Friday, May 11, 2012
YEAR 1962: CATHY GALE
Cathy Gale (played by Honor Blackman for two seasons of Great Britain's THE AVENGERS from1961 to 1969) was far from the first heroine in pop-fiction who'd been seen to use judo on her opponents, but the producers of the teleseries emphasized her facility with that martial art on a regular basis as soon as Gale's character joined the show in its second year.
Wikipedia sums up her appeal nicely:
"Cathy Gale was considered a trail-blazing female character for British television, displaying a level of self-assurance and physical prowess rarely seen in women on television before that time."
As most fans know, Blackman left the series in 1964 and was replaced by Diana Rigg, playing the character of Emma Peel (who will covered in a future entry). It's interesting to speculate whether or not Blackman's Gale would have become a pop-phenomenon equal to that of Emma Peel once the teleseries adapted to color photography and was broadcast in the United States.
The character appeared in one paperback spinoff novel, titled simply THE AVENGERS.