14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2015
Everything I expected and more.
1. Contains all of the episodes (the very first is only a partial episode since that is all that exists).
2. The early episodes are very interesting to watch, if only because they give a strong view into the early production mechanics of the show. You can see lots of goofy mistakes mostly due to the "live filming" methods of the day. Many episodes show a mic entering the scene, and someone bumping the camera, and gaffed lines from some of the actors. It is all great.
3. It was interesting to watch Honor Blackman do her stuff. After viewing her episodes I can say that she is every bit as good as Diana Rigg (Emma Peel). In fact it was Honor who first wore the leather outfits. She is a strong actor and does a really good job of it. Just an enjoyable as the Emma episodes and I pity those who do not get a chance to watch them.
4. The only draw back is the packaging. It looks great but the discs are really wedged into the slots they sit in. You will need fingernails if you expect to get them out without ripping packaging up.
All in all, an excellent buy. Once I watch the rest of the episodes I'll post again if anything changes.
119 of 124 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2011
"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.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2012
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!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2013
"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.
91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2011
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2015
Do not worry about the reviewers who complained about the storage system-Just slide your forefinger & thumb down & firmly grab the disc & pull out with conviction.Every one came out easy enough for me without scratching the disc.A microfibre cloth cleans up the fingerprints.If you are really worried put all the disc's into a CD/DVD storage system.I was anxious on this issue due multiple negative reviews on the subject.
I was glad I waited for this remastered edition & prefer Complete collections;well worth the money.Shame they did not release a Blue Ray version as with 1960's Batman.
Not only fantastic British Telefantasy but a brilliant window into the past to see what we have lost in our 'modern' world.I enjoyed it nearly half as much for this alone,as I find most present TV dull.
So sad we had to wait so long to wait over copyright wrangles;as with Adam West's Batman.....Well at least I lived long enough to get to see it !!!
Avengers is a must have for 'Cult' & 1960,s TV lovers & I find it very funny tongue in cheek.I shall watch this a few times.Makes me smile thinking of it now.....Now where's my Bowler & Brolly!
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2012
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!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2014
Oh man, this is tough. I recommend this set but, with some reservations.
First of all let me say that I'd never seen the first three series at all. In the US we were introduced to series with John Steed and Emma Peel. Every boy my age fell madly in love with Diana Rigg. Seeing her ass kick the bad guys was thrilling and sexy. Speaking only for myself, I've always been drawn to strong women because of that. The Series 6 was not so great but watched it anyway.
This and Danger Man were very exciting as we had westerns and sitcoms to pick from. The closest shows were Dragnet and The Fugitive, in my opinion.
Now to the transfers. I have the A&E/Lionsgate Emma Peel set and a side by side comparison shows this set is superior. As with the US set there are no subtitles. However this one show I've never had a problem understanding the dialog. Well spoken without any mumbling. The extras also beat the US version.
As I stated I've never seen the first three series. The A&E sets were cost prohibited at the time so I didn't bother because I wasn't familiar. That said I can say the episodes are as good as it gets. Originally shot on 405-line video, this was transferred to 16mm telerecordings (shot on 16mm film from a monitor playing the video). Since the originals were erased we're lucky to have these at all. The first series is proof of this practice as only 2 1/3 episodes exist.
Now to the special features. Lots of still galleries, bumpers, audio commentaries, introductions and DVD-ROM files. Now to the Bonus Disc: Huh. Kinda lean with a very weird mini-series "The Mini-Killers" with Diana Rigg. Some Spanish/German production that I didn't watch past the first few minutes. There is a documentary that was on the US Emma Peel set that is missing here, "Avenging the Avengers". Kinda hoped it would be here but no.
There is a large booklet with all the episodes and special features listed. Also a sampler of a an Avenger book and a reproduction of an Avengers comic.
Now to the bad news. All discs are in that wretched book sleeve. If you haven't experience this before here's the skinny. The "pages" of the book have small openings on the top where the discs are held. I took a different set apart to see why I had a hard time getting the discs out. On both sides of the discs are cardboard holders with a slight bulge so the hold the them firmly in place. I'm not talking about a little, these really hold them so you have to grab the discs, firmly, by the edges, and drag them out. I have found a way to prevent damaging the discs while removing them, get a micro cloth and that will cushion your fingers so no scratches or finger prints.
However, you will eventually damage them by repeatedly removing and replacing them. My solution is to put all the discs in multi-disc cases and downloading some covers to print so they look nice on the shelf. I've put the original case on my oversize/special packaging shelf.
As we are moving toward the future I know DVD will go the way of VHS. Blu-rays are made of sterner stuff and can take a little abuse. DVD are still fragile and any scratches and fingerprints can cause playback issues. My Blu-ray player seem to cut thru the surface imperfection on all but the most damaged discs, like the ones I rent from the library.
I'm hoping this series will get a complete makeover as The Prisoner was. Another side-by-side with the old DVD and the clear winner is the Blu-Ray.
Recommended but you will have to take everything into consideration.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2014
This is a very complete set, as has been mentioned by other reviewers. Boy, does it take me back!! I love the colour episodes, which I had to view in black and white during their original run, as our family had only just bought our first TV and it was B&W. The only downside, as others have mentioned, is the packaging. The discs are so tightly fitted into the slots of the pages that you have to get your fingers (and fingerprints) on the discs as you remove them for viewing. This can result in the discs not working properly until you clean them. Some of them have lost their sound until I perform this tedious task. I am tempted to remove the discs altogether and store them in separate jewel cases for future viewing. It's a small complaint, and I include it here just as a warning to others. It wouldn't stop me from buying it, but it's a small irritant to be ready for, if you decide to purchase the set.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2014
Bought this for myself after being given Amazon vouchers at Christmas. So far have just finished season 3 (Honor Blackman era) and I am not disappointed. The episodes are what t.v. was liked in the early sixties, sets rocking, forgetting lines, cameras being moved in the background, 'dead' people blinking ten to the dozen, and none of this detracts one jot from my enjoyment. The storylines cover the range from bizarre to 'serious' and it has taken me back to my youth in a very happy way. The extras so far have been basic but I have had an enjoyable 15 minutes watching the Third Act of The Importance of Being Ernest, with Patrick Macnee, great fun. Can't wait to re-visit the Diana Rigg era.
Some comments gave been made about the packages and all I can add is that to date I have had no difficulty in extracting the discs and like the packaging.