The New Avengers: Season 2, Episode 11

The Gladiators (19 Jan. 1979)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Mystery, Thriller
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 29 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Though officially on holiday in Canada, the New Avengers join the search for several missing Soviet and Canadian agents. KGB agent Karl Sminsky has achieved super human strength thanks to a... See full summary »



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Title: The Gladiators (19 Jan 1979)

The Gladiators (19 Jan 1979) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Gareth Hunt ...
Neil Vipond ...
Chuck Peters
Bill Starr ...
Peter Boretski ...
Yanci Bukovec ...
Jan Muszynski ...
Micheal Donaghue ...
Hartley (as Michael Donaghue)
Huge Man
Dwayne McLean ...
Patrick Sinclair ...
Ivan Levisanov


Though officially on holiday in Canada, the New Avengers join the search for several missing Soviet and Canadian agents. KGB agent Karl Sminsky has achieved super human strength thanks to a combination of martial arts. Now he is gathering a group of 'gladiators' to teach his secrets to. Written by The TV Archaeologist

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Release Date:

19 January 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


(at around 35 mins) As Gambit drives his Toronto (black and white) Metropolitan Police car down the street in Toronto, Gambit drives past a genuine Toronto Police car (yellow). See more »


Mike Gambit: Trouble somewhere. Worth a look, do you think?
Purdey: Well, trouble is our business.
See more »

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User Reviews

"The start of the New Avengers decline."
24 January 2007 | by (Poole, Dorset) – See all my reviews

The Avengers team up with Canadian intelligence on the trail of Karl Sminsky (Louis Zorich), a top KGB agent who is training an elite band of killers who are capable of fending off machine gun fire with their hands and punching holes through sheets of metal. As fellow security officers wind up dead with horrific injuries, Steed, Purdey and Gambit discover that Sminsky plans to infiltrate the headquarters of Canadian intelligence in order to destroy their computer files thus setting back their security system twenty years...

The last four New Avengers episodes were shot in Canada when the show got into financial difficulty and it was hoped that Canadian finance would save the day. Alas it didn't and this episode marks the first step down the slippery slope into inadequate story lines and just general lethargy. By now the idea of supermen capable of performing acts such as smashing through metal and evading gun fire with their hands seems just absurd as one knows that the metal sheets are just paper mache and the machine gun sequences done in separate takes cutting from the guy firing to the bloke apparently using karate to fend off the bullets with machine gun sound effects dubbed on afterwards.

Even the solid and reliable Patrick Macnee cannot quite raise this one above the mediocre and Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt are just going through motions as Purdey and Gambit. Even the supporting cast (while adequate) is nothing special.

Nevertheless, ITV apparently banned this one from certain regions of the UK network because of its excessive violence and when it finally got a London showing, it wasn't until nine months after the three times as worse "Emily" was screened.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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