Secret agent Steed, working for an unnamed branch of British intelligence, is teamed up with two partners to fight evil plots for world domination, dealing with suspended animation, biological warfare, robotics, and other threats.
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 <email@example.com>
Producer Albert Fennell and writer Brian Clemens were extremely unhappy with how the second season turned out (especially compared to the success of the first) due to the French co-production company unexpectedly running out of money midway through filming and therefore having last minute changes and compromises being forced on them in order to complete production . Determined not to suffer a similar situation with their next big project, 'The Professionals' (1977-1983), they brought the commissioning TV network, London Weekend Television, more directly into the production process in order to secure financial backing. See more »
The final half-dozen episodes begin with a brief title sequence bearing the title "The New Avengers in Canada", prior to the teaser. The episodes otherwise retain their regular opening credits. 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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