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on 6 November 2009
I produced these dvds for Optimum and am pleased to be able to announce the following:

Optimum Releasing - The Avengers - Series 2 And Surviving Episodes From Series 1

We have been informed that on the above release, two episodes, Conspiracy of Silence and The Golden Eggs, have been cut and one episode, Propellant 23, has an encoding error.

We make every effort to ensure that our products are released uncut and that all masters are encoded to the highest possible standards.

Noting these faults, we have decided to repress the discs that contain the three episodes and will shortly be making an announcement of where to send in your old discs so that they can be replaced with new, corrected discs. The new discs will be available at the end of November 2009.

We know The Avengers fan base is very important and we thank you for your patience while we investigated and corrected these faults.
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VINE VOICEon 1 December 2009
What with Network's slew of soundtrack releases from other cult fare like 'The Protectors' & 'Jason King' and now this: Season 2 & what's left of Season 1 of 'The Avengers' remastered and crammed full of extras, it's been an expensive year.

For those late arrivals to The Avengers phenomena and who may only know The Avengers via the (much repeated) Diana Rigg seasons (4&5), season 2 is an altogether different beast. Firstly, the Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman)character appears in only 17 of the 26 episodes, the remaining 6 were shared between Dr.Martin King (Jon Rollason) and nightclub singer Venus Smith (Julie Stevens). The majority of the episodes are highly conventional and hold few surprises. Even the most devoted Avengerphile must concede that due to the way in which Season 2 was recorded, mostly live, the production values are basic to say the least. Cameras and sets are prone to shake, props are dropped, lines often fluffed and musical cues arrive late - a technician, behind the scenes, had to manually drop the needle onto the record. Sometimes the camera is out of position and the actors are obscured by props. In episodes where a scene has been pre-recorded, it is often out of focus and some episodes contain stock footage that seems to date from as far back as the 40's. If an episode was judged to be running over-time, scenes had to be scrapped there and then. Each episode is more akin to watching theatre than TV and in some cases the acting is bigger than it should be. Due to the fast turnover between scenes, it was not unusual for main actors to be wearing the next costume underneath their clothes - for Honor Blackman undressing behind the sets in front of studio techs became second nature. Knowing all this, it is a testament to both crew and actors that The Avengers ran as smoothly as it did.

The highlights of any episode are when Steed & Gale are featured in a scene. The interplay between both is a delight to watch and made more sexier by the restrictions placed upon them by the strict moral code of the day. Macnee was one of those rare actors with an innate ability to improvise 'business' without getting in the way of his fellow actors. Intuitively, he knew just how far he could take his performance without resorting to farce. In direct contrast, Honor Blackman's Gale is a study of intellectual cool, beautiful, witty and ultimately deadly.

The discs are crammed with extras, the quotient of rare stills for each episode are staggering and feature many candid shots taken in rehearsal. The picture quality is as good as you will get and for those used to VHS copies will find it a revelation. The accompanying book has a run down of all Season 1 episodes and reproduces one of Leonard White's scrap books made at the time.

Personally, I had no problem accessing the extras but with the promise from Optimum to replace all offending discs, and with the considerale drop in price (I've seen it on the High Street for £80.00) I have no choice but to award 5 stars.
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on 15 September 2010
The Avengers is most well known as humourous 'spy-fi' with Diana Rigg as the glamourous side kick to Steed's debonair Whitehall spy. This DVD set dispells those assumptions. The 2 surviving episodes from Series 1 are more akin to a grittier version of the Saint, with an emphasis on straight crime drama. Indeed, Series 1's lead character Dr. Keel avenging the murder of his fiancee with help from the mysterious Steed in the pilot episode is the origin of the series title.

Series 2 continues the darker tone, and when Honor Blackman debuts as Cathy Gale she is as effective in the fight scenes as anyone. The humour begins to make it's presence felt more as the series went on but not as obviously as in later years, it's used mainly to emphasise Gale as Steed's (indeed anyone's) equal - an almost unheard of quality on TV back then.

The picture quality on these DVD's is remarkable given the source material, and the extras are plentiful and informative. It makes the loss of the second half of the pilot and most of Series 1 all the more regrettable. The missing segments of the pilot are replaced with tele snaps, scripts and clippings from the original producers scrapbook, reproduced in an excellent book.

Recommended.
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on 27 January 2010
I haven't seen this information posted on Amazon, so here's what I've been told by Tom Austin at Optimum Releasing on how to claim the replacement discs:

"We need you to post the faulty discs 3, 6 and 7, to us at the address below, including a return address to

The Avengers
Optimum Releasing
50 Marshall Street
London
W1F 9BQ

Thanks

Customer Services"

I will be doing this and will report back when the replacements arrive.

PS: Please make sure you include a return address when you send your discs off!
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on 30 October 2009
starting originally as a vehicle for the late ian hendry the avengers would become a successful series and here we can see how it developed.
cramming all that sadly survives from the first series and all of the second,this release also scores for the excellent book that is included comprising
producer Leonard Whites telesnaps from the missing episodes and original billings.
Hopefully the later series will be released and the avengers can be appreciated again by the public.
A GOOD START
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on 16 March 2010
Considering the quality of the original source material, the Avengers Series 2 is a very good DVD set. However, the DVD cases used to house the DVDs are the most awful DVD cases every designed. If there was a award for stupidity, these cases would win by far.

There are two DVDs per case. These are the thin DVD cases. The spindles that hold the DVDs in place consist of 3 large triangle shaped prongs and there lies the problem. The spaces between the prongs on the spindle on the left side of the case match the prongs on the spindle on the right side of the case. This means that, after you take one DVD out, when you close the case, the prongs on one side get interlocked on the spaces on the other side. This works like a locking mechanisn and, when you try to re-open the case, it is almost impossible to do so. If you are careful and patient, eventually, you manage to pry the two sides apart without damage. If you're not careful and patient, you'll just rip the spindles off and damage the case.

I now leave a piece of thick paper inside de cases when I remove a DVD, that's the only way to prevent them from locking.

Didn't anyone at the company the made these cases try them out? Incredible!
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on 24 November 2010
I have this day received this boxset and as an Avengers series fan I have to say I am generally disappointed. I am not disappointed with the series itself, but with the quality of the transfers. I really do not know why some of the reviewers say they are good. The so called "digital restoration" is no better that of a VHS recording on LP mode. I have other digitally restored sets from the 1950s/60s era and they are very well done

Disc 2 has a problem with the "Death Dispatch" episode in that the picture keeps breaking up for the first two to three minutes, like a poor digital freeview signal does and the sound is also buzzy in parts.

Mind you, being an Optimum Releasing product I am not surprised. I had a George Formby boxset done by them a year or so ago and three discs out of that set were faulty due to encoding errors and cuts.

I was also going to buy Series 3 of The Avengers, but now I am being put off. Also as remarked by at least two other reviewers, the cases are rubbish,very cheap and do not hold the discs in properly due to the poor spindle. Optimum should be ashamed.

PS
Further to Para 2 above I wish to point out I contacted OPTIMUM to request a disc replacement, they absolutely refused to do so, virtually implying that I was lying. They said no one else had reported an issue with Disc 2 so it ws not possible for my disc to be faulty, they are a lousy company. Fortunately after reporting the problem to AMAZON they replaced the whole set within 2 days. VERY GOOD SERVICE AMAZON- THANKYOU.

Having read other reviews about Series 5 of THE AVENGERS, this also has errors. I have read poor reports of others discs also from OPTIMUM. I will now do my level best to avoid if I can from buying OPTIMUM released media.
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on 25 May 2010
I have long awaited a reshowing of this classic series on DVD featuring the immortal Steed and Cathy Gale and this box set lived up to all my expectations. Highly recommended to all Avengers enthusiasts.
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on 23 June 2010
It's a must have. Great menus, great extras and better picture quality. Worth the buy, specially when you compare to other dvd's of popular series which don't come with any extras or chapters and you just buy them because you like the show.
This one you get everything, the show you love and the rest.
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on 11 September 2013
I have the Emma Peel and Tara King series and it was time to fill in the Honor Blackman sets. Although black & white, these look great and a must have for the completist. A great time capsule of early 1960's television!
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