Friday, June 18, 2010

Nerd Girl of Note #67

What happens when you take a wildly popular show that has been on the air for years and change out one of the main characters? Unfortunately for today's Nerd Girl of Note, Linda Thorson, you get a canceled show. The Avengers was on from 1961 to 1969. The show really caught on when Honor Blackman as "Cathy Gale," who left to appear in Goldfinger as "Pussy Gallore." She was replaced by the show's most iconic female in 1965, Diana Rigg as "Mrs. Emma Peel," who also left for James Bond, appearing in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. By the final series (season) The Avengers was starting to get a bit too campy for its own good. It was becoming, as so often happens, a parody of itself. This is where Linda Thorson enters as "Tara King."

Thorson is a bit of an oddball for the show. She is a Torontonian secretary who moved to the United Kingdom to study drama. The Avengers was, according to the IMDb, her first film/television role. Tara King is perhaps and underrated "companion" to John Steed. I think this is due to the quality of the show at the time. King was capable, but seemed to find herself in more trouble than Mrs. Peel or Ms. Gale. Sure, her predecessors often found themselves captured, but in a recently watched episode, "Whoever Shot Poor George Oblique Stroke XR40?" King is getting smacked around, a lot. Where Mrs. Peel and Ms. Gale would get into fights regularly, Ms. King was knocked unconscious at least twice in the one hour episode.

Now, obviously they needed Tara King to be a new character, which they accomplished. She is not the femme-thug that Cathy Gale was, nor the "talented amateur" that was Emma Peel. Frankly, I am unclear on how Tara King became Steed's companion. She seems to be a junior agent of some sort.

After The Avengers Thorson continued to work in film and television, and has three films still pending release.


The Vicar of VHS said...

That leather jacket pic is a beaut.

Thorsen also appeared in the so-so slasher CURTAINS, and did fairly well there. It's a shame she had such big boots to fill in THE AVENGERS. :P

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

I never saw this tv. I did see the movie though. The movie was just ok.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Vic - She definitely had a harder time than Rigg in the replacement department. Not knocking Blackman, but Emma Peel and John Steed are The Avengers.

@Brooke - I'll defend the movie in a lot of ways, but the show was quite a different animal. The biggest mistake the movie made was in making it clear who the villain was. The show typically had a nice twist. If you're on Netflix, they have some episodes for on demand. 1965/1966 episodes are quite good, imho.

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