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on 27 October 2014
A marvellous complete series and still getting through the discs , The Emma Peel series are my favourites and they are a great memory from sixties saturday nights TV . Quality on the very early ones with Honor Blackman is good considering the age of the series but I'm no tech expert or even a quality expert just a fan and I couldn't be happier.
Yes it is expensive but when you consider buying all the series seperately this is quite a bargain.
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on 14 May 2011
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. )
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 5 August 2011
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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on 16 June 2013
I am thoroughly enjoying working my way through the 139 episodes in order. A super buy, and well worth the money to relive this classic show. They don't make them like they used to! No, seriously...

I look forward to watching them all, particular the Steed/Peel episodes!

Five star entertainment.
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on 14 March 2014
For an Avengers fan it's great to have this complete collection of DVDs for one of the best TV series from the 60s.
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on 17 December 2014
Excellent. A shame that the earliest episodes have been lost, but what is here is great. Interesting to see how the character of John Steed develops. Highly recommended. Packaging is well produced although discs are 'snug', meaning finger prints on surface are inevitable.
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on 25 January 2013
Truly wonderful collection of all Avenger series, except the New Avengers with Gambit and Purdey of course. A big miss is the absence of subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired. Woud've been nice, especially for the all-male episodes from the very first series, because some bits are a bit difficult to understand. Another problem with the otherwise superb collection of DVD's is the way they're stuck inside the carboard pages. It really is very difficult to get a DVD out of its tight-fitting cardboard slot, and one's afraid to get scratches on the DVD's. The only proper way to get a grip on the discs is inserting a small piece of paper between reading side and cardboard, and pressing with the thumb on the DVD itself to finally unlock it from it's Cardboard Cave. Who invented this Chinese Puzzle?
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on 29 December 2014
this was bought for me for a 50th birthday present,and I love it.the Avengers is my favourite tv series ever,and I was over the moon to receive this as a gift.i could watch it all day every day,especially the steed emma peel episodes.classic british tv at its best.
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on 20 July 2011
As a long term fan of The Avengers I was delighted with this 50th Anniversary edition. There have been a few negative comments about the thick card wallet containing the dvds and you do need to be a bit nimble fingered when extracting the individual discs but on balance I think the packaging is fine. Each dividing pocket has photos of the characters throughout the years and looks extremely attractive. There is a wealth of information on each dvd for diehard fans including scripts and commentaries as to the casting and production of various episodes which I have personally found very interesting. The episodes with Honor Blackman were before my time but it is fascinating to see how the series evolved over the years. My favourite episodes were always those with Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg and even seeing them after all these years, they still come across as very watchable and amusing. I would highly recommend this edition to diehard fans and also anyone new coming to the show.
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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.
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