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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST SERIES OF THE AVENGERS JUST GOT THAT BIT BETTER
With the introduction of Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, AvengerLand moved from the clunky and shaky world of videotape to the bright and gleaming format of celluloid for its triumphant fourth series shown during 1965 and 1966. Together, John Steed and Emma Peel conquered the globe when THE AVENGERS became one of the first British TV series to be given a coast-to-coast network...
Published on 12 July 2010 by Mr. L. F. G. Ballinger

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CHEAP NASTY SLIMLINE CASES SNAP AND DISLODGE & DAMAGE THE DISCS
Giving this a 3 star due to my discs getting damaged due to the cheap and nasty slimline cases. These ones that Optimum use only have three prongs and snap causing the DVDs to become damaged because of it. These are the sort of cheap cases one would expect to find in a pound shop! These sets aren't cheap so why do Optimum use these cheap cases instead of using quality...
Published on 1 Dec 2010 by KM WHITEHOUSE


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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST SERIES OF THE AVENGERS JUST GOT THAT BIT BETTER, 12 July 2010
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This review is from: The Avengers - Series 4* Digitally Remastered [DVD] (DVD)
With the introduction of Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, AvengerLand moved from the clunky and shaky world of videotape to the bright and gleaming format of celluloid for its triumphant fourth series shown during 1965 and 1966. Together, John Steed and Emma Peel conquered the globe when THE AVENGERS became one of the first British TV series to be given a coast-to-coast network broadcast slot in the United States. The splendid working relationship enjoyed by Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg ensured a greater shift towards humour in the scripts and a far more spoofish take on espionage was explored to upstage the likes of James Bond and Harry Palmer at their own game. Throughout it all, John Steed remained the debonair British agent, bowler hat and brolly complementing the finest English tailoring, while the seductive and super-intelligent Emma Peel - no subject seemed beyond her comprehension, from nuclear physics to ballroom dancing - could dash the ambitions of any megalomaniac with a single leather-clad karate chop.

Each one of the 26 episodes contained in this set is a winner. For those fresh to the show, the likes of 'Death At Bargain Prices', 'Dial A Deadly Number', 'The Cybernauts', 'A Surfeit Of H2O', 'The House That Jack Built' and the notoriously kinky 'A Touch Of Brimstone' are each indicative of THE AVENGERS' imagination and wit, tackling such topics as espionage, the brave new world of technology and shady goings-on in the world of high finance, while also playing host to an array of "diabolical masterminds" intent on holding dear old Blighty to ransom for their own ends. On a personal note, it is thanks to my original viewing of the episode 'The 13th Hole' some years ago that I have since been unable to take the sport of golf seriously!

Many previous reviewers have complained that the mooted BluRay version of this release doesn't seem to be showing itself. However, the prints of what is after all a series made 45 years ago look really sharp and clean all the same, with not a speck of dust to be seen - they are a considerable improvement upon the old DVD editions from Contender; indeed black-and-white film always seems to clean up beautifully for the DVD format.

As for the extras, well, you could quibble that the set is somewhat overpriced in this respect and the lack of a brand new interview with Diana Rigg is a little disappointing, particularly as both Honor Blackman and, I believe, Linda Thorson have consented to fresh interviews for their respective sets. However, on the plus side, the ARMCHAIR THEATRE production 'The Hothouse', starring Diana Rigg as a housewife who suspects her husband (Harry H. Corbett) of having an affair turns out to be a nicely handled light comedy which makes a nice comparison to the work she would shortly contribute to THE AVENGERS. Delving deeper into the history of THE AVENGERS, we get to hear "the original Emma Peel", Elizabeth Shepherd, giving a frank telephone interview about her aborted stint on the show accompanied by some striking images of what Emma Peel could have looked like had Shepherd stayed on. Meanwhile, it is also nice to see the original "chessboard" sequence used to open each story in the States included for us British fans to see, along with the mini episode 'The Strange Case Of The Missing Corpse', filmed as a promo to advertise the fact that the next series of THE AVENGERS would be in glorious colour - the brave new world of technology indeed!

Overall, series four of THE AVENGERS deserves its five stars for the impressive way all the episodes have been restored (Would they really look much better than this on BluRay?) and for the overall consistency of the 26 instalments which make it up. Writers like Roger Marshall, Philip Levene and Brian Clemens should be congratulated for the inventiveness of their ideas, while Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg deserve endless praise for making up such a great double act who, despite the arduous hours in the studio needed to put the series together, look like they were enjoying every minute of it! And then there's that wonderful Laurie Johnson theme tune...

As I say, if you are new to THE AVENGERS, this fourth series is arguably the best place to start. For its long-term fans, well, every one of us would probably agree that the show reached something of a peak here. I know I do.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is The Sixties!, 5 Jun 2010
By 
Armchair Pundit "Armchair Pundit." (Durham City, England.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: The Avengers - Series 4* Digitally Remastered [DVD] (DVD)
With it's tongue planted firmly in it's cheek, it's outlandish plots and colourful characters.
The on-screen chemistry between Rigg and Macnee shines through in this programme,
which isn't just a programme,
"THIS IS THE SIXTIES"!
~~~~
This show just wouldn't work in any other time.
Look at, "The New Avengers"(1970's) and the "Film Version"(1990's) for proof of that.
The show was broadcast from:~ 1961-1969.(The Peel years 1965-1967)
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digital transfer fault on The Gravediggers episode, 14 July 2010
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This review is from: The Avengers - Series 4* Digitally Remastered [DVD] (DVD)
This Avengers / Mrs Emma Peel/John Steed b/w series 4 1965/66 ... 7 DVD disc box-set should be the definitive release of this sublime series, however, there is unfortunately a digital transfer freeze and synchronization fault at the climax of The Gravediggers episode, which is hugely disappointing considering very high picture/audio quality, the immensely impressive and informative list of extras and the neat slimline packaging.

The digital restoration of pictures and sound is absolutely stunning ... picture/audio clarity superb, however, on The Gravediggers episode I've noticed a picture freeze at approx. 43 minutes in, and from then on the picture and audio are significantly out of synchronization.

This does spoil the entire climax of this wonderful episode and seems to be a fault with the digital transfer. Other Avengers fans I've contacted have noticed the exactly problem at the same point on the disc.

What a great pity ... surely all the episodes and extras should have been thoroughly control-quality checked before release.

I very much hope Optimum will re-check the discs and rectify this fault. I have rated this release 5 stars in the hope that the fault or faults problems (I haven't checked all the episodes/extras yet) are quickly resolved.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore The Haters, 27 Jun 2010
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This review is from: The Avengers - Series 4* Digitally Remastered [DVD] (DVD)
Contrary to the negative reviews, this series of re-issues of The Avengers has two major advantages over previous versions -

The episodes have been digitally restored. Find a comparison of the blurry old versions (there are several online) and the crisp new versions and you'll see the difference.

There are lots of extras. Interviews, parts of other programs featuring the cast, scripts, and much more.

If you're a fan who's paid for the episodes before I can understand that it's galling to be asked to pay for them again. But these are GREATLY improved versions with better extras.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Restoration., 18 Sep 2010
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This review is from: The Avengers - Series 4* Digitally Remastered [DVD] (DVD)
After ordering the above series from Amazon, I suspected that I'd be wasting my money (I already have all the Peel episodes on DVD) and considered cancelling the order. I am so glad I didn't. I solemnly promise any 'Avengers' fan that these black-and-white Emma Peel episodes have never looked or sounded better -the clarity of image is so striking that it's almost like seeing the show for the first time. If you're a fan of 'The Avenger's, give yourself a treat. You won't regret it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Avengers 4, 4 Aug 2011
By 
Miss M. Potter "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Avengers - Series 4* Digitally Remastered [DVD] (DVD)
The introduction of the wonderful character of Emma Peel, (Diana Rigg) was just one of the new things that made the Avengers such a hit.
After the improved success of series three, the show had a complete re vamp. The new season four brought us a new, and more dramatic theme music by Laurie Johnson, New and stylish opening credits, more intriguing story plots and the whole thing recorded on film. (Not video tape)
This fourth series of the Avengers was the best to that date. And still has the feel of quality nearly fifty years after its creation.
The Karate chopping, Kung Fu kicking, ultra fashionable Mrs Emma Peel (widow of test pilot Peter Peel) lives life in the fast lane. She drives a fashionable Lotus Elan sports car and can take care of herself. She represents a more modern quality and outlook compared to the character of Steed who represents a more traditional and mature quality. But like Steed Mrs Peel has class.
The pair is ideally suited and the chemistry between Peel and Steed is electric. Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee are excellent.
Steed's signature cars were vintage 1926-1928 Bentley racing or town cars.

Producers gave the character Emma Peel her name because they wanted a female character with "man appeal". This was shortened to "M appeal" or "M a ppeal" and therefore Emma Peel. She has the same self-assuredness of Cathy Gale, combined with superior fighting skills, intelligence, and a contemporary fashion sense.

This season four has changed direction a bit. The obvious attention is the adoption of a more
America style of production in order to make it more appealing to the American market.
In 1965 the show was sold to United States network, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). The Avengers became one of the first British series to be aired on prime time U.S. television.
Previously The Avengers had been shot on videotape with little option for editing so the show had been recorded live with hardly any location shots. This American deal provided the funding for editing and location shots and better quality 35mm film.
This policy worked. The production style is much better. The production style does play up the picture post card English village stereo type image. It all looked very British. When we view it today it looks very much the older world of the sixties and this can also be some of its charm.
However even when viewed in the sixties it had a strong balance of modern life with its changes from the post war era to a modern world. There is the old and the new.
The stories become more far fetched and there is great humour in the dialogue. The whole show is pure escapist fun. You cannot take it too seriously. It is pure entertainment.
. During this first Peel series, each episode ends with a short, comedic scene of the duo leaving the scene of their most recent adventure in some unusual vehicle.

There are some good bonus features, The individual DVD cases fit far too tight into the outer box and there are no subtitles. Also the picture and sound are very good.
The series is still in black and white but these are some of the best episodes ever and this series is a treat.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avengers Series 4 DVD, 15 April 2011
This review is from: The Avengers - Series 4* Digitally Remastered [DVD] (DVD)
DVD is exactly what I hoped for when I ordered it. Faultless visual and sound quality. Non-fussy, user friendly disc with very little irrelevant material. "Trick" mode functions brilliant.Programmes' content reminds you of how good TV could be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Update for The Avengers - Series 4, 25 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Avengers - Series 4* Digitally Remastered [DVD] (DVD)
This is an update for my initial review (below).

Once the issue had been raised with Amazon they replaced the set WITHIN 24 hours! So a big pat on the back for them.

As to the set. Well, once established that it was bona fide I put them to the test. I remembered this series from viewing them as a 6 year old in the 1960's, and as one of my all time favourite shows expectations were high. I was not disappointed.

The episodes were viewed via a Pioneer Kuro 50", Denon blu-ray player, Onkyo 875 A/V receiver, and Naim Intro speakers.

The picture quality on these remastered discs is simply stunning. Superb clarity and definition which more than stand up to the examination that a 50" screen will give to a tv series recorded 45 years ago. Images are crisp and clean, even to the edges, the blacks & whites are well rendered, and so far I cannot find any digital processing residue.

The sound was as per the image clear n crisp. There is no trace of muffling, or sound fade. I played episodes in both stereo and mono modes, and to be honest I enjoyed both. (Discs are recorded in Mono 2.0)

As per some earlier reviews the box is attractive, but the individual dvd cases are feel cheap and plasticy, but thats a minor quibble given the quality of the discs themselves.

I'm now happy to change my review to 5 *****, a/ for the product, but also for the outstanding customer care from Amazon.

****PREVIOUS POST****
Anyone wishing to purchase this Series Four set be very careful. On arrival the cardboard jacket had been damaged and a cheap plastic used to reseal the package. On opening each disc case I found that there were indeed 7 discs, however, as they were only numbered 1 to 3 they didnt run with the episode guide on the jacket. The episodes were mixed on the discs and were different from the running order, and to add to the confusion I had to manually find each episode running order by placing it in the player and finding which episode belonged in what box. Because the episode guide was wrong, that inevitable meant that some episodes were in the wrong boxes anyway! I examined the actual discs and found that they were produced by some company called Contender Entertainment Group. Picture & Sound quality were poor despitr remastering.

As these discs are advertised as being supplied by Optimum Classic I rang their London office and was told that they had never heard of the aforementioned company, and to treat the discs as possible pirated copies.

I've contacted Amazon and await their reply.

BE WARNED
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Mrs Peel, we're needed", 15 Dec 2010
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This review is from: The Avengers - Series 4* Digitally Remastered [DVD] (DVD)
I've been waiting for ages for the Avengers to come out on DVD. I had most of the collection on video but cleared that out ages ago. It was well worth the wait - it makes a massive difference having the whole series at once and in a coherent order (the videos, I once obsessively collected, seemed a bit haphazard). I'm afraid to admit that I prefer the Avengers after the arrival of Emma Peel, so I've started my collection there. This is cult TV at its best with top episodes like A Surfeit of H2O, The Gravediggers and Death at Bargain Prices. I have to admit finding the House that Jack Built quite scary. You can't pick a favourite episode from this lot - it's all good!

Patrick MacNee is brilliant, amusing and hugely entertaining as Steed and Diana Rigg is of course fantastic as super intelligent, karate expert Emma Peel. Their partnership in the Avengers is hugely entertaining. The entire series with vintage cars, fabulous sixties fashion and the weird and wonderful sinister plots, is just as watch-able now as ever. I wasn't born when this series was made but I've loved it since I first saw an episode repeated. As Steed would say, "Mrs Peel, we're needed" - they certainly are!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING PICTURE AND SOUND, 29 Aug 2010
By 
Carl Haugland (SCOTLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Avengers - Series 4* Digitally Remastered [DVD] (DVD)
I am absolutely amazed by the stunning picture and sound quality of this set. I have a Sony tv and dvd system and also have HD TV and cannot in all honesty see any marked differences in the picture quality. Can't wait for the next set. Oh and love the 'extras' too!
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