Clicking here will return you to the Welcome page.

News and Comment

Table of Contents

Series Guide
Background Notes
The Series in Detail
The Programmes
Personnel File
Steed Talks

News and Comment
Episode Recoveries
Restoration Project
Your Views

The Avengers Declassified

About this Site
Site Stuff

Avengers on the Radio designed, maintained and Copyright by Alan and Alys Hayes.

The Avengers is Copyright CANAL+IMAGE UK Ltd. No attempt to infringe this copyright is intended. 


I must confess up front that I have a kind of voice-blindness that usually renders the majority of 'straight' radio drama unlistenable to me.

To explain further, I have a real problem with that generic, BBC, 'middle class' female voice. I first noticed it with The Archers. I could never tell any of the 'straight' female characters apart - the comedic and the working class ones (usually the same thing in The Archers) I could tell apart; the legion of pony-riding Jennys, Shulas and Bettys I couldn't.

And that's part of My Big Problem with this radio adaptation. The Mrs. Peel character is indistinguishable from the other female characters - most notably that of the pivotal Martha. It makes for very confusing listening.

The fact that this is a Tara King script of the weakest variety also doesn't help. Mrs. Peel has never sounded so... limp. I suppose that is a general fault of these radio adaptations of the show - Tara scripts are adapted for the Mrs. Peel character without taking differences of character into account. So Tara's usual all-round naive drippiness is just given wholesale to a character who goes by the name of Emma Peel, but is not our Emma Peel either before or after the miraculous reappearance of young Peter.

I've been trying to imagine that it would all work better if the Tara scripts had been adapted for that character rather than for Emma Peel, but this particular effort is so bad that it's difficult to imagine it working under any circumstance. Even Steed sounds irritatingly non-descript. It's only the narrator character, voiced by Hugh Rouse, who doesn't appear in the TV originals of course, that emerges with any kind of credit. He sounds witty, distinctive, and moves the plot along. Which is another thing - this radio adaptation of an already bad TV episode lasts around twenty minutes longer than the original episode. And it shows.

The bottom line - this is a boring, boring, boring and difficult-to-follow re-rendering of an extremely minor Avengers episode that shows that quality control was not high on the agenda for production company Sonovision when it came to choosing scripts (and I haven't even got round to mentioning the irritating bouncy-bouncy 'music' that crops up from time to time).

Reviewed by Lucas Weldon