Themed Blog Series

05

Lady Secret Agent Badassery

As I have noted elsewhere, there are many points of contact between The Avengers and The Champions, two British television series from the 1960s, and between The Champions and The New Avengers, which aired in the mid 1970s. In those previous blogs, I wrote about how elements of Avengers episodes are echoed in some of those from Champions, and then later how a New Avengers story echoed a Champions one.

Plots and villains and action aren’t the only places where these three series intersect, however. One important point of contact is in the character of the female secret agent. In Champions, this is Sharron Macready (Alexandra Bastedo), a medical doctor, biochemist, and agent of a private security service called Nemesis. Across the entirety of Avengers (including TNA), there were five female partners who worked with John Steed, but the one I’d like to concentrate on here is Emma Peel (Diana Rigg), since in many ways she has the most in common with Sharron.

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Great Detectives Think Alike: II

In an earlier post, I discussed the apparent confluences between the The Avengers Season 2 episode “Mr Teddy Bear” and a handful of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. Well, it turns out that “Teddy Bear” isn’t the only episode that does that, and it turns out that The New Avengers also has a few of these. So for your delectation, below are some more additions to that collection. As with the previous post, the Holmes images are from the Granada television series starring Jeremy Brett.


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Medieval Maunderings

Today is International Hug a Medievalist Day, so since I am a medievalist by training and inclination in my other incarnation, I’m republishing here some of the stuff I did on my tumblr about confluences between medieval things and the Avengers (yes, there are some of these), some with occasional unacknowledged edits because my views have changed a bit since I wrote these almost a year ago.

Links to the posts in this series:

Disclaimer: For the sake of y’all who might also be professional medievalists/scholars/historians/whatnot: yes, these are kind of facile, but I’m not doing them to make some kind of deep historical, literary, or analytical point. I’m just pointing out some fun parallelisms that I happen to enjoy. So please read these in that spirit, k?

 

The New Avengers Meet the Champions

 

thechampions-theavengers-01  TNA.steed.gambit.purdey.noepisode
The Champions: Richard Barrett, Craig Sterling, and Sharron Macready (L)

The New Avengers: Purdey, Mike Gambit, and John Steed (R)

A while back I started a new blog series about confluences between the 1968 British television series The Champions and the original Avengers series. (You can find the others by scrolling to the bottom of this post or by going to the category menu and selecting Themed Blog Series: The Champions Meet the Avengers.) Soon after I started that set of blogs, I got my copy of the complete New Avengers disks (SQUEE!!!) and started watching those episodes. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a TNA ep that had many points of confluence with a Champions story. On reflection this is unsurprising, partly because of the precedent already set by Champions in reflecting earlier Avengers stories, and partly because Dennis Spooner, one of the co-writers of the TNA episode, happens to have been one of the creators of Champions. (And now I also have the complete Champions DVDs—also SQUEE!!!—so I can make stills and gifs that actually have decent quality!)

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What I Learned from Catherine Gale

So I finally buckled down and got one of these lists together for Cathy Gale.

  • Have your own unique sense of style. Wear what works for you.

  • Have strong boundaries and enforce them.

  • If your best friend does something that hurts you, forgive them, but don’t be afraid to tell them how you feel about what they did.

  • Don’t be afraid to say no, and mean it.

  • Have a clear sense of your own values and be willing to fight for them.

  • Know that your feelings are valid, even the unpleasant ones, and allow yourself to experience them.

  • Have at least one intelligent and very good friend who always has your back, whose talents and skills complement your own, and who always treats you as an equal.

  • Never, ever sell yourself short or pretend to be anything less than you are in order to make others feel comfortable with you.

  • When someone disrespects or attacks you, deal with them. Judo works nicely, but always adapt your approach to fit the situation.

  • Find a way to make a living that lets you draw on your interests, passions, and education. Be flexible and willing to try new things.

  • If a friend asks for help, do your best to accommodate them.

  • Never apologize for being skilled, intelligent, and strong.

  • Drink some champagne with a friend every day.

  • Live each day as though it could be your last. Because it very well might be.


blogs in this series:
what i learned from john steed
what i learned from emma peel
what i learned from catherine gale

What I Learned from Emma Peel

Here’s another list of things I learned by watching Seasons 4 and 5.

  • Be comfortable in your own skin and unashamed of your body.

  • Wear clothing that you feel elegant and strong in, but that doesn’t get in your way when you have work to do or an emergency to deal with.

  • Have knowledge, talents, and skills that serve you well.

  • If others underestimate you, use this to your own advantage. Success is the best revenge.

  • Keep a cool head under fire.

  • Have at least one intelligent and very good friend who always has your back, whose talents and skill complement your own, and who always treats you as an equal.

  • Have confidence that you can solve problems and get out of sticky situations on your own, but also know how to ask for help.

  • When someone disrespects or attacks you, deal with them. Martial arts work nicely, but always adapt your approach to fit the situation.

  • Have interests outside of work and family that make you happy, and take time to indulge these.

  • Be open to making new friends, even if later they might turn out to be enemies.

  • Don’t be afraid to look foolish, especially if that’s what’s needed to get the job done.

  • Drink some champagne with a friend every day.

  • Live each day as though it could be your last. Because it very well might be.


    blogs in this series:
    what i learned from john steed
    what i learned from emma peel
    what i learned from catherine gale

What I Learned from John Steed

I came up with this list of things I learned from Steed after I watched the Emma Peel episodes for the first time.

  • Find a style that suits you and wear it with panache.

  • Have a job you enjoy and are good at.

  • Treat everyone with respect, even the baddies who are trying to kill you.

  • Don’t pick fights except to defend someone else, but if someone picks a fight with you, fight to win.

  • Be laid back, friendly, and cheerful, but make sure this is wrapped around a core of razor-sharp steel, in case someone thinks you’re a pushover and tries to take advantage of you.

  • Have a quick wit and a good sense of humor. Use these often, but especially when you’re in deep trouble.

  • If something goes wrong, don’t whine about it. Look for solutions instead, and ask for help if you need it.

  • Don’t be afraid to improvise.

  • Have at least one really good friend who is smart and talented and whose skills complement yours, and who will always have your back.

  • If your friends get in trouble, help them as much as you can.

  • Take time to appreciate the finer things in life.

  • If you get an opportunity to wear a kilt, take it.

  • Drink some champagne with a friend every day.

  • Live each day as though it could be your last. Because it very well might be.


blogs in this series:
what i learned from john steed
what i learned from emma peel
what i learned from catherine gale