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    Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence.  Three times is enemy action.
           -Cathy Gale, Too Many Targets

This book presents something of a quandary because if you aren't a fan of the TV series there's no reason to read it, and if you are, there's no way it can satisfy you.  There are however, a few of us who are casual fans of the series and also experienced readers of Movie and TV tie-ins--one of my favorite books as a kid was a Rat Patrol novelization--and for us it is entirely adequate, though not much more.

The plot involves those dreaded Cybernauts who cropped up several times during the series and manages to involve not just John Steed and Mrs. Peel, but all of Steed's other partners too : Cathy Gale; Tara King; and Dr. David Keel.  You really couldn't ask for much more; except for a great story.  And here's a dirty little secret that all of us TV fans don't like to dwell on : great stories are awfully rare in the world of television.  We become fans of a series because we like the characters and are willing to spend an hour (or a half hour) with them every week.  But let's face it, most episodes of any TV series are pretty pedestrian, often downright feeble.  Heck, I was a huge fan of Cheers and Magnum, P.I., but those shows had entire seasons that were just awful.

So if you look back on The Avengers with misty watercolor memories, let me warn you, you're going to be disappointed by this book.  And if you're someone who never watched the show and couldn't figure out why someone would make the recent movie version, this book is not for you either.  But if you recall the show as a pleasant diversion, and nothing more, this book is at least as good as a mediocre episode of the series--except of course that it doesn't have Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg or Honor Blackman, to get your fix of them you'll just have to buy the DVDs that are now available of the original shows.


Grade: (C)


See also:

Book-related and General Links:
    -BUY IT : DVDs of The original Avengers TV series (
    -The Avengers Forever
    -Elan : Avengers on the Web
    -A&E's The Original Avengers
    -STEEDOPHILIA MAIN PAGE -  Introducing, for your delectation and delight, the revamped  John Steed Website
    -The Avengers : Noon : Doomsday
    -Lane's Page on The Avengers
    -The Avengers (Photo Gallery)
    -Authorised Guide to The New Avengers
    -LINKS : Avengers, The (Excite uk)

    -INFO : The Avengers (1998) (Imdb)
    -REVIEW : of The Avengers (TYLER McLEOD -- Calgary Sun)
    -REVIEW : of The Avengers (BRUCE KIRKLAND -- Toronto Sun)