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The Avengers : The Definitive Dossier 1968 (Box Set 3) [DVD]

Patrick MacNee , Linda Thorson , Robert Fuest , John Hough    Parental Guidance   DVD

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1967 was a good year for the Avengers: The Definitive Dossier, Files 5 and 6 contains six classic episodes in which Patrick McNee and Diana Rigg get to flirt with stylish decadence as John Steed and Mrs Emma Peel.

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

Product Description

More adventures for super-sleuths Steed (Patrick MacNee) and Tara King (Linda Thorson). In 'Super Secret Cypher Snatch' a window cleaning firm is the front for some hypnotic thieves. 'Game' has a deranged games king force Steed to play with him in order to save Tara's life. 'False Witness' sees Mother investigate Lord Edgefield, an aristocrat suspected of corrupting and blackmailing government officials. 'Noon Doomsday' finds Steed in danger from the head of Murder International, who is now out of jail and seeking revenge. In 'The Morning After' Steed is once more making plans to capture the super-spy Merlin. 'Stay Tuned' has Steed knocked unconscious just before he is due to go on holiday, and when he awakes, Tara tells him that he has already been away. 'Love All' sees Steed and Tara investigate a suspicious char lady. Finally, in 'Take Me To Your Leader', Steed and Tara chase around London on the trail of a talking briefcase.

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