Tara King

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Tara King (Thorson) and John Steed (Macnee).

Tara King is a fictional character of British 1960s adventure television series The Avengers, played by Canadian actress Linda Thorson. Sixth partner of agent John Steed (and fourth female partner), she appeared in season 6 (in color) of the series (1968-1969), playing in 33 episodes. She is Emma Peel's successor. She is also the first of John Steed's partners to be a real spy.

The character

Arrival

Unlike Steed's other partners, we know few things about her. She enlisted at an early age in the Intelligence Service as a trainee, under the number 69. Her first contact with the bowler-hatted agent is described in the first episode of season 6: The Forget-me-Knot. This was a rather spectacular meeting: thinking Steed is the "enemy" of her training, she pounces on him before she realizes she has made a mistake. Shortly after, she makes Steed's acquaintance. During their talk, we learn John Steed is considered as an idol by all agents, Tara included. She then helps him to resolve the episode's investigation.

Episode ending: Emma Peel leaves Steed and her life as a "talented amateur" to go back to her husband, Peter Peel, who has been miraculously found in the Amazonian jungle, two years after his plane crashed. This means Steed needs a new partner: he phones his boss Mother, who tells him he "knows his tastes". Mother appoints Tara King to replace Emma. Tara comes to Steed's flat just in time to pass Mrs Peel on the stairs. Emma (whom she has never met before) gives her a piece of advice: how to stir Steed's tea (anticlockwise). This scene, where Emma passes the torch to Tara, is one of the best-known sequences of the series. Tara arrives at Steed's flat and, although he is saddened by Emma's departure, he is delighted to see his new partner, greeting her with the words "Tara - Ra-boom-di-ay".