The majority of the series' best episodes were during the Emma Peel years, 1965-67. You have to give credit to this tape, then, for giving equal time to all of John Steed's delightful female co-fighters of crime, by picking episodes from the Cathy Gale and Tara King years that no one will deny are among the best The Avengers had to offer.
For starters, "Look - Stop Me If You've Heard This One..." is simply the best episode ever made in the series' long run. It has been argued that this brilliantly balanced crime melodrama/vaudeville act was an Emma Peel story filmed after its time, but if it was, then Linda Thorson's Tara King was well up to the task of pulling it off. The script is low comedy as high camp, yet succeeds in achieving some genuinely horrific moments. The performances all round are excellent, especially from guest stars Jimmy Jewel and Julian Chagrin as a killer clown and a murderous mime.
The Cathy Gale episodes chosen are those that put Honor Blackman's talent to the fore. "Mr. Teddy Bear" was the first genuinely bizarre story in the series, with Cathy going undercover to hire perhaps the world's best hit-man - with Steed as the target. The master assassin's name derives from his birth name, "Edward Bruin," and his eccentric trademark of doing business through a remote-control robot teddy bear. "Don't Look Behind You" is a superior piece of film noir, in which Cathy is lured into a sadistic death-trap by an escaped psychopath she helped put behind bars years before. Later re-filmed with Diana Rigg as "The Joker," Blackman's version is actually much better, both for its excellent use of black-and-white light and shadow and for Blackman's genuinely terrified performance.
The Emma Peel episodes are both from Diana Rigg's first year, "Death At Bargain Prices" and "Too Many Christmas Trees," the latter a well-known Avengers classic and one of its most sparkling scripts, and the former one of its cleverer and wittier suspense pieces.
Anyone might quibble over whether these are truly the best of the series, but no one will contest that they are excellent episodes all, and well worth watching.