The Avengers in Argentina: A Brief Account (with Annotations)
records of the first screening of The Avengers in Argentina are uncertain.
Although its re-launch in 1999 drew the media's attention for a while,
they undertook only minimal research into the first run of the series
in this country. Consequently, the dates given in many newspapers and
magazines are often imprecise. As the Los Vengadores site went on-line,
a reliable source of information was still unavailable.
We know, howevermainly due to memory rather than the existence
of trustworthy datathat the series was first aired here around 1967
(probably through Channel 13, Buenos Aires) and continued appearing on
different networks at irregular intervals until approximately 1975. (see
According to what was the common rule in local television at the time
(and even to this day concerning every foreign show broadcast through
terrestrial TV) the episodes were dubbed into Spanish. (see
No matter what the original format of programs episodes was, we only
could see them in black and white, since color television did not arrive
in Argentina until 1980. The same went for "The New Avengers"the
original series revival, also produced by the Fennell-Clemens teamwhich
was shown in this country around 1979, but would disappear from the screens
shortly after, with no further reruns from then on.
1980 marked the demise of monochrome TV in Argentina, the audience waited
a long time to have the chance to watch the show in color. It wasn't until
1989 when a late night program from Channel 7, Buenos Aires, aired a few
episodes of Season 5Emma Peel colorwhich were suspected to
be "illegal copies" (it is said the broadcast rights of the
series had expired). (see 3)
About ten years later, on 30 October 1999, the local cable channel Uniseries
broadcast a premiere of four episodes from different seasons: "Warlock"
(Season 2, Cathy Gale); "The Cybernauts" (Season 4, Emma Peel,
B&W); "Epic" (Season 5, Emma Peel, color), and "Game"
(Season 6, Tara King). This was a very important development in the history
of the series in Argentina. Firstly, The Avengers returned to local screens
after a period of absence thatexcept for those short-lived early morning
broadcasts in 1989had lasted nearly twenty-five years. Secondly, it
gave us, the rare privilege of hearing the original voices of the stars,
thanks to subtitled episodes; and last but not least, Mrs. Cathy Gale
had made her debut on local television marking the first ever showing
of her episodes down here. Shortly after, it was such a pleasure to see
"The Frighteners" (1961), the only Keel episode (Season 1) available
at that time.
of December 1999, Uniseries began screening the series in a Monday to
Friday schedule, at 10 PM (repeating each episode at 10 AM and 5 PM the
next day) with no commercial breaks, plus a Sunday evening special called
"Your Avengers Favorite Episode." Season-by-season transmissions
commenced with the fourth (Emma Peel, B&W) which at first, did not
follow either the original production or transmission orders. From the
episode, "The House That Jack Built", a curious change took
placeinstead of showing the title translation in small yellow letters
below the original title, a heavily accented voice-over making the translation
was heard. Upon finishing the fourth, Season Five (Emma Peel, color) followed,
but midway through it, sadly, two commercial breaks, albeit quite short,
would be incorporated into all Uniseries programming from then on. The
transmission sequence suffered one more change while Season 6 (Tara King)
was being aired. Since mid-March 2000, Season Two has premiered, and a
cycle of the reruns has continued through different days of the week (i.e.
Monday: season Four; Tuesday, season Two, etc.) (see
present, after a new schedule change that curtailed the transmission of
Season Three (Cathy Gale), the screening of The Avengers through Uniseries
has become somewhat confusing and erratic, as the show has now been relegated
to a once-a-week schedule, in which the episode broadcast order is quite
difficult to predict. (see 5)
On this page you'll find a complete list of episodes shown in Argentinaordered
by transmission date according to its 1999 re-launch.
1) An article published in the local newspaper
"Clarín", on the occasion of the series re-launch in
Argentina, affirms that "The Avengers" was first aired here
between 1970 and 1973 on Channel 13, Buenos Aires. However, our fuzzy
pre-teen memories stick fast to the year 1969. It's not easy then, in
view of these discrepancies, to state accurately what was the year that
"The Avengers" opened in Argentina.
In any case, we're positively sure about one detail the "Clarín"
article didn't take into account: "The Avengers" was not only
aired in Buenos Aires, but, like many other foreign series, was transmitted
by dozens of other stations in major cities in the country as well. Channel
13 in Santa Fe, Channel 12 in Córdoba, and Channel 3 of Rosario
were among them. (Back)
2) There was a time when some of us, restive lads and gals of
the 60s, had the incredible honor of being able to watch scarcely a few
subtitled TV-programswhich by the way, stimulated our fondness for reading
at a time when computer games weren't yet availableand one of those
programs was, believe it or not, "The Three Stooges." However
our joy would be most fleeting. Just a short time later, when this show
had to endure the dreadful consequences of dubbing, channels announced
pompously through the promos: "Now completely dubbed into Spanish!"
Going back to our subject, as staunch defenders of original productions,
we're really pleased that "The Avengers" has came back to Argentina
via subtitled versions, a rare, great privilege, only shared with "The
Professionals" and some other series shown through Uniseries. (Back)
3) In the same "Clarín" article
mentioned above, it is pointed out that "in 1990, [the terrestrial
channel] ATC rescued it ["The Avengers"] from obscurity and
confined it to the Kenya Sharp Club, a late night TV-program which erratically
aired a few episodes at 2 AM." However, we disagree with the year
mentioned by the author of this note, since we were grown up persons by
now, and our memories are clearly centered on the year 1989. (Back)
4) For those who are fond of comprehensive data and statistics
as well, here's a detailed report:
Season 4 (Peel B&W) was broadcast with no commercial breaks between
1 December 1999 and 5 January 2000. At the same time, a special entitled
"Your Favorite Avengers Episode" was launched, running on Sundays
at 9 PM. For this special, each viewer voted (by phone, email, letter,
etc.) for his/her preferred episode which, hopefully, the channel decided
to put on screen some time later. Nevertheless, "Your Favorite Avenger
Episode" vanished from Uniseries schedule by June-July 2000.
Once the Peel monochrome season finished, Season 5 was then run, between
6 January and 8 February 2000, following the original production order.
However, commercial breaks were introduced as of 1 February 2000, for
which reason the 10 PM schedule would be interrupted twice, at approximately
10:20 and 10:40.
Season 6 (Tara King) began to be screened on 9 February 2000. Breaks continued
to be included in the 10 PM showing but luckily, the next-day repeats
at 10 AM and 5 PM were still run uninterrupted. The broadcast order was
that of the original production, except for "Bizarre," which
was shown next to the first, "Invasion of the Earthmen". "The
Curious Case of the Countless Clues," was not broadcast. By 1 March
2000, "Little House on the Prairie" (known in Argentina as "The
Ingalls Family") was rerun on Uniseries taking over "The Avengers"
Monday-Friday 5 PM slot. Consequently, there would be a cut-back in Avengers
scheduling from then on: it was screened M-F 10 PM, repeating at 10 AM
the next day, for the remainder of the year.
However, more changes were still to come. On 13 March, when "Take
Me To Your Leader" was supposed to be shown, we found out that Uniseries
had made further rearrangements on "The Avengers" schedule.
This time, the episodes were broadcast as follows:
Monday and Wednesday: rerun of Season 4.
Tuesday: first showing of Season 2.
Thursday: Season 6.
Friday: rerun of Season 5.
That's why Season 6, shown then only once a week, ended by 11 May, and
then began a rerun from the following Thursday. On the other hand, Season
2 (Dr. Martin King-Cathy Gale-Venus Smith) premiered in Argentine TV on
Tuesday 14 March 2000, and was screened weekly, till 22 August, though
some episodes were never shown.
Finally, Season 3 (Cathy Gale) began on 29 August 2000, and was screened
every Tuesday according to its original production order. Again, some
episodes were skipped, with the epitaph for this season being written
on 26 December 2000, when the last episode, "The Little Wonders,"
was broadcast. (Back)
5) That's right. At the beginning of 2001,
when only six episodes were still to show, broadcasting of Season 3 was
abruptly discontinued, presumably for keeps, and no explanation was given
to the audience. Since then, the screening of "The Avengers"
on Uniseries has been nothing but a lottery, where the viewers' patience
in tracking down the new and incomprehensible schedules, seems to be the
only thing keeping the series on air (pardon, on cable). After a weekend
cocktail that mixed Seasons 5 and 6 freely all over January and February,
finally, as of 1 March 2001, Uniseries has relegated "The Avengers"
to a weekly rerun of Season 5, starting at 11 AM on Fridays, and repeating
the same episode quite tediously the same day at 10 PM, and on Sundays
8 PM and 12 AM. Not a bad way to learn the episodes from memory... (Back)