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Avengers program on Radio 3 on 20th April
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bhdaviesuk
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:23 am    Post subject: Avengers program on Radio 3 on 20th April Reply with quote

Sorry if someone has already posted about this, but Night Waves on Radio 3 on 20th April features The Avengers. Details are here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010749m
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, that's brand new information. Thanks!
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matthew Sweet's very good at doing these so it should be pretty enjoyable.
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I recognised his name but I can't remember in what. Broadcaster and Doctor Who writer - yes?

I've marked this date on my big Avengers calendar with my big Avengers marker.
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a reminder that this is on tonight. Smile

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Rhonda
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, potentially all 45 minutes too, thanks I missed it.
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davidwd
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it was Matthew Sweet who interviewed Brian Clemens (who is on the programme tonight) about The Avengers last July at the BFI Southbank.

So tonight’s programme should be pretty interesting.
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Ketman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole programme tonight was devoted to the Avengers. Apart from Matthew Sweet, around the table there was Bea Campbell, Sarah Dunant and Brian Clemens.

Bea said how Cathy Gale was an iconic figure for all the females of her age, a symbol of the kind of free woman they all aspired to be.

Brian said that Honor stepped into the role when there were scripts already written with a male (Ian Hendry) in mind. But basically they just left them as they were. So that's how she came to have a status equal to Steed's, because she was required to act with all the resourcefulness that Hendry would have shown.

He said something interesting about Steed. Patrick Macnee apparently based Steed on a character played by Ralph Richardson in the 1930s film, Q Planes.

Sarah Dunant said that women went nuts over the women in the Avengers. They were much more the focus than Steed. Their impact was maximised by their arriving at a moment just preceding feminism. There was a short recorded interview with Honor, where she said that some men were quite antagonistic: "I was quite often called out for a fight, because they couldn't bear to think that a woman could throw them around."

I was pleasantly surprised by the discussion. I half expected that they were going to treat the whole thing frivolously, but it was far from that. They treated the Avengers as an important cultural product of the 1960s. Well worth hearing, if you can access it.
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Patrick being influenced by Ralph Richardson in Q Planes is well documented. I would love to see this film - did Richardson's character really kick someone in 'the unmentionables'?

Very enjoyable. I didn't know what to expect - the enthusiasm from the two ladies spilling out over the airwaves and they obviously adored Brian Clemens.

Here's the link to iPlayer for those that missed it and can access it
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b010749m/Night_Waves_20_04_2011/
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Cariheart
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
Yes, Patrick being influenced by Ralph Richardson in Q Planes is well documented. I would love to see this film - did Richardson's character really kick someone in 'the unmentionables'?

Very enjoyable. I didn't know what to expect - the enthusiasm from the two ladies spilling out over the airwaves and they obviously adored Brian Clemens.

Here's the link to iPlayer for those that missed it and can access it
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b010749m/Night_Waves_20_04_2011/


Thank you very much, Dandy Smile
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
Yes, Patrick being influenced by Ralph Richardson in Q Planes is well documented.
...and also on his commanding officer in the Navy, and also on his own father. Patrick has mentioned he used bits of all three, though the brolly and hat are from Q Planes (the new "look" required of him by the producers) the manners are from the other two sources Smile

Shame this programme resorted to slagging off Tara, especially the political activist who then admitted the main reason she stopped following the show in the late 60s is that she didn't have any more time for fantasy as she was getting into politics and the show wasn't about gritty political issues. Surely the wrong show for that, The Avengers is primarily (and almost solely) entertainment - after a hard day's campaigning, most politically-aware people want to come home to some light relief!

There was a thesis that the Diabolical Masterminds were mostly/all interested in restoring the British Empire, maintaining the political status quo in England, and resisting new technology. Quite quite bizarre, when Dr Armstrong and his Cybernauts (who got a mention) and The House That Jack Built (which got an extensive discussion) were all about automation fanatics who wanted new technology to triumph! The programme contradicted itself. Plus, a lot of the threats were from those who wanted to usurp the establishment with new political orders (from the Neo-Nazis in The Mauritius Penny onwards through the invaders and intellectual elites who wanted to take over in the Emma years).

I was a little shocked when Clemens claimed he couldn't talk about any impact Cathy Gale had on the public because he wasn't a producer then. I thought the writing team were fairly aware of her effect. Once again, The Avengers was reduced to Emma Peel and little more. This programme was very heavy on the gender politics and a newcomer listening to it would imagine that was all the Avengers was about; the humour was not mentioned and Steed was dismissed in a couple of sentences as a reactionary. Venus Smith was written out of history (perhaps not surprisingly), and so was Ian Hendry (more surprisingly) with his era dismissed as a "cop show".

Clemens caused several cult TV fans to choke on their Earl Grey when he described Terry Nation as a fantastic writer for writing Invasion of the Earthmen (he's generally thought of as a repetitive hack - not by me, I hasten to add; he's one of my heroes, but I'm pretty much a lone voice in most fandoms for that). More beverage-spillage occurred when the most stridently vocal woman (the 'political' one who kept talking over the other guests) toasted Brian Clemens as "God's gift to women". Quite strange when Clemens had stressed that Cathy Gale wasn't his invention (and, in my opinion but shared by some other commentators, the colour Emma Peel years had a somewhat weaker or more formulaic imitation of the Gale and monochrome Peel character who was more gutsy and less cartoonish).

An interesting show, worth a listen, but I'd seen Matthew Sweet a few nights ago on the Dr Who DVD "The Ark" (I'm not sure what his connection to Who is) interviewing one of the actors and repeating a lot of the fan myths and "received wisdom" about that show, so I am unsure how much research he does beyond taking the often-spurious popular myths about old shows. For example Clemens' statement that there were six Ian Hendry/Keel scripts carried over to Honor Blackman (with supposedly minimal changes, though I don't remember Dr Keel riding motorcyles or wearing leather and using judo on people) went unchallenged, despite Honor saying that she had to get the earlier scripts amended to beef up Cathy's role as essentially they were too girly. Surely the three carried-over Keel scripts were given to Jon Rollason/Dr King?
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Rhonda
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was also surprised at the early mention of Catherine Gale and Emma Peel without Tara King. I think the programme was trying to let the contributers be spontaneous but Mathew Sweet should have done a little more research and asked the right questions to get all the main aspects of the show included. Instead, the fans could get their own questionable theories in too much.

When they mentioned 'diabolical masterminds' who wanted to restore the British Empire I did think of the one in Death At Bargain Prices, but only because of his appearance - that kind of ex-Army character. But, as we know, there are all kinds of diabolical masterminds.

Good to hear Honor Blackman finally deciding what sort of symbol she was!

Historian Dominic Sandbrook also took part by the way, and it was good moment at the end toasting the very entertaining Brian Clemens by uncorking a bottle.
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do agree with most of your points, both. And I did cringe at the references to "Thorson", but although all of these valid points could have been raised this was after all a celebratory discussion, and not a cross examination.

As soon as Mathew Sweet's introduction about 'Emma arriving in a quiet village and stepping out of a Bentley in full leather' or whatever it was, I knew they weren't going for accuracy.

Let's face it a 3/4 hour programme isn't enough for a serious documentary on the show, but for what is was I loved it.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope they used real Champagne, not Cava Smile

The fans did have some good points to make, forthrightly too, for instance refuting the consumer/materialism-fetishism which is a hoary old chestnut more properly aimed at James Bond - the Avengers sent this up (as well as the spy genre in general) whilst merely signifying the class (in its 'elegance' sense) of Steed and co.

It can be heard on iPlayer (might only be for listeners in the UK?):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b010749m/Night_Waves_20_04_2011/
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It reminds me when I went fishing with my grandfather or played a game of bridge and having to listening to his political views and what was going wrong with the country. I never challenged those views and just enjoyed his company and the fact he was still around. Even when he got confused and called me by my father or brother's name.
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Ketman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say, don't look a gift-horse in the mouth. The whole of Nightwaves was devoted to The Avengers last night. It could have been just a fun segment at the end of a programme discussing the things that Nightwaves usually focusses on - theatre, opera, literature, art. Forty-five minutes of undivided attention is more than you can expect for a show that finished more than three decades ago, according to some, and four decades according to others. They got in some credible critics to relate their experiences, and everyone spoke positively about the show, even if we didn't always agree with what they said. They were at least fans.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True. It was interesting when they talked about how The Avengers might have been regarded as just trashy TV once but now it can be seriously discussed as art on programmes like this; though one of the fan ladies felt that it had always been recognisably iconic, even on first transmission.

I felt the fans could've been more positive about certain aspects (the final season - and The New Avengers were disparaged indirectly by saying the show could never have worked in the 70s, but bizarrely The Professionals and even the execrable "CI5: The New Professionals" got mentioned whilst Purdey didn't!).

Nevertheless, nice to see Brian Clemens (and Terry Nation) getting some love. Perhaps it is just as well they didn't invite Roger Marshall on Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comment by Rupert Macnee on his Facebook site:

With preparations well underway for The Avengers: A Celebration, at Chichester University on June 25-26, my Dad and I spent breakfast this morning listening to this insightful BBC hour about the show in its historical context, about feminism, technology and Britain in the 1960's. "It shows we mad an impact", Patrick remarked.


I think it's great that Pat listened to the show and was pleased by it.

Mona
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An enjoyable show. Got a bit Pseuds Corner at times but they raised some really interesting points.
Poor Linda Thorson copped it a bit and I didn't agree with the idea that The Avengers wouldn't have worked in the seventies because for me The New Avengers did. Smile


Mona wrote:
Comment by Rupert Macnee on his Facebook site:

With preparations well underway for The Avengers: A Celebration, at Chichester University on June 25-26, my Dad and I spent breakfast this morning listening to this insightful BBC hour about the show in its historical context, about feminism, technology and Britain in the 1960's. "It shows we mad an impact", Patrick remarked.


I think it's great that Pat listened to the show and was pleased by it.

Mona


Wow, that's great ! The iPlayer is a modern marvel. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for passing that on, Mona. I think they programme makers would be very pleased to read that message. I have taken the liberty of forwarding the FB message to Matthew Sweet c/o BBC Radio 3.
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