The New Avengers (1976-77)

Gareth Hunt-Joanna Lumley-Patrick Macnee

You can’t go home again. The series was good with Honor Blackman, great with Diana Rigg and just okay with Linda Thorson. This revival featured a good cast but the legacy was too much to live up to. Patrick MacNee returned as John Steed. His partners are Gareth Hunt as Mike Gambit and Joanna Lumley as Purdey. There are twenty-six episodes in all. The whole thing is just lame and shouldn’t have been tried in the first place.

The original show ran from 1961-69. Honor Blackman was Catherine Gale (1961-64). Diane Rigg was Mrs.Emma Peel (1965-68) and Linda Thorson was Tara King (1968-69).

Opening episode: “The Eagle’s Nest” w/Peter Cushing – Bad way to open a series. A poorly written, poorly executed episode with a storyline that’s been done to death.

George Stanner is a British agent. He being chased and ends up on St.Dorca island. There’s a monastary run by monks who make a living selling fish extract. One of the islanders is an expert casting with a fishing pole. As Stanner tries to escape by motorboat he’s hit in the cheek with a poison fish hook.

At Stanner’s London apartment Steed is attacked. He was there to brief him on security for a lecture by Dr.Von Claus (Peter Cushing). He has his pal Albert the frog with him. Al has been in hybernation for ten years. Von Claus revives him. Looking on is the man who knocked down Steed.

He grabs Von Claus and jumps out a window into a van. Gambit steals a car and chases him. The man takes some shots at Gambit and the car crashes. Before he can question him the man chomps down on a suicide pill.

Gambit finds out the last plane out of Berlin crashed in the area with what’s referred to as Germany’s most valuable treasure. Steed goes to the island by boat and Purdey sneaks in underwater. Von Claus aids a Doctor with reviving a man. Later he’s told the man needs his help. Von Claus sees that he’s flatlined. Hold on. That ring on his finger shows it’s not the same person he operated on it. Who is it? Really? It’s really him? Talk about asinine moments.

The ending is good for a laugh but it’s way too long getting there.

Final episode: “Forward Base” – A 1969 typhoon passes over Lake Ontario in Canada and strange things start happening to the shoreline. A lone fisherman is in his rowboat and an instant later he’s on the rocky shore.

Present day: Steed, Gambit and Purdey are in Canada. Steed talks with agent Bailey. He likes to work alone. He sees a man come ashore and bury a packet. The man challenges him and Bailey shoots him. Steed retrieves the packet. It’s the latest digital circuit board of a missle guidance system.

Steed reburies it and has Gambit and Purdey keep an eye out to see who digs it up. A man they recognize as a Russian agent gets it and then throws it into the lake. Purdey goes out to get it back. She finds it. It’s not the same one.

They put the pressure on the agent at his motel and he panics and calls forward base. His control isn’t happy he broke radio silence.

There’s an interesting chase scene in slow moving swan boats to make this episode a bit different. Purdey tries to figure out why fish are found in a birds nest up a tree. Overall the episode is lame and the ending is flat. 

Joanna Lumley has had a long career in England. One highlight was in 1973 when she played Elaine Perkins in “Coronation Street.” Her wordwide claim to fame was as Patsy Stone on “Absolutely Fabulous” (1992-2005). The title describes her acting on the show.

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
This entry was posted in British TV, Crime-Mystery-Spy, TV-Crime-Mystery-Spy Shows and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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