After 3 years, 7 boxsets and a grand total of 26 episodes, Big Finish has reached the end of its adaptations of the lost episodes from seasons 1 of ITV’s The Avengers. Starring Julian Wadham as Steed and Anthony Howell as Dr Keel, these have proven very popular with fans and recreated a missing slice of TV history.
The set consists of three stories, and are chosen to give both Steed and Keel a chance to shine. Steed kicks off with Ian Potter’s adaptation of a Terence Feely script, Dragonsfield. It’s a cold war treat with scientists and conspiracies, and Steed carries the story single-handedly finding time to both flirt outrageously and catch spies.
By way of balance Dr Keel is the hero of The Far Distant Dead, a John Lucarotti script adapted by Tom Mallaburn. Keel is in Chile helping with a humanitarian crisis. It isn’t long before he uncovers a more prosaic conspiracy, one that takes him to Marseilles. It’s another strong story showing Keel at his most effective.
All things come to an end, and John Dorney (who adapted most of the range) has the honour of adapting The Deadly Air, a Lester Powell script with more scientists, plenty of derring do and two characters who have grown their relationship over the past few years. There are murders aplenty and both our heroes are at their best.
Ken Bentley directs with his usual finesse and there are far too many names to mention in a quick round-up. Suffice it to say, standards are as high as ever.
A sad moment as there are no more stories to adapt; we can only hope Big Finish gets a licence to create new stories with this pairing.
THE AVENGERS LOST EPISODES VOL. 7 / AUTHORS: VARIOUS / DIRECTOR: KEN BENTLEY / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / STARRING: JULIAN WADHAM, ANTHONY HOWELL, LUCY BRIGGS-OWEN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW