Friday, July 3, 2015

In Passing: Patrick MacNee, Steed in 'The Avengers'



This post is in development. The following is an initial summary of the expected content.

Patrick MacNee was a British actor whose career spanned much of the post-war period. In the American Colonies, MacNee is best remembered as John Steed, the main character in the 1960's hit TV series, The Avengers.

In each episode of The Avengers, Steed undertook a new mission to right an injustice. In the first seasons of the series which began in 1961, Steed was played straight as an avenger for justice. As the series evolved, the series increasingly traded in wit and style, with the evil foes becoming less likely until it wasn't unusual for The Avengers to find themselves battling killer robots and the such.

Patrick McNee with Diana Rigg as Emma Peal, in The Avengers (1965)

What earns this series a place in American pop culture is its arrival on US shores in 1965. For the first 4 seasons, The Avengers could only be seen in England. Following the initial British invasion of music and fashion, all cultural treasures of that fair island that could be exported were boxed and shipped to the US. ABC television purchased the rights to air The Avengers in 1965 for $2 million. Unsure of what to do with their prize, ABC first aired the show in the 10:30 time slot. Viewers found it nonetheless and made the show a US hit for three seasons.

As a young lad I never missed the show, though I'm sure I missed much of the humor. Below is a video of the introductory title and credits for the 1966 season. The show was sooo cool and Diana Rigg was soooooo sexy.



For more pictures Patrick MacNee, Diana Rigg, and some of the other characters of The Avengers, please visit KultureKat board on Pinterest.

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