THE AVENGERS THE COMPLETE SERIES 6
Review by Paul Fiander
The Avengers series 6 was the first to not have the amazing Diana Rigg starting as Mrs Peel (apart from the first episode). Instead we have a new female lead in the shape of Linda Thorson as Tara King. It can sometimes be an unsettling affair changing a much loved character and many shows suffer and die from alterations in casting.
Thorson was a newcomer to acting and although she is seen by some as a liability to the series I think she was just raw and many associated her with the shows change to a more "realistic" slant (Though realism should be taken with a pinch of salt) The bigger issue though was the change in the production team which chopped and charged after the first few episodes. You can feel the series grow as the episodes grow and if you want to know more about the ins and outs of the behind the scenes shenanigans then it's with looking up and reading reports from more informed sources than I.
As for the show itself, the Avengers is a show of its time and so a deep dip into the nostalgia of the sixties from the clothes to the cars. Most importantly the cars. The spy stories are given a large sense of panache thanks to John Steed aka Patrick McNee who is the epitome of the gentleman spy. His suave demeanour is one of the highlights of the show including his sword covering umbrella. The mood is generally light as even the music hints at comedic tones there are more serious moments but this is no tear jerker. Think more 60's Batman than modern day Bond.
The real prize of this Blu-Ray is the fact it is more than complete you get 33 episodes each at an hour long and a whole raft of extras, not your now mandatory blooper and Gag reel. Most notable are the audio commentaries from the aforementioned Linda Thorson, along with many of the behind the screen and on screen talent. Although these do not cover all episodes there is still a nice number for those who want to get into the inner workings of the show. There is also test footage of the actress they auditioned to replace Diana Rigg and quite a bit more besides.
This series marked the end of the Original Avengers run and it is a great piece of nostalgia, witty entertaining and never dull. It does have its flaws but it also is extremely charming and Linda Thorson does grow into her role as the series goes on and at 33 episodes you will certainly get hours and hours of enjoyment from this wonderful series.
Summary of Blu-Ray extras and specs.
John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and his new secret agent partner Tara King (Linda Thorson) embark on a string of crime solving adventures in the final series of the original cult TV series The Avengers. This box set includes the complete and Uncut series 6, on Blu-ray for the first time with a wealth of special features.
- Exclusive audio commentaries with: director Roy Ward Baker and scriptwriter/producer Brian Clemens on Split!, scriptwriter Jeremy Burnham and guest star Veronica Strong on Love All, guest star Jennifer Croxton on Killer, director John Hough on The Morning After, director Robert Fuest on Game, Linda Thorson, Stunt double Cyd Child on Noon Doomsday
- Filmed introductions by Linda Thorson
- Introducing Linda Thorson promotional trailer
- Girl About Town promotional trailer
- Filmed introduction by director Cyril Frankel
- Artists test footage to find the replacement for Diana Rigg
- Episode reconstructions for series 1 Scripts The Springers, The Yellow Needle, The Far-Distant Dead and The Deadly Air
- UK animated bumper
- Granada + points for The Forget-Me-Knot
- Textless extended closing credits
- German opening and closing credits
- Stills galleries