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The Avengers 4
on 4 August 2011
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.