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TV Series
    (January 7, 1961-May 21, 1969)
    Born in United Kingdom
    Aired on ITV (1961-1969) and ABC (1966-1969)
    Patrick Macnee as John Steed
    Ian Hendry as David Keel (1961)
    Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale (1962-1964)
    Diana Rigg as Emma Peel (1965-1967)
    Linda Thorson as Tara King (1968-69)
    Premise: A suave British agent and his female partners save England from various threats
    Hendry was meant to be the star, but after the first season was cut short by a writers' strike, he left for a film career.
    Early episodes were often taped the same day they aired, leaving many unfixed technical gaffes and instances of blown dialogue.
    Thanks to the British habit of reusing tapes, most of the first season is no longer available.
    One of the rules for maintaining a sense of fantasy was that no ‘colored people' could be shown.
    The name Emma Peel was a pun on ‘M Appeal' or ‘Man Appeal,' which is what the producers were looking for in her character.
    Rigg left after repeated salary disputes.
    The feature film version of the series was a critical and commercial flop (1998).
    Blackman and Rigg both became Bond girls.
    Steed's Edwardian suits and Gale's leather outfits were major influences on the ‘mod' fashions of 60s England.
    Thanks to Britain's more relaxed standards, the show included scenes that would have been cut in America, such as Blackman talking on the phone wearing only black lingerie.
    It was the first British series sold to an American network.
    Even though she was no longer under contract, Rigg came back for one episode that explained Peel's departure.

Credit: C. Fishel


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