I spy: TV turns back the clock with the re­turn of The Avengers.

Clas­sic Bri­tish spy se­ries The Avengers comes to Jones!too this week, pick­ing up the story from sea­son four with the ar­rival of Diana Rigg as Emma Peel (above, pic­tured with Pa­trick Mac­nee). We take a look at some of the things you might have for­got­ten ab

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1. Pa­trick Mac­nee in­sisted that his char­ac­ter, John Steed, should not use a gun, opt­ing in­stead for his own idea of the iconic um­brella sword. Mac­nee felt that guns re­minded him too much of his own mil­i­tary ser­vice. 2. John Steed was in­spired by a com­bi­na­tion of el­e­ments from Pa­trick Mac­nee’s life. The quin­tes­sen­tial English spy is a mashup of Mac­nee’s posh fa­ther and the gruff com­mand­ing of­fi­cer comes from his navy days. 3. Un­for­tu­nately, much of the first se­ries has been lost and is thought to be gone for­ever. Only the first 22 min­utes of the first episode has been saved along with a few other ran­dom episodes which are be­ing pre­served by a pri­vate col­lec­tor. 4. The Avengers was the first Bri­tish tele­vi­sion show to be sold to an Amer­i­can net­work. How­ever, be­cause the cre­ators re­fused to tone down the vi­o­lence to fit in with Amer­i­can prime­time guide­lines, the show ini­tially aired at 11.30pm. 5. to with To In give in­cor­po­rate 1965, “man Steed writ­ers ap­peal”. a part­ner this wanted char­ac­ter’s con­cept into name, the they came up with Samantha Peel (which could be short­ened to the awk­ward Man­tha Peel). The name was re­worked into M. Ap­peal and even­tu­ally be­came Emma Peel.

6. Diana Rigg, who played the catsuit-wear­ing Emma Peel, is most recog­nis­able to a younger au­di­ence as

Diana Rigg

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