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The Avengers In Argentina: A Brief Account
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The Avengers in Argentina: A Brief Account (with Annotations)

By Carlos and Terylene

Whatever he wears fits him superb...The 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, however—mainly due to memory rather than the existence of trustworthy data—that 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 1)

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 2)

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 team—which was shown in this country around 1979, but would disappear from the screens shortly after, with no further reruns from then on.

Channel 13 advertisingAlthough 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 5—Emma Peel color—which 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 that—except for those short-lived early morning broadcasts in 1989—had 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.

Canal TV magazine cover, N° 504, 5 March, 1968.As 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 place—instead 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 4)

"The series with more followers in history is back!" Los Vengadores advertising in Rolling Stone magazine, January 2000At 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 Argentina—ordered by transmission date according to its 1999 re-launch.

Marginal comments

By Terylene

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-programs—which by the way, stimulated our fondness for reading at a time when computer games weren't yet available—and 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)

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