The television series began in 1961 on ITV (produced by ABC Television) starring Ian Hendry (Dr. David Keel) and Patrick Macnee (John Steed). Hendry left after the first year and Macnee became the leading man. Through the next eight years Steed was assisted by female partners Honor Blackman (Cathy Gale), Diana Rigg (Emma Peel) and Linda Thorson (Tara King) and briefly Julie Stevens (Venus Smith) and Jon Rollason (Dr Martin King).
We watched this program religiously as teenagers. It was campy and most importantly British. It was a staple for many kids.
The present day faux Avengers have nothing on Steed and his associates. They were the real deal.