Tag Archives: Ian Hendry

Lost episodes of The Avengers to be remade by Big Finish Productions

The AvengersBIG FINISH Productions is delighted to announce that it has signed a licence with STUDIOCANAL to produce full cast audio productions of 12 lost episodes of the classic TV series The Avengers.

Lost for over fifty years, the missing episodes from the first series of the cult classic have been lovingly recreated on audio from the original scripts.

The Avengers first launched in 1961, and starred Ian Hendry as Dr David Keel and Patrick Macnee as the elusive and suave John Steed. Beginning with the murder of Keel’s fiancée, and his sworn intent to avenge her death, that first year comprised 26 episodes. Sadly, only two of them exist in their entirety as film prints (Girl on the Trapeze and The Frighteners), while just the first act remains of the opening episode, Hot Snow.

Working from the surviving scripts, Big Finish will be presenting the adaptations in three four-disc box sets. The scripts will be adapted, with minimal changes, by John Dorney, the director is Ken Bentley and the producer is David Richardson. The executive producers are Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery.

“We are absolutely thrilled to add this wonderful series to our catalogue,” says David Richardson, “and we look forward to faithfully recreating those classic lost episodes. We have two brilliant, high-profile actors for the roles of Dr Keel and John Steed – look out for an announcement of the casting once recording begins in July.”

“This opportunity confirms the enduring appeal of this classic TV series and the resonance of the SC collection in the context of British Film and Pop culture,” says John Rodden, General Manager Home Entertainment at STUDIOCANAL.

Volume 1 of The Avengers: The Lost Episodes will be released in January 2014 (and includes a full recreation of Hot Snow), with Volumes 2 and 3 following in July 2014 and January 2015.

Each person who pre-orders will be entered into a draw to win a copy of The Avengers: Series 1 and 2 on DVD box set, containing the remaining three first series episodes.

For for more information visit www.bigfinish.com

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Filed under Audio, Cult TV, ITV, Releases

New book explores the strange case of The Avengers’ missing episodes

IN THE mid-Sixties, The Avengers proved itself to be a cultural phenomenon. Despite its quintessential Englishness, it transcended international barriers, and established itself as British television’s most successful export of the day. Front cover of The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes - The Lost Stories of The Avengers Series 1

Today, it remains hugely popular, perhaps because of the schizophrenic nature of the show as it developed; it was a series of many colours, with something for everyone. But the earliest episodes of the show – produce by ABC Television and pairing Ian Hendry as Dr David Keel alongside the mysterious John Steed (Patrick Macnee) – have, since their 1961 broadcast, disappeared from view, the vast majority of the recordings lost forever.

The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes lifts the lid on that first year, and retells the stories in extended synopsis form, covering twenty-four episodes, often with script extracts, in greater depth than ever before. The book also boasts a detailed introduction, which explores how these much sought after programmes came to be lost, and a detailed retelling of an alternative, untransmitted version of the episode Double Danger.

The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes – The Lost Stories of The Avengers is available in hardcover (£19.99) and paperback (£14.99) from Hidden Tiger. Visit www.hiddentigerbooks.co.uk

Read an interview with authors Alan Hayes, Alys Hayes and Richard McGinlay about their fantastic new book.

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Filed under Books, Cult TV, Interview, ITV

Telesnap Treat For Avengers Fans

Images from The Avengers Declassified website

Images from The Avengers Declassified website

THE FIRST two seasons of The Avengers have been released by Optimum in what has to be the most comprehensive DVD release yet.

The Avengers: The First Two Seasons

The Avengers: The First Two Seasons

Including all that remains of season one (1961)  and the entirety of season two – which saw the arrival of Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale – the eight-disc digitally restored DVD set also boasts a huge wealth of extras.

Of particular interest to missing episode enthusiasts will be the inclusion of recently discovered telesnaps from missing season one episodes.

Telesnaps are sets off-screen photos taken off the TV during original transmission. The inventor, John Cura, captured many shows in this way,  famously including Doctor Who.

Thanks to him, and Avengers producer Leonard White for saving them in scrap books, fans can at last get a real idea of the visual feel of a significant number of missing season one episodes, including Dead of Winter (tx 9/12/61).

DVD Special Features

  • Surviving Ian Hendry Series 1 episodes:

– “Hot Snow” (Act One only, 15 minutes)

– “Girl on the Trapeze”

– “The Frighteners”

  • Exclusive audio commentary by Producer Leonard White on the surviving footage from the opening episode, “Hot Snow”.
  • Police Surgeon – “Easy Money” (tx 10/09/60) – starring Ian Hendry. The only surviving opening episode of the series that is regarded as the precursor to The Avengers.
  • Filmed introduction to Police Surgeon by Producer Leonard White.
  • Exclusive, newly filmed interview with Honor Blackman.
  • Exclusive audio commentary by writer Martin Woodhouse on “Mr Teddy Bear”.
  • Exclusive audio commentary by Producer Leonard White on “The Mauritius Penny”.
  • Exclusive audio commentary by writer Roger Marshall on “Death of A Great Dane”.
  • Exclusive audio commentary by actress Julie Stevens on “A Chorus of Frogs”.
  • Filmed introductions by actress Julie Stevens.
  • Insert reprint of original publicity brochure for the first Honor Blackman season.
  • Insert reprints of Leonard White’s scrapbooks featuring telesnaps of lost Series 1 episodes.
  • PDF material: original scripts, TV Crimebusters comic strip, TV Times covers (for Police Surgeon and The Avengers), a ‘knit with The Avengers’ feature from Woman’s Mirror featuring Hendry and Ingrid Hafner, and music cue sheets.
  • Extensive stills galleries featuring both b&w and colour promotional stills and behind=the-scenes photos.

The Avengers: The Complete Series 2 & Surviving Episodes From Series 1 has a RRP of £79.99 but you can find it cheaper from websites including Play.com (£57.99). There are good reviews of the release on the Television Heaven website and at Cathode Ray Tube.

TV Times covers (for Police Surgeon and The Avengers), a ‘knit with The Avengers’ feature from Woman’s Mirror featuring Hendry and Hafner modelling some choice knitwear and music cue sheets.

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Filed under Discoveries, Releases, Restoration, Telesnaps, Television