- - - - - - -
The Avengers is a British spy-fi British television series created in the 1960s. The Avengers initially focused on Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry) and his assistant John Steed (Patrick Macnee). Hendry left after the first series and Steed became the main character, partnered with a succession of assistants. Steed's most famous assistants were intelligent, stylish and assertive women: Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman), Emma Peel (Diana Rigg), and later Tara King (Linda Thorson).
Later episodes increasingly incorporated elements of science fiction and fantasy, parody and British eccentricity. The Avengers ran from January 7, 1961 until 1969, screening as one hour episodes its entire run.
- - -
Female partner Mrs. Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) debuted in the series, in October 1965. The name of the character derived from a comment by writers, during development, that they wanted a character with "man appeal". In an early attempt to incorporate this concept into the character's name, she was called "Samantha Peel", shortened to the awkward "Mantha Peel," Eventually the writers began referring to the idea by the verbal shorthand, "M. Appeal", which gave rise to the character's ultimate name. Emma Peel.