In the earlier part of the 1980s I was young. I mean grade school young. All the TV channels in my area were sort of showing the same thing all the time. My parents are big TV watchers and suddenly out of nowhere they were telling me about a new TV station that they were watching out of St. Cloud MN, KXLI. Now, I just want to give a shout out to the Internet because I thought this portion of the article was going to be vague but it is in fact going to be remotely interesting. I lived in the Twin Cities of Minnesota and St. Cloud was quite a far way away. So much so that we had never received any TV transmissions before from that city. Suddenly, out of nowhere was KXLI. Well, that is because KXLI started broadcasting in 1982. On the UHF channels, it was channel 41. In fact, XLI is the roman numeral for 41 thus KXLI. Now, what does this have to do with anything? Well, we started to watch, as a family, KXLI around that time. They were showing a lot of older programs and at around 10:30 or so weeknights there would be this amazing program I got addicted to called The Avengers. In fact, after thinking about it and figuring out the chronological order of viewing in my life, I came to the realization that The Avengers is the first British television series I ever watched on a regular basis. I was between 7 and 8 when I started to watch it on KXLI. I had never seen anything like it in my life.
Perhaps what grabbed my attention to the series was Emma Peel. That probably is too easy of an observation. How about this? John Steed grabbed my attention. There is something extraordinarily debonair, gentlemanly, old school Victorian yet pulling it off to be modern. He treated ladies very well but he could be a bad ass when the occasion arose. I guess I didn’t know that I liked all things British until I saw him. From the bowler hat to the car he drove; Steed was nothing but a class-act. Watching it on KXLI was really special. I felt I watched it every night but I’m sure I missed a bunch of it. Like I said, it was on every night at 10:30pm. I was in 3rd grade. Sure, I had a black & white TV set in my bedroom, it didn’t mean I was allowed to stay up and watch it all. I had to sneak it on to watch. One that really sticks out for me was Quick-Quick Slow Death especially the end of it. I really appreciated it and for many years it was kind of difficult to get a hold of episodes. I’ll talk about that in a bit. I think I will probably be going against popular opinion about the colour era of Steed and Mrs. Peel but I am probably getting ahead of myself. Before we get started, for those of you who lived in the Twin Cities area, here is a reminder of how the station ID looked for KXLI:
Of course some things I thought were great were the guest stars. Michael Gough played Nutski and Philip Madoc played Ivan. The list of credits to these actors is immense. It was a treat to see them be in the same scenes together. It is sad that we lost Michael Gough in 2011 and really unfortunate to lose Philip this year. We also get a chance to see the great Peter Barkworth in this episode. He has been in many series such as Doctor Who, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Colditz, Dead of Night, and Armchair Theatre. As I am researching this article, I am a little sad to see that Peter had died in 2006. I must have forgotten that, I thought he was still with us.
|The bootleg VHS cover for The Correct Way to Kill. Notice the badge of quality on the cover that says, "This tape recorded at Standard Speed on high grade tape, using a licensed shell". Sounds good to me!|
|Did Optimum mock up this cover for the Blu Ray release of Series 4 that is on the Amazon.co.uk site?|
Finally: News broke this week that Actor Caroline John passed away on June 5th. This is very heart-breaking news especially as she was only 71 and had passed away from cancer. From my point of view, I knew her best as Liz Shaw from Doctor Who and recently watched her in the 1982 production of The Hound of the Baskervilles. I know that down the road I will be watching Inferno as a tribute to her and I hopefully will write something up about that. Ms. John will be very much missed.
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