The passing of Diana Rigg got us to remembering how stylishly cool "The Avengers" series was and the impact Emma Peel had for what women could do on TV. Which also got us to thinking, what other shows of that era are the ones we couldn't possibly imagine growing up without?

 

"The Avengers" - The Emma Peel Era (1965-67). The amazing chemistry between Patrick Macnee as John Steed and Dame Rigg as Emma laid the groundwork for just about every show that would feature equal billing for male/female lead characters. From "Get Smart" to "MacMillan And Wife" and "Moonlighting", it all started with "Mrs. Peel, We're Needed".

"Star Trek" (1966-69). Well over half-a-century since it's debut on September 8, 1966, it's almost hard to believe it only ran on NBC for three seasons for a total of 79 episodes. The after-shocks are still being felt today. Whatevever passes for sci-fi on TV now, simply wouldn't exist at all if this baby had never been on.

"Gilligan's Island" (1964-67). The simple fact that this show continues to be referred to today is quaintly mind-boggling considering its overall ridiculousness. No desert island in the world ever had as many visitors stopping by as the castaways had. Ginger or Mary Ann? Even aliens from another galaxy know who you're talking about.

"The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-68). It wouldn't be stretch to suggest that without the adventures of widowed sheriff Andy Taylor, you never would have a hundred other whimsical townsfolk shows like "Green Acres", "Petticoat Junction", "Hee-Haw"...heck, even "The Simpsons" was following the Andy Griffith blueprint.

"The Outer Limits" (1963-65). Another short-lived series, leaving behind a mere 49 episodes of sci-fi mystery, fantasy madness, gothic romance and wicked cheap-o monster effects. Intelligent scripts and fearless actors are what made this sorta "Twilight Zone" knock-off must-see TV back in the day. Great music, too.