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  #261  
Old 03-10-2018, 02:27 AM
Matt See Matt See is offline
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Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia by Gary Russell has an entry on John Steed:
“Fictional character from the British TV series The Avengers who was one of the highlights of 1963, according to the Doctor.” [From the Adventure Game, City of the Daleks]
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  #262  
Old 24-09-2019, 01:58 AM
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The Invisible Man (2000) 2.15 A Sense of Community had Darien Fawkes and Bobby Hobbes in a retirement home for secret agents when they pass a man who raised his bowler hat to them.
They then say that was the guy that TV series was based on and that he sold his rights to his story.
That guy was obviously meant to be the real (fictional) John Steed and The Avengers was based on him.
It is therefore fun to imagine that this real John Steed had sold his rights to his story to Sydney Newman when he came up with The Avengers.
The premise of The Invisible Man episode is undoubtedly a parody of The Prisoner.
The Avengers itself had its own parody of The Prisoner with Wish You Were Here.
As well as The Avengers, Newman also created Doctor Who and I am now seeing the animated version of the lost Doctor Who story The Macra Terror.
The Macra Terror features the Colony which is reminiscent of The Village in The Prisoner with both coming in 1967 with The Macra Terror preceding The Prisoner by six months.
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  #263  
Old 15-10-2019, 12:46 AM
Matt See Matt See is offline
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Please Don't Feed the Animals (Big Finish):


Big Finish remake of the TV episode of the same name.

While the TV episode is the eleventh episode of the series, the Big Finish remake is presented as the sixth and the second episode in Vol. 2 of The Lost Episodes set.

Incidentally the TV episode originally aired on The Avengers creator Sydney Newman's birthday on April 1 1961.

Fascinating episode in which Steed investigates a civil servant suspected of passing secret information to a club owner and it all culminated at a zoo, hence the title.
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  #264  
Old 20-11-2019, 10:13 AM
Matt See Matt See is offline
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The Radioactive Man (Big Finish):

Big Finish remake of the TV episode of the same name.
While the TV episode is the eighth episode of the series, the Big Finish remake is one place prior as the seventh episode overall and the penultimate episode of Volume 2.
The original episode was written by Fred Edge and adapted by Patrck Brawn and the Big Finish adaptation by John Dorney.
Brawn had died in 1980 but Edge was still alive when the Big Finish adaption was released in 2014 and died three years later in 2017.
Under the same title, Edge had earlier written the same story for the anthology series General Motors Theater (aka Encounter).
Sadly like the original Avengers episode, the General Motors namesake no longer exists.
Reading on this, Brawn reused the characters created by Edge and adding The Avengers characters in the mlx.
The Radioactive Man marked Edge's only contribution to The Avengers.
The title refers to a cleaner named Marko Ogrin who is also a political refugee.
As a cleaner, Marko works in a laboratory and one night a Doctor Graham (who just happened to be Keel's mentor) broke regulation and invited Marko in the laboratory for coffee as Doctor Graham was feeling anxious with his wife's impending birth of their child.
Unbeknownst to Doctor Graham until it was too late, Marko before he left had picked up an item that is in fact radioactive, hence the episode title episode title.
Efforts are then made to track down Marko with Doctor Graham asking Keel for help.
This problem is compounded when Marko learns that he is being hunted by the authorities but he does not know it was because of the item he took.
He avoids the authorities because he believes it was because of the forged password that he used to get in the UK.
The Radioactive Man mostly focuses on the episode title character and as this was originally a non-Avengers narrative, Keel has a minimal role, less so with Steed.
It is essentially the equivalent of a Doctor-lite episode for The Avengers.
Having said that the Big Finish adaption does feature Doctor Who luminaries Colin Baker and Richard Franklin.
The Radioactive Man is truly an enthralling episode with the race against time to track down Marko made all the more difficult by Marko wrongly believing what he was wanted for making him stay away from the authorities.


In a remarkable coincidence The Radioactive Man is also the name of a foe those other Avengers!
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  #265  
Old 04-12-2019, 03:55 PM
Matt See Matt See is offline
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Dance with Death (Big Finish):
This is the Big Finish remake of the episode of the same.name.
The TV episode is the 12th episode of the series but the Big Finish remake is its eighth and the fourth and final episode of Vol. 2 of the Lost Episodes set.
The episode title refers to a murder that relates to a dance school.
While this was enjoyable it was not completely coherent with me as it took me sometime to connect how the opening scene connects to the rest of the episode, not really convinced that the plotline about Elaine was really needed and why did the killer waste time cleaning cups.

The amusing bit was with Keel at the pictures when he got called out for an emergency. Can't relax for the day.

The episode is ultimately about the killer running off with the daughter of the dance school owner so he could get her family's diamonds before killing her.

I found it alarming that when the daughter ran off with the diamonds, her mother seemed more concerned with the diamonds than with her daughter.

The episode is about the killer marrying women then killing them afterwards.

This is similar in plot to Thriller (1973) 3.1 A Coffin for the Bride.

What is interesting about that is that it was written by series creator and former Avengers producer Brian Clemens although he does not seem to been involved with Dance with Death in anyway and his scripting of the Thriller episode seemed coincidental.

After listening to Dance With Death listened to the interviews of Vol. 2 with Anthony Howell (Keel), Julian Wadham (Steed) and Lucy Briggs- Owen (Carol).

Howell says it was fun playing with his childhood favourites for Big Finish with The Avengers along with Doctor Who and Blake's 7.

Wadham notes in the portrayal of Steed in being a charmer for the ladies and that such portrayal would not be allow today.

Briggs-Owen interestingly notes how Steed became an influence in the portrayal of James Bond in the movies.
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  #266  
Old 16-12-2019, 11:23 AM
Matt See Matt See is offline
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The Springers (Big Finish):
Big Finish remake of the TV episode of the same name.
The TV episode is the 14th of the series while the Big Finish remake is its 9th and the opener of Vol. 3 of The Lost Episodes set.
This has Keel impersonating a prisoner in a prison as he investigates escape route for prisoners and how it relates to a finishing school with the school being investigated by Steed and a young agent Melanie posing as his daughter.
For the Big Finish remake, Melanie is played by Miranda Raison and she had played a spy before in Spooks.

A very intriguing episode on how those two threads are tied together.

With Keel undercover to infiltrate a criminal organisation it has been noted that the earlier episode Square Root of Evil had a similar narrative device only with Steed going undercover.

For the TV episodes Square Root of Evil was shown four months before The Springers, undoubtedly a reflection that viewers had short memories.
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  #267  
Old 03-01-2020, 02:35 AM
Matt See Matt See is offline
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The Yellow Needle (Big Finish):
Big Finish remake of the TV episode of the same name.
The TV episode is the 16th of the series while the Big Finish remake is its 10th and the second in of Vol. 3 of The Lost Episodes set.
This is full of political intrigue with the attempts on the life of a visiting African Prime Minister who is also an old mentor of Keel's.
Enthralling all the way through including how Steed's cover as a journalist got blown and the uncovering of a traitor setting its key climax
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  #268  
Old 09-01-2020, 03:30 PM
Matt See Matt See is offline
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Double Danger (Big Finish):
Big Finish remake of the TV episode of the same name.
The TV episode is the 18th of the series while the Big Finish remake is its 11th overall and the penultimate episode in Vol. 3 of The Lost Episodes set.
Keel gets kidnapped so that he can save a seriously injured man who was part of a diamond heist and this man is needed alive so he can reveal where the diamonds are.
Funny the hidden message that Keel sends to Carol so that she could contact Steed for help.
Intriguing with the clue about where the diamonds are.
A very enthralling episode about the aftermath of an undepicted diamond robbery including how Carol got in danger with all this as she is usually safe behind a desk.
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  #269  
Old 15-01-2020, 01:24 AM
Matt See Matt See is offline
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Toy Trap (Big Finish):
Big Finish remake of the TV episode of the same name.
The TV episode is the 19th of the series while the Big Finish remake is its 12th overall and the final episode in Vol. 3 of The Lost Episodes set.
The original episode was written by Bill Strutton in which this was his only Avengers episode. More on him later.
This has Keel being entrusted with the care of Bunty, the 19 year old daughter of a friend of hers.
Bunty works in the toy section of a department store and she and her friend May were due to have dinner with Keel when May went missing.
They soon uncovered that May was embroiled in a vice ring.
Of course Steed gets involved with this.
This eventually sees an argument between Keel and Steed on how the latter achieved the resolution.
It started brewing when Steed pretended to be a doctor much to the ire of Keel, a real doctor.
Toy Trap is an enthralling episode about the vice ring and cap off by that argument between Keel and Steed.
I wonder how that argument look like between Ian Hendry as Keel and Patrick Macnee as Steed in the lost episode.

The setting of a department store certainly made me think of the later Steed/Peel episode Death at Bargain Prices but Toy Trap certainly has a disturbing atmosphere with the vice ring.

Just as Toy Trap was writer Bill Strutton's only Avengers episode he later did one story of Doctor Who with The Web Planet which introduced the ant-like Zarbi.

Richard McGinlay and Alan Hayes in their analysis of the Big Finish Toy Trap at Avengers Declassified mentioned Strutton's Doctor Who work but they don't seem to hold Doctor Who in great regard.
They described Doctor Who as a children's series, albeit legendary and that it was a little sad that Strutton is best remembered for writing about giant ants.
It is because of Doctor Who that Big Finish was able to remake the lost Avengers episode for McGinlay and Hayes to listen and anaylse.

After listening to Toy Trap listened to the interviews of Vol. 3.
Interesting comments includes how sound effects had to sound in the 1960s when the original episodes came out and Julian Wadham saying he adjusted his performance as Steed after listening to the first boxset.

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Last edited by Matt See; 15-01-2020 at 02:29 AM.
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