In 1961 ABC Television started airing a new television series whose quintessential Sixties style and iconic characters would make it a cult classic for decades to come. The Avengers began production in 1960 and ran through 1969, and has become one of the prime signifiers for the Sixties. The show was originally aired in black and white, and featured special agent John Steed alongside a number of female counterparts, one of the most notable being Mrs. Emma Peel. The Avengers became the embodiment of progressive fashion but also created a world that was imbued with satirical humor.
The show's plot centered around the adventures of Steed and his companions as secret agents for British intelligence, pushing Cold War espionage conceits until it bordered on, and eventually crossed into, the realm of the absurd. While Steed was characterized by his almost foppish appearance as a contrast to his inner ruthlessness, his companions were outwardly intelligent, fashion-forward, and famous for their leather fighting suits. Together they formed an engaging team that kept audiences entranced for decades, and the world shaped around them contained some of the most memorable and creative works of scenic design in television history.