60/70 Linda Thorson ( Linda Robinson ) Tara King in The Avengers 1968
The Avengers was a British television series featuring secret agents in 1960s Britain. The programmes were made by TV company Associated British Corporation, and created by its Head of Drama Sydney Newman. It was an early example of the spy-fi genre, combining secret agent storylines with science fiction elements. Running from 1961 to 1969, it is the longest running espionage series produced for English-language television, though the American series Mission: Impossible had more episodes (171). 196869: Tara King (Linda Thorson) The first episode of the 6th season (1968-69) bid farewell to Emma Peel and introduced her successor, a trained but inexperienced agent named Tara King, played by Canadian actress Linda Thorson. Linda Thorson played the role with more innocence in mind and at heart; and unlike the previous partnerships with Cathy and Emma, the writers allowed subtle hints of romance to blossom between Steed and King. Tara King also differed from Steed's previous partners in that she was a fully fledged (albeit inexperienced) agent working for Steed's organisation; his previous partners had all been (in the words of the prologue used for American broadcasts of the first Rigg series) talented amateurs. Another change returned the series to its roots by having Steed once again take orders from a British government official, this time "Mother", who was in fact a man in a wheelchair (Patrick Newell, who had played different roles in two earlier episodes). Mother's headquarters would shift from place to place, including one episode in which his complete office was on the top level of a double-decker bus; several James Bond films of the 1970s would make use of a similar gimmick for Bond's briefings. Also added as a regular was Mother's Amazonian and mute assistant, Rhonda (Rhonda Parker); with one appearance by an agency official code-named "Father", a blind older woman played by Iris Russell who had appeared in the series several times previously in other roles.