You wait for one book about TV’s cult classic, “The Avengers”, and three come along at once!

There are three books featuring material about the still hugely-popular action adventure TV series The Avengers available now, including a great new autobiography shedding life on the work of an extraordinary stuntwoman.

Out now from Fantom Publishing is a new autobiography, Judo, The Avengers and Me, by Cyd Child, that goes behind the scenes on many a cult TV show, including The Avengers, revealing the life story of a remarkable stunt woman.

Judo, The Avengers and Me

Born in 1944, Christine Gallie is a 7th Dan who trained at the Budokwai in London, becoming the first woman to be allowed to train with the men’s elite class. Amongst her many titles are European Champion and six times British Open Champion. British judoka Brian Jacks, who some may remember from his TV appearances on the BBC programme, Superstars, once hailed Christine as “the innovator of women’s competition judo.” She was the first woman in this country to get 5th Dan and then 6th Dan.

Under the stage name of Cyd Child, she became one of the foremost stunt performers in the UK, working on film franchises such as The Pink Panther, on The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), James Bond, on For Your Eyes Only (1981), and the first two Superman films, and as well as television classics such as The Goodies, Blake’s 7, Space: 1999 and UFO.

But it is for The Avengers where she has received greatest acclaim, in her role as double for Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) and Tara King (Linda Thorson), and then Purdey (Joanna Lumley) in The New Avengers.

With forewords by actress Joanna Lumley, Brian Jacks and Elizabeth Viney, Judo, The Avengers and Me is a 154-page celebration of Cyd’s colourful life and her dual careers in judo and stunt performance, and contains hundreds of previously unseen photos from her personal archives.

Also just released is Diabolical Masterminds, Rodney Marshall‘s guide to Season Four of The Avengers, the series then still being shot in black and white, published in hardback and paperback.

Diabolical Masterminds by Rodney Marshall

Diabolical Masterminds, featuring a cover by Ciara Shaw, offers a light-hearted guide to the 26 monochrome filmed episodes which for many represent The Avengers at its most inventive and innovative. The book mix of facts, observations, opinions, quotes and some insights from the time Rodney’s father, Roger Marshall, was working on the series, as script-writer.

Rodney is the author of numerous books about action adventure TV, including Mrs Peel, We’re Needed (2014), Avengerland Regained (2015), and the recently-releasedI’m Going to Shoot You, McGill!”: A Fan’s Guide to Man In A Suitcase (2021).

As we previously reported, he’s also working with graphic artist Brian Gorman on a new Man in a Suitcase graphic novel, which is still seeking crowdfunding.

The Avengers was a unique action-adventure television series, evolving from a realistic noir thriller, through Op Art, Pop Art, and comic strip to a psychedelic, self-parodic endgame; from studio-bound videotape, 35mm black and white film, into ‘glorious technicolor’.

“It is tempting to read the constant evolution during its 161-episode run as a reflection of the technical, thematic and stylistic developments of the Sixties,” Rodney suggests.

“The limitations of its videotape era (1961-64) led set designers and directors to create an in-house style of artful camera angles and quirky sets. This remained in place when the series moved on to film. At this point in its production history, style was beginning to dominate. It playfully engaged with 1960s concerns; however, it was the witty dialogue and visual appeal which attracted audiences.

“While the Peel colour era would become the most popular, it was – arguably – at this videotape/film crossroads that the show reached its artistic pinnacle.”

Also still available, released late last year, is Stay Tuned To The Avengers, published late last year, described as the ultimate fan book, reprinting the very best of fanzines On Target and Stay Tuned, compiled by Dave Rogers and Mark Witherspoon.

Stay Tuned to The Avengers by Dave Rogers and Mark Witherspoon

Available in hardback only from the Lulu service, running to 244 pages, it reprints interviews with the show’s stars, including Patrick MacNee, Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg, and writer Brian Clemens, with new art and an all-new interview with author Dave Rogers and an afterword by Sam Clemens, all proceeds from the sale of this book are going to the children’s charity Holding On Letting Go.

“I started reading On Target and Stay Tuned again in lockdown and really enjoyed them,” Mark told fans of The Avengers via The Avengers International Fan Forum, “and thought a lot of the great content should be put back out there, as many new fans will have never read them. I contacted Dave and he loved the idea and is still very much a fan of the show. He said let’s do it, but do it for a worthy charity.

Author Dave Rogers - art by Pete Wallbank
Author Dave Rogers – art by Pete Wallbank

“So we worked together over the year, picking out some favourite interviews and articles, some remain the same as they did in the magazine others we added new illustrations to along with vintage ads and other items of the era.”

Judo, The Avengers and Me is available now direct from Fantom Publishing and other book retailers | ISBN 978-1781963685 | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Diabolical Masterminds, by Rodney Marshall, is available from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Follow Rodney Marshall on Twitter

Stay Tuned To The Avengers is available only from Lulu

If you’ve ever wanted to ask Dave Rogers a question about The Avengers or any of his books, now is your chance – head on over to the Stay Tuned Facebook page!

Inside Stay Tuned To The Avengers

Stay Tuned to The Avengers by Dave Rogers and Mark Witherspoon

• Interview with author Dave Rogers

• Intro: My Wildest Dream

• Interview with Patrick Macnee
Originally published in the On Target Inteview Special

• The Avengers return to Channel Four
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 3

• Mrs Gale, We’re Needed (To give British TV a Kick Up The Rump)
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 1, issue 4

The New Avengers TV Times Cover from October 16th 1976
Originally published October 16-22 1976

• It’s Time For The Avengers

• Interview with Diana Rigg
Originally published in the On Target Inteview Special

The Avengers TV Times cover from January 21st 1967
Originally published January 21-27 1967

The Avengers “The Rat Trap” comic strip part one
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 1, issue 7

• Interview with Honor Blackman
Originally published in the On Target Inteview Special

• Advert for The Avengers T Shirts
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 1, issue 1

• All New Tidbits

The Avengers TV Times cover from March 10th 1961
Originally published in the On Target volume 1, issue 7

The Cybernauts by David Tanner
Originally published in the On Target volume 2, issue 2

• “The Write Stuff” Brian Clemens interview part one
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 6

• Fan Fare Readers Letters
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 2

• Year One: 1960/1961 ‘Enter John Steed’
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 1, issue 1

• Advert for The Ultimate Avengers
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 8

• “A funny thing happened on the way to the script conference” by Graham P Williams
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 1

• “The Write Stuff” Brian Clemens interview part two
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 7

The Avengers TV Guide cover from January 21st 1967
Originally published January 21-27 1967

• Interview with Patrick Newell
Originally published in the On Target Inteview Special

• “The New Avenger” by Pete Wallbank
Originally published in Stay Tuned volume 3, issue 4

The Avengers Survey by David Tanner
Originally published in On Target volume 3, issue 1

• “Whose face beneath the bowler?” By Michael Richardson
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 1

• Review of “Too Many Targets” by Geoff Barlow
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 3

• “Music and The Avengers” by Frank Leprince
Originally published in the On Target volume 2, issue 2

• ‘The Man with the Baton ‘In Conversation’ with Laurie Johnson”
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 2

• “The Perils of Cyd” – interview with Cyd Child
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 5

• Curry A La Carte
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 4

• “A funny thing happened on the way to the script conference” by Graham P Williams
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 3

• “The Avengers – The Missing Cases” Advert
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 6

• Interview with Linda Thorson
Originally published in the On Target Inteview Special

The Avengers TV Times cover from February 27th 1969
Originally published February 27 1969

• A Review of The Avengers Stage Show by Paul A. Thomas
Originally published in the On Target volume 3, issue 2

• “Miniature Marvels – The Corgi Gift Set #40”
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 3, issue 1

• Tidbits
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 4

The Avengers Trading Cards at last advert
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 4

• “Are you as Kinky as The Avengers?”
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 5

• “Mrs Peel. They’ve captured us on video”
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 4

• All New Tidbits

• Eyes Peeled: A guide to Avengerland advert
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 5

• Fan Fare Readers Letters
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 5

• “Did you miss on TV”
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 7

• “The Write Stuff” – Brian Clemens interview part three
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue

• “The Bird Who Knew Too Much” competition
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 6

• Tidbits
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 6

The Avengers on Video advert checklist
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 3, issue 1

• “Whoops” by Wayne Beckett
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 2, issue 1

• “Don’t quote me but” – Diana Rigg was heard to say
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 3, issue 2

• Diana Rigg by Peter Wallbank
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 3, issue 3

• “Master of Mayhem” – Ray Austin interview
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 3, issue 3

• Miniature Marvels – John Steed’s Jaguar #113
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 3, issue 4

• “Did you miss?”
Originally published in the Stay Tuned volume 3, issue 9

• Afterword By Sam Clemens

• About the Charity Hold on Letting Go

Stay Tuned To The Avengers is available only from Lulu

If you’ve ever wanted to ask Dave Rogers a question about The Avengers or any of his books, now is your chance – head on over to the Stay Tuned Facebook page!

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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1 reply

  1. Utterly amazing it kept going for so long. Silly, contrived plots. The only thing about it worth watching was Diana Rigg!

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