Y’know, after reading the various books about the TV series ‘The Avengers, it only struck me when reading the 1990 book ‘The Avengers Companion’ by Alain Carraze and Jean-Luc Putheaud that really this book is about two chaps. The only difference is that one of them, after Dr. Keeler left, is a woman. You won’t get Steed asking any different any different of his work mate than what he would do himself.
I came across this book quite by accident earlier in the year when I was curious as to what other books Alain Carraze had written as I did enjoy his 1989 ‘Prisoner’ book and was most surprised to find he co-authored one on ‘The Avengers’. Interestingly, despite its age, copies are still out there, available at a reasonable price and in extremely good nick. Mind you, after this review, I can see that is likely to change.
There are interviews with actors Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson and with co-producer/scriptwriter Brian Clemens. The other articles focus more on what the series meant to various people and the effect on the culture at the time..
There is reference to the John Steed swordstick merchandise. I had one of these myself and as well as concealing a sword, use could also use it to shoot a jet of water. As such, it would have been very difficult to keep a pristine model. It’s a shame that there was only reference to the Corgi cars and no photographs.
One thing I do keep an eye on with any ‘Avengers’ episode guide is whether the writer spots all the remakes within them. Although the authors spot several, they missed out on the pairings of ‘Dressed To Kill’ and ‘The Superlative Seven’ and also that of ‘The Morning After’ and ‘Sleeper’.
There is brief synopsises on all the seasons and more detailed on specific episodes, including all the Cybernaut stories. It’s a shame the latter were accompanied with detailed analysis however you have to remember this book was originally released in 1990 with a reprint/re-release by Titan Books in 1998. As such, this is pre-DVD and even on video, not all episodes were available. I did read through them and the only inaccuracy was with ‘The Cybernauts’ and them not noting that Oyama was also Jephcott.
What should make this book attractive to all ‘Avengers’ fans is the abundance of photos in black and white and in colour and I doubt many of them would appear in a Google scan even now. They are predominately from the Blackman to Thorson years, with several showing behind the scenes.
If you missed this book on its first and second release like I did, then grab it before all the copies are sold out.
(pub: Bay Books. 194 page illustrated softcover. Price: a couple pounds top (UK) if you know where to look. ISBN: 0-912333-61-8)