Friday 18th January 2019
Donald Monat (1928-2018)
Some very sad news has come to me
which has caused me to temporarily blow the cobwebs off The
Avengers Declassified - that Donald Monat, the wonderful John
Steed of the radio series, died last year at the age of 90. Donald
was a good friend to me and to this website, to which he gave over
many hours to help me write the section about the Sonovision
Avengers, back in the day when Declassified was yet to be
created and it was exclusively about the Avengers on the Radio.
Donald was kind, patient and was always happy to answer my
questions. But above even that, he was a brilliant John Steed - and
dare I say it, his and David Gooden's and Tony Jay's and Dennis
Folbigge's take on the series remains my favourite part of The
Avengers. In my book, Donald was every bit Patrick Macnee's
equal as Steed; maybe an older-sounding version, but he brought much
to the role and made it his own. Each year Donald and his wife June
and my wife and I exchanged Christmas cards which probably met on
their journeys somewhere above the Atlantic. I'm really sad at this
news and wanted to pay tribute to a lovely, talented man and, on
behalf of fans of The Avengers and of course myself, I pass
our sincere condolences to June and the Monat family.
Donald Monat - March 15th 1928
to September 12th 2018
Remembered with a smile and a tip of the bowler
Friday 20th April 2018
The Avengers Declassified...
This website will remain online as an archive, but will no
longer be updated
This announcement has been a long
time coming as it's something I've mulled over for several years,
but I kept putting it to one side, hoping that my feelings about the
series and the website would change. Sadly, they haven't done so to any
Basically, The Avengers
has stopped being fun for me - at least writing about and
researching it has. I still watch the show occasionally, but it's no
longer a true favourite of mine. It no longer goes to the top of the
'to watch' pile and my heart is no longer in my work for the website. Other things have supplanted
The Avengers in my affections
and fire my enthusiasm in a way that The Avengers used to but
no longer does.
I recently wrote an essay for the
StudioCanal DVD release of the Series 1 episode Tunnel of Fear,
and when I completed and submitted it, I decided that this would be
my last word on The Avengers. It felt the right time to make
this determination, and to move on to pastures new.
Avengerworld book was originally designed as my farewell to
Avengers fandom (and an extravagant way of saying thank you to
it), but events transpired to keep me tied to the good ship
Avengers: when that missing episode was recovered, I knew that
I'd need to update the site and also the book
Two Against the Underworld (which my friend Richard McGinlay and
I proceeded to do) in the light of the find... and then StudioCanal
came calling for its DVD release, which was an unexpected privilege
and one I felt I couldn't turn down.
In many ways, I feel that I've
kept this website going for too long, and have allowed it to become
an obligation and a chore, rather than something that I create for
the fun of it. That was how it was in the beginning and before it
with my previous sites Second Sight - The Avengers Image Archive
and Avengers on the Radio. Heady days at
with David, Mike, Carlos, Tony and others - that was the real
highlight of Avengers webbery for me, a proper socialist
collective with people working together and helping each other out
with no thought for financial gain.
Besides, my interest - as I'm sure
regular readers will have noticed - moved towards writing books a
few years ago. Websites are all very well, but they're transitory,
can blip out of existence in a second, and can be corrected and
updated easily. Books are more permanent and self-contained, and
there's no safety net. It's been a rewarding endeavour - not financially,
for no-one who self-publishes is in it for the money (which is just
as well, as these days books are a very hard sell) but in terms of
my self-esteem. I am proud of
those books - and less so, of this website, because it never really
got near to feeling complete.
The website will remain online,
exactly where it is; it just won't be updated from now on. I may
even tweak it about, here and there, from time to time, but only if
the desire leads me to do so, not out of feelings of obligation. It
will remain available as an archive for people to read and hopefully
enjoy in all its incomplete glory.
The books will also remain
available for the foreseeable future. However, I will be writing no
further Avengers books - and can recommend Mike Richardson's
Bowler Hats and Kinky Boots as the ultimate guide to the
Thanks to all who have helped
out during the past nine years, have written pieces for the website
or my charity anthologies, or have emailed or spoken to me to pass on
kind words about the site. Those efforts and sentiments are hugely
appreciated, as are the friendships that I've forged in 19 years as
an Avengers webmaster (I fully intend that these will
continue unaffected). Thanks to everyone who visited The Avengers
Declassified and to anyone who kindly bought a book.
I tip my bowler to you all as I
lay it down to rest. Who knows which hat I will be wearing next?
To check out the site's nine year
history, follow these links...