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Favourite Avengers Spin offs

 
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paulpdjh
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:01 am    Post subject: Favourite Avengers Spin offs Reply with quote

Some of the discussions in other threads has got me thinking about the various spin offs from the show and which are my favourites.

I don't really count The New Avengers as a spin off as, for me, it's very much in line with the evolving nature of the original series and, of course, stars Patrick Macnee as Steed. Looking at the rest - novels, comic strips, stage play, radio series, movie and audiobooks - the two audio series are my favourites. I can't quite decide which I prefer as they are quite different, or who makes the better Steed, Donald Monat or Julian Wadham - maybe as the Big Finish series continues I'll be able to choose!

Although The Avengers in print has a lot of potential, very few of the novels or comic strips manage to capture the feel of show. Recently, I've been reading The Passing of Gloria Munday by John Garforth, which is bad on so many levels! I found the following sentence in the first chapter paragraph particularly bizarre for a series that was breaking new ground in the way women were portrayed on television: "Steed had taken a quick shower and changed into formal dress while Gloria Munday had done the things that women do"! It also seemed very poorly researched. For example, it's set in Blackpool on the English coast of the Irish Sea, but talks about Steed and Gloria looking out over the Atlantic!

Sadly, I never saw the stage play and although my opinion of the movie has improved slightly, it just doesn't seem like the real Avengers. I think that maybe largely down to Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman being miscast in their roles, as I have no problems accepting Donald Monat and Diane Appleby as Steed and Mrs Peel in the radio series.

What are your favourites?
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Rhonda
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I listen to quite a bit of radio and audio books in a typical week so it will be no surprise if I say I like the Radio Series spin off of The Avengers. The serials are very atmospheric by everything being set out by the narrator (Hugh Rouse) and the action is created in an upbeat way by Donald Monat and Diane Appleby (and the several actors who play Mother). It's great to imagine it all and, although many of the other actors who were involved are known, who was in a particular serial is not. I like the mystery of it all!
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there are some books which capture The Avengers better but they're quite rare - The Saga of Happy Valley by Geoff Barlow (?) and others in that series are meant to be quite good. I got the Happy Valley one free with an issue of Stay Tuned or On Target, Dave Rogers's fan magazine but don't have the others so can't comment myself.

Some of the comic strips were amusing - the Diana comic ones were beautifully illustrated. The Cathy Gale ones in the newspaper were perhaps closest to the feel of the TV show, it's hard to go wrong when it's film noir detection; the Emma (from Diana and TV Comic) and Tara ones (from TV Comic) are pretty hard to find too, and ought to be collected maybe as an e-book or e-magazine when those are capable of supporting pictures-heavy publications.
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The South African radio series would be first for me, hands down. Donald Monat and Diane Appleby take Steed and Emma and make them their own, versions of the character that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their TV counterparts. The new radio series is quite good as well, but has had less time to sink into my collective Avengers consciousness. Wink

I also have a soft spot for the novels. Not the awful graphic and unAvengersish John Garforth efforts, two of which I stopped reading midway before giving up on them entirely. But all the others, which played a major role in my early days of discovering the show. My first ever Avengers item was a copy of Norman Daniels' The Magnetic Man, which I found at the first used bookshop I went looking for Avengers stuff at (it was a whole $2. I was thrilled!). Before I watched very many Tara episodes, I read about her and Steed taking a trip to the moon in Moon Express (actually incredibly inventive in its plot. The Avengers does sci-fi on a grand scale. I was drawn in instantly), and defusing The Gold Bomb. (It was always "Major Steed" in those books, too--he had it on his office door and everything. Yes, Steed with an office!). Deadline weaves an intriguing plot around the newspaper industry. Douglas Enefer's The Avengers is straight-up Gale-era noir, and incredibly faithful to the feel of the series and the characters. And I read lots of the TNA novels before ever watching an episode with Purdey and Gambit. Some of them are lousy, but Fighting Men is among the best of the bunch, original Avengers or TNA, shipping Purdey and Gambit off to Africa in an AU Dirtier by the Dozen, exchanging snappy dialogue that Gareth and Joanna would have executed to perfection. And it's hard not to love The Saga of Happy Valley with its out-there plot and copyright-dodging "Steade" and "Peale". It's even set post-TNA, unusually--there are references to Steed's other compatriots "Gambet" and "Purdie." Wink

Oh, and it's hard not to love Too Many Targets. How can you go wrong with Steed/Keel/Cathy/Emma/Tara vs. Cybernauts?
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Lhbizness
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I greatly enjoy the Steed & Mrs. Peel graphic novel series, especially the ones by Caleb Monroe/Yasmin Lang. They very much keep to the feel of the characters and their chemistry, and avoid oversexualizing Mrs. Peel (but maintaining the emotional relationship between her and Steed). Monroe said that there was no way those two could end except in each other's arms.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timeless A-Peel wrote:
The South African radio series would be first for me, hands down. Donald Monat and Diane Appleby take Steed and Emma and make them their own, versions of the character that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their TV counterparts. The new radio series is quite good as well, but has had less time to sink into my collective Avengers consciousness. Wink

I also have a soft spot for the novels. Not the awful graphic and unAvengersish John Garforth efforts, two of which I stopped reading midway before giving up on them entirely. But all the others, which played a major role in my early days of discovering the show. My first ever Avengers item was a copy of Norman Daniels' The Magnetic Man, which I found at the first used bookshop I went looking for Avengers stuff at (it was a whole $2. I was thrilled!). Before I watched very many Tara episodes, I read about her and Steed taking a trip to the moon in Moon Express (actually incredibly inventive in its plot. The Avengers does sci-fi on a grand scale. I was drawn in instantly), and defusing The Gold Bomb. (It was always "Major Steed" in those books, too--he had it on his office door and everything. Yes, Steed with an office!). Deadline weaves an intriguing plot around the newspaper industry. Douglas Enefer's The Avengers is straight-up Gale-era noir, and incredibly faithful to the feel of the series and the characters. And I read lots of the TNA novels before ever watching an episode with Purdey and Gambit. Some of them are lousy, but Fighting Men is among the best of the bunch, original Avengers or TNA, shipping Purdey and Gambit off to Africa in an AU Dirtier by the Dozen, exchanging snappy dialogue that Gareth and Joanna would have executed to perfection. And it's hard not to love The Saga of Happy Valley with its out-there plot and copyright-dodging "Steade" and "Peale". It's even set post-TNA, unusually--there are references to Steed's other compatriots "Gambet" and "Purdie." Wink

Oh, and it's hard not to love Too Many Targets. How can you go wrong with Steed/Keel/Cathy/Emma/Tara vs. Cybernauts?



radio and radio 'plays' are a whole different animal that TV..Myself, I always loved a good radio program-play...especially with good sound effects etc...gave the olde imagination a work out
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