Avengers: Complete 1962 Set

Avengers: Complete 1962 Set

Director: Don Leaver, Jonathan Alwyn, Kim Mills, Peter Hammond

Cast: Don Leaver, Jonathan Alwyn, Kim Mills, Peter Hammond

     
 
A&E Home Video started issuing the original series The Avengers on DVD in the late '90s, but they only went back to January of 1963, and the second half of the second season (1962-1963) of the series. The earlier shows, from the first half of the series' second season, in 1962, were unrepresented, apart from one episode, "Mr. Teddy Bear,

Overview

A&E Home Video started issuing the original series The Avengers on DVD in the late '90s, but they only went back to January of 1963, and the second half of the second season (1962-1963) of the series. The earlier shows, from the first half of the series' second season, in 1962, were unrepresented, apart from one episode, "Mr. Teddy Bear, which was included on the double-disc anthology The Best of the Original Avengers: Ultimate Collections. That show and the other 13 episodes from the series' second season have now arrived on DVD from A&E in their own separate four-disc set, and as with the episodes from later in the season, they're something of a mixed bag in terms of entertainment. The episodes themselves are in a better-than-fair state of preservation, when one considers that they're derived from primitive videotape sources, originally matching the outmoded early-'60s British broadcast standard, that have been bumped up to a modern standard. The audio has all of the problems inherent with what are essentially live performances videotaped, but it pumps up nicely in terms of volume and resonance, and apart from a few intermittent dropouts (which come out as thin black horizontal lines that occasionally appear onscreen), the full-screen (1.33:1) picture is as easy on the eye as any other production of this type can be, 40-plus years after the fact. It is also unfortunate that these shows were only broadcast and preserved in black-and-white, because some of the fashions worn by Honor Blackman's Catherine Gale were incredibly beautiful and memorable in color, as surviving color stills taken on the set tell us. Each program gets six chapters, which is adequate to break down the plots of most of them. And they're all accessible through a simple two-layer menu on each single-sided platter. The only bonus feature is a stills gallery containing behind-the-scenes shots. That's the technical side, which is encouraging. Much more questionable is the actual content of the series at this point in its history. As A&E have chosen to release the series from back-to-front, we're actually losing innovations and familiar qualities as we "progress" to the beginning. Even the packaging of this set, as with the first volume of 1963 shows, is a bit misleading for depicting Honor Blackman on the front and back. She was in the series at this point, but only in about half of the shows; for this round of episodes (as for those that ran in the the first half of 1963), John Steed (Patrick Macnee) had three partners with whom he alternated, one of whom was anthropologist Blackman as Dr. Cathy Gale and the other two of whom were Julie Stevens as singer Venus Smith and Jon Rollason as Dr. Martin King. Their participation rotated, but only Blackman clicked with audiences, and for good reason -- she was exciting, innovative, and unconventional in her role and portrayal, an attractive female polymath and scholar who was also imposing physically and independent enough to regard herself, at times, as less morally and ethically challenged than Steed, her superior. The other two co-stars simply weren't as interesting, as actors or characters. Additionally, at this point, although the scripts occasionally show some interesting mystery elements and twists, they lack most of the fanciful and fantastic conceits that helped drive the series in subsequent seasons. And for every episode as good as "Mr. Teddy Bear" -- arguably the best of this entire season -- there's a claustrophobic, "bottle" show such as "Propellant 23, in which characters seem to stand there and talk endlessly, and not even the presence of a young Geoffrey Palmer and Nicholas Courtney can keep matters interesting enough to hold modern viewers' attention. Other familiar faces that turn up include John Horsley and John Laurie. And the episode "The Removal Men, which features Venus Smith as Steed's partner, has a fairly heavy musical content and includes the jazz group the Dave Lee Trio in an important supporting role in the second half of the show.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/25/2006
UPC:
0733961706536
Rating:
NR
Source:
A&E Home Video
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
12:08:00

Special Features

Photo gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Blackshaw Policeman,Lorry Driver's Mate
Clive Baxter Nino
Grace Arnold Charlady
Graham Ashley Gendarme
Honor Blackman Cathy Gale
John Bennett Marson
Nigel Arkwright Hughes
Raymond Adamson Harry Ramsden
Reed de Rouen Jack Dragna
Bruce Boa Bob Slade
David Cargill Monroe
Graeme Bruce Shareholder
Harold Berens Film Director
Harvey Ashby Guard's Officer
Hugo de Vernier Jailer
Leslie French Gregory
Michael Beint Copilot
Michael Browning Wardroom Steward
Naomi Chance Mrs. Daniels
Ray Brown Price,Blakelock
Tim Brinton Interviewer
Alan Casley Barman
Anthony Booth Dr. Kearns
Charles Carson Brig. Williamson
Donal Donnelly Vincent O'Brien
Frederick Jaeger Getz
Ivor Dean Harbor Officer
Michael Collins Technician
Michael Forest Rico
Noel Coleman Nash
Pamela Conway Girl in Shower
Richard Clarke Van Berg
Storm Durr Gunman
Alan Curtis Brand
Arthur Griffiths Thug
Bernard Goldman Mr. Teddy Bear
Edwin Brown Lorry Driver
Felix Deebank Young
Frank Gatliff Mark Harvey
Gerald Cross Fenton
Liam Gaffney Michael Joyce
Lynne Furlong Edna Ramsden
Nicholas Courtney Capt. Legros
Patricia Denys Cecile Dragna
Patrick MacNee John Steed
William Gaunt Graham
Alfred Burke Brown
Anne Godfrey Lillian Harvey
Dave Lee Jazz Band Leader
Diana Rigg Actor
Fred Ferris Inspector
Gerald Harper Travers
Hamilton Dyce Max Daniels
Janet Hargreaves Sister Isobel
John Crocker Lt. "Curly" Leclerc
John Horsley Dr. Gilmore
Pamela Ann Davy Peggy
Richard Leech Franks
Tenniel Evans Dr. Hurst

Technical Credits
Don Leaver Director
Jonathan Alwyn Director
Kim Mills Director
Peter Hammond Director
Richmond Harding Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Avengers '62: Complete Set: Volume One
1. He's a Professional [11:22]
2. Meeting a Teddy Bear [8:39]
3. Vanity is His Weakness [11:37]
4. Why Aren't You Dead? [7:40]
5. "Teddytorial Advantage" [10:00]
6. Credits [1:16]
1. A Special Package [10:49]
2. The Briefcase [13:20]
3. A Container of Liquid [6:19]
4. Bottle of Poison [9:38]
5. Flask of Fruit Juice [10:14]
6. Credits [:59]
1. Maximum Security [11:45]
2. A Public Bath [8:47]
3. He Got Away [12:19]
4. Harry Has Disappeared [6:17]
5. A Final Match [9:39]
6. Credits [1:19]
1. Good Little Gun [7:07]
2. A Shrewd Spectator [8:36]
3. Listen to Reason [15:43]
4. A Takeover Bid [7:03]
5. Shareholders Meeting [9:48]
6. Credits [1:02]
Disc #2 -- The Avengers '62: Complete Set: Volume Two
1. The Biggest Sex Symbol [13:22]
2. A Secret Rendezvous [10:20]
3. An Intelligent Relationship [7:21]
4. Stranger in the Crowd [6:42]
5. The Missing Film [13:32]
6. Credits [:37]
1. 100,000 Francs [11:59]
2. Join the Firm [8:00]
3. Kill a Movie Star [13:45]
4. It's a Fake [4:17]
5. A Bad Picture [12:50]
6. Credits [:42]
1. Stamp Collecting [10:05]
2. The Auction [6:53]
3. A Grizzly Discovery [18:13]
4. We Shall Be In Power [6:18]
5. The Enemy is in Our Midst [7:53]
6. Credits [1:11]
Disc #3 -- The Avengers '62: Complete Set: Volume Three
1. Travel on a Full Stomach [9:28]
2. Returning the Diamonds [9:08]
3. A Financial Empire [5:54]
4. The Season for Blackmail [11:52]
5. 11 Million Pounds [15:16]
6. Credits [:49]
1. An Informer [10:03]
2. Meet the Minister [10:56]
3. Keeping an Eye on Steed [13:42]
4. A Common Friend [5:31]
5. London Airport [9:15]
6. Credits [:45]
1. The Ultimate Facial [8:40]
2. Dealing Illicit Stones [8:53]
3. A Proposition for Steed [9:45]
4. Afraid to Speak Out [9:06]
5. A Beauty Treatment [14:11]
6. Credits [:40]
1. Commander Steed [9:59]
2. A Dart Game [11:39]
3. New Crystal [8:14]
4. Jamming the Radar [7:42]
5. Prepare a Reception [12:00]
6. Credits [:58]
Disc #4 -- The Avengers '62: Complete Set: Volume Four
1. The Boy Wonder [11:31]
2. A Little Combination Play [9:00]
3. Disrupting the Plato Project [13:25]
4. The Number One Suspect [8:24]
5. Plato Will Talk to Us [7:41]
6. Credits [:34]
1. A Hunch Something is Wrong [7:32]
2. Nothing Worth Killing For [7:21]
3. Bound to Try Again [14:10]
4. I've Got the Film [8:44]
5. Señor Miguel Rosas [10:28]
6. Credits [1:09]
1. A Fatal Crash [7:36]
2. No Ash Left? [8:27]
3. A Very Cleaver Fellow [14:53]
4. Special Wine for the Convent [7:22]
5. Sister Breaks Her Silence [11:22]
6. Credits [1:06]

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