A moment away from completing our quest to finish off Classic Capitology end of the website to ponder something more contemplative.
Another piece of my formative fannish years has just faded forever. When my tastes in British entertainment were being formed 30 or so years ago, aside from Doctor Who which flew the flag of the BBC, there also were the three pillars of ITV adventure entertainment, Patrick McGoohan with both Danger Man and the Prisoner, Roger Moore in The Saint, and most importantly of all I think, was Patrick Macnee in The Avengers. After a full life, Macnee tipped his last bowler earlier today (June 25th as this is written).
The Tour prides itself in being every bit as much a fan of The Avengers as Doctor Who, and there are lots of parallels between the early days of The Avengers, which started in 1961, and 1963 for Doctor Who in terms of production values and how both series innovated throughout the sixties to adapt to maintain heavy production demands.
Macnee’s Steed evolved from a decidedly shady backalley operator in the earliest Avengers series to a debonair man-about-town complete with bowler and brolly. Always the archetypical English gentleman with a definite steel spine, Macnee was the essential glue in a landmark series. Even now the filmed series with Diana Rigg are a complete joy (earlier Avengers series with Honor Blackman–who appeared in Terror of the Vervoids–are also quite watchable but occasionally suffer from pacing problems).
When Diana Rigg guested in The Crimson Horror it was no accident that Matt Smith donned a bowler. We tip our imaginary bowler to you sir Patrick Macnee, the ultimate Avenger.