20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2011
As a kid I always looked forward to my fix of The New Avengers on a Friday evening. I loved the cars, Purdy's Mg and the two Jags used by Steed and Gambit. It just seemed so stylish. I loved the speeded up running sequences, watching Gareth Hunts body double despatching the bad guys with aplomb. There is much to enjoy in this box set. Face spotting all the british actors past and present the lush countryside locations and some utterly preposterous acting and accents from the guest stars. Watching this box set was a great trip down memory lane for me, some episodes I recalled better than others. In one we see Joana Lumley tackling an army assault course, I think out of the three stars she was the only one who could actually run. I was a bit disappointed at the absence of extras in the set. However thats a very minor quible. In terms of value for money this an excellent buy.
Avengers purists may not like these episodes as much as the originals but I for one loved them. So if you take your nostalgia seriously then you cant miss out on this box set. A great reminder of what fun TV used to be.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2014
Is it just me or has modern television gone down the toilet? Because I can see no modern programme possessing an ounce of the entertainment quality like programs like The New Avengers did. I'll give all the reasons for my believing this notion to the full:
Back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s the shows were made with panache. There was brilliant acting abounding, and the brilliantly diverting New Avengers is no exception. Its so brilliant and charming and humorous but also boasts moments of totally raw seriousness and depth of character.
Like most everyone else with regards to this series I have to say Patrick Macnee and Gareth Hunt are superb in their roles, Patrick effortlessly slides back into his best role as John Steed, and Gareth has to be applauded for his great energy and frequent wit. But Joanna Lumley is absolutely fabulous (no pun intended) as Purdey. I always have loved any kind of film or programme which displays women who can look after themselves. She's the scene stealer from the word go. I remember always thinking she was a lovely, talented girl, and re=watching the programme now after so many years I'm not changed in any respect to her. Just watch her in "The Last of The Cybernauts...?" and "Sleeper" and "Angels of Death" and you'll see what I mean. But she displays her brilliant depth of feeling in "Obsession", and I have to admit I almost cried myself on viewing those tears in that ladies eyes...She was so first class!!!
In terms of Story, the afore mentioned four are excellent examples of the series, and "The Midas Touch" would have to be up there too. There's so much action, so much verve, so much quality that like I said is missing badly from modern television. And some of the car chases displayed in this series made even most Bond Films look tame by comparison. There are even some touches on sci fi along the way, what with brain drains and massive rampaging sewer rats. And unlike the film The Birds the "Cat Among The Pigeons" episode gets going and stays going.
Also love the lack of bad language, which lowers many a programme's tone considerably. I may be in a minority but decent English is so good to hear without a bucket of crudity thrown in.
This series is quality entertainment. I haven't actually seen all that much of the Avengers, but if this is not as good like any people say then The Avengers must be tremendously good, because the New Avengers to me is one of my favourite programmes ever. I lament the decline of TV since the early nineties...I really do. But at least we have brilliant shows like this to watch and put on a DVD player as oft as one would wish...thank the Lord for good things!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
During the shooting of the last season of The New Avengers, Patrick McNee ran into Peter O'Toole, who asked him what he was doing. "I'm doing The New Avengers" "Patrick, you're always doing The Avengers." Each episode beginning with a pre-title cliffhanger and a strident martial variation of his original theme music by uncredited co-producer Laurie Johnson, the show itself is nowhere near as bad as its reputation - the trouble is, it's nowhere near as good as the original series, even in its Tara King days. What's missing most of all is not just the straight-faced whimsy and the innocent kinkiness but the playful banter between Steed and his female partner, be it Cathy Gale, Tara King or Emma Peel. Indeed, rather than a double act, he cuts a more paternal (or should that be Maternal?) figure with two young pretenders handling the fighting and the banter in the form of Joanna Lumley's Purdey and Gareth Hunt's Gambit, (probably British television's first working class Jewish action hero).
The plots are generally a little more grounded in the first season, which translates as more ordinary, with the unnamed foreign power now openly Russia this time round and the violence somewhat more serious - fewer blasé reactions to exotically murdered corpses this time round - even if the fight choreography was a lot less impressive. Steed even found himself picking up a gun in a couple of episodes in the second season despite McNee's well-known intense aversion to them. Nor is the series especially nostalgic: it may have launched with a plot to revive Hitler from cryogenic suspended animation in a Scottish castle run by monks, but many of the plots revolve around schemes hatched at the height of the Cold War that the classic episodes treated so frivolously finally coming home to roost or around characters from the past obsessing over old grievances presumably incurred around the time of the show's glory days coming back to haunt the main characters. Rather than fending off the threat of reality or consequences with witty banter, Steed occasionally cuts a more serious, sombre figure, not quite taking everything cheerfully in his stride and not necessarily meaning it when he does. Despite the distinctive dress sense and the steel bowler, there's the distinct feeling that the producers have decided it was high time he had finally grown up, even if only a little.
As if to underline the more serious approach, the show's original leading man Ian Hendry turns up in as a guest star in one episode in a quite different role, and a rather unfortunately autobiographical one at that as a down-and-out alcoholic former spy trying to get back into the game and failing miserably. Sadly, with all but one of the first season's episodes lost, this now stands as 50% of Hendry's surviving legacy in the series his one-time sidekick inherited and made his own.
Taken as an Avengers series, the first season isn't flattered by the comparison, though as a 70s action thriller series it's more than passable fare. Things went wrong with the visibly underfunded second season. By then the show seemed to be reverting to its roots in the worst way, becoming a rather tired, run of the mill spy series at times. With producers Albert Fennell and Brian Clemens busily developing what would become The Professionals, the series almost turns into a blueprint for that, with Steed assuming the Gordon Jackson role and Purdey and Gambit the Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins roles (indeed, Collins and Shaw actually co-star in one episode, Obsession). Gambit had given up his attempts to get Purdey into bed and resigned himself to being more comic relief than action man. The writing is often lazy, relying on huge suspension of disbelief to overlook gaping plot holes like security men not bothering to check bell towers when looking for an assassin or McNee and co taking a car with a vital palm print by the most roundabout route to a police station to give the bad guys ample opportunities to destroy it.
It's also the one where the co-producers started demanding their pound of flesh, with three episodes being shot in France (though the French co-producers only came up with the money for two) and the last four being shot on the cheap in Canada under the title The New Avengers in Canada. The most reviled of the series, these at least did show a return to the odd moment of surrealism, with Complex offering a fully-automated building that doubles as an assassin (an idea it sadly makes little of and which Philip Kerr lifted for his novel Gridiron) and Forward Base delighting in a corner of Lake Ontario that dries up and floods in the blink of an eye.
Still, even that season had its moments - Dead Men Are Dangerous sees Steed targeted by Clive Revill's terminally ill old school friend who always came second to you-know-who in every sporting and spying endeavour, and it deserves points for cheek for using a bit of stock footage from The Winged Avenger and A Touch of Venus to add Emma Peel to the beginning of another episode, K is For Kill.
As per most Avengers DVDs, this Optimum reissue of both series is almost extras-free - just an audio commentary with Brian Clemens and Gareth Hunt on two episodes. While not quite as bad as some reports, the transfers aren't particularly good: it's obvious that the old video release masters have been used with no effort at restoration, with wildly varying results that veer from acceptable (as long as your TV screen isn't too big) to not that good. Probably one for the completists.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2010
The trouble that The New Avengers has is that it is sometimes compared rather poorly to its' predecessor. I'm a huge fan of both series, and what you have to get your mind around is that this is different. This is the seventies, there's a whole new style and edge to the world, and the show reflects this while still trying to keep some of the whimsy that made the Avengers such a success. Bottom line, this has Patrick Macnee as John Steed, so this must be the Avengers.
The remastered quality of both DVDs are excellent, and we get to see just what a major series this must have been at the time, it cetainly holds up a lot better than a lot of the old ITC shows. It takes Patrick a little time to find his feet in this as, due to the advent of Gareth Hunt as Mike Gambit, he has a little less leg work to do in the first series, but the charm and grace of an older Steed is there to see, and particularly in the second series, we get to see him just a little world weary at times. One he's there, Patrick still makes him the cunning old fox that he always was.
It's nice to hear the voice of the late Gareth Hunt speaking about his role and time on the show in the extras (of which I wish there were more) as he has often been downplayed. Mike Gambit was the typical seventies man of action, and the in the earlier episodes was often dressed to come over as a sort of rougher edged working class Steed. The main action of the first series was really his, although it has to be said that with Steed's increased role, his character suffers a lot in later episodes.
Joanna Lumley looks and performs beautifully. She actually manages to give the character more than is written for (really the script is more Tara Kind, whereas she is definitely Emma Peel in attitude). At times she is clearly loving what she is doing, and the chemistry between her and the two male leads means that show has a definite twinkle.
As for the episodes, frankly the series has two or three total duffers; Gnaws, Emily and The Gladiators, but a lot of the scripts are corkers; Eagle's Nest, Tale of The Big Why, Obsession, Angels of Death, Three Handed Game, To Cath A Rat, Cat Amongst The Pigeons and Forward Base all spring to mind. The rest are all visiaully striking at the very least (Target! and Sleeper being prime examples) and in one we have a definite contender for a top ten episode in the whole Avengers pantheon in Dead Men Are Dangerous.
Definitely worth a trip!
81 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2007
Ace crime fighter and protector of the realm, John Steed, returns with two new all-action assistants - Mike Gambit and Purdey, and an awesome new car - a beefed-up Broadspeed Jaguar V12 coupé, in British racing green of course.
The New Avengers are an impressive trio - original Avenger Patrick Macnee reprises his role as the dapper and dashing John Steed with his trademark brolly and bowler, Gareth Hunt (who sadly died in March 2007) is the pistol-packing, wise-cracking action man, Mike Gambit and (my personal favourite) Joanna Lovely (sorry, I mean Lumley) is the sexy, karate-kicking super woman, Purdey - she knows how to make a fine herb omelette and field strip an automatic pistol in a matter of seconds (these are the two main qualities I've always looked for in a woman)!
All the three leads are extremely good in their roles but, for me, Joanna really stands out. Not only is she incredibly gorgeous, and looks good from every camera angle, she is also a very fine actress with a remarkable CV. Prior to starring in The New Avengers she was a Bond girl (in On Her Majesty's Secret Service), a Hammer Horror heroine (she played Jessica Van Helsing in The Satanic Rites Of Dracula a.k.a. Count Dracula And His Vampire Bride) and appeared in Coronation Street and the classic sit-com Steptoe & Son. She has also starred in another cult 1970s TV series - Sapphire & Steel, has made numerous films and is unforgettable as the champagne-drinking party girl Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous.
The Avengers and The New Avengers creator Brian Clemens was also associated with Hammer Horror through the films Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter and Dr Jekyll And Sister Hyde and it is good to see some Hammer Horror actors and actresses making guest appearances in this show - look out for Peter Cushing, John Carson, John Forbes-Robertson, Jon Finch, Melissa Stribling and Caroline Munro to name a few.
Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) briefly appears in `K Is For Kill, Part One - The Tiger Awakes' and Only Fools And Horses fans will be able to spot `Boycie' (in the `Dirtier By The Dozen' episode) and `Marlene' (in the `Medium Rare' episode). Lewis Collins and Martin Shaw, the two stars of The Professionals (also created by Brian Clemens), appear in the `Obsession' episode but this time they are on the wrong side of the law. By the way, in the `Medium Rare' episode, there is a character called George Cowley- this was also the name of Bodie & Doyle's boss in The Professionals!
This is a very entertaining DVD set. I remember watching all of these episodes when they were first shown on television and it is marvellous to own them on DVD and be able to watch them again. My favourite episode is probably `Sleeper' - I love the scene where Purdey has to pretend to be a fashion dummy in a shop window to avoid being caught by two pursuers and her pyjama bottoms keep falling down!
76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Seven years after being blasted into space with the lovely Tara King(Linda Thorson)John Steed(Patrick Macnee)returns to fight enemy agents and mad masterminds,now joined by the beautiful high kicking Purdey(Joanna Lumley)and the charming but tough Mike Gambit(Gareth Hunt)
I really enjoyed this show as it was my introduction to the world of "The Avengers" with Joanna Lumley,to me in the same league as Mrs Emma Peel(Diana Rigg)with her wit,elagance and the ablity to defend herself.
The rapport between Purdey and Gambit is spot on,Steed does take more of a back seat but becomes more into the action in the 2nd season.
"Return of The Cybernauts" to me is one of the best stories,Steed meeting again the dreaded Robots,he and Mrs Peel meet twice in the 60s,the fight between Purdey and and a Cybernized Kane,one of the classics of the series.
To me its a shame that Steed stopped driving around in his classic cars,in "New Avengers" he drives around in a Jag,to me,this lost a lot of the charm of the character.
The trio meet Nazi alive and well in Scotland,a man who can control birds by music and a man whose mere touch can cause death.
The three actors work so well together,in a nice nod to its past we see Steed ringing Mrs Peel(using old footage of Diana Rigg)to discuss an old case,even Macnee's orginal Avenger,Ian Hendry makes a guest appeatrance in "To Catch A Rat",it would have been nice if he'd returned in his old role as Dr.David Keel though.
If you haven't seen this show,give it a go,Joannna Lumley is great as
Purdey,ok its not as good as "The Avengers" but it came pretty close.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2015
The simplest thing that can be said about this series is that it forms a stepping stone between the original Avengers and Brian Clemmens' next famous series The Professionals. There is a lot to recommend both the Avengers and the Professionals but they also cater to differing audiences: The Emma Peel/Tara King Avengers years showcased gentlemanly adventures and extraordinary plots, while the earlier Avengers series and The Professionals showed gritty encounters between the main protagonists and either the criminal or spy fraternity. The New Avengers offers the best of both for those who can admire both templates.
If you can enjoy its mixture of the extraordinary Avengers plots and setups, and the darker, hard-edged style of The Professionals, then there is a lot for you to admire. The writing is frequently very good, the more-grounded plots genuinely engrossing, and the banter between Steed, Purdey and Gambit will often raise a smile. Steed remains the same, albeit with a little more development when around his companions, and more is shown of his stake in the delicate espionage scene. Purdey is both a fusion of previous female characters' traits and her own character. Gambit is a tougher character, foreshadowing The Professionals, and his (ultimately useless) flirting with Purdey is priceless. That, together with a smattering of recognizable guest stars and willingness to take up subjects that were likely taboo in the original Avengers years (just watch the first episode), generally makes this a wonderful collection to own, even if it's a little scant on the special features.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2011
This reinvention of 60's classic The Avengers appeared in the mid 70's.The duo now became a trio due in part to Patrick Macnees'age,thus the late Gareth Hunt became Gambit an all purpose action man. The trio is completed by Purdey played by Jonna Lumley.The shows themselves are a bit of a contradiction some hark back to the surreal plots of the older series Gnaws a giant rat homage to Jaws the movie and others like House of Cards are more mainstream in keeping with tv of the time .Theres a fair balance of action and fantasy in the two seasons in this set.Having said that there is the odd lemon here too but not as many as to be bitter. The production ran out of money towards the end of the second season and the last few episodes are noticably weaker.The picture quality is ok as is sound the only extras on offer are two commentaries on the first episode of each season
All said it's a fair package 26 episodes for around  pounds all the leads are emminently watachable and don't take the show too seriously well worth your time especially if your an Avengers fan
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2010
Never got to see The Avengers when they were on the TV many years ago, but watching this series now does put one back in time. The story lines are definately a bit different to, lets say, a detective series. These guys are not unlike The Saint (Ian Ogily), from about the same time, they are not really detectives, not spies either, more like well connected freelance agents, who somehow find themselves in a mystery whodunnit story. Steed seldom ruffles his appearance, Gambit gets all the gritty work, and Purdy gets to kick ass, wears some strange clothes, lives in a psycadelic appartment (no doubt all appropriate at the time ) but she does always look great.
Seldom do the storylines get over serious or over complicated, and most of them are set in the UK. However its still interesting to see the styles, settings, vehicles etc of the day, even if I was only a kid at the time ! Easy to watch and follow, some of the bad guys do get killed along the way but nothing gets too gorey. Recommended, especially if you were around at the time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2013
Great trip down memory lane, I first saw the series as a teen in the 1970's and now I'm in my 50's I bought the DVD too see if as a older man I would still enjoy it. It was a treat to see all the 70's fashion styles, cars etc and the banter and one liners between Purdey and Gambit are great. Great stories and locations along with the legend that is John Steed I would defanately recommend it ............and I still love purdey!