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R.I.P. Patrick MacNee

Happybunny

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Sep 9, 2010
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I remember the “Avengers”, with Steed, Emma, and that big Bentley in glorious Black & White, it’ll always remind me of the 1960’s.
 
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phrehdd

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I enjoyed in my youth the show as it had a nice mix of TV style and class (along with just a splash of Bond).

RIP sir.
 
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macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
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Aw, I read about this with real sorrow.

Actually, I loved The Avengers as a kid, and revered both Mr Steed and Mrs Peel.

RIP Patrick McNee, a thorough gentleman on and off the screen, a terrific actor, and a genuine war hero.
 
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SactoGuy18

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Sep 11, 2006
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What was kind of unusual was that McNee actually got into his contract for The Avengers that he would get 2.5% of the profits from showings of this program in both first run and syndicated re-run. Given how enormously popular the show became in syndication, that turned out to be a very smart move.

I believe he was very proud of the work on that series, too.
 
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Thomas Veil

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For me, when people talk about The Avengers, I will always think first of the TV show. The character of Steed was the epitome of class, and I loved the way they implied, ever so subtly, that there was a lot more going on behind the scenes between him and Mrs. Peel.
 
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aaronvan

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For me, when people talk about The Avengers, I will always think first of the TV show. The character of Steed was the epitome of class, and I loved the way they implied, ever so subtly, that there was a lot more going on behind the scenes between him and Mrs. Peel.

Oh my, I hope not. Wasn't Mrs. Peel's husband (who we never saw) supposed to be away in the military? They were too classy to engage in anything so tawdry as an affair.
 
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Thomas Veil

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Her husband was a pilot who was presumed dead after a plane crash.

There just seemed to be way too much flirting between them for there to be nothing else there. Some of it was playful banter, some of it was admiring looks. In the credits, for example, Steed is looking at Mrs. Peel in a very admiring way as she puts a flower in his suit's button hole.

Not to mention all the off-hours time they spent together, usually seen just before the end credits.
 
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macrumors Sandy Bridge
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Her husband was a pilot who was presumed dead after a plane crash.

There just seemed to be way too much flirting between them for there to be nothing else there. Some of it was playful banter, some of it was admiring looks. In the credits, for example, Steed is looking at Mrs. Peel in a very admiring way as she puts a flower in his suit's button hole.

Not to mention all the off-hours time they spent together, usually seen just before the end credits.

Yes, but the fact that it was elegantly implied, rather than crassly stated, meant that people could speculate all they liked about it without the certainty of knowledge destroying their cherished assumptions.

Personally, I liked the fact that Mrs Peel did things, and did them extremely competently - she had style, panache and competence and confidence in spades and was clearly John Steed's equal and partner in the series.
 
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macrumors Sandy Bridge
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Steed always respectfully addressed her as "Mrs. Peel." I don't think he ever called her Emma. Of course, the whole "are they or aren't they" is part of the show's charm.

Agreed, and that was part of the charm of the series, but equally attractive from my perspective was seeing a competent action woman who was viewed as, and treated as, a complete equal by her partner.
 
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aaronvan

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Agreed, and that was part of the charm of the series, but equally attractive from my perspective was seeing a competent action woman who was viewed as, and treated as, a complete equal by her partner.

Good point. Her strong, independent, yet utterly feminine character was far ahead of the times, considering the culture was hardly out of the 'Mad Men' era when that show premiered.
 
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Thomas Veil

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Yes, but the fact that it was elegantly implied, rather than crassly stated, meant that people could speculate all they liked about it without the certainty of knowledge destroying their cherished assumptions.
Practically speaking, this was probably also a result of the period in which the show was made. A decade earlier, and they probably wouldn't have even been able to hint at a liaison. A decade later, and it probably would have been all out in the open.

As it was, it certainly worked out well for the show, didn't it?
 
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macrumors Sandy Bridge
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Good point. Her strong, independent, yet utterly feminine character was far ahead of the times, considering the culture was hardly out of the 'Mad Men' era when that show premiered.

Mrs Peel was one of my heroes (heroines?) when I was a kid - this was more like it, clever, classy, competent and stylish - what a terrific role model- rather than the pretty, empty-headed individuals who did nothing and were supremely ineffectual and frankly, useless who were the more usual fare offered to women as role models.

And John Steed was elegant composure - fantastic; you could (and still can) keep James Bond. Give me Mr Steed any day (indeed everyday) instead. I loved them both. A hugely imaginative and enjoyable series.


Practically speaking, this was probably also a result of the period in which the show was made. A decade earlier, and they probably wouldn't have even been able to hint at a liaison. A decade later, and it probably would have been all out in the open.

As it was, it certainly worked out well for the show, didn't it?

Agreed, it did indeed. Personally, I think a small degree of subtle and tantalising ambiguity is always welcome in such a series; spilling everything out sometimes misses the point, and removes the attraction of a little bit of mystery.
 
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macrumors Sandy Bridge
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I also admired Mrs. Peel's equal role with Steed. On every other series, women were there to scream and to be rescued by the hero. Mrs. Peel, on the other hand, kicked men's asses.

Agreed, and you've expressed it well.

Well, even as a child, I could never understand how criminally, moronically stupid the women were. (It took me years to realise that this is how their roles were written, but that is no excuse - merely an explanation).

Anyway, before the screaming and being rescued (which I loathed), there was usually a preceding chase scene, where the witless heroine would totter, ineffectually, a few steps in high heels before being caught (but, of course) by the dastardly antagonist. Even as child, I could never understand why she wouldn't kick those stupid shoes off, and either run like blazes, or kick him hard someplace where it might hurt.

Mrs Peel was one of the first women I ever wanted to be; she rocked, (and so did Steed).

In reality, Patrick MacNee was every bit as supportive as his onscreen persona of a more equal relationship with his female costasr and colleagues. Actually, I have read that he supported Diana Rigg's demand for equal pay with male actors in the series. Apparently, when Diana Rigg learned that she was being paid less than the cameraman on The Avengers, she objected and demanded a revision of her contracted terms, a demand that supported rigorously by Patrick MacNee. (She won, too).

They rocked, the pair of them.
 
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