DVD Review: The Avengers Complete Series Three

17 Feb

The Avengers Series Three

5 stars

Finally settling into its groove after a bumpy first two seasons, The Avengers hit its stride with series three, Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman’s rapport, along with some of the most interesting scripts in the programmes long history, making it must-see TV circa 1963.

Best remembered for its glorious colour episodes and mad-scientist-of-the-week stories that would typify the later Emma Peel years, in this third series The Avengers was still being made in monochrome and harked back to the grittier tales told in series two, though elements of its future oddness start to creep into the frame.

From Steed being put on trial for murder to the creation of double agents, nuclear weapon theft to mind games for Mrs Gale, the plots veer from the mundane to the strange on a regular basis, episodes such as The Man With Two Shadows, Mandrake and Don’t Look Behind You typical of the style the production team seemed keen to replicate in later series.

Stars Macnee and Blackman have a certain swagger about them this year, no doubt buoyed by the programme’s success in the real world which would soon see them just as much a part of the Sixties scene as The Beatles and Carnaby Street.

Avengers packshotAs with last year’s boxset of series one and two, this package is something very special. DVD producer has Optimum going back to the series makers for commentaries on key episodes which help illuminate the on-screen happenings.

As well as producer Brian Clemens we hear from director Don Leaver on he Man With Two Shadows, writer Roger Marshall on Mandrake and director Jonathan Alwyn on The Outside-In Man.

We also get episode introductions, scripts for all episodes, photo galleries, 3 TV Times features,  Psychology magazine and the Meet the Avengers book: not bad for a show knocking on for 50-years-old.

As a time capsule of Sixties TV this is a momentous release in a year already looking to be a memorable one for spy fans.

The Avengers Complete Series Three is out now from Optimum

Win a copy of The Avengers Series Three

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