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Avengers, The: Season Five – StudioCanal (BluRay) 
Written by: on July 1st, 2015


Release Dates: UK, January 11th, 1967 – Uk, November 18th, 1967
Directors: Robert Day, Gordon Flemyng, John Krish, Robert Asher, Roy Rossotti, Peter Duffell, Sidney Hayers, James Hill, John Llewellyn Moxey
Cast: Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Barbara Shelley, Peter Bowles, Warren Mitchell, Roy Kinnear, Nigel Green, Jack MacGowran, Julian Glover, Ronnie Barker, Jack Gwillim, Charles Crichton, Anna Quayle, Michael Gough, Christopher Lee, Peter Wyngarde, Isa Miranda, Charlotte Rampling, Brian Blessed, Donald Sutherland, Peter Cushing, Jane Merrow

BluRay released: June 22nd, 2015
Approximate running times: 960 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: PG (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: StudioCanal
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £60.69 (UK)


The Avengers was a Spy-fi British television series from the 1960’s that lasted six series (seasons). This series only mainstay was its leading man Patrick Macnee in the role of John Steed. Throughout this series run he had a total of four partners, season one – Ian Hendry in the role of Dr. David Keel, seasons 2 & 3 – Honor Blackman in the role of Dr. Cathy Gale, seasons 4 & 5 – Diana Rigg in the role of Emma Peel and season 6 – Linda Thorson (Tara King). The series would hits its peek during the Emma Peel years, with season number 5 being the first in color! And when it comes to popularity this series reached its apex with season 5. Also by the time Emma Peel arrived for the fourth season the show made the switch from video tape to 35mm and it is also during the fourth season that the show would become one of the first British television shows to be shown on American television.

Season 5 would comprise of twenty four episodes and though the U.S. release for season 5 also includes the episode The Forget-Me-Knot. This episode is actually the first episode of series 6 and it also marks the final appearance of the Emma Peel character. For this release here is a list of the twenty four episodes that have been included for this collection.

The Fear Merchants / Escape in Time / The Bird Who Knew Too Much / From Venus with Love / The See-Through Man / The Winged Avenger / The Living Dead / The Hidden Tiger / The Correct Way to Kill / Never, Never Say Die / Epic / The Superlative Seven / A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station / Something Nasty in the Nursery / The Joker / Who’s Who??? / Death’s Door / Return of the Cybernauts / Dead Man’s Treasure / The £50,000 Breakfast / You Have Just Been Murdered / Murdersville / The Positive Negative Man / Mission… Highly Improbable

Though the success of fourth and fifth seasons clearly lay in the charisma of its two main characters John Steed and Emma Peel. Also both of these characters are well defined persona’s which only further enhances their appeal.

Other reasons why the show peaked with these two characters include first rate screenplays that also pitted Steed and Peel against a wide variety of nemeses. Some of the villains for season five include, a comic book character that comes to life and commits murder, ghosts, invisible foes, life-like robot replicas of the recently deceased, blackmailers, a killer that can carry electrify and at the optimum time use said electricity to kill its target and the return of one of The Avengers most formidable enemies the Cybernauts.

Another area where The Avengers excels are the exceptional performances from all involved in making this show. And not to be overlooked is how the show often featured many well-known actors like Barbara Shelley (Cat Girl, Village of the Damned), Jack MacGowran (The Fearless Vampire Killers), Julian Glover (For Your Eyes Only), Michael Gough (Batman), Christopher Lee (The Horror of Dracula, The Wicker Man), Charlotte Rampling (The Night Porter), Donald Sutherland (Don’t Look Now) and Peter Cushing (The Curse of Frankenstein, Shock Waves).

Vibe wise there is a clear difference between the Emma Peel era and her predecessor Dr. Cathy Gale. With the show shifting towards a more whimsical presentation being one of its more durable assets. And by the time The Avengers reached season five the show was clicking on a cylinders.

The BluRay:

Last November The Avengers Season 5 made its Blu-Ray debut via Lions Gate for the Region A market. This release presented twenty five episodes (season 5 + The Forget-Me-Knot) over three dual layer discs, while this new release for region B from StudioCanal spreads twenty four episodes over seven discs. So instead of eight episodes per disc, with this new release you get three to four episodes per disc. Needless to say the bitrate’s for this release are much higher for StudioCanal’s release, then they are for that aforementioned Lions Gate release.

From a technical presentation this new release from StudioCanal not only boasts all the improvements that the Lions Gate release made when compared to home video releases that came before it. This release also slightly improves upon that aforementioned Lions Gate release. Most notably, stronger color saturation and image clarity.

This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in English. Dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. Also sound effects are well represented and when it comes to the music that appears in the series, things sound appropriately robust. The inclusion of the film’s original mono mix is a huge plus, especially since the Lions Gate Blu-ray only comes with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix. And it should be noted that there have be issues reported in regards to pitch of the audio for that release. When listening to the audio for this release from StudioCanal I did not notice any issues related to pitch. Also included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.

The extras included with this release are spread over seven discs.

Extras on disc one include, a stills gallery, 1960’s German opening and closing credits (4 minutes 30 seconds), a filmed episode intro with producer / screenwriter Brian Clemens for the episode ‘The Bird Who Knew too Much’ (2 minutes 19 seconds), episode trims from ‘Escape in Time’ (3 minutes 1 second, this extra has no soundtrack) and ‘The Fear Merchants’ (1 minute, this extra has no soundtrack), a German T.V. interview with Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg (9 minutes 32 seconds, in English / German), an extra titled ‘Granada Points’ where Patrick Macnee, composer Laurie Johnson & stuntwoman Cyd Child recall moments from a specific episode and these segments also offer trivia for each episode (each of these segments range from 60 to 90 seconds in length).

Topics discussed in the intro for ‘The Bird Who Knew too Much’ include, the origins of the screenplay and how he had to take over the screenplay due to it needing a polishing, the basic premise of the episode and cast members that are featured in the episode.

Extras on disc two include, a stills gallery, a filmed episode intro with producer / screenwriter Brian Clemens for the episode ‘The Living Dead’ (2 minutes 7 seconds), episode trims from ‘From Venus with Love’ (1 minute 59 seconds, this extra has no soundtrack) and ‘The See-Through Man’ (2 minutes 2 seconds, this extra has no soundtrack), an extra titled ‘Granada Points’ where Patrick Macnee & stuntwoman Cyd Child recall moments from a specific episode and these segments also offer trivia for each episode (each of these segments range from 60 to 90 seconds in length).

Topics discussed in the intro for ‘The Living Dead’ include, how he once again took over for another writer to give the screenplay a slight makeover, how this episode features one of his favorite moments in the series and the basic premise of the episode.

Extras on disc three include, a stills gallery, a filmed episode intros with producer / screenwriter Brian Clemens for the episode ‘The Correct Way to Kill’ (2 minutes 9 seconds) and ‘Epic’ (2 minutes 41 seconds), an interview with Diana Rigg – an extract from ‘British Legends of the Screen & Stage’ (7 minutes 56 seconds), an audio commentary with actor Peter Wyngarde and moderator Henry Collins for the episode ‘Epic’ and an extra titled ‘Granada Points’ where Patrick Macnee & stuntwoman Cyd Child recall moments from a specific episode and these segments also offer trivia for each episode (each of these segments range from 60 to 90 seconds in length).

Topics discussed in the intro for ‘The Correct Way to Kill’ include, how this episode is actually a remake / rewrite of an older episode, cast members that appear in the episode and the tongue and cheek humor of the episode.

Topics discussed in the intro for ‘Epic’ include, how budgetary restrictions lead to this episodes being written and its premise, the location where the episode was filmed and cast members that appear in the film.

Topics discussed in the interview with Diana Rigg include, her audition for the role of Emma Peel, her thoughts on Patrick Macnee, the challenges of working on a television series, how she initially felt overwhelmed by her new found fame due to the success of the series and her thoughts on the Emma Peel character.

The audio commentary track is a lively affair as Peter Wyngarde has plenty to say throughout this track. He spends the majority of the time talking about various films that he has appeared in and actors he has worked with. In regards to the episode, it is revealed that Peter portrays a total of eleven characters in this episode. They also discuss inspirations behind each of the characters that he portrays and Peter praises Diana Rigg’s as an actress, most notably her impeccable comedic timing.

Extras on disc four include, a stills gallery, a filmed episode intros with producer / screenwriter Brian Clemens for the episode ‘The Superlative Seven’ (2 minutes 4 seconds), ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station’ (3 minutes 48 seconds) and ‘The Joker’ (3 minutes 12 seconds) and an extra titled ‘Granada Points’ where Patrick Macnee & composer Laurie Johnson recall moments from a specific episode and these segments also offer trivia for each episode (each of these segments range from 60 to 90 seconds in length).

Topics discussed in the intro for ‘The Superlative Seven’ include, the premise and the cast members that appear in the episode.

Topics discussed in the intro for ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station’ include, another screenplay collaboration and eventually rewrite, the premise of the episode and cast members that appear in the film.

Topics discussed in the intro for ‘The Joker’ include, how this episode is a remake / rewrite of an older episode, the cast members that appear in the episode and the premise of the episode.

Extras on disc five include, a stills gallery, ‘They’re back’The Avengers promo (15 seconds), newsreel footage – Diana Rigg receives television award (2 minutes 37 seconds), two episode reconstructions – the first one for an episode titled ‘One for the Mortuary’ (7 minutes 51 seconds) and the second one for an episode titled ‘Death on the Slipway’ (6 minutes 59 seconds), an audio commentary with stuntwoman Cyd Childs and moderator Jaz Wiseman and an extra titled ‘Granada Points’ where Patrick Macnee & composer Laurie Johnson recall moments from a specific episode and these segments also offer trivia for each episode (each of these segments range from 60 to 90 seconds in length).

These episode reconstructions are for episodes from season one that no longer have any exiting masters. These are reconstructed by combing telesnaps and other surviving images with newly recorded narration.

Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, how she got involved with The Avengers, working with Diana Rigg and the stunt work that appears in this episode and that she was involved in other episodes.

Extras on disc six include, a stills gallery, archival series 5 trailer (1 minute 30 seconds), German cinema trailer (1 minute 49 seconds, in German no English subtitles), a short film starring Diana Rigg titled ‘Der Goldene Schlüssel’ (6 minutes 47 seconds), two episode reconstructions – the first one for an episode titled ‘Tunnel of Fear’ (6 minutes 44 seconds) and the second one for an episode titled ‘Dragonsfield’ (9 minutes 29 seconds), a four part mini-series starring Diana Rigg titled ‘The Mini Killers’ (41 minutes 55 seconds – total running time for all four parts) and an extra titled ‘Granada Points’ where Patrick Macnee, stuntwoman Cyd Childs & scriptwriter Roger Marshall recall moments from a specific episode and these segments also offer trivia for each episode (each of these segments range from 60 to 90 seconds in length).

The short film ‘Der Goldene Schlüssel’ has no dialog and it features music that sounds like it was lifted from The Avengers. Also the character that Diana Rigg portrays bears a striking resemblance to Emma Peel.

These episode reconstructions are for episodes from season one that no longer have any exiting masters. These are reconstructed by combing telesnaps and other surviving images with newly recorded narration.

The four part miniseries The Mini-Killers has a similar vibe to The Avengers. And just like the short film ‘Der Goldene Schlüssel’ this extra has no dialog, just music and sound effects.

Extras on disc seven include, a stills gallery, a filmed episode intro with producer / screenwriter Brian Clemens for the episode ‘Mudersville’ (2 minutes), an audio commentary with Brian Clemens and moderator Henry Collins for Murdesville, ‘The Avengers’ – A Retrospective documentary (60 minutes 15 seconds) and an extra titled ‘Granada Points’ where Patrick Macnee & scriptwriter Roger Marshall recall moments from a specific episode and these segments also offer trivia for each episode (each of these segments range from 60 to 90 seconds in length).

Topics discussed in the intro for ‘Murdersville’ include, the main location featured in the episode and the cast members that appear in the episode.

Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, the opening title credits, location featured in the episode and how they scouted locations for the series, how they favored sets over locations, he reminisces about the production crew and screenwriters that worked on the series and he also discusses things that are scene specific in the episode.

The extra titled ‘The Avengers’ – A Retrospective documentary is essentially a best of clips show.

Besides a wealth of extra content, other areas where this release distinguishes itself from all previous home video release include its solid audio / video presentation.

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