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Diana Rigg Replacement Screentests
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Richy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:56 pm    Post subject: Diana Rigg Replacement Screentests Reply with quote

I recently saw a clip of Diane Clare's screentest as a possible replacment for Diana Rigg. I thought she looked quiet good as a possible Tara and was wondering which other actresses were screentested and if people have seen them what they think? I do not have the series 6 boxset yet and know that several of the tests are on there. Do we have a definitive list of who screentested and do the tests for Linda Thorson, Tracy Reed and Mary Peach exist?
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Rodders
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Susan Engel, Jane Murdoch, Toby Robins, Wanda Ventham, Lyn Ashley, Diane Clare, Susan Travers, Valerie Van Ost, Penny Riley, Jill Melford, Barbara Steele, Gabriella Licudi, Linda Thorson all screen tested during Season 5. Then in September 67, Thorson, Van Ost, Aleta Morrison, Mary Peach, Jane Merrow, Tracy Reed, Anne Lawsonand Christina Taylor.
October it was down to just four: Thorson, Reed, Merrow and Peach.
It's covered in Michael's book.
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Diana Rigg Replacement Screentests Reply with quote

Richy wrote:
I recently saw a clip of Diane Clare's screentest as a possible replacment for Diana Rigg. I thought she looked quiet good as a possible Tara and was wondering which other actresses were screentested and if people have seen them what they think? I do not have the series 6 boxset yet and know that several of the tests are on there. Do we have a definitive list of who screentested and do the tests for Linda Thorson, Tracy Reed and Mary Peach exist?
Also in the 50th anniversary set you can see the screen tests.
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Johnny O
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apropos of the auditions, has it ever been clarified if the stories circulated by various folks - primarily Brian Clemens I think - about Thorson's relationship with John Bryce being the primary reason for her casting have any truth in them at all? If they tested so many actresses, I'd guess not.
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Richy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rodders for the list. I have read the book but remember reading a comment somewhere, possibly from Brian Clements that around 300 actresses were interviewed and that a lot of them were screentested. I just wondered if there were anymore that I hadn't heard of. Patricia English was tested in a season 5 episode and I quiet liked her.
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Richy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnny O I had heard that rumour but weren't the tests for Thorson, Reed, Peach and Merrow shipped to the ABC for them to have ultimate approval due to there financial contributions to the series! Would they have know about this?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnny O wrote:
Apropos of the auditions, has it ever been clarified if the stories circulated by various folks - primarily Brian Clemens I think - about Thorson's relationship with John Bryce being the primary reason for her casting have any truth in them at all? If they tested so many actresses, I'd guess not.


I'd always assumed it was just muck spreading as he didn't like her casting but then I read the PDF on the DVD of a TV Times article on the show where Bryce confirmed that he was in a relationship with Thorson but they were both concentrating on their careers. But even so he alone didn't have final say and it was the other executives that also approved her casting.
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's always going to raise eyebrows if a producer is in a relationship with the very actress who just happens to be cast in a part - whether or not it's actually relevant to her casting. I don't know that anyone else would have done a better job than Thorson with that role. At the same time, it's hard to assume that their relationship had absolutely nothing to do with the casting of an inexperience and unknown actress in a major role.
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Johnny O
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting to learn that it is indeed true about Bryce and Thorson. It would have been an extraordinary thing for Clemens and others to state so clearly had it not been true, but it did also seem there was muckraking motivating the claims.

I can actually picture many, many actresses who would have played Tara better and indeed the relationship cannot be dismissed as being integral in the casting. I wonder if any of the other actresses going through the testing process were aware of Thorson's inside advantage.
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Richy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume then that Clements was keen for either Tracy Reed, Mary Peach or Jane Merrow to be cast then!
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Johnny O
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richy wrote:
I assume then that Clements was keen for either Tracy Reed, Mary Peach or Jane Merrow to be cast then!


Doubtful. Clemens wasn't involved. He'd left the show before all this started, hence John Bryce being in charge of the casting.
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Richy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnny O, who would you have liked to have played the part?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always felt an Avengers heroine should be an actress who's brilliant as a baddie.

I love Linda Thorson but Mary Peach would have been great. She's great in Who story Enemy of the World complete with leather gear and she was a magnificent detestable Milady De Winter From the 1967 bbc Three Musketeers and she was natural blonde so no hair dye. Smile
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Richy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Lind Thorson too but wondered what Valerie Van Ost, Jane Merrow and Trecy Reed would have been like. I wonder if Reed would have been too similar in looks, eg hair and stature to Diana Rigg.
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mrs_emma_peel
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5_B8hVExwc
I agree, I'd have preferred Mary Peach as Tara - here she is in looking lovely in A Pair of Briefs (1962)
driving an appropriately Avengers style E-Type Jaguar - a look at what might have been.
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The screen tests for the Tara King role on the DVD actually show off Thorson's strengths compared to the others tested. Can't explain it but they were not quite right for the part.
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Johnny O
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anti-clockwise wrote:
The screen tests for the Tara King role on the DVD actually show off Thorson's strengths compared to the others tested. Can't explain it but they were not quite right for the part.


I haven't seen the auditions, so I can't compare, but I am reminded of when controversial Dr. Who producer John Nathan Turner was desperate to cast Sylvester McCoy in the title role against all opinion in the BBC. He was required to arrange screen tests by his bosses, so hastily arranged three of the worst actors in the history of TV to test alongside McCoy, thus 'proving' that he was right all along. If the other actresses failed to impress in The Avengers tests, I wonder if this was an example of Bryce making sure his girlfriend got the part? Just a thought.
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Richy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have those tests on a Dr Who dvd and Sylvester was by far the best to audition for the role. I grow up with him as my Doctor.
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnny O wrote:
anti-clockwise wrote:
The screen tests for the Tara King role on the DVD actually show off Thorson's strengths compared to the others tested. Can't explain it but they were not quite right for the part.


I haven't seen the auditions, so I can't compare, but I am reminded of when controversial Dr. Who producer John Nathan Turner was desperate to cast Sylvester McCoy in the title role against all opinion in the BBC. He was required to arrange screen tests by his bosses, so hastily arranged three of the worst actors in the history of TV to test alongside McCoy, thus 'proving' that he was right all along. If the other actresses failed to impress in The Avengers tests, I wonder if this was an example of Bryce making sure his girlfriend got the part? Just a thought.
You could be very right. Interesting on Dr. Who the tricks they play to get their favorite.

I am not good with the names of the others in the screen tests for Tara. Minor inflections of the voice or phrasing are tricky but can make the scene sound surprisingly different.
All I can say is acting is harder than it looks. I know that for the classic movie Gone with the Wind, many famous actresses of the day were tested until they found Vivien Leigh. The lesser known actress in this case was actually the best drama queen tested. Laughing
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Richy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's true Anti-clockwise
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