During the 1960s, a new genre hit the television screens: the secret agent/detective thriller. Largely produced by British independent television companies, these series were sold to the US and elsewhere, marking the breakthrough of British television into the world market place. Today they are still shown on cable and terrestrial TV. Eccentric, ironic and fantastic, series like The Avengers and Danger Man, with their professional secret agents, or The Saint and The Persuaders, featuring flamboyant crime-fighters, still inspire mainstream and cult followings. Saints and Avengers explores and celebrates this unique television genre for the first time. James Chapman is a past-master at taking popular culture seriously, while also enjoying its productions in their own right. He uses case studies to look, for example, at the thrillers' representations of national identity and of masculinity and their negotiation of the social and cultural changes in the world of the sixties and seventies. He also proves his central thesis: that this particular type of thriller was a historically and culturally defined generic type, with enduring appeal, as the current vogue for remaking them as big budget films attests.
Saints and Avengers
British Adventure Series of the 1960s