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Actress Dame Diana Rigg (1938-2020)


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32 minutes ago, Dargo said:

I had earlier tried using another old Brit series' theme song which had made its way across the pond to our shores about the same time as The Avengers had, the theme from The Saint, but it didn't seem to do the trick at all.

Ah, well, that's too similar a show.  Like won't cancel like.

 

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Just now, slaytonf said:

Ah, well, that's too similar a show.  Like won't cancel like.

 

True, and probably why my mind first went to it to use as a substitute. ;) 

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ElizabethShepherd-EmmaPeel.jpg

These are images of Elizabeth Shepherd, the original actress chosen for the role of Emma Peel in The Avengers. They completed one episode with her, The Town of No Return, and it was during the shooting of a second episode, Murder Market, that she was replaced by Diana Rigg. While all involved agreed that Shepherd was very beautiful and an excellent actress, they also thought she was simply wrong for the role. She played Emma Peel straight, without a hint of the humour that would be a distinguishing trademark of Diana Rigg's characterization. That plus the fact that Rigg and Patrick Macnee had a real chemistry together, Macnee later saying that playing with Rigg sharpened his own humour technique which had been lying dormant prior to Diana coming along.

Diana Rigg, by the way, with her slim body and small butt, was doubled in the leather cat outfit action scenes by a male stunt man, Billy Westley. Apparently he sat around the set in leather with a wig on much of the time, getting razzed by guys on the set asking him for a date.

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6 hours ago, Dargo said:

Hey! Anyone here have a good remedy for an earworm?

HELP! Ya see, it's been almost two weeks since Diana Rigg's passing, and ever since I heard the news I JUST can't get The Avengers theme song out of my head, and it's driving me CRAZY!!!

Sorry, I've already posted the "Dead Man's Treasure" racing theme.  😈

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11 hours ago, TomJH said:

ElizabethShepherd-EmmaPeel.jpg

These are images of Elizabeth Shepherd, the original actress chosen for the role of Emma Peel in The Avengers. They completed one episode with her, The Town of No Return, and it was during the shooting of a second episode, Murder Market, that she was replaced by Diana Rigg. While all involved agreed that Shepherd was very beautiful and an excellent actress, they also thought she was simply wrong for the role. She played Emma Peel straight, without a hint of the humour that would be a distinguishing trademark of Diana Rigg's characterization. That plus the fact that Rigg and Patrick Macnee had a real chemistry together, Macnee later saying that playing with Rigg sharpened his own humour technique which had been lying dormant prior to Diana coming along.

Diana Rigg, by the way, with her slim body and small butt, was doubled in the leather cat outfit action scenes by a male stunt man, Billy Westley. Apparently he sat around the set in leather with a wig on much of the time, getting razzed by guys on the set asking him for a date.

Interesting. I'd never seen pictures  of the brief Emma Peel. Thanks for all that info.

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1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

Most people likely are aware of this, but Diana Rigg will be on TCM tonight in The Hospital (1971) 

at 11:30, co-starring George C. Scott. I saw it once a long time ago, maybe 15 years or so, so it will be almost

like new. 

 

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Vautrin said:

Most people likely are aware of this, but Diana Rigg will be on TCM tonight in The Hospital (1971) 

at 11:30, co-starring George C. Scott. I saw it once a long time ago, maybe 15 years or so, so it will be almost

like new. 

Uh-huh, AND I saw it once a long time ago, almost 50 years ago or so and when it first released, and so it'll be even MORE "almost like new" to ME!

(...man am I gettin' old) ;)

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5 hours ago, Dargo said:

Uh-huh, AND I saw it once a long time ago, almost 50 years ago or so and when it first released, and so it'll be even MORE "almost like new" to ME!

(...man am I gettin' old) ;)

Newer new. Everyone's getting old er. As they say, time moves in one direction.

I was surprised how few films Diana Rigg was in. 

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3 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Newer new. Everyone's getting old er. As they say, time moves in one direction.

I was surprised how few films Diana Rigg was in. 

Yep, and this very thing was my lament when I first posted in this thread.

I also found it interesting in that interview she did about 5 years ago and which Tom posted a few pages back, that she herself mentioned this and brought up the cast of the hit TV series  'Friends' and all their relative lack of more work and success on the big screen, and as a correlative comment to her own lack of a more extensive movie career.

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I just had the great pleasure of viewing Death at Bargain Prices, one of the most marvelously entertaining episodes of The Avengers. The plot involves Steed and Mrs. Peel investigating a posh London department store where one of their best agents is killed in the show's opener. The story will involve an "A" bomb ready to level the city but, as usual, it's not so much the plot, mad man mastermind melodramatic as it may be, as it is the fun the audience has in this investigative tale with our two intrepid heroes.

Steed has one of his best lines of the series in this one. Mrs. Peel gets herself hired as a sales person in the department store and, as Steed tells her, "I asked the chief predator where to find you and he said, 'Our Mrs. Peel is in ladies' underwear.' I rattled up the stairs three at a time."

Andre Morel has fun as the old crotchety head of the store who operates from a wheel chair but the real gem of this episode is its climax. Steed and Mrs. Peel confront the baddies who have them at their mercy. Not for long, of course, with the goofy fun of seeing  Steed turn a pop gun on them, soon after using a cricket bat to launch a knife thrown at him into a dart board.

Highlight of this sequence , though, is one of the most stylish fight sequences Mrs. Peel will have in her leather cat outfit. It starts with a bad guy pointing a gun at her but she starts walking towards him snapping her fingers as she tells him to give her his gun. Laurie Johnson has great musical accompaniment for her here. A fast kick with her foot and the fight is on. This fight sequence alone makes Death at Bargain Prices a winner. But even that will be followed by a spine tingling sequence of Steed and Peel then trying to prevent the bomb from being detonated.

In a 2015 interview she gave Diana Rigg extolled the virtues of black and white photography over colour in bringing out the beauty of a woman. This episode is a prime illustration of it. I don't know if the actress ever looked  more beautiful or sexy than in this 50 minute show.

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16 hours ago, Dargo said:

Yep, and this very thing was my lament when I first posted in this thread.

I also found it interesting in that interview she did about 5 years ago and which Tom posted a few pages back, that she herself mentioned this and brought up the cast of the hit TV series  'Friends' and all their relative lack of more work and success on the big screen, and as a correlative comment to her own lack of a more extensive movie career.

Of course sometimes actors just prefer the stage or TV to movies. I don't know if that is Rigg's case or if she

was just not able to get worthwhile movie roles. I had forgotten she had a short-lived sitcom on American

TV titled........Diana. Watching The Hospital I couldn't quite figure out if she was trying to do an American

accent. Sometimes it sounded like she was, at other times she sounded English. I got the impression that

Chayefsky really didn't like the protesters of the 1960s and 1970s. Of course they can be made fun of, but

it seemed to go beyond that and became rather mean-spirited. 

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So I’ve watched about five or six episodes of season five of THE AVENGERS (the color season with Rigg as MRS PEEL) 

I found the very first one about “the invaders from Venus“ a tad disappointing, But I’ve liked all the others, especially the one about the time travel con and the parrot/pigeon spy team.

I think it is safe to say that whoever wrote this show smoked some PREMIUM WEED,  Like white, crystallized, Snoop Dogg-level sticky icky icky stuff. You could smell them from mile off. Like, some hydroponic high-grade 1960s stuff.
 

ps- that is a compliment BTW
pss- shrooms too

psss- and hallucinogens too. 

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3 hours ago, TomJH said:

Steed has one of his best lines of the series in this one. Mrs. Peel gets herself hired as a sales person in the department store and, as Steed tells her, "I asked the chief predator where to find you and he said, 'Our Mrs. Peel is in ladies' underwear.' I rattled up the stairs three at a time."

Well, best of the episode--
For best Steed lines of the series, there's still The Forget-Me-Knot, where Steed first meets agency cadet Tara King for the '68 season, who looks him over a little too skeptically.  After a few awkward unexplained moments of being looked over, Steed finally breaks the ice with, "Er...My feeding time is at 1:30."

With best Peel line being from Escape in Time, where Steed has to fight his way past the villain's female henchman to rescue Mrs. Peel, and finally manages to handcuff her to one of the pillars.  As Steed & Peel happily walk out, Peel sees the henchwoman handcuffed to the pillar, and muses, "...I thought we already GOT the vote."

1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

I got the impression that Chayefsky really didn't like the protesters of the 1960s and 1970s. Of course they can be made fun of, but it seemed to go beyond that and became rather mean-spirited. 

At the late-60's/early-70's time, NOBODY liked them.  By the early 70's, they were the attention-struck, off-message Black Lives Matter of their day.

Although the terrorist group that gets their own reality-TV show in Network (1976), and starts arguing over ratings points, while the white rich suburban Patty Hearst pretend-terrorist still tries to protest the "cause", was a perfect Chayefsky skewering.

44 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I think it is safe to say that whoever wrote this show smoked some PREMIUM WEED,  Like white, crystallized, Snoop Dogg-level sticky icky icky stuff. You could smell them from mile off. Like, some hydroponic high-grade 1960s stuff.

They didn't need artificial substances, this was swingin' 60's London, baby!  (<- -Austin Powers voice.  And yes, Mike Myers put a contrived/showoff  "Mrs. Peel" homage-joke into the first movie, with Elizabeth Hurley's character.)

And if you want to know high-grade's effect on TV shows, just turn on any given night of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.  The prosecution rests.  😑

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2 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Of course sometimes actors just prefer the stage or TV to movies. I don't know if that is Rigg's case or if she

was just not able to get worthwhile movie roles. I had forgotten she had a short-lived sitcom on American

TV titled........Diana. Watching The Hospital I couldn't quite figure out if she was trying to do an American

accent. Sometimes it sounded like she was, at other times she sounded English. I got the impression that

Chayefsky really didn't like the protesters of the 1960s and 1970s. Of course they can be made fun of, but

it seemed to go beyond that and became rather mean-spirited. 

I think she was trying to mask it, but it slipped through at times (accent). I'd totally forgotten about her tv series! I think it only lasted half a season. I'm not sure I even saw it. (I don't think I owned a tv at the time). I think she could've had a more substantial movie career is she devoted more time to it. She spent a lot of her career on the London stage, then took time off for motherhood.

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I'm not sure if anyone has already mentioned this, but Diana Rigg starred in a British mini-series called Black Widow in which she played the possessive mother and mother-in-law from hell. This was shown on PBS, probably on Masterpiece Theater, in perhaps the 1980s. Quite enjoyable, as I recall.

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5 hours ago, EricJ said:

 

At the late-60's/early-70's time, NOBODY liked them.  By the early 70's, they were the attention-struck, off-message Black Lives Matter of their day.

Although the terrorist group that gets their own reality-TV show in Network (1976), and starts arguing over ratings points, while the white rich suburban Patty Hearst pretend-terrorist still tries to protest the "cause", was a perfect Chayefsky skewering.

 

I did. Sure, there were some loudmouths who didn't put a lot of thinking into what they were saying and

sometimes dipped into sloganeering, but the underlying message of continuing discrimination and

segregation was an important one. Of course after the Vietnam War ended, obviously anti-war protests

ended. You need a war to protest. I have no problem with BLM or Antifa. 

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5 hours ago, Hibi said:

I think she was trying to mask it, but it slipped through at times (accent). I'd totally forgotten about her tv series! I think it only lasted half a season. I'm not sure I even saw it. (I don't think I owned a tv at the time). I think she could've had a more substantial movie career is she devoted more time to it. She spent a lot of her career on the London stage, then took time off for motherhood.

Yes, every once in a while a British pronunciation would get out.  I think her range of work speaks for itself, even

if she never became a movie star. I had a TV in 1973, but I don't remember watching that show. I might have watched

it once just out of curiosity. It was likely just another mediocre sitcom. The Hospital was a little confusing because

Barnard Hughes played two roles--her father and the surgeon seen toward the end of the movie. I was saying to myself

Wait a minute, what's going on here?

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13 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

 

Okay, wait a sec here!

This (TV) movie about a school for kid witches was first shown in 1986, and YET after I googled the name "J.K. Rowling" it said in her Wiki bio page:

Born in Yate, Gloucestershire, Rowling was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International when she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990.

And so my question here is...well, I'm sure you can guess what my question here is, can't you.

(...oh and btw...I think Diana Rigg in 1986 at age 48 here was even WAY hotter than she was on The Avengers and when she was in her twenties...now THERE was woman in her prime...am I RIGHT?!)

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

Born in Yate, Gloucestershire, Rowling was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International when she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990.

And so my question here is...well, I'm sure you can guess what my question here is, can't you.

Actually, when the first Potter book came out, most of the readers thought her "common English magic" motif and whimsical labyrinthine conspiracies were baldfaced ripping off Diana Wynne-Jones' books, eg. "Charmed Life" and "Witch Week".  (And we've never really had a good Wynne-Jones adaptation, except for that off-book pigs'-breakfast Hayao Miyazaki made of "Howl's Moving Castle".)

And, of course, the folks who read just the first chapters with Harry and the Dursleys, and thought JK was ripping off Roald Dahl, since, well...all British children's-fantasy authors have to, by law.  Although we don't know whether she'd just watched Time Bandits, either. 

(And, um....WHY were we linking Worst Witch, again?  Context helps.)

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6 hours ago, Dargo said:

Okay, wait a sec here!

This (TV) movie about a school for kid witches was first shown in 1986, and YET after I googled the name "J.K. Rowling" it said in her Wiki bio page:

Born in Yate, Gloucestershire, Rowling was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International when she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990.

And so my question here is...well, I'm sure you can guess what my question here is, can't you.

(...oh and btw...I think Diana Rigg in 1986 at age 48 here was even WAY hotter than she was on The Avengers and when she was in her twenties...now THERE was woman in her prime...am I RIGHT?!)

I know, It’s *really* hard to deny the similarities.

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