East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Patrick Macnee, 1922-2015

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No writing prompt today.
Yesterday I got news of the death of British actor Patrick Macnee, whose face – despite his long and varied career – will be forever connected with the character of John Steed in the 1960s TV series, The Avengers.


This really feels like a death in the family.
I grew up watching the Avengers.

If I love swashbuckling tales, it’s because I was six or seven and I watched the Avengers.
If I am a committed Anglophile, it’s because I used to watch The Avengers on TV as a kid, wishing I could be like that, live in that sort of place.
And if to this day I can’t – I really can’t – write a story without putting in it a man and a woman working together and trading tongue-in-cheek jokes, it’s because of the deep, lasting impression The Avengers made on me as a kid.
Even the way in which I stir my tea…

I watched the episodes again and again, catching reruns.
I read the books – both fiction and non fiction, some of which were written by Patrick Macnee himself.
I have the whole series on DVD – and it was a surprise, watching the DVDs, how many details I remembered vividly from my earlier viewings.

Patrick Macnee’s character, his mannerisms and style, both on and off-screen, made a deep impression on me.
And on a lot of other people out there.

He will be missed.



Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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