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Avengers 1966 Vol.#5

Patrick Macnee , Diana Rigg    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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In "What the Butler Saw," one of two black-and-white episodes from the fourth season of The Avengers, someone is leaking defense secrets to "the other side." While gentleman spy John Steed (Patrick Macnee) goes undercover as a butler to locate the culprit, Mrs. Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) launches "Operation Fascination" to attract the attention of the womanizing prime suspect, Captain Miles. About to meet him for drinks, she is memorably advised by Steed, "Don't do anything I would do." Two notable bits: for security purposes, three defense officials zip themselves up in a ridiculous giant plastic body bag that anticipates Get Smart's Cone of Silence; and Emma flees from a pursuer through a succession of doors used to train butlers, a scene echoed in Sam Raimi's Crimewave. "The House That Jack Built" is one of Rigg's finest hours, and a rare chance to see the usually nonplussed Mrs. Peel totally plussed. She is in for "the fright of [her] life" when she is held prisoner in a house rigged by a vengeful techno-obsessed madman bent on driving her insane. Rooms that move and labyrinthian mazes are mere prologue to "the exhibition dedicated to the late Emma Peel." This volume is also available in The Avengers '66, Set 2. --Donald Liebenson

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Final series makes it to DVD April 23 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
The final season of the original Avengers finally comes to DVD & VHS in region one. "The Forget me knot," the debut episode of Ms. Tara King played by Linda Thorson, was released back in 1998, but only now is the entire series seeing the light of day - and it's been well worth the wait.
There are many of course who do not rate these last adventures featuring the debonair John Steed as Britain's top government agent as highly as what had gone before, and it's easy to see why. Steed's pairing originally with Mrs Gale (Honor Blackman) and later Mrs Peel (Diana Rigg) had been an excellent match for his skills. With Mrs Peel leaving the show, the producers, Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell followed suit and John Bryce was brought back to the programme, following his stint producing the early Mrs Gale episodes.
The first thing Bryce did was to cast his girlfriend, twenty one year old Canadian Linda Thorson as Steed's new assistant, Miss Tara King. In order to complete the delivery of episodes to the US market, production was fairly rushed, and what came out of it was deemed substandard. Bryce was sacked and Fennell and Clemens brought back to rescue the production. Clemens was particularly unhappy about Linda Thorson's role, but it was too late in the day to do anything about it. They set about filming the initial block of 8 episodes (extended to 9), rehashing two of the abandoned Bryce episodes, and bringing back Mrs Peel for the one-off story "The forget me knot" to introduce the new character of Tara (although this "debut" was actually filmed third). Once these episodes were ready, they set about producing the final batch of 24.
There is a very significant shift in the character of Tara King between these two production blocks as Thorson began to gain confidence in the part.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST DVD YET!!! Nov. 5 2002
Format:DVD
I JUST GOT THIS DVD TODAY AND I HAVE TO SAY I THINK IT IS THE BEST YET. THE STORIES ARE AS FOLLOWS
WISH YOU WERE HERE.. TARA BECOMES TRAPPED IN A HOTEL SHE CAN NEVER LEAVE....
STAY TUNED...STEED FINDS HIMSELF LIVING THE SAME DAY OVER AND OVER AGAIN ONE PROBLEM NO ONE ELSE DOES.
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER-STEED AND TARA CHASE A TALKING BREIFCAST TO CATCH A SPY...MOTHER!!!
FOG...STEED AND TARA CHASE THE GASLIGHT GHOUL TARA FINDS HIM IN HER APARTMENT.
HOMICIDE AND OLD LACE..MOTHER TELLS A THRILLING ADVENTURE TO HIS ELDERLY AUNTS INVOLVING STEED AND TARA.
LOVE ALL...STEED AND TARA FIND ROMANCE MAY NOT BE DEAD AFTER ALL BUT THE MEN WHO FALL FOR THIS LADY CLEANER SURE ARE.
GETAWAY...TWO OF STEEDS FREIND ARE KILLED BY AN INVISIBLE MAN AND STEED IS NEXT.
ALL IN ALL THE STORIES HERE ARE VERY GOOD BUY THIS NOW I PROMISE YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. ONE MORE LITTLE THING THE BOX I GOT WAS RED NOT THAT GARISH YELLOW ON THE PICTURE ABOVE.
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Format:VHS Tape
This is a very odd pair of episodes, "What the Butler Saw" being essentially a very British comedy and "The House That Jack Built" an intense sci-fi melodrama.
"Butler" is a deliberately more comedic re-telling of an earlier Honor Blackman story, in which very faithful military men appear to be leaking important state secrets. To get to the bottom of it, Emma becomes the seducer of a ladies' man, and Steed first impersonates top-ranking members of each armed service and then turns to butlering to keep a close eye on the suspects. The humor is English farce, not so amusing to American audiences. Probably the funniest thing in the episode is Steed's variety of facial hair disguises while cozying up to the Army, Navy, and Air Force officers. There's also a fairly amusing chase in the finale, with Emma pursued through a series of opening and shutting doors, one after another, all in a straight line and only a few feet apart from each other.
"House" is the better piece of the two, an often genuinely creepy and very atmospheric haunted house story of another color. A nonexistent dead uncle bequeathes Emma his house in the country - which turns out to be an eerie automated prison, designed to become her tomb by a madman with a grudge. Two things especially stand out in this one: the surrealistic sets of the mechanized haunted house, which are really unsettling, and Diana Rigg's virtual one-woman performance as the mouse caught in the trap.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Steed Takes A Train - Emma Rides the Rail May 19 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The first of the Diana Rigg episodes are among the best of the entire series.
"The Gravediggers" is a straightforward espionage story, marked by The Avengers' usual oddball elements and formula. The local cemetery is somehow being used to jam signals, and Steed and Emma have to sort it out. An eccentric old man who builds oversize train sets is in the middle of it, and Steed has to rescue a bound-to-the-tracks Emma in a humorously exciting finale.
"The Town Of No Return" is a great story, in which an isolated seaside town is being used by a foreign power to infiltrate Britain with fifth-column invaders. The setup is good, the payoff better. The Avengers find themselves going literally underground, to break it all up.
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Format:VHS Tape
Somebody is selling top British defense secrets to the enemy. The talented British agent Steed contacts the double-agent barber. They whisper, but not quiet enough. The barber is killed. The list of potential traitors includes three high ranking officers. They have weaknesses: drunkeness (leading to headaches), gambling (to the extent of neglecting official duties), and womanizing. They also have butlers. Steed decides to join a butling (gentlemen's) school. The action becomes more heated with Mrs. Peel joining the force as an officer's girlfriend. At the end Steed and Mrs. Peel are saved by a retired, senile, patriotic, but not really demented general.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Steed Makes Strange Bedfellows - Emma Becomes A Swinger
The six episodes in this set happen to be the most average of the black-and-white Diana Rigg series. Not bad - in fact, not bad at all - but not extraordinary, either. Read more
Published on May 10 2002 by Bruce Rux
5.0 out of 5 stars Steed Takes A New Partner - Emma Crosses the Atlantic
The Avengers was one of the hippest shows of its day, and manages to stand the test of time pretty well. Read more
Published on May 7 2002 by Bruce Rux
5.0 out of 5 stars Steed Boosts His I.Q. - Emma Boosts State Secrets
"Castle De'ath" is an unusual Avengers entry, in that Steed and Emma are both undercover at the same place at the same time, from the very start of the episode. Read more
Published on April 30 2002 by Bruce Rux
5.0 out of 5 stars Steed Plays With Toys - Emma Tests Her Metal
"The Cybernauts" is the quintessential Avengers episode, the most famous of the series and deservedly so. If you're new to the series, this is the best story to start out on. Read more
Published on April 29 2002 by Bruce Rux
4.0 out of 5 stars Long on charm, short on continuity
This is an erratic group of episodes, charming but sloppy.
As other reviewers note, ``Small Game for Big Hunters'' is one of the best, satirizing colonialism as much as could... Read more
Published on March 29 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A great series
This is my favorite Avengers team, Mrs. Peel and Mr. Steed. Together, Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee make the series. This series is very superb. Read more
Published on March 14 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Best episode of the avengers
this is one of my favorite avengers episodes ever. I have seen almost all of them and out of them all this one is one of the most suspensful ones. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2002 by avengers fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Emma Peel Volume One
Although somewhat campy at times, The Avengers was an intellectual show, featuring puzzling mysteries, witty dialogue, bits of comedy, and an incredibly suave, cool agent in John... Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2002 by Daniel Jolley
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