The Cybernauts

MrsPeel-ToyRobot

Someone is knocking off the competition. Someone who can walk through walls, break down doors, fend off bullets, and break necks with a single "swoooosh." Someone who, perhaps, is an expert in Karate. The futuristic sci-fi episode The Cybernauts is featured in the third week of our 52 weeks of The Avengers series.  This one is quite a classic, in part because it introduces the audience to Dr. … [Read more...]

The Gravediggers

TheGraveDiggers-Title

The Gravediggers is the second episode of The Avengers that aired in the U.S. Although it features a number of quirky characters, a typical plot, and a classic scene that plays off the "damsel in distress" silent film classics, it's not one of my favorite episodes. Whenever I'm perusing titles and trying to decide what to watch, I seem to always pass over The Gravediggers. I tend to forget, … [Read more...]

The Town of No Return

SteedMrsPeel-Town

The Town of No Return is the first episode of The Avengers to air in the U.S. The episode opens with a closeup shot of fisherman on a beach, fiddling with his basket and nets, then cuts to a long shot of a blob emerging from the sea. The camera pulls in closer and we learn that the blob is actually a man encased in what looks like an oversized black-plastic garbage bag. Homage to the opening … [Read more...]

52 Weeks of The Avengers

The Avengers, a British television series, made its American debut on March 30, 1966 on the ABC network. The early response of the American audience (and American TV critics) was mixed but, within 6 weeks, ABC renewed its option for more episodes.* It was probably 1967-68 before I discovered The Avengers. I was 5 or 6 years old at the time, but my parents would let me stay up and watch it. I'm … [Read more...]

I’ve Always Loved Lucille Ball

vitameatavegamin

Today is the 100th birthday of Lucille Ball, the iconic comedy legend. I've loved Lucy for as long as I can remember, although I'm pretty sure my introduction began with the earliest incarnation of The Lucy Show, rather than I Love Lucy.  I was a kid in the days before multichannel cable TV, so I grew up with three network affiliates and a PBS station. We lived in the country where the 12-33 … [Read more...]

Julie Klausner Name-Drops Benjamin Franklin (and gets more than a RT)

Anyone in my Twitter stream who name-drops Benjamin Franklin to get a retweet deserves more than a RT. Julie Klausner gets a blog post. Think of it as a birthday present. Happy Birthday, Julie. If you aren't listening to Julie Klausner's How Was Your Week podcasts, you're definitely missing out. She delivers up cutting-edge humor and pop culture commentary and she riffs on the (mostly) inane … [Read more...]

Martha Washington, Emma Peel and ideas

Mrs. Emma Peel

In 1998, I published an essay titled "Martha Washington, Emma Peel and ideas." At the time, Martha Washington was a popular subject for biographers and historians and my childhood TV hero, Mrs. Emma Peel, ever-popular among cult-TV types, was back in the spotlight. Given the theme of my most recent post ("Celebrate the Power of an Idea"), I thought it might be interesting to revisit the essay. … [Read more...]