As they are at pains to point out at the end of one episode, their adventures often start with the mysterious death of an agent, and their involvement usually means at least one more death along the way--one of them gets tied up and the other has to engage in some perfunctory martial arts to save them. Yet none of this is important--it is the charm that matters, and the fact that the show was so aware of its own clichés is part of that charm. Another factor was the parade of British character actors in minor roles. Here Peter Cushing is a silkily vengeful villain, John Laurie a railway enthusiast and, in a body-switching episode, Freddie Jones and Patricia Haines are Steed and Emma themselves.
The plots involve killer robots, engineered premonition in nightmares and hypnotic regression to childhood; the touches of surreal are part of The Avengers style blended with 60s fashions and loopy plots to create something effectively original and hugely influential.
On the DVD: the DVDs are presented in a standard 4:3 television visual aspect with good mono sound for their date. As with other releases in this series, the special features consist of short biographies, a picture gallery and a "Follow the Hat" feature (modelled on the "White Rabbit" from The Matrix) in which Patrick McNee introduces each episode and interesting facts about cast and designers are flashed onto the screen.--Roz Kaveney
This wonderful set contains no less than 7 episodes. The 7th, "The Forgot-Me-Knot", is technically a "Tara King episode" but is included here because it's the episode in which Emma's long lost husband is finally found in the Amazonian jungle and Emma and Steed part. This one is particularly memorable because of Emma's words: "Always keep your bowler on in times of stress and watch out for diabolical masterminds." Farewell Mrs. Peel.
The title "The £50,000 Breakfast" has to be taken literally. I know English breakfasts are quite substantial compared to a continental breakfast but diamonds are a bit over the top. But it's the Avengers Series; anything is possible albeit at times highly improbable!
"Dead Man's Treasure" is not the best episode of the series because of a rather thin plot.Read more ›
"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station" is a nice homage to train mysteries such as Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes". The plot maybe thin but this episode is quite enjoyable with a good eccentric John Laurie (the man living in a signal box, dreaming to have his own station). This episode features the great line by Emma Peel: "Diddly-dah, diddly-dum, twiddly-dum, twiddly, twiddly, twiddly, dah, blinkety-blink, blinkety-blink, chaddily-dum, chaddily-dah, boopity-boop." Those of you who don't know what I'm talking about: Go see this one!
In "Something Nasty In The Nursery" an ordinary ball (baby bouncer) becomes of weapon, a nanny in a motorized wheelchair is wielding a machine gun and a jack-in-the-box contains a pistol. Sounds like fun? I certainly think so!
"The Joker" is one of my all time favourites. Although a remake of the Cathy Gale episode "Don't Look Behind You" this one deserves top marks. It's a great Emma Peel episode that will especially please those who are fans of (there he is again) Hitchcock's "Psycho". Emma is lured to the home of a bridge expert, which is of course very remote, only to find herself caught in a trap set by a voyeuristic spy.Read more ›
"The Frighteners" is a wonderful episode. Read more