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Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Avengers: The Complete Series 5 [UK] Blu-ray Review

avengers-S5-UK-bluray-coverU.K. Release (Region B Locked)

The Series



American audiences may think of The Avengers as the British counterpart to Get Smart, but in fact The Avengers precedes Get Smart by three seasons. The first iteration of this eccentric British spy comedy/drama began in 1961 and first starred Ian Hendry as Dr. David Keel, a man investigating the murder of his fiancée and office receptionist Peggy by a drug ring who partners with the stranger John Steed (Patrick Macnee), to help him avenge her death, thus the name of the series. It isn’t until the second, shortened season (there was a strike during the show’s second year) that the more familiar setup we now know today comes into play. Hendry left the show and Macnee was now made the star, with a revolving cast of young, modern, female co-stars. By the fourth series, a new co-star was on board, Diana Rigg and Mrs. Emma Peel, a woman whose husband had gone missing somewhere over the Amazon. Also of note, theiuiu fourth series was the first of the show to be shot on film, the last for The Avengers to be shot in black-and-white, and the first British series ever to be picked up for prime time broadcast by American television.

There’s no wonder why this particular duo of John Steed and Emma Peel is perhaps one of the most iconic ones for viewers on the American side of the pond. Rigg had replaced Honor Blackman who played the black leather-clad, judo-performing Cathy Gale who could hold her own against any man. This shift in cultural attitudes, Gales superstardom, and the rising tide of feminism did not go unnoticed when it came time to replace Blackman, and the part of Peel was meant as someone with “man appeal” or “m appeal”. Many of the traits of the Gale character were carried over in the equally progressive, yet just as sexy Diana Rigg who became an iconic female role model and sex symbol herself. Meanwhile, Patrick Macnee was evolved into the prototypical English gentleman of yore complete with bowler hat, umbrella, and tailored suits from Saville Row.

It was the interplay between John Steed and his ultra-modern female counterparts, usually amateurs with no spy training, that made the show so interesting. And as the show progressed, even over the course of just this one series, it became less by the books spy thriller, and more comedic sci-fi adventure, with, in the case of series four, Steed and Peel taking on everything from hypnotist airplane hijackers to metallic assassins called “cybernauts.” It’s almost as if the world of Doctor Who and James Bond collided and created a quirky spinoff.

The fifth series, being released on Blu-ray for the first time, is a pivotal one for the show for a few reasons. It was the first to be filmed in color, it was the last of the series to star Diana Rigg, and it featured several prominent guest stars including a young Donald Sutherland and a stunning Charlotte Rampling. The producers also decided to introduce a softer style to Emma Peel’s dress; gone were the tight black leather catsuits, in were pastel colored dresses which also came along with a new fighting style, kung fu.

Video Quality



This first color series of The Avengers arrives in a brilliant and vivid AVC/MPEG-4 1080p transfer on Blu-ray from StudioCanal. The series 4 release looked beautiful and while it would be difficult for this color production to match the stark contrast of black and white, it makes up for it in rich color. One can see how playful the production designers were with their newfound freedom as well, adding lots of accents like bright red roses, golden colored guns, and bright yellow pantsuits that really pop. The image is clean and detailed, if only just a little oversaturated in the flesh tones.

Audio Quality



We get a pretty good English LPCM 2.0 mono (48kHz/24-bit) audio track that is free from most harmful noises and provides clear and punchy sound.

Supplemental Materials



There’s a heavy dose of deleted scenes, reconstructed episodes, archival interviews, commentaries and more provided in this 7-disc set.

Disc 1:

  • Episode Trims from Escape in Time (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:01)
  • Episode Trims from The Fear Merchants (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:00)
  • Filmed Episode Intro by Brian Clemens to The Bird Who Knew Too Much (1.78:1; SD/PAL; 00:02:19)
  • German Interview with Macnee and Rigg (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:09:32)
  • 1960s German Titles (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:30)
  • Granada + Points:
    • The Fear Merchants (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:31)
    • Escape in Time (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:28)
    • The Bird Who Knew Too Much (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:11)
  • Stills Galleries (1080p/24)

Disc 2:

  • The Winged Avenger commentary with Richard Harris
  • Filmed Episode Intro by Brian Clemens to The Living Dead (1.78:1; SD/PAL; 00:02:07)
  • Episode Trims from From Venus with Love (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:59)
  • Episode Trims from The See-Through Man (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:22)
  • Granada+Points:
    • From Venus with Love (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:49)
    • The See-Through Man (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:00:58)
    • The Winged Avenger (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:03)
    • The Living Dead (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:23)
  • Stills Galleries (1080p/24)

Disc 3:

  • Filmed Episode Intro by Brian Clemens to The Correct Way to Kill (1.78:1; SD/PAL; 00:02:09)
  • Epic – Commentary with Peter Wyngarde
  • Filmed Episode Intro by Brian Clemens to Epic (1.78:1; SD/PAL; 00:02:41)
  • Interview with Dame Diana Rigg (Extract from British Legends of Stage & Screen) (1.78:1; 1080i/50; 00:07:56)
  • Granada+Points:
    • The Hidden Tiger (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:00:55)
    • The Correct Way to Kill (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:01)
    • Never, Never Say Die (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:24)
    • Epic (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:01)
  • Stills Galleries

Disc 4:

  • Filmed Episode Intro by Brian Clemens to The Superlative Seven
  • Filmed Episode Intro by Brian Clemens to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station
  • Filmed Episode Intro by Brian Clemens to The Joker
  • Granada+Points:
    • The Superlative Seven (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:32)
    • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:10)
    • Something Nasty in the Nursery (1.33:1; SD/PAL;
    • The Joker (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:06)
  • Stills Galleries (1080p/24)

Disc 5:

  • Return of the Cybernauts Commentary with Cyd Childs
  • ATV Newsreel Footage (Dianna Rigg Receives TV Award) (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:02:37)
  • Episode Reconstruction – One For the Mortuary (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:07:51)
  • Episode Reconstruction – Death on the Slipway (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:06:59)
  • They’re Back – Avengers Trailer (1.33:1; 1080i/50; 00:00:15)
  • Granada+Points:
    • Who’s Who??? (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:01)
    • Death’s Door (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:00:46)
    • Return of the Cybernauts (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:31)
  • Stills Galleries (1080p/24)

Disc 6:

  • Episode Reconstruction – Tunnel of Fear (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:06:44)
  • Episode Reconstruction – Dragonsfield (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:09:29)
  • Archival Series 5 Trailer (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:30)
  • German Cinema Trailer (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:49)
  • The Mini Killers:
    • Operation Costa Brava (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:10:20)
    • Heroin (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:10:05)
    • Macabre (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:10:00)
    • Flamenco (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:11:30)
  • Der Goldene Schlüssel (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:06:47)
  • Granada+Points:
    • Dead Man’s Treasure (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:20)
    • The £50,000 Breakfast (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:17)
    • You have Just Been Murdered (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:24)
  • Stills Galleries (1080p/24)

Disc 7:

  • Murdersville Commentary with Brian Clemens
  • Filmed Episode Intro by Brian Clemens to Murdersville (1.78:1; SD/PAL; 00:02:00)
  • The Avengers – A Retrospective (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 01:00:15)
  • Granada+Points:
    • Murdersville (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:27)
    • The Positive – Negative Man (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:27)
    • Mission…Highly Improbable (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:01:08)
  • Stills Galleries (1080p/24)

The Definitive Word




The gorgeous, sexy, kick-butt Diana Rigg could not have gone out in a more colorful way than this funny, action-packed fifth series of The Avengers. StudioCanal has done an A+ job bringing the picture and sound of this ’60s classic to Blu-ray.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00UAJ6WQ2[/amazon-product]


























[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00UAJ6WQ2[/amazon-product]


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