Over several years I have been collecting the DVD set of the original 1960’s Avengers. I have been looking at some of the last Patrick Macnee/Linda Thorson episodes this weekend. And then realized that I am missing one last set of DVDs, the one with the final episode. Arrrggghhh! I was hoping I wouldn’t have to go out this weekend.
The Avengers is one of my favorite TV shows of all time, especially the Diana Rigg episodes. Didn’t really care for Tara King as a sidekick for Steed. She was too young for the part. But, it was the writing, more than anything, that left me with such fond memories of the original airings and made me glad to find the DVDs. The stories were often over the top and silly, but they were so well done, the silliness was part of the flavor.
On a message board over at IMDB Someone asked a question about who would be good actors to play Peel and Steed in a new series. I don’t think we can bring back Peel and Steed. They were defined 40 years ago by the original actors and that’s done. The best you can do today is develop a new show with the same quality writing and let a new generation of actors define a new set of characters.
I don’t have enough familiarity with the modern crop of British actors to suggest a “Steed” character. I wonder how the guy who played Hamish has matured? I can’t see someone like a Hugh Grant carrying it off. It’s got to be someone who acts in their thirties and has the “gravitas” to carry off the physical activities. Maybe one of the MI 5 actors?
The “Peel” character is the tricky one. I think Thorson’s main problem, aside from her age, is that she didn’t have the same physicality that Diana Rigg did. And it seems to be harder to find actresses with a physical presence today, many seem to want to waste away into good-looking wraiths. Jessica Alba, Geena Davis, Uma Thurman, Brigid Fonda; all have done good action roles. I liked Halle Berry as Jinx but I don’t know if she has that right degree of “physicality” I am looking for. Again, I think the actress as to be acting as a thirty-something; the character has to have some life experience under her belt before tackling Intercrime, or the Cybernauts, or the Hellfire Club…
An interesting project, to be sure. I thought the Avengers Movie, from several years ago, was rather poorly done, mainly in the writing. As I remember it, Fiennes as Steed and Thurman as Peel did well fitting into the characters as defined. And letting Connery ham it up as the villain was in character for the series. It was certainly silly enough. The Writing, and Directing, just sucked.