoting so much time into a hobby.

I've loved getting an old show I've not seen for years and enjoying it a-fresh on DVD. Like meeting up with an old friend, and discovering as you've grown older that they have many more qualities that you now admire and value even more.

All the best

Andrew
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
One thing I do miss from the age of the hard-copy zine is the more considered opinion piece. Yes, we can buy books on the production of shows - a very good one on The Avengers has just been published, and companies like Network have tremendous "viewing notes" tomes by Andrew which are books in themselves. The research is staggering. They even cover the contemporary press and public reaction to shows, as well as internal production memos and script changes.


I am looking forward immensely to Mike's book. I suspect that he's again managed to push back the boundaries of research and set new standards, and I can't wait to wallow in all that new information and admire even more the people who made the series! Smile

Quote:
What the internet rarely has is a set of articles, or essays examining series critically. Rodney Marshall has addressed this for The Avengers with the Bright Horizons volume and others planned in the Avengers on Film series. Dave Rogers's On Target/Stay Tuned was massively useful in this regard. He also included fun trivia and news (both of which the internet fan groups do well) but the only place online to find articles of critical analysis on narrow aspects of certain episodes of certain shows is in an enthusiast's blog - if you can find one! They're rare beasts because they're hard to do, and are even harder to find especially if someone has only written one or two entries on your favourite show.


Opinion pieces are tricky ... and I've always found them difficult to write. Which is probably why I don't. I also don't think I have enough confidence in my own opinions and theories to merit an article, let alone a book. Why should my perspective on something be right? Very happy to read other people's, but I'd far rather immerse myself in learning via research of archival sources and trying to understand the decisions and incidents which shaped these terrific shows.

Quote:
That's why I still buy books like Bright Horizons and zine reprints like Jaz's Morning After. You don't really get that stuff from the internet, not in that amount.


The collections of "The Morning After" are a fine example. That'd never appear in such a form online. It's also a beautiful slice of what it was like to follow these shows during that era in terms of news, product, anticiption, technology, etc.

Quote:
There are some tremendous Dr Who "fanzines" (made to a better standard than professional newsstand magazines - they're essentially very glossy paperback books) like "Vworp! Vworp!" and "Nothing at the End of the Lane", which I buy, but they come out at the rate of one tremendously in-depth researched volume every 4-7 years. They're not what we called fanzines back in the day. I do buy them though as they have a similar depth of information as the detailed books by Andrew.


"Nothing at the End of the Lane" and "Vworp! Vworp!" are both fine examples of innovative, beautifully designed fanzines where the editors are trying to do something fresh and new. One of the problems with regular publication of either zines or magazine is a continual flow of new material. Doesn't always happen on demand like that. But when you do find brilliant zines, you certainly savour them and enjoy them all the more ....

Quote:
I do miss Time Screen though! Picking up the latest copy at Portmeiricon made it feel like a proper holiday.


Very Happy "TimeScreen" was a really joyous time. It was the right moment ... moving from non-availability through discovery to availability on tape of many of these shows. And it was such a delight to work with so many wonderful, vivid, fun, exciting people whose ideas and enthusiasm just continually fizzed and kept you going.

All the best

Andrew
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Andrew Pixley"]
Frankymole wrote:
Quote:
What the internet rarely has is a set of articles, or essays examining series critically. Rodney Marshall has addressed this for The Avengers with the Bright Horizons volume and others planned in the Avengers on Film series. Dave Rogers's On Target/Stay Tuned was massively useful in this regard. He also included fun trivia and news (both of which the internet fan groups do well) but the only place online to find articles of critical analysis on narrow aspects of certain episodes of certain shows is in an enthusiast's blog - if you can find one! They're rare beasts because they're hard to do, and are even harder to find especially if someone has only written one or two entries on your favourite show.


Opinion pieces are tricky ... and I've always found them difficult to write. Which is probably why I don't. I also don't think I have enough confidence in my own opinions and theories to merit an article, let alone a book. Why should my perspective on something be right? Very happy to read other people's, but I'd far rather immerse myself in learning via research of archival sources and trying to understand the decisions and incidents which shaped these terrific shows.


It's funny, because I'm the exact opposite. I love reading and writing opinion pieces based on analysis - it's fascinating to see the differing opinions produced in well-founded, well-analyzed articles. Those are indeed hard to come by, but for me analysis is fun to do. Quite different from empirical research, of course, but it has the same kind of value. I think the point is not so much about being "right" about an episode or a series; it's rather founding opinion not just upon whether you like or don't like something, but on what the product means, culturally, socially, or cinematically. There's such a breadth of opinion based solidly in cinematic evidence that it's difficult to exhaust those aspects of a show - and plenty of theories to use and develop. Not all scholarship is the same, but it is the basis of an entire discipline within media studies. I love that there's room for both kinds of work, and that the internet allows those ideas to be disseminated so quickly and easily.
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Andrew Pixley
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lauren Smile

Lhbizness wrote:
It's funny, because I'm the exact opposite. I love reading and writing opinion pieces based on analysis - it's fascinating to see the differing opinions produced in well-founded, well-analyzed articles. Those are indeed hard to come by, but for me analysis is fun to do. Quite different from empirical research, of course, but it has the same kind of value. I think the point is not so much about being "right" about an episode or a series; it's rather founding opinion not just upon whether you like or don't like something, but on what the product means, culturally, socially, or cinematically. There's such a breadth of opinion based solidly in cinematic evidence that it's difficult to exhaust those aspects of a show - and plenty of theories to use and develop. Not all scholarship is the same, but it is the basis of an entire discipline within media studies. I love that there's room for both kinds of work, and that the internet allows those ideas to be disseminated so quickly and easily.


And that's the lovely thing about the limitless space on the internet ... that the wider variety of scope for style is more practical. I enjoy dipping in and out of other people's perspective and analysis to maybe spot something that I've missed and appreciate it in a different way. But my semi-autistic mind doesn't work in that way; I only tend to see a programme the sum total of the technical elements that go into it ... and, in a rather facile manner, simply as entertainment rather than a social comment. And that's why I've enjoyed some of the more academic books that I've read of late, and particularly events like last year's amazing "Spaces of Television" conference at the University of Reading which was a massively enjoyable and engaging experience. I got a real kick out of it ... but I'd be totally hopeless at delivering anything like that myself. Not smart enough. I'd rather just be buried under a pile of scripts and shooting schedules. Very Happy

Vive la difference! Smile

All the best

Andrew
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again Andrew! Things are pretty swell here. Hope they are with you too Smile

Andrew Pixley wrote:
Did people really want to read about "Virtual Murder" even although I really wanted to write about it? I'm not so sure now.


I do!!! I didn't get to see enough when it was on. It was slightly hampered by being on videotape when SF/telefantasy was thought of as a film medium but still it's always nice to see TV people experimenting with new ideas.

To read these things though one has to go hunting through Ebay or find a dodgy scan. Unless someone has a Virtual Murder blog I don't know about...!

Andrew Pixley wrote:

Absolutely! In those days, half the battle was getting to see the shows ... or find out about them, or get to meet like-minded people. And even when Channel 4 screened "The Avengers", we were soon aware that at least the first 16 episodes had substantial cuts made to them. So there was a mystique even about those ... let alone the videotaped shows! That was one of thing that made Dave's book and a lot of the early zines so very, very important to me!
Dave's coverage of the Keel/Cathy era intrigued me, and we could never envisage then actually being able to see these shows. The news emerged that the episodes, many thought lost forever, existed as one set of negatives and that these were in danger - and indeed one of the Cathy episodes might be gone, irrecoverably, forever. Scarier than the Dr Who Winter Special 1981 that revealed the erasures from the BBC archive! Great news that Patrick Macnee himself made pleas for them to be rescued, even though they had zero commercial value. Who could possibly have envisaged where we are now?

Andrew Pixley wrote:

I've loved getting an old show I've not seen for years and enjoying it a-fresh on DVD. Like meeting up with an old friend, and discovering as you've grown older that they have many more qualities that you now admire and value even more.
That's very true - and another bonus is watching shows I never even knew existed when they were on, as they were shown after my bedtime; seeing performances from favourite actors in wildly diverse roles, and enjoying as an adult shows which haven't been shown on TV since my parents were young. Incredible. Some of them have even becomes favourites of mine, easily at the top of my "rewatch" pile and making me re-evaluate what I think of as quality programme-making. With any luck they'll continue to be available to future generations as well. I just wish they'd bring out all the 1960s/70s made-for-TV plays as they're usually top class! Here's hoping the BBC "Project Barcelona"/BBC store kicks something off on that front. DVD companies' commercialism only stretches so far.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew Pixley wrote in a message to Frankymole:

Quote:
Absolutely! In those days, half the battle was getting to see the shows ... or find out about them, or get to meet like-minded people. And even when Channel 4 screened "The Avengers", we were soon aware that at least the first 16 episodes had substantial cuts made to them. So there was a mystique even about those ... let alone the videotaped shows! That was one of thing that made Dave's book and a lot of the early zines so very, very important to me!


You are so right Andrew and this really got me thinking about the way I actually saw the ITC programmes I love. I obviously remember watching shows like Return of The Saint, The New Avengers and The Professionals when they were first broadcast in the late 70s and also remember seeing Thunderbirds and the hour long Danger Man episodes in the summer holidays of 1981(?). I have much older siblings (my oldest sister is 11 years old than me) and was allowed to watch the ITC series during their mid 70s reruns when I would have been about 8 or 9. We had ITC and Countdown annuals and toys around the house and my mum always told me as a very little boy I loved Captain Scarlet and talked about the episode where Captain Scarlet killed Captain Blue (Special Assignment) all the time but didn't really remember them that well until ITV started showing series like The Champions, Randall and Hopkirk, Captain Scarlet, etc in the early, mid 80s.

I saw the ITV Best of British showing of The Persuaders! episode Greensleeves in 1982 and that was really the catalyst for me getting into the series so heavily. I suppose looking back I loved Roger Moore as James Bond and thought he was just brilliant in The Persuaders! (I'd not seen The Saint at that point!) and it was then that I wanted to know more about the programme and his career. We'd got a video recorder that year and I don't know how but I hooked up with a guy called Dave Leggett up north who traded videos and ended up spending a small fortune buying VHS copies of The Persuaders! that he had traded with someone in Australia. I had no idea these were cut by up to 8 minutes as I couldn't find an episode guide anywhere. In those days we lived in deepest, darkest Dorset and none of my friends were into these shows.

On a trip to Bristol in 1985 I discovered a shop called Forever People on Park Street and they sold TimeScreen and SIG and I picked up a couple of issues and that was just a joy to discover that there were other people out there that liked these shows too. I was never really a fan of the sci-fi shows like Star Trek, Doctor Who (although I do remember watching the Pertwee stories when they were first broadcast) so it was nice to see magazines with the sort of programmes I enjoyed.

I suppose I was lucky in the fact that we grew up in a pub in the late 60s through to mid 70s and because my mum and dad were always busy my elder sister tended to look after me which meant I watched a lot of telly at that time!

I'm thankful to companies like Network, Umbrella, Madman, etc who have brought us so many fabulous dvds that we can now just enjoy at our own pace and time. How spoilt/lucky we are now compared to those days in the early - mid 80s.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
Hi again Andrew! Things are pretty swell here. Hope they are with you too Smile

Andrew Pixley wrote:
Did people really want to read about "Virtual Murder" even although I really wanted to write about it? I'm not so sure now.


I do!!! I didn't get to see enough when it was on. It was slightly hampered by being on videotape when SF/telefantasy was thought of as a film medium but still it's always nice to see TV people experimenting with new ideas.

To read these things though one has to go hunting through Ebay or find a dodgy scan. Unless someone has a Virtual Murder blog I don't know about...!

Andrew Pixley wrote:

Absolutely! In those days, half the battle was getting to see the shows ... or find out about them, or get to meet like-minded people. And even when Channel 4 screened "The Avengers", we were soon aware that at least the first 16 episodes had substantial cuts made to them. So there was a mystique even about those ... let alone the videotaped shows! That was one of thing that made Dave's book and a lot of the early zines so very, very important to me!
Dave's coverage of the Keel/Cathy era intrigued me, and we could never envisage then actually being able to see these shows. The news emerged that the episodes, many thought lost forever, existed as one set of negatives and that these were in danger - and indeed one of the Cathy episodes might be gone, irrecoverably, forever. Scarier than the Dr Who Winter Special 1981 that revealed the erasures from the BBC archive! Great news that Patrick Macnee himself made pleas for them to be rescued, even though they had zero commercial value. Who could possibly have envisaged where we are now?

Andrew Pixley wrote:

I've loved getting an old show I've not seen for years and enjoying it a-fresh on DVD. Like meeting up with an old friend, and discovering as you've grown older that they have many more qualities that you now admire and value even more.
That's very true - and another bonus is watching shows I never even knew existed when they were on, as they were shown after my bedtime; seeing performances from favourite actors in wildly diverse roles, and enjoying as an adult shows which haven't been shown on TV since my parents were young. Incredible. Some of them have even becomes favourites of mine, easily at the top of my "rewatch" pile and making me re-evaluate what I think of as quality programme-making. With any luck they'll continue to be available to future generations as well. I just wish they'd bring out all the 1960s/70s made-for-TV plays as they're usually top class! Here's hoping the BBC "Project Barcelona"/BBC store kicks something off on that front. DVD companies' commercialism only stretches so far.


true...tis was a golden era in uk programming...as it was in the states..myself, i consider the earlier stuff....far better than most of these so called 'modern' series...the scripts are as solid, and the shock value is often too over the top..and the acting for the most part, is lacking..or wooden...in my opinion
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say I've found this thread fascinating even though we seem to have wandered somewhat from the original topic Wink and would like to post something meaningful but I'm afraid I haven't got the time to be able to do so. What I will say is that the 80's were a very important time for fans of these shows as many of them were actually being shown on mainstream channels and generating some, if not huge, interest. Some people were happy to see the shows again while many, myself included, were seeing them for the first time. For some of those first-timers, again, that would include me, seeing the shows wasn't enough - we wanted to find out more about them. What were they doing now/where was that filmed/ where can I get pictures from? etc etc.

I can remember vividly walking down a street in Liverpool which I didn't walk down very often at the age of 16 and being stopped in my tracks when I saw Dave Rogers' first book in the shop window. A whole book? On The Avengers? What joy! There are actually people out there like me?! I went straight in to have a look, despite the bookshop being one for people (well, men actually) of a discerning taste and thumbed through a copy. Pictures? Quotes? An episode guide? This was manna from heaven but disappointment was to follow when I saw the price - more than I could afford on the day but an imminent birthday soon saw the the prized asset in my hands.

And so it started, an interest in all things ITC/Avengers/60's which continues to this day. Not long after that initial exposure to fandom I was a fully paid up member of Six Of One, had a subscription to On Target and was buying up as many magazines/fanzines from that same bookshop as I could afford. PrimeTime, Vulcan and many others whose names I've forgotten were devoured for snippets of information. If it had ITC or The Avengers on the cover I bought it. Names like Rogers, Fiddy, Goodman and Pixley became regulars. These days it's totally different - you just look it up online but there was something magical about getting those magazines and fanzines through the post and is the reason I was so happy to see the recent TMA reprints as it represented a time we'll probably never see again. Much of the information we want is now at our fingertips rather than having to wait for it to drop through the letterbox. All the shows are pretty much available to see whenever we want so that sense of anticipation and excitement maybe lost but the quality of the shows remains.
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frank
Little Wonder


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 222
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:23 pm    Post subject: Article about the film Reply with quote

Came across this article about the failure of the film. They timed in for the anniversary of its debut and tied it into the recent failure of the Fantastic Four movie

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2015/08/12/fantastic-four-is-one-of-the-most-shocking-box-office-flops-since-the-avengers/
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MikeR
Epic


Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 1073
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frank

There are at least another couple of threads on here where I talk in depth about the film and having spoken with the editor Mick Audsley as research for Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots, he gave me an insiderís viewpoint on what went wrong.

1. Producer Jerry Weintraub chose the wrong director in Jeremiah Chechik, who although being a fan of the television series lacked the experience of handling such a large production.

2. Jeremiah Chechik did not stamp his authority on the film, allowing the three leads to interpret their characters exactly as they wanted.

3. The screenplay was constantly being rewritten as the production was being filmed.

4. Jeremiah Chechik created up to 9 different versions of each reel of the film, because he had no confidence in cutting a film together. Further to this material was edited out of the film making the narrative difficult to follow.

5. Early in production, Audsley pointed out to Weintraub and Chechik that there was no rapport between Steed and Mrs Peel and told them that the situation needed rectifying, but very little was done about this.

6. Warner Brothers were unhappy with the first cut and after two audience tests in the States resulted in a big thumbs down they wanted some reshooting and then even more editing to the finished film print.
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