CHAPEAU MELON ET BOTTES DE CUIR - THE AVENGERS
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Merci ! Et bon forum !!

John Peel

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John Peel

Message  Invité le Jeu 14 Aoû 2008 - 19:16

Dear Denis,

Thank you so much for your cheery email! Your website looks very good!

I'm happy to answer your questions.

1. When and how did you discover The Avengers ?

I must have seen a couple of the Mrs. Gale episodes as a child, but the earliest ones I really remember are the Diana Rigg ones, especially the color season, which I loved.

2. Wht are your favourite season and episodes ?

Season six, definitely. "The Winged Avenger" is probably my favorite all-time episode, but there are just so many good ones in that season. After that, it would be season five. All of my favorite stories are Diana Rigg ones!

3. Who decided to write Too Many Targets ? You or Dave Rogers ?

It was my idea. I'd been talking to Dave after he wrote his splendid episode guide, and I mentioned that the 30th anniversary was coming up, and suggested he write a new book, preferably a novel. He told me he was no good at fiction, and suggested I try one. He had contacts to get permission, and his book was popular, so he said he'd get the rights, and I could do the work! I insisted he take joint credit, and he agreed to act as advisor on the book.

I wrote up the outline, which St. Martin's Press liked. I also sent it to Terry Nation, who had been writer and script-editor on the series. Terry made a few very good suggestions - initially, I'd set the gorilla hunt in Africa, for example, and the climax would have taken place there. But Terry advised me to change the hunt to England. People would expect a gorilla hunt in Africa - but not in rural England. And he said that the whole story should remain in England, because Steed *never* left the country in the show. I thought they were excellent points, and made the story much better.

4. What was the part of work of each of you ?

I wrote the entire story and then sent it to him. He made comments mostly on historical points, and added bits of description, and so on. (He taught me that the pointy end of an umbrella is a "ferrule", for example!) He also came up with Professor Lipp's name (I had Briggs or something mundane, and loved his suggestion.) But the story was mine, and about 90% of the text is mine.

7. Did you have any contact with any other members of the cast or production ?

No. Dave had Patrick Macnee write the introduction, but that was all. We were actually very fortunate, because at the time I wrote the book, there were no plans to do anything with "The Avengers", so we were given complete freedom to do anything we liked in the book. I felt that it would be great fun to have all of Steed's co-workers in the book, and the villains just had to be the Cybernauts, of course, since they're fan favorites. I tried very hard to keep the styles appropriate to the era - so, for example, Keel's adventures tend to be with thugs and almost without any fantasy aspect, whereas Tara's bits are all pure fantasy, as the shows were in each of their times.

8 . Did you have any feedback from actors, the production or fans ?

I did get a few encouraging letters when the fans heard of the project.

9 . The reader has the feeling that Too Many Targets could have been the first novel of a series with the return of Mrs Peel at the end. Was a sequel planned ?

I had hoped we could do more, but the sales weren't very good, sadly. I had started to plan a second story, in which Steed is kidnapped and wakes up in The Village (from "The Prisoner"). And he drives them all mad because he doesn't try and escape! He meets Number 6, who's been there for years, and is still trying to (unsuccessfully) escape... But that was as far as I got. Of course, we couldn't have used the Village, and I had planned on spoofing it as "The Hamlet", and instead of having numbers, everyone has code-names from Shakespeare...

10 .You have written many novels on series of the 60s : The Avengers, The Prisoner, Man from Uncle. Which one do you prefer ?

I suppose my "Doctor Who" books most, because that was always my favorite show as a child. But "Too Many Targets" I love, too, as I had such fun with it.

11. Most of all, you have written novels on Doctor Who. Any chance of other books on The Avengers written by John Peel?

I would *love* to write more! If only somebody wants to print them!

Best wishes,

John Peel
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Re: John Peel

Message  Joris le Jeu 14 Aoû 2008 - 19:21

Good job ! Very Happy
Perhaps that new stories will be created in few years.
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Joris
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Re: John Peel

Message  Patricks le Jeu 14 Aoû 2008 - 19:26

Joris a écrit:
Perhaps that new stories will be created in few years.

Sadly, I don't think that this will happen. Since the 1998 movie with Ralph Fiennes was not a success, Avengers items like paperbacks are rather improbable.
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Re: John Peel

Message  Joris le Jeu 14 Aoû 2008 - 19:28

So, there's just one thing to do : read all the books again ! hein
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Re: John Peel

Message  Invité le Jeu 14 Aoû 2008 - 22:14

Patricks a écrit:
Joris a écrit:
Perhaps that new stories will be created in few years.

Sadly, I don't think that this will happen. Since the 1998 movie with Ralph Fiennes was not a success, Avengers items like paperbacks are rather improbable.

They republished recently The Avengers and Me entitled The Inside Story in the US. And we can still expect some memoirs from Linda Thorson, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman and if we get lucky Brian Clemens.
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Re: John Peel

Message  Murder Market le Ven 15 Aoû 2008 - 10:05

Interesting read. Thanks to all concerned.
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Re: John Peel

Message  Invité le Ven 15 Aoû 2008 - 17:23

One question to Mr Peel : I did bought the St Martin press US edition of Too Many Targets when it was originally released ...But fail to remember if there was any promo at all to publicize the book at the time ( in the US or UK ) ???
( since there wasn't any ' Cult serie ' craze yet ...)
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Re: John Peel

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