This DVD set is an earlier edition of the complete episodes of the New Avengers,
I used to have this edition but upgraded it to the more recent edition The New Avengers (8 Disc Collector's Edition Box Set) [DVD
However that policy was not necessarily a better option. The picture quality is not really any better than this edition. The only advantage really was the more slim line box presentation on that other edition. Therefore this edition is still worth getting if you prefer to.
Is it possible to make a sequel to the iconic British TV series The Avengers? Yes it is. And it was done very well here in this two season series from 1976 and 1977. This DVD set contains all of the episodes from the series which was a sequel to the 1960s series.
This made a good entertaining series that had some of the key elements of the original. The producers from the last series in 1969, Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell developed the sequel. The original series had ended on a high in the UK due to financial reasons and this series was also going to be expensive. The series was produced in a joint venture from Britain, France and Canada.
Once again the Patrick Macnee plays John Steed but this time he has a new team.
"Mother" has gone. And Steed appears to almost take over the superior role and acts as mentor or parent role to his two new collegues Purdey and Gambit.
Patrick Macnee was in his fifties and not as fit as he had been in the original series so the character of Mike Gambit (Garath Hunt) was brought in to do the heavy action and more athletic scenes.
Also Steed, and Gambit, get a new female partner in the form of Purdey (Joanna Lumley). She has been a trainee with the Royal Ballet and has some impressive high kicking skills.
Purdey has elements of Cathy Gale, Emma Peel and Tara King the previous female partners to Steed.
The verbal interplay between Gambit and Purdey, as she tries to keep his romantic advances at bay, hearkens back to the Steed/Gale era of the original Avengers.
The early episodes mirror the fantasy stories of the Emma Peel era. The team even see the return of a story thread with robots in "The Last of The Cybernauts?". However the parody of other TV series and films that had been used in the last season featuring Tara King from 1969 has been wisely dropped. For some people this made the series too unlike the original but I think it had to have its own identity.
In the second season of the New Avengers the character Emma Peel appears briefly in one episode. Diana Rigg did not film anything new. They simply used old footage of her as it appeared in flashback and used the voice of actress Sue Lloyd (The Baron and Crossroads) for just the voice in the present. Ian Hendry, who played Steed's original partner (in the original series one), David Keel, also guest-starred in one episode. And actors Lewis Collins and Martin Shaw who later starred in The Proffesionals together also star in one episode.
Laurie Johnson, who had composed the theme for the original Avengers series starting with the Emma Peel era, returned to compose a new, updated theme for the revival, although it begins with the same fanfare as the original.
Because of the strong Canadian financial input the last episodes of season two feature "The New Avengers in Canada" as the action shifts for the final four stories to Toronto.
The series ended and many attempts were made to bring it back in one form or another but it just didn't happen.
This DVD set is nicely presented and each episode is great fun. They are often far-fetched and bizarre. You cannot take them too seriously. You are not supposed to. They are just pure escapist fun.
The picture and sound are not great however. There has been no attempt to re master the picture or sound and often the picture quality is worse than any of the images from the earlier 1960s episodes. The colours often appear washed out. They do improve slightly as the series progresses and the stories are still entertaining. There are other DVD issues out there but they all are the same. We have to wait for a better restored version but for now this makes a good set.
This is a great series with a 1970s style that still looks great today. It is an enjoyable bit of escapism.