Martin Woodhouse, inventor, novelist, screenwriter for The Avengers, died at the age of 78. From the Guardian:
After writing a number of tongue-in-cheek thrillers shot through with action, cynicism and humour, Woodhouse combined many of his interests (electronics, computers, writing) in creating the first e-books. His programme, Illumination, developed in 1987-88, was capable of "publishing" full-length novels, with both text and graphics, on a 3.5in floppy disc. Between 1992 and 1995, Illumination Publishing produced some 20 e-books, from volumes of poetry and children's short stories, to illustrated brochures and a 190-page colour graphic novel. In recent years he had been developing the Lightbook, an e-reader powered by sunlight that could be mass produced for as little as $10 per unit and used for education in developing nations.
In 1962 Woodhouse became one of the team of writers on The Avengers; his first script introduced Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale, partner to Patrick Macnee's John Steed, and established her as an equal rather than just a sidekick. Woodhouse went on to write a number of episodes, often with scientific backgrounds that underpinned surreal, humorous and threatening situations. He wrote six episodes for Blackman and one for her replacement, Diana Rigg, which memorably saw Emma Peel in Robin Hood fancy dress (based, said Woodhouse, on a dream). Woodhouse also wrote Emerald Soup (1963) – a children's science-fiction serial with ecological themes – and episodes of The Hidden Truth, The Protectors, The Man in Room 17 and Dr Finlay's Casebook, before deciding to try his hand at writing a novel.