The Avengers and The Fictional World of Archives

TV Series Premiere produced by Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC): 1961

Last Episode: 1969

Robert Shuster, Director of Archives, Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, Illinois, recounted this episode [season four, "A Sense of History"]:

The main characters, John Steed [played by Patrick Macnee] and Mrs [Emma] Peel [Diana Rigg], went to a college campus to investigate a series of murders. It turned out that the College archivist was the founder and organizer of some kind of mysitcal-fascist organisation, aimed at world domination. I don't recall how he was going to do this from a small college power base, but I do recall that he gave a chilling speech explaining how love of history equaled worship of power.

Heisey, Loren, comp. The Avengers Episode Guide.

Feature Film Release Date (North America): 1998

Starring Ralph Fiennes as John Steed, Uma Thurman as Mrs. Peel and Sean Connery as the megalomaniac villain Sir August de Wynter, this remake, though panned by the critics, contains an extremely funny scene set in the Ministry Archives. Steed pays a visit looking for the usual vital clue. The Archivist, one Colonel "Invisible" Jones, is indeed very permanently and literally invisible. He comments to Steed that he's "Lucky if we even get the tea trolley." As Jim Cross pointed out on the ARCHIVES mailing list, it is not only the Archivist who suffers from being unseen, but his workspace is also tucked away, along with the super-secret Ministry, beneath the main offices which are all under the Thames River.

  1. The Internet Movie Database on the 1961-1969 TV series
  2. The Internet Movie Database on the 1998 movie
  3. The Avengers (VHS) videoRead more about and purchase The Avengers on video via

CONTENTS: The Fictional World of Archives

Suggested by Jim Cross, 1998.08.17; with special thanks to Katy Hughes and Michael Carter; submitted by David Mattison. Updated 2004.02.28.