A quirky spy show of the adventures of eccentrically suave British Agent John Steed and his predominantly female partners.
The Avengers is a British espionage television series created in 1961 for 161 episodes until 1969. It initially focused on David Keel (Ian Hendry), aided by John Steed (Patrick Macnee). Hendry left after the first series; Steed became the main character, partnered with a succession of assistants. His most famous assistants were intelligent, stylish, and assertive women: Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman), Emma Peel (Diana Rigg), and Tara King (Linda Thorson). Dresses and suits for the series were made by Pierre Cardin.
The series screened as one-hour episodes for its entire run. The pilot episode, “Hot Snow”, aired on 7 January 1961. The final episode, “Bizarre”, aired on 21 April 1969 in the United States and 17 May 1969 in the United Kingdom.
ABC Weekend TV, a contractor within the ITV network, produced the Avengers. After a merger with Rediffusion London in July 1968, ABC Weekend became Thames Television, which continued production of the series and was subcontracted to ABC Television Films. By 1969, The Avengers was shown in more than 90 countries. ITV produced a sequel series, The New Avengers (1976–1977), with Patrick Macnee returning as John Steed and two new partners. In 2004 and 2007, The Avengers was ranked No. 17 and No. 20 on TV Guide’s Top Cult Shows Ever.