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Tara King of The Avengers

Updated on April 14, 2017
Tara King of The Avengers
Tara King of The Avengers | Source
Linda Thorson in Action
Linda Thorson in Action

Tara King Played by Linda Thorson

Tara King of The Avengers TV series first appeared on television screens in the spring of 1968. She was to be the new crime fighting partner of John Steed (played by Patrick Macnee) and the successor to the much-loved Emma Peel.

Although a British agent in a British show - albeit financed with American money - Tara King initially made her debut in the United States, while viewers in the UK had to wait a further six months before they were able to view her first appearance.

Tara was played by Canadian actress Linda Thorson and, from the outset, she came under fire for her portrayal of the role - often unkindly judged in comparison to Diana Rigg's Emma Peel. While Thorson appeared to get off to a slow and somewhat shaky start, she soon grew into the part, once the producers had decided on Tara King's characterization.

I, for one, greatly missed the Emma Peel era of The Avengers and, unfortunately, Linda Thorson would have a lot to live up to. To begin with, there appeared to be no progression with the character of Tara King, but she eventually created her own niche in the series and very quickly I became a fan.

Over the years, Tara's other fans have been highly vociferous about her contribution to this classic and iconic television show, so let's travel back to the late 1960s and discover what the fuss was all about.

She's delectable, she's delicious...(gentleman), I give you Tara King!

— John Steed

Tara King Video Montage

Introducing Tara King

A great way to introduce everyone to The Avengers' latest female crime fighter.

In this short video clip, Patrick Macnee narrates an introductory montage of his new partner in crime. Played with zest by Linda Thorson, Tara's character abandoned the kung fu and karate of her two predecessors and instead dispatched her adversaries with a swift punch, kick or brick in the handbag.

There was sometimes an extended scuffle, but even these were more in the style of a knock down fight, rather than a balletic foot in the face or stylized judo hold.

Here is the proof: Tara King, looking good and knocking them out!

Hello, Miss King...Goodbye Mrs. Peel

Back in the day, Emma Peel was one of my favourite television characters. In fact, she still is. It was a sad day, therefore, when her presumed-missing husband returned and whisked her away from her adventures with Steed at the end of her final episode, The Forget Me Not. This was also the story in which Tara King made her debut.

As Agent 69, she was a fresh-faced and wide-eyed trainee who had very recently graduated from spy school. She appeared throughout the episode assisting in the defeat of the bad guys. However, it wasn't until after Emma had left Steed's side for good that we were able to see her formerly become Steed's new partner-in-crime.

By the way, take a close look at Emma's husband in this video clip. Does he look familiar?

An Introduction to Linda Thorson

The following video, filmed in advance of the final series of The Avengers, introduces not only its latest character, but also the actress who played her, Linda Thorson.


A Damsel in Distress?

While "something" may have been going on between Steed and his erstwhile partners, from the beginning it was obvious that Tara was in love with him. She was quite obviously much younger, possessing a Sixties "devil-may-care" attitude and candidly demonstrating her feelings for the older man.

However, unlike Mrs. Gale and Mrs. Peel - Steed's two previous partners - Tara regularly encountered circumstances in which she became either imprisoned or drugged, thus needing her companion's help in escaping. Much like the situation shown in the picture to the right.


The Avengers Opening Titles

Two sets of opening and closing titles were produced for the Tara King season(s) of The Avengers. The more common in the UK were known as the "suits of armour", closing with the "card trick" set.

However, the titles below are known as the "shooting gallery" and were included on several episodes sold to the United States - although were seen once in the UK, possibly by mistake. Of the two, these are the ones I have always preferred.


Tara King and Her Wheels

Tara King sits atop her very rare AC 428 Convertible.
Tara King sits atop her very rare AC 428 Convertible. | Source

The Tara King Opinion Poll

Much has been made of the comparison between Tara King and her two predecessors, Cathy Gale and Emma Peel. She has even come under fire when Purdey from The New Avengers is added to the mix.

So, do you think the criticism that Tara King didn't live up to the Avengers girl criteria is justified, or is Tara just right for you?

Is Tara King your favourite Avengers girl?

Yes, I'm a fan!

Yes, I'm a fan!

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    • Dave Smith61 2 months ago

      Tara King was my favourite Avenges girl and the criticism she has received was totally unjustified and so unfair, in fact any criticism should have been directed at the producers and storywriters, who couldn't make up their minds who they wanted the character of Tara King to be. Not only did the character of Tara change from episode to episode, but sometimes within the same episode. For instance, in one story Tara opens the door to Steeds apartment to be faced with a "bad guy", and is so easily overcome, yet at the conclusion on the same episode, despite having her hands tied and hanging from the ceiling by her hands she overcomes TWO opponents, using only her legs and feet.

      I think what frustrated and annoyed so many Avengers fans was the accusation that "she couldn't fight". Of course she could fight, in the episode All done with mirrors, described by most critics and fans as "Tara Kings finest hour", Linda Thorson carries the entire episode on her own, and along the way takes part in not only the best fight scene of that season, but in my opinion arguably the entire series. She even gets to look like herself, without having to wear one of the many wigs she sported throughout that series, she looks in fantastic shape and actually looks the part of a professional agent, if only the producers had decided that this depiction of the character was what they had intended right from the start.

      Linda Thorson grew into the part of Tara King as the season progressed, and I think it is a shame that she was not able to develop the character further with more than one season.

    • Dave Smith61 2 months ago

      Tara King was my favourite Avengers girl, and any criticism aimed at her over the years should have been aimed at the producers and story writers who couldn't make up their minds who they wanted the character to be. What frustrated so many Avengers fans is how the character of Tara not only changed from episode to episode, but sometimes within the same episode. In one episode Tara opens the door to Steeds apartment to be faced by a "bad guy", and is easily overcome, towards the end of the episode despite having her hands tied and, hanging from the ceiling she is able to overcome TWO bad guys using only her hands and feet. The main criticism of Tara is that she couldn't fight. This is absolute nonsense, of course she could fight, in the episode All done with mirrors, Linda Thorson carries the entire episode, and engages in the best fight scene of that season, and in my opinion the entire series. Linda Thorson was an accomplished horse rider and swimmer and was more that capable of performing fight scenes when asked to do so and grew into the character as the series progressed.

    • Dave Smith61 2 months ago

      Tara King was my favourite Avengers girl, and any criticism aimed at her over the years should have been aimed at the producers and story writers who couldn't make up their minds who they wanted the character to be. What frustrated so many Avengers fans is how the character of Tara not only changed from episode to episode, but sometimes within the same episode. In one episode Tara opens the door to Steeds apartment to be faced by a "bad guy", and is easily overcome, towards the end of the episode despite having her hands tied and, hanging from the ceiling she is able to overcome TWO bad guys using only her hands and feet. The main criticism of Tara is that she couldn't fight. This is absolute nonsense, of course she could fight, in the episode All done with mirrors, Linda Thorson carries the entire episode, and engages in the best fight scene of that season, and in my opinion the entire series. Linda Thorson was an accomplished horse rider and swimmer and was more that capable of performing fight scenes when asked to do so and grew into the character as the series progressed.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Tara is the best. but what you have to understand is i have only ever seen the Tara episodes. ive seen a few Emma episodes and i though i liked the Emma episodes that i have seen to me i always thought it was tara's show. because i saw the emma's after i saw the tara's episode. so i don't see it as -can i accpet tara replacing emma as much as can i accept Emma replacing Tara. Tara (linda thorson) rules.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I love Tara king Iam watching now ep "my wildest dream"

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I seem to be in the minority, but I really like Tara King. In fact, it was her very vulnerability and more traditional femininity that endeared her to me. To be honest, I never really liked Emma Peel...she always seemed too damned SMUG for me, and that isn't a quality I like or admire (although Diana Rigg was undoubtedly a very beautiful woman). I haven't really sen the Cathy Gale series, so I cannot comment on her character...

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Yes, sorry Emma Peel fans (and I do love the black and white Diana Rigg episodes) but - for me - there's none better than Tara.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Tara stands as her own. Emma was THE girl but if she had never existed Tara would be IT.

    • Tonie Cook 6 years ago from USA

      I liked Tara and Emma, both.

    No, I preferred Cathy, Emma or Purdey!

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      • anonymous 4 years ago

        i say tara is a new type of avengers girl but no one beats emma peel but miss king is very bright and a very good parthner

      • Violin-Student 6 years ago

        Emma was my favorite. But Steed was fortunate to work with either Tara as well. Beautiful. Smart.

      If you have an opinion about Tara King, we would love to hear from you in the guest book below.

      Are You A Tara King Fan?

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          Dave Smith61 6 weeks ago

          I am a Tara King fan, the character of Tara has come for so much criticism over the years and has been blamed for the show being cancelled. This is so unfair, most of the issues with Tara were not the fault of Tara, or Linda Thorson, but the producers and story writers, who couldn't make up their minds who they wanted the character to be. The main criticism of Tara was that she couldn't fight, this is absolute nonsense, of course she could fight, in fact she could fight just as well as Mrs Peel, or Cathy Gale, the fight scene in the episode "All done with mirrors", was in my opinion not only the best fight scene in that season, but the whole series.

          Its a shame that Linda only got one season to portray Tara, but this season is considered by many Avengers fans to be the most entertaining.

        • Violin-Student profile image

          Violin-Student 6 years ago

          I was tremendously disappointed when Emma left. And she remained first in my heart. But Tara ranked right up there. Thanks very much for this page.

        • WindyWintersHubs profile image

          WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

          I fondly remember watching the Avengers but I was a little kid. I actually thought these two actresses were the same person. Thanks for the intro to Tara King.

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          aishu19 6 years ago

          I don't believe I have heard about Tara King before..but this sounds interesting.

        • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

          Kathy McGraw 6 years ago from California

          Well now I know for sure I am culturally deprived as I didn't know anything about Tara King or the Avengers. Thanks for making me a little bit more intelligent today :) Good stuff Rich really .....

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