Plot: What’s it about?
The Avengers. They were Scully and Mulder before there was an X Files. No matter what the case was, strange impulses that screwed with machines or investigating a school for assassins, The Avengers always stuck around to get the job done. The 1964 season featured Patrick Macnee as John Steed and Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale. While most casual Avengers fans will remember Diana Riggs as the female lead, Blackman does a wonderful job, and is almost as easy on the eyes. These are the original Avengers, and they are every bit as daring and entertaining as any of the pairs. These are very early episodes, but that doesn’t stop them from being good ones, filled with excitement and thrills. Fans of The Avengers will not want to miss out on these sets, they are well organized and really do the series justice.
Once again A&E has issued more excellent adventures of The Avengers on DVD, this time the 1964 season. As with the previous releases, these discs each contain three full length episodes, and the season is divided up into two sets of two discs, for a total of four discs. So if you want all the goods, make sure you purchase both sets. Also, each disc is dual layered, which ensures optimal video quality, making up for the abundance of discs. The packaging for these installments is also good, keeping the scheme of previous releases going. I can’t recommend this show enough, and A&E has issued it in fine form. While the supplements are lacking, I think the shows alone merit a purchase, so I recommend the disc, and series, with my highest commendation. Below is a listing of the episodes you’ll find within this set.
The White Elephant, The Little Wonders, and The Wringer
Mandrake, The Secrets Broker, and The Trojan Horse
Build A Better Mousetrap, The Outside-In Man, and The Charmers
Concerto, Esprit de Corps, and Lobster Quadrille
Video: How does it look?
Each episode is presented in the original 1.33:1 or full frame aspect ratio. These episodes were shown in black and white, so contrast levels are vital to the overall quality. Thankfully, with only minor exceptions, the black levels are natural, so shadow depth is good and detail level is very high. The prints do show some wear and tear however, but that is overlookable, given the source material.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio is presented via the original mono format, so certain limitations are present. When you take the limitations of mono into consideration, the audio is very good, and nothing gets lost in the mix. The hiss that sometimes pops up with mono is not present, thankfully. Dialogue is what really matters here, and you can hear every word without serious separation problems.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Each disc includes a small photo gallery, containing some nice hi resolution stills.