The Avengers: any advice which season is the best?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Luc Roussel, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Luc Roussel

    Luc Roussel Agent

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    I want to buy some of The Avengers season box sets but I don' t know which years is the best...Some say Emma Peel other say Diana Riggs? Let me know...
     
  2. Steven Wesley

    Steven Wesley Second Unit

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    Luc, Emma Peel was played by Diana Rigg. [​IMG]

    Personally, I'd recommend any of the Emma Peel sets, and if you can splurge for the boxset with all her episodes, that's the way to go. You'll get both the B/W (which I think are some of the best) and color eps.
     
  3. Luc Roussel

    Luc Roussel Agent

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    Steven,

    Excuse my ignorance... Now, I know That Emma Peel is the name of the character...[​IMG] ... I used to watch it in French...It was called: ¬®Chapeau melon et botte de cuir¬®.
    Do you know if any specialized channel still have it running?
     
  4. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    BBCAmerica was showing it along with the Saint and Prisoner but then they replaced Prisoner with Persuaders, all 4 great series. Get the Emma Peel Megaset, last I checked bestprices had the best price on it but that was more than a yearago. The Megaset has her complete run and it is far cheaper than the individual volumes. After that look before and after it if you like. You will still have Steed but the lead actress changes. They are fine too but the Peel years were the show at its peak.
     
  5. Mark Lx

    Mark Lx Second Unit

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    Luc, I rented a bunch of these disks recently from late in season 5, around episode 125 with Diana Rigg, and they were very good. I must admit though, I haven't seen a lot of the non-Diana Rigg episodes. Some of the earlier ones don't even exist I beleive.
     
  6. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    The two Diana Rigg (Emma Peel) seasons are the quintessential Avengers episodes. Start with those and then decide if the older Honor Blackman or later Linda Thorson episodes are worth adding.
     
  7. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    The B&W Emma Peel episodes are quite good and are probably better written than the color episodes, which are also good, in a swingin' 60s way. The colors on those episodes are very vibrant (like many shows from the 60s that were showcasing colors for the first time).

    The Complete Emma Peel box set is the way to go if you want to splurge.
     
  8. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    The B & W and color Emma Peel episodes are equally well-written and entertaining. Although Honor Blackman was a better actress and cooler than Ms. Rigg, her episodes suffered because not only because they were originally videotaped and filmed kinescopes were made from the tapes, but they were talky. To keep up with the kind of product the fans wanted to see by the mid 1960s, The Avengers got further away from the serious espionage of the previous years, and mostly took on a fantasy / sci-fi bent when it went to film the minute Rigg joined the series. It was also much easier to portray believable action on film than on tape in a staged environment.

    After Diana left, Linda Thorson was just awful as Tara King, although during the final season the editing and set design are both superior to the previous seasons. She was even worse in the 1980s sitcom Marblehead Manor!

    The New Avengers from the 1970s brought back Patrick McNee as John Steed with 2 new partners instead of just one: Purdey (played by Joanna Lumley) and Mike Gambit. It's also out on DVD and VHS and worth checking out. Two Avengers regulars from the earlier series return in guest appearances: Diana Rigg makes a cameo as Mrs. Peel when Steed phones her, but judging by her hair and youthful appearance it looked to me like unused footage from the previous decade. Ian Hendry comes back some 15 years later....but in a completely different role as an old acquaintance of Steed's who is out for revenge.

    Although the newer series was shot in Great Britain for most of its 2 seasons, several of the episodes were also filmed in Canada.
     
  9. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I'm a big "New Avengers" fan. I admit that I'm a "reverse" fan of this since I don't have any of the original Avengers series on DVD. I love the New Avengers and have both season's sets. I've been thinking of getting that Avengers megaset lately...still "on the fence". OT: I did get the "Secret Agent" megaset with Patrick McGoohan and I love that one. Sounds like I'd like the original Avengers set as well [​IMG]
     
  10. andrew markworthy

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    The Diana Rigg episodes are by far the best (incidentally, 'Emma Peel' is a pun on 'M appeal' or 'man appeal' - a popular 60s piece of slang). Although the episodes appear quaint in hindsight, at the time they were extremely daring. Bear in mind that in the 60s nice girls didn't kick twenty colours of the proverbial out of opponents and they most certainly didn't wear fetishistic leather outfits. Pretentious as it sounds, the Emma Peel episodes were part of the vanguard of the sexual revolution.
     
  11. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    It depended on what type of crowd you hung out with.

    I don't think the show is quaint, I keep hearing that in reference to films and tv shows I like, but they seem brilliant pieces of art. I find it expressive and daring still today and a little absurdist, a quality that is my favorite in film, but most of all good fun.
     
  12. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Right, Tory [​IMG] That's the reason I like the older TV series on DVD. I've bought quite a bit of TV/DVD's in the last year and I've only had one series that hasn't "stood the test of time" as well as I had wanted it to. That's a pretty good batting average to me. [​IMG] I just haven't been able to get interested in much series TV that's come out since '97 or so. Guess that's telling me how old I am [​IMG]
     
  13. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Then you may not have seen the Catherine Gale episodes before Diana Rigg, because Honor Blackman made leather outfits fashionable. Mrs. Gale wore a variety of leather skirts and pantsuits. Mrs. Peel only had a leather jumpsuit and also more traditional woman's clothes of that period.
     
  14. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    With all due respect Jeff, Diana Rigg is widely considered one of Britain's best actresses and the ONLY cast member who has had any real ongoing success in the years since THE AVENGERS. She not only has a Tony, an Emmy, an Evening Standard Award, and a few BAFTAs, but she has multiple nominations for each of these and multiple nominations (but no wins)for the Olivier Award. Honor Blackman is fun but I would hardly compare her range to Dame Diana's.

    I was lucky enough to see Rigg's Broadway turn in MEDEA and she was blistering. While some of her best work has been on the London and New York stages, I suggest you seek out THE HOSPITAL (1971), IN THIS HOUSE OF BREDE (1975) and MOTHER LOVE (1990) for glimpses of her acting prowess.

    As for who was cooler, to each his own I guess. I personally find Emma Peel to be much warmer and multi-dimensional than Cathy Gale and Rigg is STILL the best Bond Girl of them all.
     
  15. Britton

    Britton Supporting Actor

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    Definitely the Diana Rigg seasons. Let me present some evidence that should compel you to agree:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree, Will. I liked Diana in her younger years but only on The Avengers. I wasn't that impressed by her work in The Hospital (she looked great in a miniskirt though) or On Her Majesty's Secret Service. It didn't even make sense for someone like James Bond to get married.

    Besides....a lot of 007 fans concur that Goldfinger is the best Bond film ever made. Who could forget Pussy Galore? [​IMG]

    The fact that Ms. Rigg has won a few awards is great for her, but this all comes down to opinion. Not sure about Honor's awards, but she did win the BAFTA award in 2000 for her work on The Avengers four decades earlier.
     
  17. andrew markworthy

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    Not in Barrow-in-Furness, mate. [​IMG]

    Re: the Rigg v Blackman debate. They're both good actresses, but it's undoubtedly true that Rigg has captured the critical praise more. I suspect this is largely because Dame Diana's career has been centred rather more on the 'serious' theatre.
     
  18. Mark Lx

    Mark Lx Second Unit

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    Not to get too off topic, but a lot of Bond diehards also think that OHMSS is the best Bond film, including myself, as it stands out from the others. Goldfinger is great though, which doesn't prove anything to do with Diana Rigg.
     
  19. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    As far as it goes I believe Rigg is a more popular celebrity all over the world, the Emma Peel episodes are the only ones I ever saw in reruns when I was 3 or 4 and on BBCAmerica. I think Avengers found its distinctive style when Rigg came aboard, not that it was not there before in some part but it came together as an individual at that time. Add to that the influx of color in the series makes it stand out more in the eyes of the mid 60's audience and to those who buy the show for syndication. You mention the TV series Avengers in the U.S. people who remember it will remember Emma Peel more than anything else. I think there was a song from Dishwalla about her too went a little something like this:

    I come home late at night
    On the floor to turn you on
    I check for tint and Technicolor
    After you there is no other
    Your brown hair is my connection
    Connects my resurrection
    And everyone else is just a harlot
    A Star Search spokes model starlet
    Miss Emma Peal
    Black boots kick high at his face
    One last look at the grace of
    Miss Emma Peel
    Catch the curve of your leather heel
    Before he blacks out
    That's another one down for
    Miss Emma Peel
    I sit beside her in the evening
    And watch her rerun secrets by my ears

    Cat eyes watch with British humor
    Cause she's a mod-feel sixties savior
    Your brown hair is my connection
    Connects my resurrection
    And everyone else is just a harlot
    A Star Search spokes model starlet
    Miss Emma Peel
    Black boots kick high at his face
    One last look at the grace of
    Miss Emma Peel
    Catch the curve of your leather heel
    Before he blacks out
    That's another one down for
    For Miss Emma Peel
    For Miss Emma Peel
    For Miss Emma Peel
    For Miss Emma Peel
     
  20. David_Blackwell

    David_Blackwell Screenwriter

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    I have the first DVD of the black and white Avengers with Emma Peel. It is so fun to watch. I need to get the other discs sooner or later.
     

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