Monday, March 14, 2005

Avenging Emma


The Real Emma Peel

Maureen Dowd says she conjures up images of Diana Rigg in the 60s when she wants to trash someone in her column:

"When I need to work up my nerve to write a tough column, I try to think of myself as Emma Peel in a black leather catsuit, giving a kung fu kick to any diabolical mastermind who merits it."
Well I'm no John Steed, but I don't like Emma's memory to be co-opted by a boozy, bitter, bitchy and increasingly incoherent New York Times columnist. Can you recall a column by MoDo that had any policy insights whatsoever?

Meanwhile, Emma Peel lives on as the witty, brilliant, attractive, seductive, and self-assured character that she was.

These episodes, along with the Prisoner, were 60s British television at its best, and pushed the envelope in intelligent, provocative, and creative ways that today's commercial crap could only dream of.

Patrick MacNee (Steed), once said of Emma's character: " I was the woman, and she was the man." For some reason that's not how I want to think of Diana Rigg's character. But the question of whether she was simply a cult icon or a role model with larger cultural implications is worth debating.