Does "The Avengers" qualify as science fiction?

Ed Lake

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The 1960's TV series is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. It seems Emma Peel and John Steed were always battling robots and shape-shifters. I bought the Emma Peel series years ago, and I'm currently watching the 51 episodes for the 3rd or 4th time.
 

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The House that Jack Built for example, you have Emma Peel trapped in a house with ever shifting rooms controlled by an advanced super computer. That more then quarries as science fiction.
 
I also have the complete series The Wild Wild West on DVDs, but I think I've only watched a couple dozen episodes. It may have a sci-fi element, but it doesn't have Diana Rigg.:)
 
The House that Jack Built for example, you have Emma Peel trapped in a house with ever shifting rooms controlled by an advanced super computer. That more then quarries as science fiction.
Redone with Purdy in an office block in Canada for the New Avengers, which was then redone as an X Files episode.
 
The Avengers was created in a time when there truly was great writing and inventiveness in tv programmes. The Prisoner, The Avengers, Doctor Who etc were all top class programmes, and performed with such style.

Science fantasy? I'm not so sure. For me fantasy is a setting for something that is impossible within our (known) world). For sure some of the things in there were weird and wonderful, but all within the possibility of being real.
 
The House That Jack Built scared the utter crap out of me on first viewing, to the extent I hid behind the sofa at some points. Even now, in my 60s, I still find it unsettling.
 
Have you ever seen any of the first series with Ian Hendry?

As a child, I was sometimes allowed to stay up to watch The Avengers but I never saw any of the early episodes until much later (apparently only 3 of the first series survive now, so not sure how many I saw, but they were shown again.) They are quite different in character; no outside location shots, not so much martial arts action, Ian Hendry was the main character. I found them quite dull. So, I thought something must have changed quite radically after the first series when it went on to become a '60's icon. The first series also explain the series name, which I could never understand. Hendry and Macnee were initially "avenging" the death of Hendry's fiancée.

Between the first series and the Diana Rigg era (which would be when I began watching) the scripts did become more and more, weird and wacky and yes, I would consider many of those later episodes science fiction. However, even the first series did have Hendry and Macnee investigating a Nazi war criminal frozen in a cryogenics experiment, so maybe science fiction was there from the very start. It was also the only TV programme I remember with women in a dominant role - Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Linda Thorson.

The New Avengers also had an episode with "Boys from Brazil" cryogenic Nazis and many of it's plots were recycled. I remember that series much better, but it couldn't capture the spark of the original.
 
Have you ever seen any of the first series with Ian Hendry?
I didn’t even know there was a pre-Diana Rigg Avengers. Certainly explains the title.

My first experience of the series was the Linda Thorson era. She, along with Julie Newmar were my earliest crushes.
 
The troops that were frozen in the New Avengers weren't Nazis' they were the ultimate in Soviet sleeper agents ready to cause chaos behind our lines in the event of a Soviet invasion of Europe.
 
The troops that were frozen in the New Avengers weren't Nazis' they were the ultimate in Soviet sleeper agents ready to cause chaos behind our lines in the event of a Soviet invasion of Europe.
In that case, I think I'm getting confused with an episode of The Champions.

The Wild, Wild West was a seriously underrated programme that I never watched until repeats much later than it was first broadcast. There were a lot of this kind of programming, shows like Department S and The Prisoner. They all had science fiction elements within episodes.

I didn’t even know there was a pre-Diana Rigg Avengers. Certainly explains the title.
Surely, you must have seen some of the 2nd and 3rd seasons with Honor Blackman?

The big change in the 4th season was not Diana Rigg but the budget. It began to be shown in the USA then with a larger budget the scope and freedom of the scripts could be widened.
 
Ive seen a few episodes of The New Avengers, I didn't care much for it.
 
Have you ever seen any of the first series with Ian Hendry?

As a child, I was sometimes allowed to stay up to watch The Avengers but I never saw any of the early episodes until much later (apparently only 3 of the first series survive now, so not sure how many I saw, but they were shown again.) They are quite different in character; no outside location shots, not so much martial arts action, Ian Hendry was the main character. I found them quite dull. So, I thought something must have changed quite radically after the first series when it went on to become a '60's icon. The first series also explain the series name, which I could never understand. Hendry and Macnee were initially "avenging" the death of Hendry's fiancée.

Between the first series and the Diana Rigg era (which would be when I began watching) the scripts did become more and more, weird and wacky and yes, I would consider many of those later episodes science fiction. However, even the first series did have Hendry and Macnee investigating a Nazi war criminal frozen in a cryogenics experiment, so maybe science fiction was there from the very start. It was also the only TV programme I remember with women in a dominant role - Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Linda Thorson.

The New Avengers also had an episode with "Boys from Brazil" cryogenic Nazis and many of it's plots were recycled. I remember that series much better, but it couldn't capture the spark of the original.

The New Avengers lacked originality and good writing. Comedian Benny Hill even made fun of it it one of his shows. :D
 
The House That Jack Built scared the utter crap out of me on first viewing, to the extent I hid behind the sofa at some points. Even now, in my 60s, I still find it unsettling.

That place was way scarier than Hell House .:eek:
 
In that case, I think I'm getting confused with an episode of The Champions.

The Wild, Wild West was a seriously underrated programme that I never watched until repeats much later than it was first broadcast. There were a lot of this kind of programming, shows like Department S and The Prisoner. They all had science fiction elements within episodes.
Essentially a SteamPunk science Fiction Western .:cool:

I have the two series on dvd.:)


Surely, you must have seen some of the 2nd and 3rd seasons with Honor Blackman?

The big change in the 4th season was not Diana Rigg but the budget. It began to be shown in the USA then with a larger budget the scope and freedom of the scripts could be widened.

I never saw any of Honor Blackman episodes. All I rmrmeber are the one with Emma Peel and Tara King . In the Early 70's they were on Saturday night around 7 in syndication and , I always made it a point never to see an episode . :cool:
 
Sure, it's SF. But so is Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and The Hunt For Red October.

Other considerations apply to genre.
 

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