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Where to go Next... after Mrs. Peel
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Borgus Weems
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:28 pm    Post subject: Where to go Next... after Mrs. Peel Reply with quote

Okay, I'm close to finishing off the Mrs. Peel mega set, and I'm wondering - what is the next step?

Tara King Year?
Cathy Gale sets?
The New Avengers?

I really can't make up my mind which one would be the next compared to the great Mrs. Peel episodes... what would the board recommend?
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends what you're looking for. If you want something closest in spirit to the Peel years (plots, humour, overall atmosphere), then the Kings would be your best bet (provided you find yourself able to accept Tara, and when I'd only seen, and loved, Emma, I found her hard to swallow. It took seeing TNA to give her a second chance. Now I find her quite pleasant).

If you want to go for something totally different to try and ward off direct comparisons, then the Cathys would be best. Going from Steed and Emma's light banter to Steed and Cathy yelling at each other, occasionally trading blows, and watching Patrick play a manipulative bastard is about as different as you can get. Plus they're studiobound "live" episodes. It's another animal completely. After this, anything else you watch can't help but be closer to the show you know from Emma's tenure.

If you want to follow my lead, you can do what I did and check out TNA, all the while being very careful not to compare it to the original every 10 seconds. Purdey and Gambit have the closest to Steed and Emma's relationship, although there's is laced with some of the Steed/Cathy abrasiveness (but not to the point that you don't feel they don't care about each other). TNA is my favourite era after Emma, so that would be my personal choice. It's sort of a cross between the Emma and Cathy years. Look for some darker stuff here--old friends meeting their ends, pasts catching up, thicker cardboard, occasionally a sucker-punch of emotion. Yes, season 2 is weaker, but you can't deny the stark brilliance of Obsession and Dead Men are Dangerous. And Gambit and Purdey keep the tone from getting too oppressive.

But it's ultimately up to you. Everyone's got their favourites, and I'm sure they'll have a different take. Hopefully some of that helps.
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VA_Avenger
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd recommend you go back to the Cathy era and see how it all started. I assume you've already viewed the bonus disk in the megaset, so you have some idea.

I viewed the Emma years first, and part of the Tara year because I saw them originally on TV, and in PBS/BBC reruns. However, I'm suspending Tara and going back to the Cathy era because I haven't seen most of them. I only caught a few on PBS here in the states. TNA will be the last I see on this pass.

You'll find the Cathy era primative, very gritty, very different, and quite claustrophobic. It seems like much of the time all you see is two heads filling the whole screen during their dialog.

However, every now and then, I pull a random CD with my eyes closed and see what I get.
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Borgus Weems
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input! I'm still not sure where I'll wind up, as I've got about 4 disks of Mrs. Peel left, but I want to go ahead and purchanse the next one I want to go with.

Flipping through YouTube, I can see many kinds of Avengers clips up - maybe I should watch snippits and see which ones grab me!
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Tara King season is hugely underrated, and far more reminiscent of the best of the Peel years than the Cathy shows are. It's also how we all saw the show when it was first shown and then repeated properly - it followed straight on, most of the same writers and directors ensured an evenness of style and if anything the stories got more inventive.
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WoollyRockers
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in a similar position. I've been loving the B&W Emma series on BBC 4 and have just got about half way through the Dutch colour series box set.

After that I've got the Tara set on the way. I recell seeing some on video a few years ago and loving the whole groovy technicolour look of Tara's flat and the surrealism of the later episodes. I'm thinking it might be good to go back to Cathy Gale after that and see how it all started. Very Happy
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Philippa
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Borgus Weems wrote:
Thanks for the input! I'm still not sure where I'll wind up, as I've got about 4 disks of Mrs. Peel left, but I want to go ahead and purchanse the next one I want to go with.

Flipping through YouTube, I can see many kinds of Avengers clips up - maybe I should watch snippits and see which ones grab me!


I have uploaded quite a few of the Cathy episodes to Youtube so perhaps you could check those out first and see what you think of them before buying the dvd's...
Personally I love the Cathy episodes, but some people find them boring, and it would be a shame if you spend money on the dvd's first, and realise afterwards that you don't like them very much.
But ofcourse it's completely up to you.
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Avengerholic
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Tara King episodes are the natural direction to move in. The Thorson era is superb in its own right. The Avengers is no different from any other series that has a change of lead. It just takes a bit of adjustment to accept the new character, most of the stories are actually better and more grounded than the fantastical OTT episodes of the Rigg colour season. That said nothing can beat Steed & Emma at their monochrome best Very Happy
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Philippa
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps a smart idea to link you to my Youtube page Laughing
Link
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Allard
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

However much I love the Gale era, I think the Tara King era is best to follow the Emma Peel episodes. The Gale's are quite different and a real treat and surprise to discover after the more contemporary Peel and King episodes.
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arguably the later Mrs Gale episodes have much in common with the early b/w Peel ones. Episodes such as The Murder Market, The Town of No Return, Dial a Deadly Number and Death at Bargain Prices all see conflict between Steed and his new partner and there is still a darker side to the episodes which is often absent or suppressed in Seasons 5 and 6. I don't see 1965 as a clean break from Season 3. The biggest problem for the viewer is coping with the far cruder production of a 'live' video-taped show. As a generalisation, in terms of thematic content Season 3 (Gale)and 4 (Peel) have much in common, as do Season 5 (Peel) and 6 (Tara).
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Big Sid
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Rodney. If after viewing all of the Emma Peel episodes, you find that you prefer the color seasons, then you should go on to Tara King. If you prefer the monochrome episodes, then give Cathy Gale a try. My personal favorites are the Cathy Gale seasons. I also enjoyed The New Avengers quite a bit. You really can't go wrong - you know you're going to end up seeing them all eventually!
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Borgus Weems
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Sid wrote:
You really can't go wrong - you know you're going to end up seeing them all eventually!


... it does seem that way! The weird this is that, with just about every other show I watch (except Doctor Who)*, it's all about watching the whole thing from the beginning. But with the Avengers, starting with Mrs. Peel means starting roughly in the middle.

* and with the Doctor, I agree with the Brigadier - great chap, all of them!
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I'd go from Emma Peel to The New Avengers. That's my biased personal opinion. Objectively there is no correct answer.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's worth watching all of them. Great 1960s (and 1970s) show. "Splendid seasons, all of them!"
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peabody
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years too late on this topic, but...

I have trouble getting through the Gale years. Bought a couple of VHS tapes from Lumiere back in the 90's and remember that I really enjoyed "Mr. Teddy Bear". I've owned the new and remastered Gale DVD set for quite some time now but can't get started... What am I doing wrong? Am I alone having this problem? I wish they could have added subtitles because a lot of dialogue is very hard to hear. Perhaps that's the trouble... I can't heard what they're saying.
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eleganceandthickcurtains wrote:
A few years too late on this topic, but...

I have trouble getting through the Gale years. Bought a couple of VHS tapes from Lumiere back in the 90's and remember that I really enjoyed "Mr. Teddy Bear". I've owned the new and remastered Gale DVD set for quite some time now but can't get started... What am I doing wrong? Am I alone having this problem? I wish they could have added subtitles because a lot of dialogue is very hard to hear. Perhaps that's the trouble... I can't heard what they're saying.


You are doing nothing wrong. You are me roughly ten years ago. The first Cathy episode I ever watched was The Grandeur that was Rome. It was so boring, it's a wonder that I was able to ever watch another. If you come to the Gale era from the Emmas, Taras, or even TNA, it's a tough transition to make. I like to watch the Avengers as a way to kick back and relax, and the Gale era is not easy viewing. It's hard to hear what people are saying. It's hard to see what's going on--sometimes there would be another blonde character, and I'd spend the whole episode saying "Is that Cathy? Is that Cathy? Are either of these women Cathy? Is Cathy even in this episode?" The plots can be slow and plodding. Steed's kind of a jerk at this point--not particularly likeable. He and Cathy seemed to argue and yell at each other all the time, which gave me a bit of a headache after awhile. So I can understand why you're having problems getting into it. It's not the show you love in a lot of ways.

But don't give up on it just yet.

First, the new Optimum DVDs are a godsend. The image is cleaned up 1000%. I watched season 2, and the difference was night and day--literally. I could see what was going on. I could hear what was going on. Suddenly, following the plot didn't involve cranking the volume up to 100. If I was going to tell someone to only invest in one era of DVDs, I would recommend the Cathys. They really make the viewing experience so much more enjoyable. Pop your DVDs in. You'll be amazed.

Next, go and seek out some good top tens, and watch the recommended episodes. Don't try to watch it in production order if you're already struggling with it. There are lots of really, really brilliant Cathy episodes out there that you'll miss out on if you never give them a shot. There are also quite a few that would make good insomnia cures. If you see the former first, you'll be more likely to forgive the latter.

Also, be sure to have a look at the Dr. King/Venus episodes, which can be a bit a of relief when the Cathy/Steed dynamic gets a bit intense. You may like them, or you may not, but Cathy's not the only partner in season 2, and you owe it yourself to give all the partners a shot.

I really hope you'll give the Cathys a shot. It's not my favourite era, I confess, but I'm glad I persevered and watched them all, because there's something to love in every Avengers episode. Good luck!
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a decent Top Ten of the Cathy years:
http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/cathy.htm
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Cariheart
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm on Team Emma....always have been...but once I got into the Cathy series, I found myself liking them just as much.
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peabody
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big thanks for that lengthy and nice post, Timeless A-Peel! Wise words. I'm not giving up just yet... It's a bit similar to the "trouble" I have with my Danger Man box set. I almost need to force myself to actually pull out the box and look at an episode but once I'm sitting down watching I think it's the greatest TV ever made. And I get a warm and fuzzy feeling after completing an episode.

And thanks for the link Frankymole. I've actually looked at that, thinking it could help me. Guess it'll need another look!
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