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The Avengers '62 - Complete Set

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Apr 25, 2006)
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$351.35 $199.97

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Editorial Reviews

Before Mrs. Emma Peel joined the team and before THE AVENGERS came to America, Mr. Steed (Patrick Macnee) was a familiar figure on the British telly, pursuing his crime-fighting career alongside a shifting cast of sidekicks.

During THE AVENGERS' second season, Steed was busy at work with Dr. Martin King, a beguiling jazz singer named Venus Smith, and the beautiful anthropologist Mrs. Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman). With Cathy onboard, that elusive chemistry was just right, and THE AVENGERS was well on its way to achieving cult phenomenon status.

Go back to the beginning of THE AVENGERS with these 14 seminal episodes from the show's second season: Mr. Teddy Bear / Propellant 23 / The Decapod / Bullseye / Mission to Montreal / The Removal Men / The Mauritius Penny / Death of a Great Dane / The Sell-Out / Death on the Rocks / Traitor in Zebra / The Big Thinker / Death Dispatch / Dead On Course

Special Features

  • Photo Gallery
  • Interactive Menus
  • Scene Selection

Product Details

  • Actors: Honor Blackman
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 728 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007J6DM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,736 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Avengers '62 - Complete Set" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Fans of "The Avengers" have been drooling over the teasingly impending release of this set for a few years now. A&E did a good job of releasing all the episodes of "The Avengers" from 1963 onward (including the mid-'70s series, "The New Avengers"), but there was the one major omission; how "The Avengers" began.

Unfortunately (as all "Avengers" afficianados know), the bulk of the first series from 1961, starring Ian Hendry as Dr David Keel, was destroyed / erased, as was the common practise back in those days. For years, the only complete "Avengers" episode from the Hendry series was "The Frighteners". A&E Home Video have finally brought to us all the existing footage from Hendry's tenure, as well as the episodes following Hendry's departure, featuring Jon Rollason as Dr Martin King. While these were essentially "Dr Keel" scripts with a recast, there were two most interesting things about the 2nd series of "The Avengers"; 1) John Steed (always deftly played by Patrick Macnee) became the lead character, emerging from Hendry's shadow, and 2) Honor Blackman arrived, and in doing so, changed the course of women in TV forever.

For the casual fans of the series, Dame Diana Rigg's performance as Mrs Emma Peel is universally recognised as the "look" of "The Avengers", along with Macnee's bowler, brolly, and custom-made suits & boots. What is not generally known to the uninitiated is that Honor Blackman's portrayal of Mrs Catherine (Cathy) Gale set up the rest of the world for the strong female leading role. Often clad in leather catsuits, Mrs Gale was easily John Steed's equal, and quite often his superior.
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This is the final release from A&E of the classic British TV series The Avengers, bringing to a close the episodes from season 2, dating all the way back to 1962. For all the fans of The Avengers familiar with the Emma Peel and Tara King eras of the show, these early episodes featuring Cathy Gale and Venus Smith may come as something of a disappointment. In fact, fans of the later shows may find it hard to believe that they are even part of the same TV series!

After the initial run of 26 episodes featuring Doctor David Keel and his cohort John Steed had aired in the UK in 1961/62, the producers of the program opted to bring Steed to the forefront of the action and give him a number of different "assistants," the intention being that Dr. Keel would be one of these. However, Ian Hendry decided not to continue in the role. Thus, for season two, 26 further episodes were made and broadcast in 1962/63 featuring Steed abetted by Martin King, Venus Smith or Cathy Gale. Dr. King was in fact a temporary character to get the show back in production after a strike had shut down the studios and he's simply a renamed and re-cast version of Dr. Keel. Watching his episodes, it's something of a relief that he was such a temporary character! Mrs. Gale turned out to be the most popular and successful foil for the suave agent, and the other characters did not return after this season. Unlike the later Peel/King stories which were all made on film, these studio based TV shows are much more reliant on dialogue and plot than visual elements, and can be somewhat heavy going as a result.

In fairly typical TV production style of the day, the sets are extremely small and sparse; the direction a little slap-hazard; Camera work wobbly; Sound is extremely poor; and the acting is variable to say the least.
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I have been waiting on this release,of Honor Blackman's first season as Cathy Gale or Doctor Catherine Gale,to gave her proper title in "The Avengers" for a while now,so thanks A&E for releasing the first fourteen episodes of this second season of this classic show.

Sadly,of the first season pairing,of Patrick Macnee and Ian Hendry as John Steed and Dr.David Keel only two complete episodes survive(one of which is the recently rediscovered "Girl On The Trapeze" which doesn't feature Steed)and the first reel of the first episode "Hot Snow" out of the 26 episodes made.

Honor Blackman replaced Ian Hendry after he decided to move on to movies and Honor is excellent as the cool,highly intelligent Cathy Gale who really liberated women on television by showing herself to be as equally intelligent and capable as Steed and the fact,Cathy could protect herself by throwing a man over her shoulder and fight back,sent the ratings threw the roof and without Honor's great success,there would have been no Emma Peel,Tara King,Purdey and several other strong woman characters in the Bond films,Honor of course going on to be Pussygalore in "Goldfinger".

Honor Blackman's first filmed episode was "Death Dispatch"

and she was told after it,not to smile as much and be cooler and indeed,in "Death Dispatch",Steed and Cathy are more like Emma Peel and Steed would later be,Cathy doesn't do any fighting in that story but it comes in right after that.

What I like about Cathy Gale is,that unlike the "Avengers"ladies that follow,she really can give Steed a telling off when he deserves it and Steed is a lot more darker and manipulates people a lot more(especially poor Venus Smith,) than he would do with Emma Peel etc.
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