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Emma Peel

 
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mousemeat
A Touch of Brimstone


Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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Location: Elvis Central, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:07 pm    Post subject: Emma Peel Reply with quote

Of course, everyone within our Universe knows, that Diana Riggs, wasn't the ORIGINAL Mrs. Peel...Elizabeth Shepard was chosen, but was replaced after episode and a half...What was the 'official' reason she was replaced ? do you think if she was not replaced, she would have settled into the role ?

Last edited by mousemeat on Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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darren
The Bird Who Wrote Too Much


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's clear to me that they were trying for Cathy Gale mark 2, Elizabeth Shepherd has a superficial Honor Blackman quality (deep voice, blonde hair). I don't think they really knew what they wanted from Emma Peel but they knew that whatever Shepherd gave them wasn't it.

There's a few stories about why they dropped her. A lack of chemistry with Macnee (or did I imagine that one), she wasn't exuding the spark they were hoping for, her partner was apparently rather interfering, her ideas for the character didn't resonate with them.

Director of the original Town of No Return, Peter Graham Scott, said that when watching the two lead actors in the studio, Macnee and Shepherd seemed to work well together and be having fun. Then they went on location for the deserted airbase scenes and again Scott felt she looked like she was having fun. But on viewing the film rushes "the scenes with Beth Shepherd hadn't got any fire in them. They lacked passion - that I knew she had. That hidden under-glass sex appeal somehow wasn't coming over on screen. And the humour, the twinkle in the eye, wasn't there. She didn't understand what punchy television was all about."

Macnee was very fond of her but knew that it just wasn't working (he said she lacked the kind of "boy scout/hermaphrodite" quality needed for The Avengers role).

The production team and executives watched the finished 1st episode and sat in silence until Howard Thomas (ABC Executive) spoke with "We've got to fire this girl".

Although she probably didn't fit at first, she was a very good classical actress with tremendous screen presence - I'm always impressed with her whenever I see her in something, I'm sure she would have got used to the style of the show eventually but they didn't want to wait. They had to get the chemistry right instantly.

Diana is quite awkward at first (Murder Market) but she clearly had the sense of humour they wanted.
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Rhonda
How to Succeed... at Posting!


Joined: 19 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
...Diana is quite awkward at first (Murder Market) but she clearly had the sense of humour they wanted.

I like the rather serious Emma Peel that arrives in Series 4 and, because she's like that, appreciate those early episodes more now.
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Ron
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Allard
The Ministry


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diana Rigg grew as an actress in the part of Emma Peel. Her chemistry with Macnee/Steed is unmatched, which I why I would say that Sheppard would not have been as successful. Yet I don't think that because she didn't sparkle on screen in that part one can or should label her a bad or mediocre actress. I've seen her in The Corridor People, which is a weird part, but nothing about her acting bothered me.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allard wrote:
Diana Rigg grew as an actress in the part of Emma Peel. Her chemistry with Macnee/Steed is unmatched, which I why I would say that Sheppard would not have been as successful. Yet I don't think that because she didn't sparkle on screen in that part one can or should label her a bad or mediocre actress. I've seen her in The Corridor People, which is a weird part, but nothing about her acting bothered me.


I would concur with Alan's opinion..Elizabeth simply didn't get the time to jell..and the producers moved very quickly to replace her with DIANA
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mousemeat
A Touch of Brimstone


Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 4515
Location: Elvis Central, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mousemeat wrote:
Allard wrote:
Diana Rigg grew as an actress in the part of Emma Peel. Her chemistry with Macnee/Steed is unmatched, which I why I would say that Sheppard would not have been as successful. Yet I don't think that because she didn't sparkle on screen in that part one can or should label her a bad or mediocre actress. I've seen her in The Corridor People, which is a weird part, but nothing about her acting bothered me.


I would concur with Allard's opinion..Elizabeth simply didn't get the time to jell..and the producers moved very quickly to replace her with DIANA
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