John Steed, wearing his bowler and carrying his umbrella over his arm, opens a bottle of champagne. He is backlit and in silhouette.Welcome to Feather Dusters at 400 Yards, my blog about the British television series The Avengers. There’s a lot of cool stuff to explore in this groundbreaking series that spanned the entire decade of the 1960s: the characters, the performances, scene and episode analysis, technical aspects of the production, and more. Plus there are pages for Avengers fanfiction, music videos, and fan art! Links to audio versions of my blogs and fanfic are available on the podcasts page. So click on a tag or a category or something in the navigation menu, or just keep scrolling, and explore along with me.

A Ponderable Blog From Elsewhere

A meditation on Dame Diana Rigg on the Write On EJALeigh blog:

“I have to admit to just a few tears last week, when I heard the devastating news that after a short battle with cancer, the renowned actress Dame Diana Rigg had died at the age of eighty-two. I did not know her. I was not related to her in any way. Yet for so long, she had been such an important part of my life and it is no exaggeration to say that I genuinely loved her and to me, she had attained the zenith of perfection for her profession, as well as her sex.”

(click here to read the rest)

“I am not averse to fighting”: Confluences between the Avengers and the Völsungasaga

As I was reading the new Avengers book (He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: The Untold Romance Between Steed and Mrs Peel), I came upon a reference to the scene in “The Murder Market” where Emma plays Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” on Steed’s tuba, which leads the book’s authors to compare Mrs Peel to the Valkyrie Brunhilde. (77) This image set the little grey cells a-humming as I thought, “By golly, that is absolutely true.”

I therefore propose to discuss some points of contact between Mrs Peel and Brunhilde (who I shall call Brynhild, which is an Old Norse version of the name) and between Steed and Sigurd (called Siegfried in Wagner’s Ring and in the medieval German Nibelungenlied). Now, I’m not saying that Diana Rigg, Patrick Macnee, or the creators of The Avengers consciously chose to make Mrs Peel a sort of avatar of Brynhild or Steed a sort of avatar of Sigurd, just that I find some interesting confluences between Mrs Peel’s relationships with Steed and Peter Peel on the one hand, and Brynhild’s relationships with Sigurd and Gunnar on the other, as well as several other elements that appear to run parallel among these characters, both ancient and modern.