THE FIRST two seasons of The Avengers have been released by Optimum in what has to be the most comprehensive DVD release yet.
Including all that remains of season one (1961) and the entirety of season two – which saw the arrival of Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale – the eight-disc digitally restored DVD set also boasts a huge wealth of extras.
Of particular interest to missing episode enthusiasts will be the inclusion of recently discovered telesnaps from missing season one episodes.
Telesnaps are sets off-screen photos taken off the TV during original transmission. The inventor, John Cura, captured many shows in this way, famously including Doctor Who.
Thanks to him, and Avengers producer Leonard White for saving them in scrap books, fans can at last get a real idea of the visual feel of a significant number of missing season one episodes, including Dead of Winter (tx 9/12/61).
DVD Special Features
- Surviving Ian Hendry Series 1 episodes:
- “Hot Snow” (Act One only, 15 minutes)
- “Girl on the Trapeze”
- “The Frighteners”
- Exclusive audio commentary by Producer Leonard White on the surviving footage from the opening episode, “Hot Snow”.
- Police Surgeon – “Easy Money” (tx 10/09/60) – starring Ian Hendry. The only surviving opening episode of the series that is regarded as the precursor to The Avengers.
- Filmed introduction to Police Surgeon by Producer Leonard White.
- Exclusive, newly filmed interview with Honor Blackman.
- Exclusive audio commentary by writer Martin Woodhouse on “Mr Teddy Bear”.
- Exclusive audio commentary by Producer Leonard White on “The Mauritius Penny”.
- Exclusive audio commentary by writer Roger Marshall on “Death of A Great Dane”.
- Exclusive audio commentary by actress Julie Stevens on “A Chorus of Frogs”.
- Filmed introductions by actress Julie Stevens.
- Insert reprint of original publicity brochure for the first Honor Blackman season.
- Insert reprints of Leonard White’s scrapbooks featuring telesnaps of lost Series 1 episodes.
- PDF material: original scripts, TV Crimebusters comic strip, TV Times covers (for Police Surgeon and The Avengers), a ‘knit with The Avengers’ feature from Woman’s Mirror featuring Hendry and Ingrid Hafner, and music cue sheets.
- Extensive stills galleries featuring both b&w and colour promotional stills and behind=the-scenes photos.
The Avengers: The Complete Series 2 & Surviving Episodes From Series 1 has a RRP of £79.99 but you can find it cheaper from websites including Play.com (£57.99). There are good reviews of the release on the Television Heaven website and at Cathode Ray Tube.