Welcome
Welcome to Absolutely Joanna Lumley, a forum dedicated to the actress Joanna Lumley.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest. You're most welcome to join our forum, which gives you access to all forum boards and allows you to communicate privately with other members, respond to polls, and access many other special features.

We hope to welcome you soon!

The opening titles

<<

Mara

User avatar

Top Dog

Posts: 8647

Joined: 21 Sep 2008, 14:59

Location: Amsterdam

Favourite: Sensitive Skin

Post 15 Jun 2009, 13:22

The opening titles

One more topic for today, and then I'll stop. :lol:

Alright, so the opening titles! They used some really nice new version of the original Avengers tune for TNA, but how about the video footage? I remember Joanna once being asked on some kind of show whether it was her screentest shown for a very brief moment, but she seemed to have forgotten herself...
<<

Philippa

User avatar

Patsy Stone, 39, International style and beauty guru

Posts: 7888

Joined: 26 Jan 2008, 23:16

Location: Edinburgh

Favourite: Absolutely Fabulous

Post 15 Jun 2009, 14:33

Re: The opening titles

In the first few episodes they use footage from the episodes for the opening titles. And you can see one bit where she's standing with her back against a wall while some man bursts into the room. She's wearing a white top and still has long hair. That's from her screen test, since she looks the same as in the pictures of her screen test:

Image

Image
Image

It is a miracle I can walk at all. I bless the wonder of life and the newness of living ~ Patsy Stone
<<

Mara

User avatar

Top Dog

Posts: 8647

Joined: 21 Sep 2008, 14:59

Location: Amsterdam

Favourite: Sensitive Skin

Post 15 Jun 2009, 14:34

Re: The opening titles

Aw, so it was her screentest then? I didn't know she had curly hair back then, the Pudey bob looked so much better! :great: Thanks for the pictures.
<<

Timeless A-Peel

User avatar

Gambit's Companion

Posts: 8895

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38

Location: New Scotland, Canada

Favourite: The New Avengers

Post 15 Jun 2009, 17:13

Re: The opening titles

Maartje wrote:Aw, so it was her screentest then? I didn't know she had curly hair back then, the Pudey bob looked so much better! :great: Thanks for the pictures.


It was her and Gareth's screentests (the man bursting through the door is Gareth, whose hair is also a bit longer). Due to the world's weirdest coincidence, when they were testing actors for the parts of Gambit and Purdey (or Charley, as she was known at the time), they paired them up--man and woman--to read a scene and do a bit of action, and Gareth and Joanna were randomly stuck together. I believe the screentest is available without sound on one of the French DVD sets. After they finished, Gareth and Joanna perched themselves on an antique table for a moment to recover, and promptly broke it. They both left absolutely dejected because they were certain they wouldn't get the parts, what with wrecking the furniture and all. However, if Brian Clemens is to be believed, he always wanted Gareth and Joanna, having seen them in Upstairs, Downstairs and The Abominable Dr. Phibes respectively. This is also where Gareth and Joanna started their friendship. Gareth found her sitting somewhere before they went on and introduced himself. "Hi," she said. "I'm Joanna Lumley!" Thirty years of friendship ensued. :wub:
<<

Mara

User avatar

Top Dog

Posts: 8647

Joined: 21 Sep 2008, 14:59

Location: Amsterdam

Favourite: Sensitive Skin

Post 15 Jun 2009, 18:28

Re: The opening titles

Hm, I sort of assumed it was Gareth, but without knowing that was actually their ''audition''! I'd have guessed that this was filmed after they both had been chosen, so it's really nice to find out they both actually got paired up. They must have noticed a certain 'chemistry', right from that moment that made him choose the both of them for the parts.

Such a lovely story, I didn't know this! Thanks. :wub:
<<

Philippa

User avatar

Patsy Stone, 39, International style and beauty guru

Posts: 7888

Joined: 26 Jan 2008, 23:16

Location: Edinburgh

Favourite: Absolutely Fabulous

Post 15 Jun 2009, 18:33

Re: The opening titles

Were they both auditioning at the same time?
Because I just read in the unauthorised biography that Gareth had already been chosen, and various girls who were up for the Purdey/Charly part had to do a screentest with him. They could be wrong of course, I've detected several errors in the book.
Image

It is a miracle I can walk at all. I bless the wonder of life and the newness of living ~ Patsy Stone
<<

Timeless A-Peel

User avatar

Gambit's Companion

Posts: 8895

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38

Location: New Scotland, Canada

Favourite: The New Avengers

Post 15 Jun 2009, 18:50

Re: The opening titles

Philippa wrote:Were they both auditioning at the same time?
Because I just read in the unauthorised biography that Gareth had already been chosen, and various girls who were up for the Purdey/Charly part had to do a screentest with him. They could be wrong of course, I've detected several errors in the book.


What happened was they auditoned hundreds of people and whittled it down to a shortlist for each character (I have those lists in one of my books, so if you ever want to know, I can get that for you). Then they took the shortlists and randomly paired up a guy and a girl and had them act out a scene (the one in the opening titles, only it obviously went on longer than that). There's a little confusion because Brian Clemens claims he always wanted Joanna, while Joanna claims she had to fight to get an audition, and Gareth was supposedly wanted by Brian Clemens, while Gareth said he thought his old friend Patrick Mower was going to get it. Ultimately, I think Brian had his choices in mind, and, as he's said on other occasions, he held the auditions to convince Albert Fennell and Laurie Johnson they were the right choices, and because the hunt for an Avengers girl was good publicity for the show. But no, I don't think Gareth was cast first. He didn't do the auditions with all the girls or anything, just Joanna, and like I said, they were both sure they wouldn't get it after they wrecked the table, so clearly neither had been cast. It's a fun story!
<<

Philippa

User avatar

Patsy Stone, 39, International style and beauty guru

Posts: 7888

Joined: 26 Jan 2008, 23:16

Location: Edinburgh

Favourite: Absolutely Fabulous

Post 15 Jun 2009, 18:55

Re: The opening titles

Definitely a funny story! And of course the search for an Avengers girl is good publicity :great:
I did read that the auditions were held to convince Albert Fennell and Laurie Johnson, and that Brian Clemens had pretty much made his mind up who he wanted for the parts. But I do find it odd that he's saying that he wanted Gareth and Joanna all along, while Joanna said she had to beg to even be allowed to audition.
I'm sure the chemistry must've shown from the beginning, even during the screen test. I wonder if it's a coincidence that they paired Gareth with Joanna, or if they'd planned it like that all along.
Image

It is a miracle I can walk at all. I bless the wonder of life and the newness of living ~ Patsy Stone
<<

Timeless A-Peel

User avatar

Gambit's Companion

Posts: 8895

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38

Location: New Scotland, Canada

Favourite: The New Avengers

Post 16 Jun 2009, 06:01

Re: The opening titles

Philippa wrote:Definitely a funny story! And of course the search for an Avengers girl is good publicity :great:
I did read that the auditions were held to convince Albert Fennell and Laurie Johnson, and that Brian Clemens had pretty much made his mind up who he wanted for the parts. But I do find it odd that he's saying that he wanted Gareth and Joanna all along, while Joanna said she had to beg to even be allowed to audition.
I'm sure the chemistry must've shown from the beginning, even during the screen test. I wonder if it's a coincidence that they paired Gareth with Joanna, or if they'd planned it like that all along.


The whole "Won't you please just test me!" plea of Joanna's is, Joanna has admitted herself, an embellished story she has personally polished and dramatised over the years, so I don't think she had to fight quite as hard as she made out. But reading back through the book, I see what she was really fighting for was the chance to do a screen test. They let her audition, but she actually wanted to be filmed. I think Brian Clemens probably did want her, but wanted to let her prove her mettle since a lot people, including casting director Mary Selway, thought that, because Joanna was a model, she couldn't act. So I think Brian let her test to prove to the others she could act, and that she would be good for the part. They say as much in the book, and I've read it elsewhere.

The book also says that Gareth was "to play Steed's henchman Gambit" which doesn't really make clear whether he was just trying for the role, or had already gotten it, but from what I've read elsewhere, Gareth and Joanna were cast around the same time, were paired together randomly just like all the other shortlisted actors, and it was pure coincidence they were both taken. I've never read anyone commenting on how they interacted in particular, but I'm sure they took that into account.

For those who are interested, you can see all the actors considered for the Purdey and Gambit parts (shortlisted) here as well as those that were considered for Tara, Emma, and Cathy. Cassandra Harris, Pierce Brosnan's wife, and Penny Redfern herseld, were up for Purdey (though Diana Quick was the frontrunner), and Lewis Collins from Obsession and The Professionals for Gambit. Looking at the others, I think they made the right choice. None of them is as dishy as Gareth! :lol:
<<

M-J;;W

User avatar

Donkey

Posts: 68

Joined: 05 Jun 2009, 20:40

Location: England

Post 16 Jun 2009, 15:42

Re: The opening titles

I'd always wondered if that was her screentest, thanks for clearing it up (:

How embarassing that must of been sitting on a table and breaking it :lol: i'd be mortified.

But they definatly chose the best two people in the end :tongue:
<<

Timeless A-Peel

User avatar

Gambit's Companion

Posts: 8895

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38

Location: New Scotland, Canada

Favourite: The New Avengers

Post 16 Jun 2009, 16:29

Re: The opening titles

M-J;;W wrote:I'd always wondered if that was her screentest, thanks for clearing it up (:

How embarassing that must of been sitting on a table and breaking it :lol: i'd be mortified.

But they definatly chose the best two people in the end :tongue:


They were both humiliated. Gareth Hunt remembers Brian Clemens (I think) looking at him as he picked himself off the floor and going "Hmm, a clumsy Gambit..." Makes you wonder if they wrote that in. :lol:
<<

Mara

User avatar

Top Dog

Posts: 8647

Joined: 21 Sep 2008, 14:59

Location: Amsterdam

Favourite: Sensitive Skin

Post 16 Jun 2009, 16:30

Re: The opening titles

M-J;;W wrote:But they definatly chose the best two people in the end :tongue:


Oh yes! I had a look at the other girls auditioning for Purdey, and I do think Joanna was the best choice in the end. The good thing is that that website is written in Dutch, so I the describes are pretty clear.

And I was actually suprised that the girl who played in The Hidden Tiger and Dead Men Are Dangerous (what's her name?) auditioned for Purdey too!

Joanna probably did dramatasize the story of her struggle to get that part a bit - she tends to do so more often, but hee, she's an actress after all. :wink:
<<

Timeless A-Peel

User avatar

Gambit's Companion

Posts: 8895

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38

Location: New Scotland, Canada

Favourite: The New Avengers

Post 16 Jun 2009, 16:34

Re: The opening titles

Maartje wrote:
M-J;;W wrote:But they definatly chose the best two people in the end :tongue:


Oh yes! I had a look at the other girls auditioning for Purdey, and I do think Joanna was the best choice in the end. The good thing is that that website is written in Dutch, so I the describes are pretty clear.

And I was actually suprised that the girl who played in The Hidden Tiger and Dead Men Are Dangerous (what's her name?) auditioned for Purdey too!

Joanna probably did dramatasize the story of her struggle to get that part a bit - she tends to do so more often, but hee, she's an actress after all. :wink:


You mean Gabrielle Drake, the lovely Penny Redfern, whom we've declared Gambit's Best Conquest. :wink: She actually auditioned to replace Diana Rigg as well. I think, judging from how well she sparked with Gareth, she could have worked, but it's so hard to imagine anyone but Gareth and Joanna in their roles. We just can't imagine another Purdey and Gambit. Especially those guys they had lined up for Gambit. Wrong, wrong, wrong! :yuck:
<<

Mara

User avatar

Top Dog

Posts: 8647

Joined: 21 Sep 2008, 14:59

Location: Amsterdam

Favourite: Sensitive Skin

Post 16 Jun 2009, 16:38

Re: The opening titles

Yes, that's the one, I forgot her name, sorray. :lol: She was pretty stubborn though, you must give her that: auditioning for both Emma as Purdey. That website actually states that Diana was a replacement too?! Good for them that they found her in the end, she's wonderful!

And yes, you're right about the other Gambits. I could have imaged another Purdey (would have been hard though) but an other Gambit? Let's say at least Gareth was the most handsome guy of them all!
<<

Philippa

User avatar

Patsy Stone, 39, International style and beauty guru

Posts: 7888

Joined: 26 Jan 2008, 23:16

Location: Edinburgh

Favourite: Absolutely Fabulous

Post 16 Jun 2009, 16:42

Re: The opening titles

I can't imagine anyone else playing Gambit and Purdey. And besides, without Joanna we wouldn't even had Purdey, because she came up with the name!
Image

It is a miracle I can walk at all. I bless the wonder of life and the newness of living ~ Patsy Stone
<<

Mara

User avatar

Top Dog

Posts: 8647

Joined: 21 Sep 2008, 14:59

Location: Amsterdam

Favourite: Sensitive Skin

Post 16 Jun 2009, 16:46

Re: The opening titles

Then the fourth girl would probably have had a different, less original, name yes. But no Charley either, because they got in trouble with copyright for using that name after all.

I very much doubt if Joanna would ever have had another ''break-through'' if it wasn't for TNA. It's a bit harsh to say, but she really does owes a big deal to the Avengers and AbFab, and I love her for being so realistic about that.

Anyway - let's talk about the opening titles a bit more. I'm not sure which one I prefer, TNA or the original one. The Peel opening, with the popping champagne and brolly work certain has a certain appeal (:lol:) but I love the action that's going on in the TNA opening. A car crash, Joanna jumping over a fence, she and Gareth running around... Shame though, they speeded forward some of the scenes, that makes it rather unrealistic though.
<<

Philippa

User avatar

Patsy Stone, 39, International style and beauty guru

Posts: 7888

Joined: 26 Jan 2008, 23:16

Location: Edinburgh

Favourite: Absolutely Fabulous

Post 16 Jun 2009, 16:52

Re: The opening titles

Maartje wrote:Yes, that's the one, I forgot her name, sorray. :lol: She was pretty stubborn though, you must give her that: auditioning for both Emma as Purdey. That website actually states that Diana was a replacement too?! Good for them that they found her in the end, she's wonderful!

And yes, you're right about the other Gambits. I could have imaged another Purdey (would have been hard though) but an other Gambit? Let's say at least Gareth was the most handsome guy of them all!


Yes Diana replaced Elizabeth Shepherd, who was originally cast as Emma Peel. They filmed about 1.5 episodes with her, and then they decided they didn't think she was right for the part, so she was replaced.
Image

It is a miracle I can walk at all. I bless the wonder of life and the newness of living ~ Patsy Stone
<<

Timeless A-Peel

User avatar

Gambit's Companion

Posts: 8895

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38

Location: New Scotland, Canada

Favourite: The New Avengers

Post 16 Jun 2009, 17:06

Re: The opening titles

Philippa wrote:
Maartje wrote:Yes, that's the one, I forgot her name, sorray. :lol: She was pretty stubborn though, you must give her that: auditioning for both Emma as Purdey. That website actually states that Diana was a replacement too?! Good for them that they found her in the end, she's wonderful!

And yes, you're right about the other Gambits. I could have imaged another Purdey (would have been hard though) but an other Gambit? Let's say at least Gareth was the most handsome guy of them all!


Yes Diana replaced Elizabeth Shepherd, who was originally cast as Emma Peel. They filmed about 1.5 episodes with her, and then they decided they didn't think she was right for the part, so she was replaced.


She was very blonde, in the Cathy Gale mode. Recently we discovered she was having an affair with the stunt arranger, Ray Austin, and that also played a role in her dismissal. I think Diana was the better choice, though, she had more warmth.

Gareth was definitely the best looking of the bunch, and I don't think anyone else would have been able to infuse him with the right amount of humour, toughness, and vulnerability (because Gambit is vulnerable, even though I think people miss that), while still doing all the stunts and filling out the suits so well. Purdey probably wouldn't have worked as well without Joanna (and, indeed, wouldn't have been "Purdey" at all), but Gambit needed Gareth to make him more than just an action man.

Maartje wrote:Then the fourth girl would probably have had a different, less original, name yes. But no Charley either, because they got in trouble with copyright for using that name after all.

I very much doubt if Joanna would ever have had another ''break-through'' if it wasn't for TNA. It's a bit harsh to say, but she really does owes a big deal to the Avengers and AbFab, and I love her for being so realistic about that.

Anyway - let's talk about the opening titles a bit more. I'm not sure which one I prefer, TNA or the original one. The Peel opening, with the popping champagne and brolly work certain has a certain appeal (:lol:) but I love the action that's going on in the TNA opening. A car crash, Joanna jumping over a fence, she and Gareth running around... Shame though, they speeded forward some of the scenes, that makes it rather unrealistic though.


I doubt Joanna would have done as well without TNA, either, although she came very close to being forever typecast. She was unable to get work without whipping out her Purdey-bob wig for awhile there.Sapphire and Steel saved her from being an action woman forever.

I'm partial to the black and white Peel intro, but the colour one is so wonderfully stylish, and Patrick and Diana's looks convey a lot without saying a thing. I've always been a bit underwhelmed with TNA's titles. The clips compilation is exciting but not very original. I always want to see more of that title sequence they filmed with them in the tubes (You know how at the beginning, they shoot them all through a circle? They did a whole sequence shot that way). The animated ones are neat with all the silhouettes--I think I probably like that one better. There's something neat about the idea of the three of them blending togther to make a coherent whole that appeals to me. And I love how when they turn to the camera, each in turn, it reflects the characters--Steed's friendly and doffs his bowler, Purdey gives us a little smirk, and Gambit's expression is totally flat and grim--he doesn't smile. How unconventional is that?

Of course, I've heard about another set of titles that were actually filmed (I thought they were only scripted) where we see Steed walking along, and then Purdey and Gambit running behind him to catch up. Purdey stops and lifts up her skirt to adjust her stocking, and Gambit stops to watch. Then Purdey whistles at Steed to wait up, they both catch up, and then they stride off into the sunset. I'd give anything to see that. :d
<<

Philippa

User avatar

Patsy Stone, 39, International style and beauty guru

Posts: 7888

Joined: 26 Jan 2008, 23:16

Location: Edinburgh

Favourite: Absolutely Fabulous

Post 16 Jun 2009, 17:32

Re: The opening titles

I've never even heard of that other set of opening titles! I would do anything to see that! :d
Image

It is a miracle I can walk at all. I bless the wonder of life and the newness of living ~ Patsy Stone
<<

Timeless A-Peel

User avatar

Gambit's Companion

Posts: 8895

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38

Location: New Scotland, Canada

Favourite: The New Avengers

Post 16 Jun 2009, 17:38

Re: The opening titles

Philippa wrote:I've never even heard of that other set of opening titles! I would do anything to see that! :d


Patrick has the script for them in The Avengers and Me, and someone on the forum assures me they exist, because he saw them. I remember they asked Gareth about them once, but he pretty much admitted after so many years, he honestly couldn't remember if he did them. I'd love to see either alternate version, though. :heart:
<<

Mara

User avatar

Top Dog

Posts: 8647

Joined: 21 Sep 2008, 14:59

Location: Amsterdam

Favourite: Sensitive Skin

Post 16 Jun 2009, 18:40

Re: The opening titles

Oh wow, another set of opening titles - now THAT I would have loved to see! :hypnose:

The B&W Peel opening's pretty good too: I'm just not that fond of the King titles, but besides that, I just love the originals. And I agree that the blending of the three pictures into the one TNA logo was really a nice addition - don't you just completely melt when you see Joanna's little smirk when she's introduced as Purdey? Cute.
<<

Timeless A-Peel

User avatar

Gambit's Companion

Posts: 8895

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38

Location: New Scotland, Canada

Favourite: The New Avengers

Post 16 Jun 2009, 19:01

Re: The opening titles

Maartje wrote:Oh wow, another set of opening titles - now THAT I would have loved to see! :hypnose:

The B&W Peel opening's pretty good too: I'm just not that fond of the King titles, but besides that, I just love the originals. And I agree that the blending of the three pictures into the one TNA logo was really a nice addition - don't you just completely melt when you see Joanna's little smirk when she's introduced as Purdey? Cute.


Two other sets, actually, although I've seen pictures of one so I kind of have a general idea of how it goes. But the walking one? Not a clue what it looks like. I wonder if it's saved anywhere?

The King titles are okay, although there are two sets of those, too. I like the ones on the orange background better, with Steed and Tara being chased by a target, but those aren't used on very many episodes. And Purdey's little smirk is very cute, but I'm usually still thinking about Gambit's hard gaze a few seconds earlier. Anyone think the Purdey silhouette looks a little too big proportionate to Steed and Gambit's? It bothers me every time.
<<

Joris

User avatar

Sweetie Darling

Posts: 264

Joined: 20 Jul 2009, 18:48

Location: France

Post 20 Jul 2009, 19:13

Re: The opening titles

I adore the real NA opening. In France, we've got the first one, with the extracts, it's a good one but the second and original one is better at 100%. :lol:

Purdey appears like a strong beauty in it, with the special effects made by a computer. there's a good rythm with the music.
Don't move or...I call the New Avengers rightaway !
<<

JackieO

User avatar

Absolutely Fabulous

Posts: 2744

Joined: 23 Jan 2010, 18:13

Location: USA

Favourite: Absolutely Fabulous

Post 03 May 2010, 20:14

Re: The opening titles

I prefer the opening scenes which consist of the screentest. I don't understand why they changed them, just randomnly in the middle of the first series!
"Darling, sweetie, darling!"
<<

Timeless A-Peel

User avatar

Gambit's Companion

Posts: 8895

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 06:38

Location: New Scotland, Canada

Favourite: The New Avengers

Post 03 May 2010, 20:19

Re: The opening titles

Laura wrote:I prefer the opening scenes which consist of the screentest. I don't understand why they changed them, just randomnly in the middle of the first series!


I think the animated ones weren't ready yet, so the live action ones were cobbled together as a stop-gap. I wish one of the other two filmed title sequences were used instead.
Next

Return to The New Avengers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron

Hosted by © 2017 FreeForums.org | Create a free forum | Powered by phpBB
About FreeForums | Legal | Advertise Here | Investors | Contact FreeForums.org
Report Violation
suspicion-preferred