21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only Avengers Compilation You Will Ever Need
This is a very well thought out product. The packaging, the layout, the presentation are all first rate. It really is a lovely thing to own and it contains every surviving Avengers episode + some other associated odds and ends. I first started collecting Avengers compilations about 4 years ago and at that time this collection didn't exist, oh that it had - it would have...
Published 14 months ago by Anilatac
47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great show, poorly designed package.
To echo the previous review, this is a very poorly designed set. The discs are so tight in the card pockets they are almost impossible to remove without causing damage. Virtually all the discs have some scuffing or scratches, hardly surprising given how they are stored. I've now received two sets, both of which have damage to the external box, which may or may not have...
Published on 14 May 2011 by P. Davies
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only Avengers Compilation You Will Ever Need,
This review is from: The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)This is a very well thought out product. The packaging, the layout, the presentation are all first rate. It really is a lovely thing to own and it contains every surviving Avengers episode + some other associated odds and ends. I first started collecting Avengers compilations about 4 years ago and at that time this collection didn't exist, oh that it had - it would have made my life much easier, but better late than never, as soon as I saw it I bought it and now my (Avengers) life is complete. In previous reviews some people have said that the DVD's are too tight in the case and almost impossible to get out without damaging the DVD; well I find mine to be ideal, tight enough to not drop out, but when firmly gripped between thump and index finger they pop out fairly easily. Either the packaging has been slightly improved since earlier reviews, or perhaps there is a manufacturing tolerance issue, where slight dimensional variation can cause undue tightness, or is it just a question of applying the correct technique? - I am not sure, but it is really the only negative thing I have heard said about this product. As to the quality of the DVD's themselves, they are as good as they can be, given the state of recording technology back in the early 60's and they are certainly perfectly watchable in terms of visual and audio quality. I imagine most people even thinking of purchasing this product will already know whether or not they 'like' the Avengers, but just in case you are not familiar, then all I will say is they hark back to a more innocent age of television and that the plots are variable in quality but typically revolve around such subjects as megalomaniac's out to conquer the planet, science and science fiction themes and with a good dose of 'cold war' espionage as well. The essential charm lies in the interplay between the two main characters and in many ways the plot itself is secondary to this. Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg play their character's very differently but each to wonderful effect and of course Patrick Macnee is always a delight to watch. If you even suspect that you might like the Avengers then don't hesitate, buy this and enjoy evening after evening of entertainment from a bygone age, even when, night after night, there is nothing worth watching on any of the several hundred different TV channels!
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fan from the 60's,
This review is from: The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)Because of the expense I was hesitant about buying this product, but having waited so long for such an iconic TV series to be produced complete, (the 'New Avengers' being a later and different formula altogether) it has all been worthwhile. Indeed I am still working my way through the episodes while writing this and can say that watching each one has been an absolute joy, particularly from the point of the Steed/Mrs Peel combination, they seem perfect together.
The scripts are great, the scenes of quiet English roads and villages reflective of an era lost. With Steed's impeccable manners and sartorial style (attributes some could well benefit from today) one can easily become lost in nostalga but there is much more to this than simply that. What is offered here is a well researched work, beautifully and securely presented in book form that is easy to store and access, despite some negative comments.
Quintessentially 'English', this anniversary package is a triumph, and for the true devotees, a must.
75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Avengers..... A cool slice of Britiannia,
This review is from: The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)"The Avengers" has earned it's place in pop culture. One of the most successful television shows of it's time, the series is now widely regarded as a classic and rightly so. The weekly adventures of gentlemen British agent John Steed and his succession of sexy, smart and ass kicking female sidekicks entertained millions of viewers worldwide. Now thanks to Optimum Releasing, all of the surviving episodes are included in this impressive DVD boxset collection.
Beginning in 1961 and finishing in 1969 "The Avengers" much like the decade it was made in, changed with the times. Starting out as a straight-forward crime drama series, the show featured two men roaming the dark streets of London in trenchcoats fighting villians. The original star of the series was Ian Hendry as the young and idealistic Dr David Keel and Patrick Macnee (who was the co-star) as shadowy agent John Steed. Determined to "avenge" the death of his fiancee (hence the series title) who is gunned down by a gang of drug dealers, Keel joins forces with Steed and a crime fighting duo is born. "The Avengers" was an immediate hit with viewers, however Ian Hendry decided to more onto greener pastures after one season (ie: a film career) and left the show leaving Macnee at the helm.
What happened next would not only take the series in a very different direction, but ultimately onto bigger and better things. The show broke ground by introducing strong, intelligent, independent women who were capable of looking after themselves without playing second fiddle to a man. Whilst this type of character is quite commonplace on television today, back in the 60's it certainly wasn't. From the cool charms of Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman) to the elegant wit of Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) and through to the playful manner of Tara King (Linda Thorson), the show continued to change and evolve from a gritty crime show to a surreal spy series with tongue in cheek elements.
From a product perspective, the episodes have been digitally upgraded and this is particularly noticeable in the Diana Rigg & Linda Thorson episodes. The images are crisp and the sound quality is very clear. Sadly the upgrades to the Honor Blackman episodes are not as obvious. This is due to the fact that the original master prints are not in the best of conditions so any improvements would be negligible at best.
However what this DVD Boxset has is a whole wealth of extras that are worth seeing and hearing. From audio commentaries (surprisingly none of the cast we're involved. Instead we have writers and directors offering their insight) to trailers, screen tests, interviews, documentaries, promotional footage and material and even unusual offerings that aren't directly connected with the series but featuring it's cast members. Well worth checking out. All of it is presented in a large stylish black book with an array of photos and a detailed guide. Top marks for presentation and actual material.
In short, the folks at Optimum have done themselves (and fans) a real service by releasing a boxset that not only celebrates a landmark in television making, but covering as much ground as possible (and that ground is pretty extentsive) by giving people everything but the kitchen sink. For fans of this classic show, it's a must have if you don't have any of "The Avengers" on DVD. For those wanting a slice of vintage television that truly broke new ground and still holds up well today, treat yourselves to this release.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!,
This review is from: The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)Worth every penny! Have not stopped watching "The Avengers' since it arrived. Absolutely love the extras within the box sets, especially the scripts for each episode on the bonus content on each disc. I enjoyed watching "The Avengers" on BBC4 a few years back so to see it right from episode one of series one (which I didn't see on BBC4) was absolutely brilliant. The box set itself is presented really nicely too, like a book with screencaps from the episodes on each 'page'. A wonderful box set, worth every single penny!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY WELL REMASTERED,
This review is from: The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)I already knew I liked this old TV series when I purchased it, so there is no surprise there. If you are ordering this, I suspect you also already know and love these wonderful, witty, TV episodes. But if you have not seen this series, and are contemplating trying it out, let me mention that even though there is more insidious murder and mayhem than most action movies, this is not typical mind numbing, hard-hitting, action and drama. However, this show does appeal to the subtler sense of humor, the gentler irony in everyday life, and invokes a relaxed suspense.
Remastering of these old TV episodes is very well done, and the original black and white is not ruined by colorization. Because I live in the States, I purchased an all-region PIONEER DV-610 AV DVD player to view these region 2 PAL DVD's. It works great, and the combined price of the player and Avengers DVD collection together cost much less than any region 1 DVD's I could buy. And as a bonus, the Pioneer player produces a much better quality picture than my Sony player.
To recap, if you are tired of being assaulted by today's brutal, mindless, violence, crude humor, and slutty sex, every time you turn on the TV, or go to a movie, then you will enjoy this unique, subtly provocative, entertainment.
47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great show, poorly designed package.,
This review is from: The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)To echo the previous review, this is a very poorly designed set. The discs are so tight in the card pockets they are almost impossible to remove without causing damage. Virtually all the discs have some scuffing or scratches, hardly surprising given how they are stored. I've now received two sets, both of which have damage to the external box, which may or may not have occured in transit ( not helped in my opinion by the inadequate packaging used by Amazon - surely an expensive item like this deserves more than a perfunctory bit of card - ever heard of bubble wrap?) It's always nice to have complete series box sets but anyone considering this one should proceed with caution. ( By the way, after two attempts, Amazon will only offer a refund. )
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Series LOUSY DVDs and Packaging,
This review is from: The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)£140.......as other reviewers have said the smart black book with great images on it is fantastic....till you try to pry the DVDs out of their very tight card slots. If you don't have a decent set of long, strong fingernails forget trying to extract the discs or you'll be forced to use tweezers as I've had to. The WORST actual DVD packaging I've ever come across (and the early Buffy boxes were no push over - but saintly by comparison!). I suspect discs may last two viewings before being so marked and scratched they'll be unplayable. Talking of which on my set some of the disc pressings are just awful and have had to coax and cajole my panasonic DVD player to read them without pixellation, separation of sound and picture, jumping chapters or just locking up completely. Not every disc and surface looks perfect.....so beware. I think I will be finding some spare slim CD cases and use these to store the discs separately from the book so I actually have a collectors edition I can view over and over.
The actual episodes are great although the long end of/start of acts pages (especially season 2) are very annoying and much to long....why not just include all the original adverts as well while you're at it?!
All that said 100% great viewing and still a classic series that IMHO is still one of, if not the best crime/spy adventure series ever.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series on DVD,
This review is from: The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)"The Avengers", along with "Danger Man" and "The Prisoner", was always my favourite TV series from the 60s when I was a lad. This DVD set provides the full set of surviving episodes of the show; this includes all the Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman), Emma Peel (DIana Rigg) and Tara King (Linda Thorsen) episodes. The Emma Peel/Tara King episodes were on film instead of videotape meaning their quality is better - indeed, they look as if they were made yesterday such is their quality. For those who haven't seen it before it is an action/adventure series that remembers humour and romance, and keeps its tongue firmly in cheek. The humour is typical British understated humour with more and more fantistical stories that simply make the show iconic. The disks are full of an excellent set of extras. The packaging could be better though I can extract the disks reasonably easily but they are a tight fit. Expensive, but worth the price if you remember this series with affection.
81 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Synopsis By UKdvdsonline,
This review is from: The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)All the surviving episodes from series 1-6 of the cult 1960s action series The Avengers, starring Patrick MacNee, Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson.
Released in a special limited edition 39 disc (including exclusive bonus disc) collector's package and fully digitally restored, The Avengers 50th Anniversary Complete Collection celebrates the original cult TV show by bringing together all six series, 139 episodes and over 30 hours of extra features of the classic British secret agent series. Patrick Macnee stars as the indomitable spy John Steed alongside his glamorous sidekicks Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman), Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) and Tara King (Linda Thorson) in extraordinary mystery solving adventures and criminal defeating escapades.
Series 1-2 episodes -
Hot Snow (incomplete; first 20 minutes only), Girl On A Trapeze, The Frighteners, Mission To Montreal, Dead On Course, The Sell Out, Death Dispatch, Propellant 23, Mr Teddy Bear, The Decapod, Bullseye, The Removal Men, The Mauritius Penny, Death Of A Great Dane, Death On The Rocks, Traitor In Zebra, The Big Thinker, Intercrime, Warlock, Immortal Clay, Box Of Tricks, The Golden Eggs, School For Traitors, The White Dwarf, The Man In The Mirror, Conspiracy Of Silence, A Chorus Of Frogs, Six Hands Across A Table, Killer Whale
Series 3 episodes -
Brief For Murder, The Undertakers, Man With Two Shadows, The Nutshell, Death Of A Batman, November Five, The Gilded Cage, Second Sight, The Medicine Men, The Grandeur That Was Rome, The Golden Fleece, Don't Look Behind You, Death a la Carte, Dressed To Kill, The White Elephant, The Little Wonders, The Wringer, Mandrake, The Secrets Broker, Trojan Horse, Build A Better Mousetrap, The Outside-In Man, The Charmers, Concerto, Esprit de Corps, Lobster Quadrille
Series 4 episodes -
The Town Of No Return, The Gravediggers, The Cybernauts, Death At Bargain Prices, Castle De'ath, The Master Minds, The Murder Market, The Surfeit of H20, The Hour That Never Was, Dial A Deadly Number, Man-Eater Of Surrey Green, Two's A Crowd, Too Many Christmas Trees, Silent Dust, Room Without A View, Small Game For Big Hunters, The Girl From Auntie, The Thirteenth Hole, Quick-Quick Slow Death, The Danger Makers, A Touch Of Brimstone, What The Butler Saw, The House That Jack Built, A Sense Of History, How To Succeed... At Murder, Honey For The Prince
Series 5 episodes -
From Venus With Love, The Fear Merchants, Escape In Time, The See-Through Man, The Bird Who Knew Too Much, The Winged Avenger, The Living Dead, The Hidden Tiger, The Correct Way To Kill, Never, Never Say Die, Epic, The Superlative Seven, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Station, Something Nasty In The Nursery, The Joker, Who's Who???
Series 6 episodes -
Return Of The Cybernauts, Death's Door, The 50,000-Pound Breakfast, Dead Man's Treasure, You Have Just Been Murdered, The Positive Negative Man, Murdersville, Mission... Highly Improbable
The Golden Schlussel - rare short film starring Diana Rigg
The Mini-Killers - 4 part short film mini-series starring Diana Rigg
Director Laurence Bourne interview
Wish You Were Here? - Top Ten Avengers locations featurette
Death at Bargain Prices - alternate end tag
Hot Snow - Episode Reconstruction
Toy Trap - Episode Reconstruction
Newly discovered Series 5 archival trailer
German cinema trailer
Titan Avengers 50th Anniversary DVD booklet
Diana' Avengers Comic Strip booklet
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Avengers complete (no New Avengers),
This review is from: The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)It was a long time coming to DVD but this very British TV series following a suave, gentleman agent and his athletic female partners is more than welcome. Generally the presentation of this classic show is very good in this DVD set.
This long running series has some bizarre stories that are often far-fetched and full of humour. It is a show that you cannot take too seriously. You are not supposed to. It is just pure escapist fun. Life is often too serious and it's great to have an entertaining series full of colour and unusual stories to escape and relax.
In The Avengers Ian Hendry plays Dr David Keel, who, when his girlfriend is murdered by a drugs gang, goes to British Intelligence and an agent called John Steed for help in avenging her death. The early episodes see Keel as an amateur sleuth and Steed as his foil. The stories are general domestic drama with a cops and robbers basis. The shows were recorded live and there are limited sets and scene changes.
Many of the episodes from series one are now lost and so the DVD releases begin with the complete series two and the surviving episodes from series one.
By series two, Keel leaves and the character of Steed is elevated to the main character. Series two then appears to go through a period of re adjustment as we get other characters such as Dr Martin King and nightclub singer Venus Smith and Cathy Gale. These characters alternate as assistant to Steed over the remainder of the series, which finally settles at the end on the character of Cathy Gale as the main constant partner for Steed.
The theme music is by Johnny Dankworth. There are some good bonus features and there are no subtitles. Also the picture and sound are from video film source and not the greatest quality. However the whole series is interesting as a slice of TV history and although the early episodes are a bit slow in story development the later episodes that feature Cathy Gale are worth watching.
Immaculately dressed in a three-piece suit, Steed oozes class. He lives in a select London District, drives a vintage Bentley and insists on his coffee or tea being stirred ant-clockwise. His manners are impeccable. He has a sword hidden in his umbrella, which he can use to defend himself. At the same time he has the utmost courtesy to his adversary. He also has a protective bowler hat.
In the fabulous series three of The Avengers the character Cathy Gale (Honour Blackman), a widowed anthropologist and Judo expert is partner to Steed throughout. We also see the story lines go from mundane detective work and counter intelligence to futuristic international intrigue.
Cathy Gale is different from other female characters of the time. She often is dressed in tight black leather and "kinky boots".
The show still has rawness in its production style and presentation but things have improved. The plot lines are more interesting and it is a much better show than series one and two.
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) 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.
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.
The 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.
. 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.
The wonderful fifth series of The Avengers is one of the best remembered simply because it took the now successful series into the world of glorious colour.
After the success of series four of the Avengers in America and in Britain a fifth series in colour was certain to be a hit. And it was. All of the successful factors from the previous series were still there.
But the colour gave the series a big lift. Everything looks fabulous. The producers made good use of the colour element by embracing all of the glorious colours of fashionable sixties culture.
The episode plot lines are still a good mixture of adventure, humour and science fiction. The chemistry between Peel and Steed still continues. The leather look is replaced with smart jump suits that give the character a youthful and athletic appeal. And her fashion clothes are stylish in design.
Peel has an avant-garde fashion that features bold accents and high-contrast geometric patterns emphasising her youthful, contemporary personality. She represented the modern England of the Sixties - just as Steed, with his vintage style and mannerisms, personified Edwardian era nostalgia.
A prologue appears at the beginning of all the fourth series episodes. This involves Steed pouring two glasses of champagne. Mrs Peel and Steed come together and they clink glasses and the theme music begins with the opening credits
Series six of The Avengers sees some major changes despite the successful formula of series four and five. This series is often thought of as inferior to the "classic Avengers era" with the character Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) but actually it is very good. It is simply different.
Diana Rigg wanted to leave the series so she is written out. British network executives decided to re vamp the whole show. It would have been impossible to fill the shoes of Emma Peel if everything else was the same. Therefore it was logical to give the new female partner to Steed its own identity and originality. It was important to give the show a fresh look to keep the interest alive. There was a change in producers. Out went Brian Clemens and Albert Fennel and back came John Bryce. He signed newcomer Linda Thorson as the new female character to play along side Steed. This was the new character of Tara King.
Tara King has more innocence than her predecessors. She is also allowed more subtle hints of romance with Steed. Tara is also a fully qualified agent but lacking in experience. This is different to Cathy Gale or Emma Peel who had been "talented amateurs".
Linda Thorson is fabulous as Tara King. She creates a great character that has its own uniqueness. Emma Peel had been incredible and a tough act to follow. There was no point trying to be another Emma Peel and so Tara has her own identity.
Actress Linda had natural brown hair but producer Bryce wanted Tara to have blonde hair so it was bleached which badly damaged the hair and Linda had to wear a wig through many of the early episodes.
After only producing three episodes Clemens and Fernnel were brought back as producers.
They decided to film a new episode to introduce Tara King. Tara debuts in dynamic style: when Steed is called to Headquarters, he is attacked and knocked down by trainee agent King who mistakes him for her training partner.
Diana Rigg was recalled to film a final episode that features the farewell scene for Emma. Emma visits Steed to say goodbye, and while leaving she passes Tara on the stairway giving the advice that "He likes his tea stirred anti-clockwise." Steed looks out the window, he sees Emma get into a Bentley car driven by Peter who looks remarkably like Steed complete with suit, umbrella and bowler hat.
Also on this fantastic series for the first time we actually get to see the government official who gives Steed his orders. This character is known as "Mother" who is usually in a wheelchair. The headquarters for "Mother" is often in different places. Mute "Rhonda" later assists "Mother". There is also in one episode the character "Father" that is a blind older woman. Another episode has Tara away on holiday and "Lady Diana Forbes Blakeney" assists Steed.
This sixth series also becomes even more far-fetched and weird as it often does parody of other TV series and films such as mission impossible and the Birds.
Steed had a different car, this time a vintage yellow Bentley. "Mother" drives a silver Rolls Royce and Tara drives Lotus Europa.
The show was still popular in the UK and Europe but not so successful in America and funding was withdrawn. This meant that production in Britain could not continue and the series ended in 1969. So this iconic series that had been a part of the 1960s culture ended as the decade came to a close.
This series, like its two predecessors has some bizarre stories that are often far-fetched and full of humour. It is a show that you cannot take too seriously. You are not supposed to. It is just pure escapist fun. Life is often too serious and it's great to have an entertaining series full of colour and unusual stories to escape and relax.
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The Complete Avengers 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] by Patrick Macnee (DVD - 2011)