Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Avengers The Complete Emma Peel Megaset

Imagine my complete surprise and delight when I came across The Avengers The Complete Emma Peel Megaset  DVD collection at my favorite used bookstore: Chamblin Bookmine.

For the past several years I've searched for the collection at bookstores, DVD stores and the like with no result.  Even though I knew I could buy it through the internet I still had this urge to see it 'in the flesh' before I purchased it.

To my good fortune I had credit at Chamblin Bookmine and coupled with just a few dollars I purchased the set.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Avengers (no, I'm not speaking of the Marvel Comics super hero team) The Avengers was a TV series that premiered on British TV back in the early 1960s.

Originally the series starred two men who 'avenged' crimes, for the lack of a better explanation.
The series floundered and the lead actor left to pursue a movie career.  That left the supporting actor: Patrick MacNee, to headline the show.  Something he wasn't entirely sure he could do.

The producers decided to bring in another male lead and at the last moment cast a woman: Honor Blackman, in the role.

Suddenly they had a hit on their hands.  Quirky, unpredictable and tongue-in-cheek, the series combined hard-edge detective drama with super spy antics brought on by the popularity of the new James Bond film series.

After a few years Honor left the show (coincidentally to star as Pussy Galore in the James Bond film Goldfinger) and the producers suddenly found themselves scampering about for a new female lead.

The found her in Diana Rigg, a Shakespearean stage actress whom they convinced to take on the role of super spy: Emma Peel. The rest they say is history.

The DVD set: The Avengers The Complete Emma Peel Megaset, is comprised of 16-discs that include Ms. Rigg's run from 1965-1967-three seasons.

The Avengers became such a huge hit that it migrated to the United States, transitioned to color and become an even greater sensation.

Together Patrick MacNee as debonair, bowler hat-wearing and umbrella-carrying John Steed and Diana Rigg as fashion goddess and martial arts master Emma Peel, turned the world of spydom on its collective ear.

Innovative, inventive and trend-setting the series presented a fantastic world of super-geniuses, world-threatening madmen and woman, incredible futuristic devices and some of the most outrageous and clever story plots ever devised for TV.

Couple all that with Steed's wit, Emma's sexiness and you have a surefire hit.

Sadly after three brief years Ms. Rigg left the series. A new female lead was introduced, but she failed to catch on and the series only lasted one more year. 

A reboot was attempted in the 1970s that lasted a few scant years and a miserable and dreadful movie was made some years later with a brand new cast.

The magic was gone, much like the decade the series was placed in.  Still, The Avengers The Complete Emma Peel Megaset, is great classic TV series compilation from Lionsgate and Studiocanal.