|I was born in 1975, well after the heyday of the adventure serials made famous by ITC Entertainment, ABC Weekend Television and media mogul Lew Grade. Back in the 60s and 70s these set the gold standard for adventure and glamour and rode the wave of ‘Swinging London’ chic, even through the grimmer and nastier 1970s, moving from aspiration to escapism.
Thanks to the cheapness of the BBC and ITV and their tendency to play out a lot of repeats – at least in the days before Satellite TV – I did get to see a lot of these series as I was growing up, in the 1980s, along with the series that lasted into that decade. I saw a hell of a lot of these older, stranger programmes. Recently, the same penny-pinching and nostalgia has been fuelling reruns on satellite television, bringing a lot of these old series to a new audience, even if it’s mostly appreciated as kitsch rather than the ground-breaking and adventurous television that it often was at the time. We’ve moved on, but they retain a hell of a lot of their old charm.
Many of the series and the performances in them are still iconic today and, while most of them fall into the ‘Adventure series’ and ‘Spy-Fi’ genres, they’re also part of a broader category that takes in series and films as diverse as James Bond, Doctor Who, The Professionals and Sapphire and Steel. The Avengers in particular typifies the eccentric and eclectic nature of adventure television at the time, swinging wildly from cold war drama, to criminal investigation and supernatural or science-fictional strangeness, apparently without any regard as to whether it particularly made any good sense. The only genre today that really captures the same spread of lunacy is probably anime, if you can even call that a genre.
No, really, DO tell me about your character (and your games).