Ian Hendry + Patrick Macnee – Rare Original ABC Television Still Discovered, Promoting The Return Of The Avengers ‘For A 13 Week Season’ [1961]

Picture above: Ian Hendry + Patrick Macnee, The Avengers [1961]. Photograph by ABC. Television.

Every so now and then a rare piece of memorabilia is found and shared here on the website. This one is a black and white photograph from The Avengers [1961] and features Ian Hendry and Patrick Macnee.

What’s interesting is that the text on the back of the photograph mentions that The Avengers was returning ‘for a 13-week season’.

In total, there were 26 episodes made for Series 1, of which three survive in their entirety – Girl on the Trapeze , The Frighteners, Tunnel of Fear – as well as the first act [c.15 minutes] of a forth – Hot Snow.

The text on the reverse side of the still reads:

ABC Series ‘THE AVENGERS’ is back on the ITV Network on Saturday, 9th December for a 13-week season. Dr. Keel (IAN HENDRY) is once more being co-opted by undercover man John Steed [PATRICK MACNEE] to help in the fight against crime. Here they are discussing a case.


Alan Hayes has helped to explain this wording :

The 13 week season never happened of course because the four episodes that were held over were the only ones screened due to an actors’ Equity Strike, which closed down production.

Alan is the co-author – along with Richard McGinlay and Alys Hayes – of the authoritative book on The Avengers Series 1 – Two Against The Underworld The Collected Unauthorised Guide To The Avengers Series 1.

It’s a fascinating read – packed with anecdotes – and a thoroughly recommended for all fans of the series.

Picture: Reverse side of the photograph with ABC Television stamp.

Ian Hendry – The Avengers Original Promotional Still [1961]

This discovery reminds me of another very rare original ABC Television still found several years ago. The photograph posted above has been available in the public domain for years, but the still below is the only copy known to still exist.

It is a portrait of Ian Hendry taken in December 1960 – by an ABC Television photographer – for the forthcoming promotion of their new series ‘The Avengers’. It is quite possible that studio portraits of the other main stars of the series were taken at the same time – including Patrick Macnee and Ingrid Hafner.

Picture: Ian Hendry and Joan Watson in make-up, The Avengers [1961]

And lastly, one of my favourite photograph from The Avengers – Joan Watson ‘in make-up’ applying the finishing touches to Ian Hendry before the filming of an episode began. And if you look very closely, you’ll see one of the original opening credits boards for The Avengers mounted on a wooden stand/ easel. Now that really would be a great piece of memorabilia of memorabilia to find!

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: ‘Send in the Clowns – The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry’ by Gabriel Hershman?

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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