The Avengers (1961-1969)

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  • Posts: 4,622
    Yes the Cathy Gale Goldfinger nod was deftly done. I also noted it back in the Bond cultural references thread.
    I wonder, couldn't Steed have addressed Tara King at some point, with "ahh, a Christmas card from Mrs Peel. I didn't know she was a skier"

    Har har!
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    edited April 2017 Posts: 9,020
    The Cybernauts (16th October 1965) Series 4, Episode 3
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    The day television was changed forever.

    The Avengers investigate a series of murders of Corporate men, who have all been bidding on a new circuit element. Each one of them seems to have been killed by a powerful Karate blow, so Mrs Peel visits a Karate Dojo, Steed's inquiries lead him to United Automation, where ex-Ministry scientist Dr. Armstrong is working on an electronic brain, not to mention cybernetic men.


    I think it's fair to say this is THE episode of all Avengers episodes. First episode broadcast in the US, on March 28, 1966, on ABC network. It was also the first episode to be shown on network ZDF in Germany.
    It is the third episode of series four and was also shown as such in the UK.

    James Bond connection: Burt Kwouk, obviously most famous in his role of Cato in the Pink Panther series, he did appear in two James Bond films, GOLDFINGER as Mr. Ling, and YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE as Spectre No 3. He also appeared in Casino Royale as the Chinese General.

    Actor John Hollis plays the karate sensai, he would later make an uncredited appearance in the PTS of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY as Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

    Bernard Horsfall who played Campbell in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE is Jephcott in this episode.

    Being the most famous, the most acclaimed and best remembered Avengers episode it is hard not to like it. Also it contains so many elements that made The Avengers what it is: killing business leaders, a diabolical mastermind that wants to take over the country, sci-fi technology, some good action and that touch of horror.
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    Besides the famous Cybernauts, there is the quite fabulous karate dojo sequence where Mrs Peel shows her capabilities!
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    Steed and Peel are taken into the fantastic realm of Science Fiction. In earlier Cathy Gale episodes like The White Dwarf for instance, it had been at best only borderline sci-fi.
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    Michael Gough, most famous for his role as Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler in the 1989 to 1997 Batman film series plays the wheelchair bound recluse, Dr. Clement Armstrong.
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    For its importance alone this is an absolute must-see. But it's actually also a very good episode.
    Personally I love it and it's definitely yet another Top 10 outing.

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    This episode spawned two sequels. Return Of The Cybernauts in 1967 and Last Of The Cybernauts in 1976 as an The New Avengers episode.
  • Posts: 4,622
    Ahh yes, the famous Cybernauts.
  • Posts: 5,797
    You forgot to mention the presence of Bernard Horsfall in this episode, which makes another Bond / Doctor Who link. But Wikipedia has failed to tell us who was the female karate student who sparred with MrS. Peel. Any ideas ?
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    edited April 2017 Posts: 9,020
    @Gerard
    of course! I corrected my grave error and added Bernard in my review. Thanks for telling me!

    Katherine Schofield is playing Oyuka, the karate student.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    I haven't seen any of these black and white episodes since I was a kid. I really have to get the set. They looks great and your reviews are exciting to read @BondJasonBond006. I believe the Cybernauts returned in a colour episode because I'm sure I saw them in Season 5 in colour.
  • Posts: 5,797
    And another Doctor Who alumni (she was Sabetha in "The Keys of Marinus"). That episode was indeed one of the best. I still remember the "Thwack ! Thwack !" sound the Cybernauts did when they struck.
  • Posts: 4,622
    I watched the first episode of my Avengers Series 5 blu-ray, and it's off to a good start, with the From Venus With Love episode.
    I love Mrs Peel's car, and there is our old Thunderball pal, Largo's Spectre goon, Vargas, and he speaks too. Philip Locke is positively verbose.
  • I'm nine episodes into the fourth season—that's "series" for you wacky Brits ;)—and loving the hell out of this show. My favorite three so far are "The Gravediggers," "Death at Bargain Prices," and "Castle De'ath." The last one I saw, "The Hour That Never Was," was quite good too. Definitely had a bit of a Twilight Zone vibe, that one.
  • MooseWithFleasMooseWithFleas Philadelphia
    Posts: 3,341
    Love Death at Bargain Prices and Castle De'Ath. Two great ones! I'm on season 5 ep. 3 now. The chemistry between Rigg and Macnee is just legendary.
  • Continuing my journey through Season 4. Just want to remark how much I love the excellent writing in this show.

    I'm just now watching the start of "Silent Dust," where Steed and Peel are lounging in a paddle boat, and as Steed reacts strongly to his first sip of wine he quips, "I like a wine that fights back."

    This show is just chockfull of these clever little throwaways. They sure don't make em like they used to.
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 1,639





    Not bad :D
  • Finished Season 4. Macnee and Rigg make such a wonderful team.

    My favorite episodes (in chronological order):

    4.1 The Town of No Return
    4.2 The Gravediggers
    4.4 Death at Bargain Prices
    4.5 Castle De'ath
    4.6 The Master Minds
    4.9 The Hour That Never Was
    4.21 A Touch of Brimstone
    4.22 What the Butler Saw

    On to Season 5 next and the rest of the Emma Peel episodes...in colour!
  • edited July 2017 Posts: 4,622
    I just completed the Series 5 blu-ray, which as a bonus also included the first episode of Series 6, which bids farewell to Mrs Peel and introduces Tara King.
    What a touching finish, as Steed and Peel say their goodbyes. Bond again takes away another Avengers star.
    This season is chock full of memorable episodes, and all in glorious colour.
    A couple of future Bond lead villains are featured - Christopher Lee and Julian Glover.
    Phillip Locke, fresh from TB, and Future OHMSS, Bernard Horsfall, also make appearances
  • timmer wrote: »
    A couple of future Bond lead villains are featured - Christopher Lee and Julian Glover.
    Phillip Locke, fresh from TB, and Future OHMSS, Bernard Horsfall, also make appearances

    I recall a few in Season 4 as well, including Julian Glover, Burt Kwouk, Eunice Gayson, and Robert Brown. And I saw one of the Honor Blackman ones with Lois Maxwell.
  • Posts: 4,622
    I've only ever seen Series 4,5 and 6. CBC ran all three in heavy syndication.
    I will be delving into the Blackman seasons in the near future. I'd like to get blurays, but it seems Series 5 is the only North American blu-ray release.
    So I will probably spring for the DVD sets, but I'll need to confirm that they are indeed Region 1.
    It's hard to tell from the Amazon postings.
  • I'm in the same situation. I may just get the Season 5 Blu-ray and hope they one day release the others that way too.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,103
    My flatmate, who's a big Avengers fan, has acquired the Dutch DVD release of the B/W episodes: De Wrekers!
  • Posts: 1,162
    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.)

    The ones with Rigg are possibly the most watchable and best. Long before there was Xena and Buffy, there was Emma Peel kicking men's butts. I loved her way back then when watching her as a child in the 70s and must admit I somehow still do.
  • Posts: 4,622
    Emma Peel is awesome! The smoothest, smartest female action agent ever!
    Love the little sports car she tools around in too.
    Never mind the catsuits - that voice! I could listen to her talk all day.
  • I've always loved Diana Rigg in OHMSS, but I must say, the Avengers has given me a whole new appreciation for her. Emma Peel is the very definition of cool.
  • Posts: 1,882
    One of my favorite memories was when I was becoming a huge Bond fan, watching OHMSS on ABC TV, rediscovering what a great film that was, then watching Rigg on an Avengers episode later that night on another network. That helped solidify my love for The Avengers as well.
  • Posts: 4,622
    I've managed to scrounge up a borrowed set of Series 4 ( the first Rigg season in b&w) on DVD.
    After I burn through that I may have to spring for the Series 2,3&6 on DVD. I'd rather buy blu-ray. In fact I am happy to buy blu-ray, as it looks so good, but if we in Region 1 are going to be discriminated against, what can we do?
    I am also not even sure Region 1 dvd sets even exist for series 2,3 or 6 either. Will have to be careful with any on-line purchase.
  • Posts: 1,882
    timmer wrote: »
    I've managed to scrounge up a borrowed set of Series 4 ( the first Rigg season in b&w) on DVD.
    After I burn through that I may have to spring for the Series 2,3&6 on DVD. I'd rather buy blu-ray. In fact I am happy to buy blu-ray, as it looks so good, but if we in Region 1 are going to be discriminated against, what can we do?
    I am also not even sure Region 1 dvd sets even exist for series 2,3 or 6 either. Will have to be careful with any on-line purchase.

    They don't, except on now hard-to-find sets A and E put out in the early 2000s. The Avengers is one of my all-time favorite series and having the complete series on Blu-ray is one of my holy grails as I don't have an all-region player nor want to pay the expense to buy the other region versions. All those cool features as well to be missed out on.

    I used to envy all the cool shows Regions 2 and others had access to that we in the U.S. didn't. It's part of the problem of being a fan of a lot of classic TV.
  • edited July 2017 Posts: 4,622
    BT3366 wrote: »
    timmer wrote: »
    I've managed to scrounge up a borrowed set of Series 4 ( the first Rigg season in b&w) on DVD.
    After I burn through that I may have to spring for the Series 2,3&6 on DVD. I'd rather buy blu-ray. In fact I am happy to buy blu-ray, as it looks so good, but if we in Region 1 are going to be discriminated against, what can we do?
    I am also not even sure Region 1 dvd sets even exist for series 2,3 or 6 either. Will have to be careful with any on-line purchase.

    They don't, except on now hard-to-find sets A and E put out in the early 2000s. The Avengers is one of my all-time favorite series and having the complete series on Blu-ray is one of my holy grails as I don't have an all-region player nor want to pay the expense to buy the other region versions. All those cool features as well to be missed out on.

    I used to envy all the cool shows Regions 2 and others had access to that we in the U.S. didn't. It's part of the problem of being a fan of a lot of classic TV.

    Yes, having the complete series on blu-ray is a Holy Grail.
    The Series 4 set that I borrowed is actually a library loaner. And yes it is the A&E set which divides Series 4 into 8 volumes, Avengers 65 volumes 1-4 & Avengers 66 Volumes 1-4, which covers off all 26 episodes, with 3-4 episodes per volume. I ordered all 8 sets, so I'll watch each set as they dribble in, out of order, which is ok. Not ideal, but at least I know which episode # I am watching, at any given time.
    It really does suck that only the epic Steed-Peel colour Series 5 is available in full-season Region 1, either Blu-ray or DVD.
    At least I have that to enjoy, and it is awesome. I am already planning regular rewatches, it looks that good in Blu.
    Someday, if things don't change , I may just buy an all-region player and splurge for a Region-2 complete set - complete blu-ray if it exists.
    Avengers is arguably best TV show ever made.
    It's part of my holy Trinity with Batman 66 and Uncle, and I have both those complete series.
    New Avengers is a must-get as well.
    Not sure if it's on blu-ray though.
    Meantime these Series 4 b&w episodes I'm burning thru now are great.
    Peel's debut when she first meets Steed is iconic.
    It's a slow burn reveal. First we hear her voice from behind door. Then we see and hear her, but behind a fencing mask, and then the mask is lifted , and there she is , in all her Emma Peel glory.
    Then the playful fencing duel, in her swank apartment no less, whilst establishing witty repartee, and then off they go on first assignment, where they battle a young swarthy Robert Brown,with hair.
    AVTAK, 20 years later, serves as a MacNee-Brown reunion.
  • Posts: 1,882
    I hear you, Timmer. I've had the UNCLE set since it came out in a pricey box a decade ago and it's gotten good use. Also made Batman '66 my must-have gift for Xmas 2014.

    I don't think all-region blu players are as expensive as they used to be. I've tried to investigate at local Best Buy stores, but the people that work there aren't that knowledgeable about such things. It's not a real priority now, just something I'd like to have.

    It would be nice if some company would make all Avengers seasons available on a made-to-order the way some studios do with their classic series. The Girl from UNCLE is a good example of this. It's a little pricey, but I'd do so for a series I'm going to watch a lot. At least season 4 and 6; 2 and 3 I'm not as quick to pull the trigger on except as part of a complete series.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,779
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    My flatmate, who's a big Avengers fan, has acquired the Dutch DVD release of the B/W episodes: De Wrekers!

    Double Dutch to me! ;)
  • edited July 2017 Posts: 4,622
    @BT3366
    Hopefully someone makes the complete series available to the Region 1 market.
    It's a pretty iconic show. It should be available.
    Girl From Uncle is another story. It's not a Region issue but rather a price issue.
    Amazon wants over $100.00 Cdn for the one full season.
    If I win the lottery, no problem.. Meantime, I don't see value.

    =Avengers Series 4 , The 13th Hole episode is now one of my favourite episodes.
    I don't remember catching that one back when CBC ran Series 4-6 in syndication.
    It's a bit of a riff on the GF golf game.
    Steed and one of the villains play a round of golf with much on the line, and with much creative cheating.
    Emma is hilarious, working up the fairway, out of sight, helping Steed outcheat the villain.
    Steed's golf course antics and demeanor are priceless.
    Secret satellite transmission sites hidden underneath a golf green.
    That is classic Avengers.
    The Cybernauts (see @BondJasonBond006 's excellent summation, a few posts back) features Bernard Horsfall from OHMSS. He turns up in the next season too.
    Also say hello to Bernard Kwouk, stepping in between appearances in GF & YOLT.
    The Girl From Auntie (clever) features a granny with killer knitting needles, poor Emma held prisoner in a very comfortable looking giant bird cage, and an unrecognizable Morton Slumber (DAF) David Bauer, playing a Soviet spy.
    But it's him all right. The facial movements are reminiscent of Bauer's Slumber, even if the look and voice is way different.
    Actors can be real chameleons.
    This TV series is simply a joy to watch.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    edited August 2017 Posts: 9,020
    .
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,103
    If you're within reach of London and would like to see an Avengers episode, plus an Adam Adamant Lives!, on the big screen this month, here you go.
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