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The Avengers: The Complete Series 6 (4 stars)

The flamboyant spy series that echoed the pop-cultural moods of the 1960s

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The Avengers: The Complete Series 6

(12) 480min
(Optimum)

Throughout the 1960s The Avengers bestrode the televisual world like a colossus. Twisted, kinky and confident, the flamboyant spy series echoed precisely the pop-cultural moods of that tumultuous decade. The latest volume in Optimum’s re-mastered and extras-stuffed reissue programme covers over eight discs the era of John Steed (Patrick McNee) and Tara King (Linda Thorson), when proceedings began to go a bit prog and the shirt collars could take your eye out. Even so, series six, from 1968, contained some of the show’s finest, furthest-out episodes - Fog, for example, where a reincarnation of Jack the Ripper stalks Soviet peace delegates through the streets of Whitechapel, or The Super Secret Cypher Snatch in which evil window-cleaners (no, really) brainwash operatives of the intelligence services. Like Sherlock Holmes going on the Magical Mystery Tour or The X-Files rewritten by PG Wodehouse, The Avengers was hip and smart as a whip, set in a fevered Home Counties fantasia where thought control, killer super-computers and mind-transference were just mildly irksome facts of life. Minimal extras.

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