2020 witnessed the death of 82-year-old acting great, Diana Rigg, who graced our screens over a fifty-year career enjoying particular fame in The Avengers, and latterly in Game of Thrones.
Nobody can quite match her level of effortlessly sharp wit, something she became known for through her various roles. But we are here to celebrate arguably her most iconic performance, as John Steed’s partner in crime-solving, Mrs Emma Peel. In this 1960s thriller, the secret agent dream team save the world from various threats, like cyborgs and chemical weapons, all whilst being endlessly charming and full of grace. Essentially, Peel and Steed are the Luther and Alice of the 60s, and whilst the CGI may look a bit dodgy through our modern eyes, it’s a beacon of British goodness and is timelessly brilliant.
Since news broke of Diana Rigg’s passing, the media have been reflecting on the joys of The Avengers. Referencing the show in The Los Angeles Times, Robert Lloyd says of Rigg, “she seems to have been incapable of overacting in any case,” an ability which he says made her performance “electric, without being showy.” Anita Gates of The New York Times also praised her performance, saying she “became the star attraction,” before reflecting on her description by Vincent Canby of The New York Times, as a “tall, lithe Modigliani of a girl with the sweet sophistication of Nora Charles and the biceps of Barbarella.”
First shown January 1961. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.