The problem with The New Avengers is that sometimes the direction and plot are so sloppy that it becomes more parody than escapist drama. In one episode about Chinese underworld drug dealers the villain is played by possibly the least Chinese looking actor imaginable. He delivers his lines in a weird low-pitched growl that is very much all his own. His performance is one of the hammiest ever committed to celluloid, not unusual for The Avengers, but somehow lacking the earlier show's warmth and English eccentricity. When the authorities foil a large drug deal, the villain describes this as an 'interception' and tells his henchman to find out who was responsible. We see a ninja character breaking in to a store room and going through filing cabinets until he finds a file conveniently called...you've guessed it...'Interceptions'. Laughable really.
In another episode, Steed, Purdey and Gambit witness a recently deceased 25 year old soldier turn suddenly into a 75 year old man and none of them make any comment at all. This kind of thing happened in the old series but somehow in the surreal context of the 60's show they would either have made an amusing quip or it would somehow have gone unnoticed given that so many other strange events were going on in the episode.
In this as in many other episodes the emphasis is on action and stunts, unsurprising as many are directed by former stuntman, Ray Austin. It's strengths are the flirty interplay between Mike Gambit and Purdey, with the latter played by Joanna Lumley looking quite achingly beautiful much of the time. She is a very strong character, even then displaying a talent for comedy, but sadly her abilities are often underused in this series.
There are some memorable set pieces, as when Steed, trying to attract the attention of a driver on a race circuit, simply drives his Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12c onto the track and overtakes the racing car forcing him to stop.