Item description for The Avengers Files: The Official Guide by Patrick Macnee Andrew Pixley...
Loosely set in the England of the 1960s and 1970s, The Avengers inhabited an extraordinary landscape of aristocrats, mad scientists, spies, and sports cars. Starring Patrick Macnee as the urbane, umbrella-toting spy John Steed and Diana Rigg as his alluring accomplice, Mrs. Emma Peel, The Avengers dazzled television audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. In The Avengers Files, cult-TV authority Andrew Pixley looks at every detail and nuance of the series, from the original stories and scripts to the making of the films. Abundantly illustrated with many never-before-seen stills and behind-the-scenes shots, this is the book that Avengers fans everywhere have been waiting for.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.98" Width: 6.61" Height: 1.1" Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2004
Publisher Reynolds & Hearn
ISBN 1903111749 ISBN13 9781903111741
Reviews - What do customers think about The Avengers Files: The Official Guide?
A muddled mess! (About a great TV show.) Sep 1, 2007
If the format of this book was an experiment, then I'm afraid it's a failed experiment. I was continually looking up the abbreveated storytitle code to find which episode Mr Pixley was referring to. I may not be able to recommend this book, but I can recommend the following two. If you want to learn more about the particular episodes in a more coherent style try Dave Rogers; "The Complete Avengers". Which is an excellent episode guide, even if some of the episode synopses are from shooting scripts, and not the televised version. Or if you want a more Macnee centric one try; "The Avengers and me". By Patrick Macnee and Dave Rogers.
Plenty of Great Info, Bad Format Aug 31, 2007
My anticipation piqued when I saw the mail package containing this book in my mailbox. However, after the initial perusal through the pages of The Avengers Files, that anticipation soured, only to be overtaken by disappointment. Please do not misunderstand. There is plenty of great background information on all the main characters of The Avengers, from the David Keel Years to The New Avengers in the late 70s. The problem with this volume lies in its format.
First, the blurb from the publisher on this book's this site page claims that the book is "abundantly illustrated". This claim is simply not true. What pictures this book does include are limited to two glossy eight-page photo inserts placed in two different parts of the book. While the photos are quite lovely and glossy, in both monochrome and color, they hardly qualify as an abundance. In fact, I'd consider 16 pages of photos in a 352 page volume a dearth.
The next problem has to do with the way Pixley presents the background information. The Avengers Files treats each episode as a real life event, even claiming that somewhere in the vast unknown lurks the real John Steed. Therefore, each story becomes its own case, each televised episode a surveillance film kept hidden away hush hush in the files of the ministry, with top secret and background information for each. Had Andrew Pixley chosen to present this info in an easy-to follow, year-by-year, story-by-story format, it would have worked much better. Instead, he gives each character his (or her) own chapter or chapters, with Steed getting the most chapters, being the longest-running character in the series, and recounts the background information in a prose style that is much like a novel. Unfortunately, this method is not conducive to a neat, chronological order of events. At one point, he discusses Steed's characteristics in the early 60s, then jumps to the mid 70s with the very next paragraph. There is plenty of great info here, but unfortunately it is scattered throughout the book in a hard-to-follow format.
Another problem I have with this book is, when referencing each story, Pixley designates a four letter code for each. Thus, The Hidden Tiger is [TIGE], Murdersville becomes [MDVL], and a Sense of History goes by [HIST]. You can understand the problem right off the bat. If the reader is not familiar with the story titles, he will be hampered in his understanding of the reference. Give Pixley credit for including a definition of acronyms, or Codes, if you will, in Appendix A toward the end of this volume. However, if the reader has to constantly interrupt his reading to check up on a code, his enjoyment of the book will be severely strained.
Also, I really don't understand the need for all the footnotes in the book. Most pages are inundated with them. If this is fiction, there really should be no need for them. Why not just include the footnote material as part of the main text? In this regard, Pixley went too far in his work of "espionage". Footnotes, just as the definitions of Codes in Appendix A, interrupt your reading.
I consider this book an opportunity lost. Great research went into The Avengers Files to incorporate all this great background information into one easy-to-follow-volume. Too bad this volume is not so easy to follow. This malady could have been easily fixed by putting all this info in an episode-by-episode format.
The (Almost) Perfect Avengers Guide Aug 24, 2004
Mr. Andrew Pixley has pulled together into one place what has to be the most comprehensive coverage of that debonair Ladies' man and spy (oops, sorry, agent), Mr. John Steed, and all of his various partners. From Dr. David Keel, to Mrs. Cathy Gale. From Venus Smith and Dr. Martin King, to the irresistible, charming, cool, intelligent, independent, sophisticated and sensuous Mrs. Emma Peel. From Miss Tara King, to Purdey and Mike Gambit. From Charles and One-Ten, to Mother, Father, and even Rhonda, they're all here!
In "The Avengers Files", you enter the fictional, undercover world of Great Britain's top agent, and all his helpers and associates. Mr. Pixley threads through all the "surveillance tapes" (TV episodes) from all the years of The Avengers and The New Avengers, and the "books and comics", passed off upon we, the unsuspecting public, and extracts all the intelligence data and missions, clearly detailed here for us to relive and enjoy, over and over.
As a work of fiction, Mr. Pixley's book is very good background material for fan fiction writers, and anyone who wanted to know more about their favorite Avenger.
The fault that I find with it, is that the sections on Emma Peel should be the largest of the book, since Emma Peel did appear in nine more of the surveillance tapes than Cathy Gale, and Emma Peel was certainly the subject of many novels and comics and comic strips.
If Emma sells, then here would have been the place to do it. I feel that Mr. Pixley favors Cathy Gale, judging by the size of the chapters involving her, and the picture on the back of the book.
Maybe someday, somewhere, someone will finally realize who was the apex of Steed's partners, and give Emma her just due, giving us the "perfect" book on The Avengers.
In the meantime, "The Avengers Files" can feed some appetites.