The Avengers (1961-1969)

barryt007barryt007 Kicking Kara 'brain dead' Milovy off the top of a Ferris Wheel in Vienna
in General Movies & TV Posts: 8,558
I've looked on Google and can see no thread dedicated to the original series of the Avengers,apart from a write-up about it .

But if there is,then please lock this.

I'm watching some of the episodes of the very 1st series of 'The Avengers',with Ian Hendry getting the starring role and Patrick MacNee only getting a 'with' comment,and with some diabolical theme music.

I take it the series was filmed live,as it looks totally a live format to me...can anyone confirm that ,who know more about the Avengers than me ?
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Comments

  • edited April 12 Posts: 1,924
    Was it any good? I watched a few minutes and couldn't get into it.
  • barryt007barryt007 Kicking Kara 'brain dead' Milovy off the top of a Ferris Wheel in Vienna
    Posts: 8,558
    Very slow,which it has to be as its live....they were very limited but the acting is good tbh...Just saw Ian Handry sweating in a scene which i think proves its live...its being shown on 'True Entertainment ' channel at the moment...they are on series 2...already 13 minutes into this episode and 'Steed' hasnt even been in it.

    Ian Hendry is a doctor,so why its called 'The Avengers' yet i dont know,he is just having a cup of tea hahaha.
  • Posts: 1,924
    Always liked Ian Hendry.
  • barryt007barryt007 Kicking Kara 'brain dead' Milovy off the top of a Ferris Wheel in Vienna
    edited April 12 Posts: 8,558
    Me too...he would have been good in a Bond flick...this is episode 6 series one,the 1st one i have watched...17mins and still no Steed ...weird.

    Wow,Ian Hendry's Doctor is almost 'fetch my shoes' like to his secretary...
  • edited April 12 Posts: 3,229
    Fancy your starting this topic just now, I actually just started watching 'The Avengers' for the first time this past week. I'm two episodes into Season 4—"The Town of No Return" and "The Gravediggers"—and I gotta say I'm really digging it! I started here because this is the beginning of Diana Rigg as Emma Peel and I heard her seasons are the best. Up next for me is "The Cybernauts," which it seems is one of the most highly regarded episodes of the series.

    I'm also planning on checking out a few of the earlier Honor Blackman episodes soon, just to see how they compare. But yeah, I'm really digging the fourth season at least.

    (And Season 4 definitely does not have a live format feel to me. Much more cinematic.)
  • barryt007barryt007 Kicking Kara 'brain dead' Milovy off the top of a Ferris Wheel in Vienna
    Posts: 8,558
    Fancy your starting this topic just now, I actually just started watching 'The Avengers' for the first time this past week. I'm two episodes into Season 4—"The Town of No Return" and "The Gravediggers"—and I gotta say I'm really digging it! I started here because this is the beginning of Diana Rigg as Emma Peel and I heard her seasons are the best. Up next for me is "The Cybernauts," which it seems is one of the most highly regarded episodes of the series.

    I'm also planning on checking out a few of the earlier Honor Blackman episodes soon, just to see how they compare. But yeah, I'm really digging the fourth season at least.

    (And Season 4 definitely does not have a live format feel to me. Much more cinematic.)

    Series 1 is a bit of a snorefest if im honest....i can see why @vzok couldnt get on with it,i am struggling myself...

  • Posts: 1,924
    TV series from this era can be really impressive, especially as it is often live. I was looking forward to seeing Ian Hendry as the lead in The Avengers, but it was just so boring.
  • barryt007barryt007 Kicking Kara 'brain dead' Milovy off the top of a Ferris Wheel in Vienna
    edited April 12 Posts: 8,558
    Exactly...i dont mind live but ,man,i am struggling here.....might have to stop for now and go back to it when i am in the mood,as i now know what to expect.

    29mins of a 50mins show and STILL no Steed !!!!

    Poor Ian Hendry is sweating like a pig under those studio lights ,but he is very very good,a real trooper...class.
  • Posts: 4,368
    The original Avengers, Series 1 from 1961, yes featured Ian Hendry. It was live as was much of series 2 with Steed and Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale.
    In fact there are only a handful of Series One episodes preserved. The rest were lost.
    The three or four salvaged episodes are included on the complete Series 2 dvd set.
    The show format was radically changed for series two,with MacNee as Steed, the gentleman spy, taking over as the lead.
    The format change was inspired by Bond, with Dr No in production.
    The producers astutely foresaw the coming Bond inspired '60s spyfy trend.
    Steed originally had rotating​ sidekicks, with Blackman's Gale emerging as the permanent partner until she left to do Goldfinger, and was replaced by Rigg.
    Avengers is pure '60s gold. I love to binge watch it.
  • barryt007barryt007 Kicking Kara 'brain dead' Milovy off the top of a Ferris Wheel in Vienna
    Posts: 8,558
    So Hendry was only series one ? what was Steed in series one @timmer ? still a spy ?..and how can a doctor be an Avenger ?
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 July 2015 to June 2017
    Posts: 8,709
    There are a few things I would call myself an expert in, The Avengers is one of them.

    I got all of the original A+E DVD Boxes plus the new released Blu-ray Boxes that are absolutely stunning.

    As in the Columbo thread I will contribute here as well regularly.

    I only saw three episodes so far on Blu-ray as "life happened" and I didn't watch much TV anyway since December.

    Thanks for opening this!
  • DragonpolDragonpol Chairman of "the 2011 Committee" (representing all MI6 Community Backbenchers).
    Posts: 9,887
    I have to say that I'm surprised there even were any episodes left of Series 1 with the doctor. I'd love to be able to see those at some point. I have a few books on The Avengers but only seen a few of the newer ones with Steed and Peel.
  • barryt007barryt007 Kicking Kara 'brain dead' Milovy off the top of a Ferris Wheel in Vienna
    Posts: 8,558
    My pleasure old buddy !!
  • edited April 12 Posts: 4,368
    I don't know what Steed was in Series One.
    It was more Hendrys deal, the series one.
    Steed morphed into Steed the spy for Series Two, which is really when The Avengers became The Avengers, paving the way for the iconic Steed & Peel years.
  • @BondJasonBond006, what are your thoughts on the series' highs and lows? Any favorite episodes?
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 July 2015 to June 2017
    Posts: 8,709
    I have to add this:

    full.jpg

    Personally I regard this as part of the series, so it's actually 1961-1969 and 1976-1977.

    It's another 26 episodes.
  • barryt007barryt007 Kicking Kara 'brain dead' Milovy off the top of a Ferris Wheel in Vienna
    Posts: 8,558
    I have to add this:

    full.jpg

    Personally I regard this as part of the series, so it's actually 1961-1969 and 1976-1977.

    It's another 26 episodes.

    There is another thread for the 'New Avengers' i just made,Mr Kleenex,you wally

    :)>-
  • Posts: 4,368
    There are a few things I would call myself an expert in, The Avengers is one of them.

    I got all of the original A+E DVD Boxes plus the new released Blu-ray Boxes that are absolutely stunning.

    As in the Columbo thread I will contribute here as well regularly.

    I only saw three episodes so far on Blu-ray as "life happened" and I didn't watch much TV anyway since December.

    Thanks for opening this!

    Avengers is on blu-ray now?
    That's awesome. I've been putting off buying the DVD sets, or the complete DVD set, as they aren't cheap, but if there is Blu release, I might have to splurge!
  • timmer wrote: »
    There are a few things I would call myself an expert in, The Avengers is one of them.

    I got all of the original A+E DVD Boxes plus the new released Blu-ray Boxes that are absolutely stunning.

    As in the Columbo thread I will contribute here as well regularly.

    I only saw three episodes so far on Blu-ray as "life happened" and I didn't watch much TV anyway since December.

    Thanks for opening this!

    Avengers is on blu-ray now?
    That's awesome. I've been putting off buying the DVD sets, or the complete DVD set, as they aren't cheap, but if there is Blu release, I might have to splurge!

    I'm not sure where you're located, @timmer, but here in the States, the only Blu-Ray for 'The Avengers' I have found is this one for Season 5: https://amazon.com/Avengers-Season-Blu-ray-Digital-HD/dp/B00MVIYKVE/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1492031049&sr=8-10&keywords=avengers+blu+ray

    Not sure why there aren't Blu-Rays for the other seasons, but I'm guessing Season 5 is probably the most popular?
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 July 2015 to June 2017
    Posts: 8,709
    @timmer absolutely get those Blu's

    the picture quality is simply breathtaking!

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    full.jpg
    full.jpg
  • edited April 12 Posts: 4,368
    I'm in Canada. Amazon​.ca stocks the various DVD sets, but not blu-ray.
    Truth is the Steed and Peel seasons dominate in popularity, so it seems these seasons get the best release treatment.
    I'd like to buy the whole series in one collection, but I wonder are the black & white years worth doing a blu-ray release for?
    =====
    Edit: @BondJasonBond006 , so the Emma Peel b&w series also got a Blu release as well as colour Mrs Peel and the final Tara King series.
    Good stuff. Must buy!
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 July 2015 to June 2017
    Posts: 8,709
    @Some_Kind_Of_Hero

    I'm going to work on a favourites list, it's not that easy actually.

    The episodes you have already seen are all quite good and yes the next one you'll see, The Cybernauts, is indeed a fan favourite.

    I will disclose who my favourite is from the series.

    Prepare for shock people! It's not Diana Rigg!

    It's Linda Thorson!
  • bondjamesbondjames Some men are coming to kill us. We're going to kill them first.
    edited April 12 Posts: 14,770
    I have the North American season 5 (first one in colour with Peel) blu ray set and can vouch for the quality. Simply outstanding, although I've read that the Region 2 sets (UK) are even better.

    I'm still trying to source a high quality upscaling region free blu ray player for a good price so that I can purchase the entire set from the UK. I'm sick and tired of these studios dicking around with region coding. It's borderline offensive.

    I've heard that season 4 (Peel in black and white) is actually the best season. I have watched them when younger but can't remember anything abou them.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 July 2015 to June 2017
    Posts: 8,709
    timmer wrote: »
    I'm in Canada. Amazon​.ca stocks the various DVD sets, but not blu-ray.
    Truth is the Steed and Peel seasons dominate in popularity, so it seems these seasons get the best release treatment.
    I'd like to buy the whole series in one collection, but I wonder are the black & white years worth doing a blu-ray release for?

    Especially the b/w episodes look fantastic in my opinion. The contrasts are amazing.

    The Blu-rays are available as UK and as German versions. But I also found Season 5 at least as US release.

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  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Hamburg, near the Atlantic Hotel
    Posts: 681
    I'm with you guys, at least regarding the Emma Peel era of the series.

    THE AVENGERS, in German "Mit Schirm, Charme und Melone" ("With Umbrella, Charme and Bowler Hat") was the first later-night TV show my parents allowed me to watch when I was about 9 or 10, in 1966, every Tuesday night at 9. Dubbed in German, of course, with Patrick Macnee's voice being that of Gert Günter Hoffmann, who also was the German voice of Sean Connery in the Bond films, and initially in black and white.

    I bought those Emma Peel episodes on DVD fifteen years ago and now have them on Blu-ray. Essential stuff. I've never seen any of those Cathy Gale episodes, many of which I understand were lost when the BBC deleted them in order to re-use the magnetic tapes.

    I've yet to consider buying the Tara King episodes because I could never connect to them as much as I could to Emma Peel. Likewise, I'm not likely to extend my love to the NEW AVENGERS. I saw several episodes in the late 70s, but felt they just weren't the same, especially that "Mother" stuff.

    Still, greatest TV series ever. For those of you who would like to get into it deeper, and discover parallels to the Bond franchise, may I point you to theavengers.tv/forever/. That website hasn't been updated for a while, but is incredibly comprehensive for everyone truly interested in The (REAL!!!) Avengers.
  • bondjamesbondjames Some men are coming to kill us. We're going to kill them first.
    Posts: 14,770
    Yes, that's the one I have. The quality is very good. In fact, I think I'm going to revisit again in honour of this thread.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 July 2015 to June 2017
    edited April 12 Posts: 8,709
    Don't count on HD releases pre-Diana Rigg.

    The shows were filmed live in the early days! Like a theatre play almost.

    The DVDs are good quality actually. But a word to the first few seasons.

    -If you are a die-hard fan like me, you'll want to have them.

    It's certainly interesting to watch them....once....just to see how it all began and how TV Shows were done in those days.

    If I am allowed to make a very general statement about The Avengers, then I would say, the show got better by every season.

    That includes the Linda Thorson shows. As I said above, she is my favourite which has also to do with the great scripts of those 33 episodes.
  • Posts: 4,368
    Thanks for the Blu-ray update @BondJasonBond006 and others.
    So Amazon USA has that one season then

    I'll have to get that!
    Are blu-ray region coded? I thought only DVD were region coded
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 July 2015 to June 2017
    Posts: 8,709
    @j_w_pepper

    then I guess you have the German versions like I do.

    The introduction to the series and the episodes from Oliver Kalkofe and Wolfgang Bahro are a true gift to the fans. Never seen anything like that done before for a TV Show release.
  • bondjamesbondjames Some men are coming to kill us. We're going to kill them first.
    Posts: 14,770
    @timmer, sadly blu ray are also region coded. It's one big rip off. Quite annoying. There are some that are region free (or all region), but even then one must be careful. For example, UK versions of BBC tv series are usually region free, but they will only work on blu ray players that can support 1080/50i. It's been my experience that Sony usually can't play them, but Samsung/LG can.
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