John Steed and his new accomplices Purdey and Gambit find themselves facing new and deadly dangers in the bizarre world of espionage. Mixing fantasy with a darker edge, the trio face ... See full summary »
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Efrem Zimbalist Jr.,
John Steed and his new accomplices Purdey and Gambit find themselves facing new and deadly dangers in the bizarre world of espionage. Mixing fantasy with a darker edge, the trio face mutated giant rats, flocks of killer birds and fanatical mysterious monks. Later episodes find Steed's loyalty under question and an increasing number of assignments overseas. Written by
Gareth Humphreys <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The opening credits for the first 7 episodes of series one were edited out the first five episodes of the series, mainly "The Eagle's Nest" and "The Midas Touch". However, one shot featuring Joanna Lumley with long hair and Gareth Hunt in jeans was actually from their combined screen-test instead of an episode. From episode 8 onward, animated opening titles were used. See more »
The opening credits begin with the same fanfare that was used at the start of the original The Avengers (1961) series. See more »
Patrick MacNee made a welcome return, in The New Avengers. This time, he had two assistants, Purdy and Mike Gambit. Gambit was supposed to handle the action, while Steed was more in the background, but Patrick MacNee soon set this right. The stories were a mixed bag, as the formula fell prey to time and finance. Also, the surreal nature of the 60's was replaced by the relevance of the 70's.
MacNee was in fine form, especially after he dropped some weight and showed that he was still able to hold his own with his young upstarts. He could still charm a lion into giving up its kill and shaving its mane, while dazzling the ladies of any age.
Gareth Hunt was a bit "hit-or-miss" as Mike Gambit. He lacked Steed's charm and was more of tough guy, which didn't mesh as well with the series formula. Steed got all of the best lines, so Gambit was left to scowl and punch. He was good with the action, but would have been better suited to a more realistic series.
Joanna Lumley was a treat as Purdy. She was funny, charming, and a good fighter, the perfect embodiment of Steed's female partner. She had a miscievious nature and a stunning look. It's hard to believe that the beautiful and likable Purdy would later become the irrepressible Patsy Stone. Well, it would be if Joanna Lumley were less of an actress.
The series was uneven, handicapped by budget and a lack of imagination. The best episodes were in the first series and hewed closest to the old formula.
Perhaps time had passed the series by, but they made a valiant effort. Personal favorites include The Eagle's Nest, House of Cards, The Last of the Cybernauts, Target, and Dirtier by the Dozen. The series was hard to catch in the US, playing late night on CBS. Now, thanks again to A&E, The New Avengers live again on DVD. Still waiting for those extras, though.
Love that lion/Union Jack symbol.
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