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Trivia / The New Avengers

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  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • It's rumored that Joanna Lumley suggested Purdey's name. She was originally called Charly but had to be changed when they discovered a perfume with the same name. Purdey was named after the most expensive shotgun in the world.
    • Lumley had long hair on her first promo stills for the series. On the first day of filming, she surprised the producers and crew by coming up with a bowl cut, which would remain Purdey's trademark hairstyle.
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  • Banned Episode: "Gladiators" was banned in some parts of Britain due to excessive violence. In London, it did not premiere until nine months after "Emily", and even then it aired at 11:25 PM.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Lewis Collins was considered for Gareth Hunt. He made a guest appearance in "Obsession". Series producer Brian Clemens noted his chemistry with Martin Shaw and cast them in The Professionals.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • For the last four episodes, they had to film in Canada. Brian Clemens - who didn't even go there - called those the worst of the series.
    • Patrick Macnee flat out told Starlog that he disliked The New Avengers:
      "I felt... I was being badly used. I wish I hadn't done it now. I don't like "The New Avengers". I think it was bad and ordinary and unimaginative and not interesting."
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Patrick Macnee was able to increase his role's visibility as the series progressed, losing weight to improve his athleticism and "keep up" with his new partners.
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  • Executive Meddling: The French financers kept demanding a sexier Purdey. Joanna Lumley remained as the character, but was given a sexier French wardrobe as a result.
  • Follow the Leader: The series' Darker and Edgier tone was made in the wake of tougher and grittier shows of The '70s like The Sweeney and (later) The Professionals.
  • International Coproduction: The show was a joint British-French-Canadian production.
  • Late Export for You: The series didn't air in America until two years after its debut.
  • The Other Darrin: Diana Rigg was asked to make a guest appearance, but declined. As a result, "K Is For Kill Part One: The Tiger Awakes" features old footage of her on the phone from "The Winged Avenger" and "The Hidden Tiger", while Sue Lloyd provides a voice cameo.
  • Recycled Script: "Complex" is essentially a remake of the Avengers episode "Killer". Meanwhile, "Medium Rare" was based on the Thriller episode "Murder in Mind", while "Gnaws" is a reworking of the Thunderbirds episode "Attack of the Alligators".
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Louise Jameson auditioned for Purdey.
    • After the series was cancelled, an American version of the series was proposed. They shot a pilot called Escapade but it was never picked up. Morgan Fairchild and Granville Van Dusen were to play the Purdey and Steed counterparts.
    • Purdey was originally named Charley and was Steed's niece.
    • In 1994, Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt publicised the launch of the series on domestic videocassette. Sales were stronger than expected, prompting Brian Clemens to consider reuniting the two actors in a "spin-off" series. Although both were keen to participate and a script was written, plans stalled at an early stage for undisclosed reasons.
  • You Look Familiar: Ian Hendry, who had played Steed's initial partner Dr. David Keel in The Avengers in 1961, reappeared in "To Catch a Rat" as a different character, Irwin Gunner.


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