Plot: What’s it about?
As many of you know, The Avengers was a successful British television series which found a large fan base here as well. The series has since became a cult classic, and inspired a major motion picture, although the movie didn’t find it’s audience like the television show did. A&E has issued this, as well as other seasons of The Avengers on DVD, giving fans an opportunity to pick up entire seasons at once, or just personal favorite episodes. This season, like the others, focuses on government agent John Steed, whose partner this time happens to be Tara King. As a team, the two investigate unusual events, strange people, and abnormal places. As such, they encounter many strange individuals and get into some hair raising situations. While there are many aspects of the series that made the show so endearing, what makes the series so cool to me is the style. I mean the whole style, characters, writing, and even shooting. I wouldn’t rank this pair as my choice as the best this series has to offer, but King & Steed have some great moments, to be sure. If you’re a fan of this series, you don’t want to miss this season, it’s filled with outstanding episodes, and A&E has released them in top notch fashion.
A&E’s releases of the cult television smash The Avengers continues, with sets three and four of the 1968 season. As usual, each set houses two discs and each disc holds three complete episodes, save Volume 8, which happens to house four complete installments. So in order to have all the episodes listed below, you’ll need to purchase both sets and of course, the other Avengers releases are excellent also. As I mentioned above, the ’68 season is not a favorite of mine, but it remains solid and has a lot of good episodes, so fans won’t want to bypass these releases, not by any means. Linda Thorson simply struggles a little to fill some massive shoes, so chemistry is a little less effective than prior seasons, though the two still have a solid partnership, without question. A lot of the usual Avengers style moments happen in these ’68 episodes, so buckle in and prepare for a fun, wild ride. As usual, A&E has delivered terrific treatment for The Avengers, so don’t hesitate for a second to grab these sets, they’re worth every last cent. Below is a listing of all the episodes found in these two releases. Volume 5
1. The Interrogators
2. The Rotters
3. Invasion of the Earthmen
2. The Morning After
3. The Curious Case of the Clueless Countess
1. Wish You Were Here
2. Stay Tuned
3. Take Me to Your Leader
2. Homicide and Old Lace
3. Love All
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame transfers, as intended. As expected, the image looks a little worn at times, but remains better than I had counted on and these are perhaps the best looking Avengers releases to date. Of course, this is due in part to the fact that they’re younger than prior Avengers releases, but A&E has also refined their transfer skills over the years, so the episodes look sharp and show minimal compression defects. The colors seem a tad faded at times, but solid and black levels are on the mark throughout. You won’t mistake for one of the new fall prime-time programs, but The Avengers looks terrific here.
Audio: How does it sound?
The original mono audio is used here and seems up to snuff, just don’t expect an immersive experience from these mixes. You’ll hear some minor age related hiccups, but they do remain minor in nature and as such, are no reason to be concerned. The music sounds clean, the sound effects come through well, and dialogue is as clear as a bell, no serious issues in the least to confront here, another solid audio treatment for this excellent series.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Each disc contains some production stills, but no other bonus materials.