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Some folks don't quite have their facts straight. Here's a number of "old wives' tales" about The Avengers.

The Avengers series was inspired by the James Bond movies. This myth is common in the United States, where The Avengers premiered 28 March 1966. But the series actually premiered in the United Kingdom on 7 January 1961, and the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, hit screens on 5 October 1962.

The Avengers is a spin-off of Police Surgeon. While it is true that The Avengers indirectly owes its existence to its short-lived precursor, it is not a spin-off or a sequel or a re-imaging or anything else. The two programs only have one thing in common: Ian Hendry.

Ian Hendry plays the same character in The Avengers as he does in Police Surgeon. This one actually shows up in a book or two. In Police Surgeon he plays Dr. Geoffrey Brent, a police surgeon. In The Avengers he plays Dr. David Keel, a garden-variety physician.

Patrick Macnee appears in the last episode of Police Surgeon. This had been asserted by none other than Sydney Newman, creator of The Avengers. Here is the cast of that episode.

Only one woman was ever killed on The Avengers, David Keel's fiancée Peggy (Catherine Woodville) in "Hot Snow," the first episode. This myth has seen a lot of mileage, even appearing on the former Granada website as a trivia "fact." In reality, at least one woman—and possibly as many as three—died during the Emma Peel era alone; quite a number of women died during the Cathy Gale era, some of them on camera (one episode begins with a young woman being strangled to death after stepping out of the shower).

John Steed is played by Patrick MacNee. Or was it Patrick McNee... This can be found in countless books and websites. The correct spelling is Macnee, with a small n, not a capital N. And Patrick pronounces it "MACK-knee."

John Steed never carries a gun. Unfortunately Patrick Macnee himself is very often the source of this legend, and is still proud to reiterate it. During the Emma Peel era he carried a handgun at least four times and used it at least twice, and he was quite frequently armed in the Cathy Gale era.

John Steed never calls Mrs. Peel "Emma." Ah, but he does—once—in "The Forget-Me-Knot" during the touching farewell scene. This is an Avengers fan trivia favorite.

"The Hour That Never Was" was never called "Roger and Out." Not sure where this originated, but I have it on good authority—the author, via his son—that this was never a working title.

Tara King was introduced in the UK in December 1968. This is a classic Dave Rogers Complete Avengers book blooper. Actually, she made her UK debut in September 1968. (The United States got to see her even earlier, in March 1968!)

For lots more facts and figures, see Just the FAQs, AvengerLore and the Trivia Quiz.

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Page last modified 16 July 2008.