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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 10 July 2015
I have both the UK blu-ray release and recent blu-ray from the USA. This UK release is much better, the audio especially since it's the original mono and not synthetic surround that makes the music sound like you're at the bottom of a barrel.
There are plenty of extras also (totally missing from the USA release).
The picture quality seems similar (although the US release is on fewer disks but I don't notice much difference).
While the quality is much better than DVD, it's not quite in the league of The Prisoner or The Professionals for vintage TV transferred to blu-ray. There are plenty of hairs in frame and softness from time to time (often in close ups of Diana Rigg but sometimes of the other actors also).
One unintentional effect of the higher definition is that you can immediately spot the use of stunt doubles and stand ins (when the lead actors could not make it to location shots) and also outside scenes shot in the studio. However this is inevitable considering how the show was shot, I would have liked some of the hairs removed though.
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on 7 December 2010
Send all your discs back -

Saturday 4th December 2010 -
The Avengers DVD Set 4 - Series 5 - OPTIMUM ANNOUNCEMENT - REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE
From Optimum Releasing:

"AVENGERS SERIES 5 AUDIO ISSUE

It has come to our attention that the audio of the Avengers Series 5 episodes carries a pitch level that some people may feel is too high. We recognise that some viewers are dissatisfied with the current audio as it stands and we have returned to the original material and pitch shifted the audio throughout the episodes to a lower level that has now addressed the concerns raised.

If you wish to replace your current Series 5 discs with the revised audio versions please send all seven discs (separate from the original packaging) with your return address and we will endeavor to return the new discs within two weeks.

Please return your discs to:

The Avengers Series 5
Optimum Releasing
50 Marshall Street
London
W1F 9BQ

Many thanks

Optimum Releasing."

;-)
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on 22 June 2015
It seems to me canal has hit the jackpot with their new blu-ray in its avengers range. The blu- ray discs feature all episodes from the Macnee/Rigg 1966/1967 coloured episodes and being struck from the original negatives are as stunning to look at as the monochrome triumphs of the previous boxset, in terms of crystal clear clarity. This pivotal season is a true snapshot of a halcyon time with bold purples and oranges, clashing stylishly to bring the viewer a slice of psychedelic witchery. This season pulls out all the stops in its sheer uniqueness for a spy series blending a Britishness now seldom seen, with espionage, scientific misdeamenours coupled with borderline surreality ensures we are constantly reminded we are waltzing through avengerland. The prints are eye popping, the colours are the best we have seen. The felt on the bowler hat, the cracks in Emma Peels gaudily chic leather jackets, the weaves on the sassy Emma Peelers and even steam whirling it's way from a coffee cup are a joy to behold and so sharp. We are plunged into a day glo whirlpool of the old etonian and the trendy, hip bubble of swinging london. The show stands up well by being old school but never a relic and is deserved to receive the 'cult' status it duly deserves. The storylines vary but all contain a little something magical and when it is at it's most glib can wow us back with some stunning visuals. We can see now that we are at the peak of The Avengers tenure in the way visually and aurally it seems so cinematic. With the enhanced quality these , as the monochrome, are mini-movies in their own right. We can now revel in sheer HD glory. I know this is a pricey blu-ray collection but those wowed by the monochrome epics from season 4 will be in for a premium treat . certain episodes look so different this seems at times like you're watching something for the first time due to it's freshness. Another highlight is the clarity of the music and this really does bring forth Laurie johnsons incidental music and makes you realise how important it is to the going ons when our intrepid duo progress with their bizarre caseloads. The perfect release for affonciados or those wanting to be thrilled by a bastion of a retro cult series - this immaculate collection is the ultimate for how any show of such wit, haughtiness, style that celebrates the sheer 60's zeitgist of swinging london should be viewed. Let's paint London paisley and shimmer under a kaleidoscopic moon - ahhh - we must be in avenger land !
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on 24 March 2011
I thought others might like to know that I received Optimum's re-pressed DVDs today and the pitch problems which have been widely reported have been sorted out. I sent the faulty - and very squeaky - DVDs back to the address in the last review and the sound is back to perfection. Steed no longer sounds like a squeezed rodent and Emma Peel is all languorous loveliness and not a hint of the chipmunk.

The picture quality is absolutely terrific and, thankfully, the sound now matches too.

The problem had extended to the first DVD of Series 6, but this too is now returned to the right pitch.

The sheer amount of hard work and love that went in to the DVDs was dented by the pitch problems - but Optimum have addressed this and now it's time to enjoy the episodes.
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VINE VOICEon 20 February 2011
This is a message for Amazon and other shop owners. It would help us the customer if you told us which version of the discs you are selling. I want to buy the set but not if I have to send them back to Optimum for replacements. Quite why Amazon has not returned their stock to Optimum for replacements beggars belief. I wonder how many other customers are being put off from making a purchase.

Update:

Here are my current thoughts on the ongoing debacle that is The Avengers Series 5. I contacted various sellers asking them if their Avengers Set contained the replacement discs. None of them were able to confirm this. Reading between the lines I think they were reluctant to admit to having faulty product. One company, however, assured me they had the replacement discs so I ordered. Of course the discs turned out to be the faulty ones.

A source of confusion seems to have come from Optimum themselves who posted a notice on The Avengers Declassified site saying:

"You may already have corrected discs. Check the shiny side of the disc near the centre hole for the code number. If the number contains 'V2' you do not need to return your disc as it is already the corrected version."

The discs sent to me did indeed display V2 in the correct location but it was evident to my ears that my beloved Mrs.Peel had had her voice cloned by Betty Boop. I checked around on various forums in case these V2 discs were the final word from Optimum and though still incorrect were improvements on what must have been V1 discs. On various forums including Amazon, posters who had had replacement discs sent to them by Optimum had reported V3 on the shiny side. So, I wrote to Optimum asking them for specific details. They told me that

'All corrected discs should have V3 present on the inner circle of the data side of the disc.'

So all V2 marked discs I'm afraid are faulty. Now, whether or not Optimum have included the corrected discs in Sets that are currently in circulation is something I'm not privy to. I did read on one forum that they would not be doing this until they had exhausted their supply of repressed discs meant for postal replacements. Which they have not as they have told me to send off my discs for replacements.

In an ideal world the sellers should have sent their discs back to Optimum for replacements before advertising them for sale but the world is far from ideal. So I think it should be assumed that most sets for sale contain the faulty discs and that should you decide to make a purchase you should be prepared to send the discs back to Optimum for a replacement. It's not right but I think these are the facts.

As regards the fault itself: the pitch level has been set too high. We in England are used to the pitch level being higher than the Americans because of the difference in Pal & NTSC but apparently the pitch level on The Avengers is 4% higher than what it should be. This makes Steed sound decidedly feminine more often than not and Diana Rigg like an overexcited schoolgirl about to embark on a first date. The pitch level of course has nothing to do with the picture so this issue would not be noticeable if you had never watched The Avengers. The disc cases are agreeably rotten and precisely those that one sees in the local pound shop. The extras look a tad thin on the ground and a lack of subtitles is annoying for those in foreign locales or are hard of hearing.

There is no denying that Optimum are at fault but they have addressed the issue by providing replacement discs for those who want them.

Update:

On opening the 'Radio Times' for week ending 20th May 2011, I noticed a full page colour ad by Optimum for The Avengers Complete 50th Anniversary Collection. Also pictured are the 6 individual box sets. In the bottom right hand corner the Amazon.CO.UK label is present so presumably the ad was a co-production. Does this mean Amazon will finally be in receipt of the corrected discs? Fingers firmly crossed for those still waiting.
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on 21 October 2011
**** DO NOT BUY THIS ITEM ****
**** DO NOT BUY THIS ITEM ****
**** DO NOT BUY THIS ITEM ****

I purchased series 5 of The Avengers on 21-Oct-2011
From Amazon itself, and not from a third party supplier.

The boxed set contained the disks with the audio pitch fault.
I have returned the disks to Optimum Releasing for replacement.

So 11 months after the issue was first identified, 9 months after Optimum re-pressed the disks, Amazon are still selling the dodgy boxed set. I held off purchasing this boxed set for a long time to avoid this scenario.

If Optium have taken the trouble to deal with this issue, why can't Amazon be bothered?
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on 22 August 2011
having just bought avengers series 5 from amazon i thought i'd feedback my experience. i didn't use marketplace sellers because, although they were a good deal cheaper i was wary of getting a product with a dodgy soundtrack (see previous reviews). the set arrived really quickly, (free p and p.). i've only watched two episodes so far but the sound seems absolutely fine. in addition the disks all have v3 printed on the shinny (play) side of each disk (need a strong light and good eyesight to see it). - which apparently indicates a revised printing. it's a shame that amazon hasn't made it clear which version of the disks they are selling. oh, and i surpose i should mention that the actual episodes are absolutely superb... but you all knew that anyway. i hope that this review is helpful.
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on 5 November 2010
The title of the review pretty much sums it up. It's a great series but unless you want to hear Steed sound like he's overdosed on Helium, you'd be better off waiting until a superior release happends. A shame as there are some great special features on it, but the episodes are useless in the current format.
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on 1 December 2010
So much for taking care during the restoration of THE AVENGERS as it sounds like it has been overdubbed by Alvin and the Chipmunks. Whoever was in charge of the sound restoration has altered the pitch making Diana Rigg sound like a Smurf and Patrick Macnee like a he is on helium.

This is not the first time that Optimum have had problems with The Avengers as Series 2 was recalled and replaced with all faults corrected. How can a company claim to take the best possible care in the restoration of this classic series and make such bad errors?

Another thing is that double slimline cases in each set only have three prongs per disc and snap, these are the same type one would expect to see in a pound shop. Optimum should be using the quality cases used by Warner Bros, Paramount, Universal etc... or at least put them in a stacker system that is used in The New Avengers set. These box sets are not the cheapest sets around so one would think that the best quality would be used as part of the packaging instead of cheap nasty cases that can cause disc damage as the discs get dislodged very easily.

Come on Optimum and pull your finger out and get your act together!
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on 6 November 2010
Unfortunately all the episodes on this set has been through a pitch shifter changing the sound to a higher pitch by around one semitone higher than normal. There really is no need to do pitch shifting (also called pitch correction) on a release like this so why they have done it, and done it wrong, is anyones guess.

I will hold off buying this set until it's corrected.
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