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.

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Spy-Bros: A Ranking


I’ve been watching a lot of non-Avengers 1960s spy-fi as part of an ongoing project I’m working on, and then in a conversation with a friend about The Avengers, this little moment came up. This gave me the idea to rank the spy-bros on whether they would run their umbrella along a corrugated elevator wall on a scale of 0 (never in a million years) to 5 (Steed in a corrugated elevator with an umbrella). Here goes.

James Bond (Bond movies and books) – 0. James Bond is a sentient cabbage with an itchy trigger finger and no sense of humor. Totally utilitarian attitude towards things like umbrellas and elevators.

John Drake (Danger Man) – 1. This guy is a nuclear pile of anger stuffed into a three-piece suit, but he might do it if it were necessary to catch a bad guy. Defo wouldn’t do it for fun. Drake doesn’t know what fun is.

Illya Kuryakin (MFU) – 1. Lacks imagination and a sense of humor, but would do it to catch a bad guy. He’s also too busy looking cool, and doing stimmy things in elevators isn’t cool.

Simon Templar (The Saint) – 3. Extreme outside chance that he would do it for fun. More likely to do it if it helped him catch the baddie. Or to impress a woman. He’s flexible that way.

Napoleon Solo (MFU) – 4. Might actually do it for fun. Or to annoy someone, especially Illya. Or to catch a bad guy. Solo isn’t the best human being out there, but at least he does have a sense of humor.

John Steed (The Avengers) 5 – Would do this every time. Doesn’t need a reason. Has a sense of humor and a magnificent sense of the absurd.  It’s just fun and stimmy, and he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.

Timepieces, Control, and the Experience of Time in “The Wringer” and “Return of the Cybernauts”

CW for torture mention

The timepiece is one of the central images of both the Season 3 episode “The Wringer” and the Season 5 episode “The Cybernauts.” In each episode, one or more timepieces are used in the context of torture, and thus the timepiece represents a metaphor for control, both of one human being by another by means of infliction of pain, and also of a human’s ability to have control over themselves. In “The Wringer,” particularly, it is also a metaphor for the human experience of time. While the use of timepieces in is not identical in each episode, nevertheless there are some interesting parallels and shared themes that are worth a closer look.


New Avengers Book Coming Soon

Hey, all, seventh Dan judoka Cyd Child/Christine Gallie, who did important stunt work on The Avengers, has written a book about her career. The book is called Judo, The Avengers & Me and can be pre-ordered here.

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 5.07.18 PM

[image description: screenshot of the cover for Judo, The Avengers & Me by Cyd Chld/Chris Gallie. The title and author’s name are on an angled white banner in the center, along with a line that says that the foreword is by Joanna Lumley. A photo on a red background of Cyd Child in white martial-arts gi performing a judo throw on a similarly clad male opponent is in the top third of the cover. The bottom third has a photo of Child wearing a blue emmapeeler and hefting a large man in a black suit and white helmet over her shoulders, part of a fight scene for which Child acted as Diana Rigg’s stunt double. /end description]