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. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    6,091
    Likes Received:
    1,007
    Real Name:
    Sam Favate
    Wow, would love to see a widescreen blu-ray of this series. I believe there is a current comic book of the show being sold (Steed & Mrs. Peel), so there is some interest out there.
     
  2. Osato

    Osato Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    481
    + 1 I would love to pick up the series on blu ray. I've been holding off of the new UK Region 2 DVD set.
    Hopefully it happens soon.
    I only have the Peel episodes on DVD.
    Would like to get the others.
     
  3. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Paris, France
    Real Name:
    David
    Here's some more :




    That is the areas of an Academy-width 35 mm spherical film print viewfinder layed over the HD restored frame.

    Note that they don't fit exactly, because Studio Canal did the restoration master on 1.33:1 ratio instead of 1.37:1, but you get the point.

    1. Camera aperture YELLOW
    2. Academy ratio, 1.37-1 BLUE
    3. 1.85-1 Ratio GREEN
    4. 1.66-1 Ratio PINK
    5. Television scanned area
    6. Television "action safe" area
    7. Television "title safe" area

    As you can see, the original, A&E framing is very close to the exact Television "action safe" area, thought it 's a bit adjusted too high vertically.

    I had some friends scream when they realised how "cropped" the A&E was, but they miss that in fact, A&E framing is more or less the intended "to be seen" area presentation.

    As you can see, 1.66:1(pink) is pretty close to the action safe. It would align if the scan was 1.37:1.

    If you use the sides of the image negative when you scan it, you have the possibility to end up with a widescreen master in 1.66:1 (pink) that faithfully represent the initial, "action safe" intended vertical framing, while adding to the sides.

    That is how many of those TV shows were transformed for the big screen when theatrical showing of some episodes compiled into one movie occured, as was the case for a couples of Avengers episodes in european theaters. Man From Uncle movies also all were in Widescreen in theatrical showings.

    If you use the complete left and right negative area, you can even adjust to 1.77:1 without compromising the top and bottom intended information.

    This works for other British shows like The Prisoner and The Persuaders too. Instead of letting TV stations butcher them by reframing them savagely in widescreen, they should control the presentation and send the stations widescreen masters correctly framed.
     
  4. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,387
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    HD,
    for your great info here about framing, transfers from 4:3 to 16:9 .
    If I'm understanding you right, it's possible to transfer any originally-shot 4:3 show into a more or less "widescreen" format without stretching or cropping?
    I'm a big fan of "anamorphic" movie transfers and the example that you've provided here about the UK Avengers transfers is similar, or perhaps I've missed that part of your information here..
     
  5. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Paris, France
    Real Name:
    David
    Each series, even each season of series, is a different case of course, you shouldn't make a general assumption. However regarding british shows from the golden age of TV series in the 60's, most of those which were filmed in 35mm were shot by movie directors, and most of them had been composing for widescreen, and protecting for 4/3, since 1953 when the switch to widescreen occured. So in essence, it's a bit the same as movies from 1953 on that were shot on regular 35mm,with one major difference: the essential action was shot for the typical overscanned 4/3 TV set, which meant that as the charts indicate, it was kept in the "action safe" area.

    A 4/3 transfer should not expose the entire frame, as the studiocanal remaster do, and as recent remasters of The Prisoner or The Persuaders also apparently do, it should "zoombox" in the "action safe" area, as the A&E VHS/DVD master did in the first screen grab.

    So when it comes to recent HD remasters, even if they are in 4/3, the image is misframed as the complete negative wasn't expected by the filmmakers to be exposed to the audience on 1.77:1 TVs with near to zero overscan. The companies who do those transfer don't take this into account and frame in 4/3 off the cuff, sometime zooming in and out just to hide negative defects. So in essence, the original 4/3 experience is totally ruined.

    To scan the total negative area is wrong, as it ruins the "common top" balance which is essentialy the top of the "action safe" frame. In The Avengers, you have John Steed or Tara King making contortions to keep their heads inside the action safe frame, when they are already inside the frame. It's at the same time absolutely bad and hilarious to watch. You also can enjoy the camera moving up and down to reveal more ceiling when the actors move inside the frame. It's fabulous ;)

    So just with some common sense, (and since all TV sets now are widescreen), it could be much smarter to keep the original "action safe" common top more or less, and open up the sides (instead of opening up every side as it is right now). Thus we would get the shows in a more 21st century friendly format (ie more longevity in reruns and in the video market). Sure you will piss off a few purists, but the same purists don't even notice the framing is off on their new remasters. They really can't complain about a wider presentation when they enjoy totally off the chart presentations as long as it's square.

    I think US shows like Batman, Wild Wild West, Man From Uncle by all means (I have 3 different versions of the pilot, all framed differentely) could also work that way. But of course, one need to sit at the table and look at the negative and make a decision about it.

    Regarding The Avengers, I submited to StudioCanal all my observations. Since the HD transfers have already been made years ago however, it might not be expected in the future, unless they make a decision to go wide and go back to the transfer table.
     
  6. Osato

    Osato Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    481
    Great discussion on the series!
    So...
    Why have they not been issued on blu ray?
    Here in the US The Avengers series is out of print on DVD.
    I've held off importing the new DVD set from the UK.
    I really want to pick the series up on blu ray.
     
  7. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    41
    Why not on BluRay? Because Studio Canal (who own Optimum now) don't perceive enough profit in it. The BluRay market is still smaller than the DVD one and many fans of The Avengers will have already invested in the (expensive) special edition set, or (if they were quite mad) spent even more money buying the individual season sets before waiting for the (inevitable) complete boxset, which was both cheaper and better. At least some of the people who bought the DVD's won't be interested in double-dipping for a BluRay set, which reduces the potential number of BluRay customers.
    So there you have it: the potential number of BluRay buyers is probably quite small and simply doesn't justify the costs of a high definition re-issue.
    Moreover, given the catalogue of errors made issuing the series on DVD with various faults, hardly inspires sales either...
     
  8. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,387
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    Agree. It's one reason (double-dipping) that I've not entered the BR mkt. I may eventually but I have almsot everything on Std DVD that I want so the improvement of transfer Q isn't enough incentive for me to spend the extra $'s.
    The other reason for me is what you mentioned, studios possibly looking at the ROI and it's not justifiable to re-release a lot of the older TV series' on BR. That's just my guess on it.
    The last reason for me (non-BR collector at this point) is the lack of older-show releases on this format. I've not seen the floodgates opening that some predicted over the past couple years.
    HD, thanks again for your info here. Great stuff
     
  9. Osato

    Osato Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    481
    Star Trek and The Prisoner have been very good blu ray releases.
    Hopefully A&E is able to work something out with Studio Canal.
    I'm sure they are asking for quite a bit for the video distribution license.
    The wait continues.
    At the very least the series should not be out of print on DVD here in the US, but it is.
     
  10. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Paris, France
    Real Name:
    David
    I think it's more a problem of being able to coordinate a worldwide release. Unlike The Prisoner or The Persuaders which have only single seasons, The Avengers is 3 seasons if you count just the 35mm filmed episodes in the sixties, and one more (2x13) if you count The New Avengers which also haven't been remastered yet. That's a lot of box sets not just one.

    Also as I said above, 4/3 shows, unless they have a very strong fanbase like Star Trek, are a hard sale to other companies in other countries. Imagine you work for Studio Canal and are in charge of this release, if you email people in spain, italy, germany, and ask them to engage into this release they will 1/ think it's Marvel's Avengers then be disappointed it's not 2/ think it won't sell because there's no new movie remake, and the last movie remake tanked 3/ Too much box sets to handle 4/ there are black bars on the sides, so the interest will be limited 5/ don't care because the DVDs have sold quite well for the last ten years, so the market to resell it in Blu must be real small.

    Plus there is the problem that many foreign dubs are incomplete episodes, so you have complete moments in the Blu-ray masters which either have to be cut, or be filled with the original language with subtitles. Multiply this problem by x number of countries it could be released and by x number of episodes.That's too much authoring coordination to handle.

    It's not easy...
     
  11. Osato

    Osato Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    481
    I hope it still happens. The series seems to have a good following in the US.
    I've noticed that the A&E DVD sets are going for crazy amounts on ebay too.
    It should be back in print here in the US.
    Hopefully something is happening with the series in the next year or so.
    I'm holding out hope anyway.
    I could pick up the Region 2 DVD set, but as I read again the series has been mastered for HD. It should be on blu ray.
     
  12. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    4,063
    Likes Received:
    609
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Great to see so much interest in the Avengers. HDVision...thank you so much for your insights. Like the others, I'm hoping that things work out for a US BD release!
     
  13. Osato

    Osato Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    481
    In the past has not the Avengers series been made available on DVD in France, Argentina, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Germany?
    These foreign releases have incomplete or modified cut episodes? Could not the previous audio dubs be utilized for new foreign releases?
    Again, based on the prices that the US DVD sets are going for second hand, I think there is a demand for the series to be re issued in the US / Region A.
    Here is the set that I have been holding off ordering. It's tempting though...
    http://declassified.theavengers.tv/avengernews_studiocanal_complete.htm
     
  14. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Paris, France
    Real Name:
    David
    Yes, there are / have been problems with the french DVD for example the tag scene of escape in time is cut on the french DVD because they apparently "lost" the french audio (yet I and thousands other fans had VHS with the complete audio). They restored it later, but in english only I think. It makes no sense.

    German episodes also have huge cuts, that's why most episodes airing in HD on arte channel switch between sources and are cut.

    I'm just describing how difficult such thing up might be to set up, especially if someone wants a worldwide release to save on costs. It's way different than releasing Dark Knight Rises as you might guess ;)

    I think the Optimum complete set is cheap enough for the whole series, while one waits for an eventual Blu-ray release. I zoom the filmed episodes to 16/10 with the WDTV (zoom = x 1,2) and they frame perfectly.
     
  15. Osato

    Osato Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    481
    I just purchased the UK 50th anniversary complete series DVD set. I am really looking forward to seeing the episodes remastered!!! Very disappointed with A&E Home Video for not releasing the series remastered here in the US. In addition, I have sent multiple emails to them about The Avengers and they have never responded.
     
  16. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    9,420
    Likes Received:
    355
    Real Name:
    Scott D. Atwell
    Osato,I've been thinking seriously about purchasing this collection. It's been a favorite of mine since I watched episodes of it back in the 1960s. Do you like this collection, and how do the episodes look to you?
     
  17. JMFabianoRPL

    JMFabianoRPL Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    14
    This. Especially because Tara King WASN'T THAT BAD. She wasn't Emma, GET OVER IT ALREADY. There's been worse "replacement Scrappies".

    I'd also like TNA re-releases cause I really like Joanna Lumley. And the movie too, provided that a Rifftrax comes with it and/or the director does a pathetic Joel Schumacher type audio commentary where he blames everyone but himself, especially the toy companies.

    Anyway, I doubt A&E would do a rerelease cause they "moved on" from that type of programming, as is the case with most other cable channels. Do they still have the rights to the show nonetheless?
     
  18. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    9,420
    Likes Received:
    355
    Real Name:
    Scott D. Atwell
    I liked both Emma Peel and Tara King. And I loved how they introduced Linda Thorson into the series. I have several of the Honor Blackman episodes as well, but I don't know those nearly as well as the Peel or King offerings.
     
  19. JMFabianoRPL

    JMFabianoRPL Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    14
    Yes I am mostly familiar with the color eps.
     
  20. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    4,063
    Likes Received:
    609
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Apparently the rumors a year or so back of a BD Peel set were just that since there doesn't seem to be anything in the horizon concerning a release.

    For those interested in such things, Patrick MacNee is still alive (and at last report) fairly well in his early 90s. Here's a video from 2011 that he filmed for an Avengers convention. http://patrickmacnee.com/subPages/videos.html
     

Share This Page