Real Name: ? Purdey
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: Intelligence officer, former ballerina
Affiliations: member of the "New Avengers" (John Steed, Mike Gambit and Purdey)
Enemies: Father Trasker, Perov, Felix Kane, Cybernauts, Professor Turner, Zarcardi, Draker, Kloekoe, Harmer, Mark Crawford, Coldstream, Unicorn, Soo Choy, Scapina, the Fox
Known Relatives: Unnamed mother (episode "Hostage")
Base of Operations: U.K., but active worldwide
First Appearance: The New Avengers #1 "The Eagle's Nest" (London Weekend Television, 22nd October 1976)
Powers/Abilities: Purdey was a trained secret agent, trained in all manner of combat skills and surveillance techniques. She had a special aptitude for martial arts, developed from her ballet knowledge - hence her fighting style leaned heavily towards high kicks.
History: Purdey grew up wanting to be a professional ballerina, a goal she probably would have achieved had she not grown too tall. Shortly before giving up this ambition she was engaged to Larry Doomer, whom she felt was her "Mr.Right". Their relationship came to an abrupt end after his father was killed in the Middle East by Arab soldiers, and Larry sought revenge by attempting to assassinate an Arab dignitary who was visiting the U.K., only to be stopped by Purdey.
At some point after this Purdey went into the secret service, turning her talent for high-kicks into a deadly martial arts skill. She was assigned to work alongside one of Britain's most distinguished agents, John Steed, as his newest partner. The duo was soon expanded to become a trio with the addition of former army officer Mike Gambit. Together these three "Avengers" faced an array of the most bizarre threats ever confronted by British agents, from killer cyborgs to giant rats, from mind controlled birds to villainous doppelgangers.
Comments: Played by Joanna Lumley.
Originally the character was to be called "Charley", until someone pointed out that was the same name as a brand of perfume, and Joanna Lumley herself apparently came up with the new name, after the most expensive and revered shotgun in the world. She was also originally intended to be Steed's niece, another idea soon dropped.
Purdey appeared in all 26 episodes of the New Avengers:
The Eagle's Nest
House of Cards
The Last of the Cybernauts...??
The Midas Touch
Cat Amongst the Pigeons
To Catch a Rat
The Tale of the Big Why
Dirtier By the Dozen
The Three-Handed Game
Dead Men are Dangerous
Angels of Death
The Lion and the Unicorn
K Is For Kill - Part 1: The Tiger Awakes
K Is For Kill - Part 2: Tiger By the Tail
Several of the early episodes were novelised and released in 1976/1977 by Futura Publications:
House of Cards by Peter Cave
The Eagle's Nest by John Carter
To Catch a Rat by Walter Harris
Fighting Men by Justin Cartwright (appears to be a brand new story, rather than a novelisation of an episode)
The Cybernauts by Peter Cave
Hostage by Peter Cave
She also appeared in two New Avengers Annuals, published in 1978 and 1979, enjoying four new comic strip adventures alongside Steed and Gambit
Fangs for the Memory (1978 Annual)
Hypno-Twist (1978 Annual)
Midas Secret (1979 Annual, apparently based on "The Midas Touch" TV episode)
The Cybernauts (1979 Annual, apparently based on "The Last of the Cybernauts...?" TV episode)
For more on the Avengers, check out www.lowerstorpington.co.uk
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
Back to Television Heroes
Back to General UK Heroes.
All images and characters depicted are copyright their respective holders, and are used above for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.