The Avengers and The New Avengers OOP on DVD. The Saint and The Persuaders!?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Osato, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. moviepas

    moviepas Second Unit

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    Don't forget all the first, second & third series were wiped from their 405-line videotapes. Whilst Series 2&3 exist transfered to 16mm telerecordings(kinescopes) only two full episodes exist on 16mm from Series 1 & 15-21mins from the first episode. The Series 1 material appears to have been found in America. In Australia we must have got the 16mm telerecordings as we never had the 405-line system here. I remember a lot of British TV series(BBC) that had a regal logo and the line Telerecording in the late 1950s. One wonders what ever happened to these films.
     
  2. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I think seasons 4-6 would do just fine on blu-ray, and they'd look extraordinary. The current dvds are rare and very over-priced in the after market. A blu of the Diana Rigg years would be stunning, and I needn't add that it's very necessary to put it into production. The first three years--what's left of them--would receive little benefit to a blu upgrade, and would probably even look worse off than they already do.
    My prediction is that we will not see a "complete series" blu set. We'll see an "Emma Peel" megaset in blu, probably followed by the Thorsen season and maybe even the New Avengers. So I'd expect 3 large sets, or 5 single-season sets. They may re-issue the first three years (what's left of them) in another set, but they look awful and those seasons are not the Avengers that people remember anyway. It's really more like an entirely different series. Just had not hit its stride.
     
  3. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    And I love the first three seasons of the show, primitive videotape and all. I have no issues with them looking "awful," but my expectations may not be as high for a series from that time and its commensurate technology.

    In any case, every incarnation of the series has its merits, but I agree that only the filmed episodes will benefit by a Blu release. However, I don't think there's a chance the Thorsen season will ever be released in Blu nor THE NEW AVENGERS. The Diana Rigg years probably will be, but my guess is that A&E is no longer involved with this show.
     
  4. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    They would look better if they got the same treatment the B&W DOCTOR WHO episodes have been getting - cleaned up and "VidFired" to restore the resolution/field of the original Video, rather than the straight transfers of the Telecines (Kinescopes) that have been done. Except for the first season shows and I think one of the Honor Blackman episodes that exist only as positive prints, negatives exist on the season 2 and 3 episodes.
    If you haven't seen them, the restored Doctor Who episodes from, the same time-period look nice.
     
  5. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    That makes sense. I really wish we could get some news on the series for blu ray soon.
    The Avengers, The Saint and The Persuaders should all be on blu ray here in the US.
     
  6. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    No. You didn't make any sense of that. If they could, why hasn't A&E rereleased the Emma Peel set on DVD? If it wasn't interested in DVD, why rerelease Secret Agent Man? If someone does release the Avengers in blu in the U.S. in the near future, I bet there will also be a DVD release.
     
  7. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Because the set (The Avengers) is currently out of print on DVD.
    I think that makes sense that they would do a new DVD set.
     
  8. Gregbert

    Gregbert Auditioning

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    I am sorry if I am not being clear. My point is that none of these series will get a re-release of any kind with episodes that have been restored since their original A&E original release unless A&E can do a Blu Ray release. For example, since the original A&E releases of The Avengers, The Prisoner, Space1999, Danger Man (Secret Agent) all of these series have been restored extensively under Network or Optimum in the UK and have been released. Only The Prisoner & Space1999 have been re-released over here by A&E because there was an HD release they could push that Network already prepared for the UK. They did not issue new DVDs of these restored episodes at the time of the Blu Ray. A&E is not interested in re-releasing these series on DVDs with the restored masters, it is clear they would only want to release a Blu Ray version with restored episodes. The Emma Peel boxset did not use new transfers; it was the same transfers as the episodes released in the late 1990s/early 2000.
    http://from-the-archive.blogspot.com/
     
  9. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    I am not sure what your basis is for this stateme, but it's not worth arguing about (didn't look at your link). We'll see.
     
  10. Gregbert

    Gregbert Auditioning

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    The basis is what we have seen in the past. It doesn't matter for me anyway, I get most of my stuff from the UK. Your right, it's not worth arguing with you about.
    http://from-the-archive.blogspot.com/
     
  11. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Resurrecting this thread to see if anyone has heard anything concerning a US Blu release of the Avengers? I particularly want the Emma Peel years but would buy the others if done well.
     
  12. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    I was just thinking about this myself albeit I have never see this particular discussion thread.
    THE AVENGERS is one of the very best tv series ever produced but I have no idea how popular it still is. And more specifically pertaining to the home video market.
    The original A&E DVD release was excellent but there is always room for improvement on a more advanced medium which would be quite an undertaking to be sure in improving the quality of the video transfers utilized. I would be happy with both the Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson seasons made available on Blu-ray. But of course the Emma Peel episodes are the most desirable.
    Anyway hope springs eternal.
    Jeff T.
    :D
     
  13. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    I was involved in the original A&E releases, these SD masters made in 1993 for VHS.

    The Optimum UK releases are made from 5/4 years old minted HD masters. They are way better. However they are all misframed, as they reveal too much picture, especially on top of the frame (the full picture was never supposed to be seen on TV). I'm supporter for a widescreen release, thought I know I'm in the minority. Look at this comparison between the A&E framing and the Optimum framing, adjusted to 1.66:1.



    I'm close to the people who remastered the series in France, and they also remixed all the soundtracks to 5.1, thought the Optimum uses the original mono mixes.

    My hope is they release those on Blu, but in widescreen. The A&E sets were the first series to be issued as boxes sets (complete seasons not just one by one disc) on DVD. The Avengers Blu would be nice to follow suit with adjusting to a wider format.
     
  14. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Thanks for the YT link info. I've been interested in the UK/Optimum release but haven't bought it yet.
    I'm usually supportive of original 4:3 material being presented (DVD) in its original format but in this case the mis-framing (displaying more picture than originally intended) doesn't seem to be a problem for me, since I don't see the "stretching" or cropping that's usually present in 4:3 material being transferred to 16:9 for DVD releases.
    Am I missing this part (ie, are the Optimum transfers stretched or cropped)?
     
  15. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Nope, they are just way too "unmasked" (they reveal almost the entire frame shot, instead of just the intended "action safe". Keep in mind this was a problem also with the A&E versions depending on the episodes. If you frame / zoom those at about 1.58:1, you can see how the camera moves to keep the common topline (or the actors leaning to be inside the intended frame) and you lose mikes and cameras wheels and other artefacts appearing in the shots.
     
  16. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Thanks again for the info :)
    I'll probably get the UK set at some point, since it's not stretched/cropped. I can live with the "too much" picture part.
    I've not followed this series' DVD release history but it was my understanding that the A/E R1 release wasn't a complete series release, as is the case with the UK/Optimum set. Is that accurate?
     
  17. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    My big problem with that 1.66:1 version is not the framing. I don't mind seeing more width at all. But how would that framing play in the US market? We're loaded with a population that insists on filling out the TV screen, and 1.66:1 leaves a pillarbox on either side. I'm fine with that, but wonder about others who would complain or stretch.

    The thing that really bugs me about that clip is the PAL speedup. I clocked their little segment at 53 seconds. When I play that same segment on my A&E DVD, it times out to about 55 seconds. So in just one minute, they're gaining a few seconds of time. That may not seem like much, but I can really hear it with Patrick MacNee's voice. It sounds high and chimpmunky to me, but sounds fine on my DVD.

    Harry
     
  18. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I understand the reason (PAL) and I guess it's one of those things that's unique to the listener's ears. I'm fortunate that I'm not in the group that hears the speed-up unless I'm doing a side-side comparison of the same episode in a show. My familiy members are all the same as me, can't detect the speed-up. I've played some of my PAL dvd's for friends; same results. Mom can't hear it and she's a retired music teacher, Master Degree in music, etc. It's all about the individual's sensitivity to the pitch difference.
    I agree about the "fill the screen" mentality. It's true with a lot of viewers. It appears, for me, that the UK set here will be a rare exception for me since there's no stretching/cropping involved in the transfers.
    I watch everything in it's OAR format, probably the same with most members on this forum. 4:3 looks great to me with the old TV shows, as long as one has a large-enough HDTV screen. I was a "geek" back in '08 when I bought my first HDTV, measuring the actual screen size with a 4:3 DVD, viewing distance, etc. I still remember the rubber-necking at Best Buy when I had one of my "Combat!" DVD's playing on their display HDTV :). One guy actually knew that show and said "Wow, I've not seen that show in many years."
     
  19. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Yep the clip is Pal speeded because althought the series aired on arte HD in France, it was 50hz/25fps (ie PAL speed) because it was running at the same time on the arte SD channel (so they can't have I guess two versions of different lenght playing at the same time).

    Many movies airing on french and european HD channels also plays at 25fps HD, that's why you can find many HDTV uploads over the internet, playing at 25fps, of films that don't exist on Blu-ray.

    I fitted the clip in 1.66:1 because that's how it plays perfect on the clip I had as source, however, I can confirm that about 0.4 is missing from the edges on the HD remasters (ie the difference between 1.33:1 and 1.37:1). If the series was remastered scanning edge to edge, it wouldn't be a problem framing at 1.77:1.

    I'll post some screengrabs with charts here later today.
     
  20. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    This is the original A&E 1998 DVD, from the 1993 Lumiere VHS masters.



    This is the Studio Canal / Optimum restoration



    This is the difference between both framings



    This is what happens when you take the original, 1998 DVD top and bottom framing, and keep the sides of the new HD restoration.
     

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