The New Avengers was a British secret agent fantasy adventure television series produced during 1976 and 1977. It is a sequel to the 1960s series, The Avengers which was created by Sydney Newman, and the new version was developed by original series producers Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell.
The series was produced by The Avengers (Film and TV) Enterprises Ltd for the ITV Network, cost £125,000 per episode to produce at Pinewood Studios in England and was seen in 120 countries.
A joint UK-France-Canada production, the series picks up the adventures of John Steed (again played by Patrick Macnee) as he and his team of "Avengers" fight evil plots and world domination. Whereas in the original series Steed had almost always been partnered with a woman, in the new series he had two partners: Mike Gambit (Gareth Hunt), a top agent, crack marksman and trained martial artist, and Purdey (Joanna Lumley), a former trainee with The Royal Ballet (to which she ascribed the high-kicking skills she frequently used in the series) who was an amalgam of many of the best talents from Steed's female partners in The Avengers.
As he did for most of the original series, Steed is once again acting without a direct superior - in many ways his character takes on the duties of "Mother" from the Tara King era of the 1960s show. Steed is seen as the mentor to Gambit and Purdey, taking on a paternal role towards them (especially in the episode "Hostage"). Gambit is the athletic action hero, while Purdey, aside from being the show's resident fashion plate, incorporates the wit and fighting skills of her predecessors. The verbal interplay between Gambit and Purdey, with her humorously keeping his romantic advances at bay, hearkens back to the Steed/Gale era of the original Avengers.
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