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Monday, February 3, 2014

Catching Up With Emma Peel: Part 1

While searching the internet late last year, I found this: a 16 Disc set of the 1960s British TV show "The Avengers."  At the time, it was on sale for $25.  This was too good an opportunity to miss, so I sent for it, and a few days later, it arrived on my doorstep.  There was only one worrying sign: when I picked up the container, it rattled.

As it turned out, more than half of the DVDs had fallen off their plastic storage spindles.  This could suggest that the way the carrying case was constructed was inadequate, but it could also have to do with the way shipped it.  Instead of placing the container in a box, and insulating it with packing peanuts or bubble wrap, their shipping people had simply mailed it inside a formfitting cardboard envelope.  Concerned by the condition of the discs, I assigned priority status to watching "The Avengers" over other TV shows.

The case promised three seasons of episodes, and I was looking forward to watching them all.  My wife and I first grew acquainted with John Steed and Emma Peel back in the late 1990s, when A&E started releasing the Emma Peel episodes in concert with the new movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman.  Ultimately, we collected all four sets (of 3 VHS tapes each) of the 1967 season, but we could only find Sets 1 & 2 for the 1965 and '66 seasons.  As I watched the 1965 B&W episodes, I enjoyed the episodes I had watched on VHS, and looked forward to discovering those in the second half of the 1965 season.

After four discs, Disc 5 shifted over to 1966 episodes.  This seemed strange, as I had only seen thirteen episodes, and they were all ones I had gotten on VHS.  Oh well, I figured. The other 1965 episodes must be on a later disc.  I must remain patient for now, and enjoy the episodes from the 1966.   

Then, after four more discs, Disc 9 shifted over to the 1967 season. What was going on!?!

Take a breath, Dragon Dave.  Relax!  Compose yourself.  Okay?  Then carry on.  

When I only had three discs left, the menu for Disc 14 showed 1967 episodes.  At this point, I got worried, as I remembered episodes from the 1967 season that I had not yet seen. What was going on?  The package had promised to have all three seasons!  So where were the second halves of the 1965 and 1966 seasons?  

This post will conclude tomorrow with Part 2.

Dragon Dave

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