Avengers: Complete 1962 Set

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...
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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.
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Special Features

Photo gallery
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/25/2006
  • UPC: 733961706536
  • Rating:

  • Source: A&E Home Video
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 12:08:00
  • Format: DVD

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. SeƱor 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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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Avengers '62: Complete Set: Volume One
   Play All
   Mr. Teddy Bear
      Play Program
   Propellant 23
      Play Program
   The Decapod
      Play Program
   Bullseye
      Play Program
   Photo Gallery
Disc #2 -- The Avengers '62: Complete Set: Volume Two
   Play All
   Mission to Montreal
      Play Program
   The Removal Men
      Play Program
   The Mauritius Penny
      Play Program
   Photo Gallery
Disc #3 -- The Avengers '62: Complete Set: Volume Three
   Play All
   Death of a Great Dane
      Play Program
   The Sell-Out
      Play Program
   Death on the Rocks
      Play Program
   Traitor in Zebra
      Play Program
   Photo Gallery
Disc #4 -- The Avengers '62: Complete Set: Volume Four
   Play All
   The Big Thinker
      Play Program
   Death Dispatch
      Play Program
   Dead on Course
      Play Program
   Photo Gallery
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