Extra: Tara King Era
Production completed: 1975?
Steed is about to offer some champagne to Tara. "As
I was saying, my dear, Laurent-Perrier is a champagne that—" and at this moment, a small
gang of thugs bursts into his flat. "You were expecting someone?" As Steed casually uncorks
the bottle, Tara engages all three of their foes, making use of Steed's brolly in the
process. "Don't be mad at me if I review the details of the party. As you see, my
dear, Laurent-Perrier champagne must be drunk at the correct temperature, fresh but not
frozen—in a way, frizzled. Served between seven and eight degrees..." One of the men
lands unconscious at Steed's feet, and he casually steps over him to offer a glass Tara, who resumes
her place in the chair just in time. "...and especially in a strict, intimate setting."
They clink glasses. "I
hope you're not expecting anyone else tonight?"
What a priceless gem! A petite morsel of Avengers from a time when nothing of the series existed. Laurent-Perrier spared no expense to make this sixty-second "episode" authentic, from the stunningly detailed facsimile of Steed's flat to Tara's on-the-mark wardrobe. Not to mention Steed's dry wit and the classic fight sequence—all captured in over thirty shots, including a title card and a split-screen "tag." Would that it could be in English! But it would appear that Macnee speaks in French (which is dubbed), and in a strange Rhonda-esque twist, Linda does not utter a syllable. The only ding against this tiny treasure is the rather flaccid, decidedly un-Avengers music score.
The story goes that when Rudolph Roffi, a French TV and film executive, asked Brian Clemens if Linda Thorson could make an appearance in a Laurent-Perrier champagne commercial playing Tara King, Clemens agreed, and contacted Patrick Macnee as well to reprise John Steed. As a consequence, The New Avengers was born. READ MORE
A second commercial was produced using the same visuals but with Spanish dialogue and music with strong stereotypical French character. Oh, and it sure looks like one of the three thugs is Joe Dunne.
And now the credit roll for how this came to be: avengersteed at the Yahoo SecretAvengers group contacted Laurent-Perrier, asking for a copy of the commercial. Seven months later he received a Super 8 film dupe. BitShifter at the TheAvengers.TV Forum provided a link to avengersteed's mpeg file. David F. at TheAvengers.TV Forum provided the translation from French to English, and Carlos Pagés of Los Vengadores did the same for the Spanish version.
*This unofficial subtitle is by Yours Truly.
LAURENT-PERRIER CHAMPAGNE COMMERCIAL
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