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Tara King of The Avengers

Updated on September 16, 2016
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 made her debut in the United States initially, while those 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 did appear to get off to a slow and somewhat shaky start, she soon grew into the part, once the producers had decided upon Tara King's characterization.

I, for one, greatly missed the Emma Peel era of The Avengers and, unfortunately, Linda Thorson had a lot to live up to. To begin with, there was 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' Tara King.

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, Tara King | Tara Joins John Steed

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 the 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. Does he look familiar?

An Introduction to Linda Thorson

The following video introduces not only the character of Tara King, but also the actress who played her, Linda Thorson.

Tara King in Chains

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 John Steed. She was quite obviously much younger, possessing a Sixties "devil-may-care" attitude and openly demonstrating her feelings for the older man.

However, unlike Cathy and Emma - Steed's two previous partners - Tara seemed to regularly run into situations where she was either imprisoned or drugged and needed her partner's help in escaping. Much like the situation shown in the picture to the right.

The Avengers Opening Titles

Two sets of opening titles were produced for the Tara King season(s) of The Avengers. The ones here are known as the "shooting gallery" titles and were shown on several episodes in America only, 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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    • 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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        • 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.

        • profile image

          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 .....

        • justholidays profile image

          justholidays 6 years ago

          Oh, what kind of opinion would I have about Tara King except that I loved her character in the Avengers, she was so... oh, my... like those women of the sixties, free minded, free electron, powerful and sexy!

          My favourite ever was Mrs Peel, of course, but Miss King comes right after the beautiful Mrs Peel and I LOVE this page; which I bookmark in my computer so that I can come back over and over again, looking at those series; which were really entertaining and excellent to watch in family!

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