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Avengers on the Radio
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Alan
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get-A-Way! now completed. Moving on now to Stop Me If You've Heard This. Both will be available together from Saturday assuming all goes to plan.
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Alan
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Stop Me If You've Heard This also completed.

Good grief... Just realised that the whole radio Avengers restoration project has taken me ten years, off and on!

Incredible. Thanks everyone for your patience!
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Alan
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Day for The Avengers Radio Series!

The radio series restoration project is officially completed as of today, with work on Get-A-Way! and Stop Me If You've Heard This being completed this week.

These, along with all other surviving serials are now available for individual download. There is an admin charge of 1.00 per serial (for versions with commercials or without commercials) or 1.50 per serial (for both versions). There are 19 serials available and Escape in Time Version 2 (of which only Episodes 1-3 survive) is free with any order. All serials are newly reprocessed from the original WAV files as CD quality MP3s at 44.1KHz/320KBps. Payment is by Paypal Gift - please email alan_hayes@blueyonder.co.uk for details.

Also today, to celebrate the end of this ten year project (!), Ron Geddes and I have got together to bring you additional information (and audio files) concerning The Music from the Radio Series - http://declassified.theavengers.tv/radio_music.htm , now including LP versions of some incidental tracks. Cheers for your invaluable help, Ron!
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Alan
A Touch of Brimstone


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone who orders at least two serials will get a rather groovy surprise bonus sent to them... Smile
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Sam
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any way to pay besides PayPal? My PP account is non-functioning and I've never been able to get it straightened out.
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Alan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear that, Sam. Paypal is the only payment method I am able to accept for international orders (with UK orders, cheques against a UK bank account are OK).

Obviously, I realise this is awkward for you. I'll drop you a PM. Smile
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Rhonda
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been listening to 'Too Many Ole's' and it's mentioned at one point that the Steed face-reconstructions will wear off. I want to watch 'They Keep Killing Steed' again now as I somehow got the impression from the TV version that they were permanent. Good story!
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JohnSteedFr
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the same in the TV version. Arcos, the mastermind, has his face back again, after being killed at the end. Smile
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Rhonda
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked this morning and they never mention it being only temporary. But, thanks I missed that right at the end.

Also, on TV the Baron says that he's staying at the hotel because he "owns that too". It's interesting to hear why the baron is staying at the hotel in the Radio version. They occasionally were cheekier on the radio!
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Alan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought it worth mentioning that I'm currently running a promotion where Avengers fans can buy near CD-quality restored recordings of the South African radio serials for 20 for personal downloads of both the versions with and without adverts. All surviving serials plus bonuses. Normal price 28.50.

This promotion is running for ten days from today (finishing 19/10/2012).

If interested, please drop me a line at alan_hayes@blueyonder.co.uk

Payment by Paypal.
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Macfly77
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found out about the radio serials at the end of the nineties when I found a website that hosted the last five episodes of Train of Events and I promptly downloaded them. The sound wasn't great, but I still fell in love with what (as I posted in an earlier in this thread) I consider to be the best Avengers "spin-off".
I later bought (on eBay, iirc) a CD-Rom with MP3's of a bunch of serials and enjoyed them thoroughly, despite the sound being equally mediocre.
When Alan and Alys started The Avengers on the Radio website, I lapped it up and downloaded each restored serial as they were made available.
Saying that the difference in sound quality between the ones from the CD-Rom and the restored ones was akin to that between a VHS and a DVD would still not do justice to the amazing work that Alan and Alys did (maybe the difference between an old, many times recorded over VHS and a later Criterion DVD?).
I lost track of the latest restorations (having two kids in three years will do that to you!) and only found out about the last two yesterday (by chance, when I visited The Avengers Declassified to read about "The Tale of the Double Cross", a terrific read now available from Lulu, by the way).
I also found out about Alan's current offer of all 19 restored episodes in HQ with and without ads for 20 and decided to "splurge".
If the original versions of the restorations could be compared to DVD, the HQ ones would be Blu Ray.
Not being a restoration expert, I'm not sure how a sound of this high quality could possibly be obtained from recordings which, I'm sure, can't have been much better than the ones I bought over ten years ago...
All Avengers fans worth their salt owe it to themselves to give the radio show a listen and the HQ versions offered by The Avengers Declassified are without a doubt the definitive edition.
Thanks again Alan and Alys!
PS: I used the word "splurge" a few lines above, but let me assure you that for 20 (or even 28.50), these serials are a steal!
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Alan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the glowing review! Very kind of you. Delighted you're happy with the additional brush-up we've given the serials!

Cheers muchly!
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Alan
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone's interested in the 20 'all surviving programmes, both versions' download deal, I'm extending it by a week, until Friday 26th October. As Macfly77 has kindly said, the new versions are markedly improved over the old, so well worth taking up.

Please email me at alan_hayes@blueyonder.co.uk for further details.
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Alan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone wanting to take up this offer, please remember it ends Friday.
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been meaning to post this for awhile, but better late than never...

Even if you were never particularly interested in the Avengers tie-in novels, and you're a bit leery of the new comic, and the thought of the movie still makes you break out in a cold sweat, you should still check out the radio series. It is, hands down, my favourite of the Avengers spin-offs, and you're really missing out if you don't give it a listen. It proves the seemingly impossible--it is possible to have the Avengers without Patrick and Diana.

Are radio Steed and Emma identical to their TV counterparts? No, but that's the point. They're recognisable, but Donald Monat and Diane Appleby put their own spin on the characters, just the way the writers put their own spin on the TV episode plots. In many ways, it feels like Avengerland canted slightly to the side (and how Avengers is that?) It's essentially an Alternate Universe Avengerland. Steed is Steed, but with a slightly wrier sense of humour. Emma is Emma, but, given that some of the stories were originally written for Tara, is a bit of an Emma/Tara hybrid--this Emma is actually an official, trained agent, part of the Ministry's institution. We also get another take on Mother, who in some ways comes across more like Steed's Gale era superiors, like One-Ten. Oh yes, and there's a narrator, who occasionally steps out of the parameters of his role and comments on the wisdom of the protagonists' next move.

The joy of radio means that they can play with the plots--They Keep Killing Steed, now set in Spain!--and every episode gets a neat, evocative little piece of theme music of its own. Even if you've seen the episodes, they feel fresh, not like retreads. And Alan's cleaned them up gorgeously--twice!--so you never have to worry about straining to hear through static or the like.

I really, really enjoy radio series--in fact, this series was really the first time I seriously listened to anything made for radio, even before I discovered The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I've brought them along on road trips, and they made the hours fly by, or put them on in the background while doing projects. If you've never given them a shot, I really encourage you to give them a try. Download one or two, and give Donald and Diane a chance without holding them up against Patrick and Diana. I think you'll be amazed.
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Alan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for a really well-considered post, Timeless.

I think Donald Monat in particular just grabs the role like no-one else has (other than Pat Macnee, of course!). Considering that anyone playing role role of John Steed will inevitably be compared to the wonderful original (particularly considering the character is very much Macnee's own creation, not something interpreted from the pages of a novel, for instance), Donald Monat instantly convinces. The important thing is that he is his own Steed, not a copy, and it works. He comes over as perhaps more of a sage, slightly older Steed than Macnee's of the original TV series (which is odd considering that Monat was 36 when taking the role compared to Macnee's 39!). I would quite honestly put him on a par with Macnee.

As you say, the way the adaptations work, they are very much an Alternative Universe Avengers, and have a style completely of their own.

Now, for the PR PITCH...

The 20 deal can continue indefinitely IF people keep buying. I need a purchase every two weeks, and if that happens, I can keep the files 'live' on the server.

The files currently are set to expire on Friday 9th, so if anyone is considering ordering, now is a very good time.

It's simple, no orders before Friday and the price has to go back to what it was before as there will be considerably more work involved on my part in delivering the files.

If you're interested, drop me a line via email - alan_hayes@blueyonder.co.uk

Remember these are CD quality 320KB/s MP3s and streets ahead of anything I've been able to offer before!

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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timeless A-Peel wrote:
In many ways, it feels like Avengerland canted slightly to the side (and how Avengers is that?) It's essentially an Alternate Universe Avengerland. Steed is Steed, but with a slightly wrier sense of humour. Emma is Emma, but, given that some of the stories were originally written for Tara, is a bit of an Emma/Tara hybrid--this Emma is actually an official, trained agent, part of the Ministry's institution. We also get another take on Mother, who in some ways comes across more like Steed's Gale era superiors, like One-Ten. Oh yes, and there's a narrator, who occasionally steps out of the parameters of his role and comments on the wisdom of the protagonists' next move.


SOLD!!
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan wrote:
Thanks for a really well-considered post, Timeless.

I think Donald Monat in particular just grabs the role like no-one else has (other than Pat Macnee, of course!). Considering that anyone playing role role of John Steed will inevitably be compared to the wonderful original (particularly considering the character is very much Macnee's own creation, not something interpreted from the pages of a novel, for instance), Donald Monat instantly convinces. The important thing is that he is his own Steed, not a copy, and it works. He comes over as perhaps more of a sage, slightly older Steed than Macnee's of the original TV series (which is odd considering that Monat was 36 when taking the role compared to Macnee's 39!). I would quite honestly put him on a par with Macnee.

As you say, the way the adaptations work, they are very much an Alternative Universe Avengers, and have a style completely of their own.


My pleasure. If life had been less-hectic I would have gotten it in there sooner. Embarassed

I completely agree about Donald Monat--he makes Steed his own, just the way Patrick did. As you say, there is no source material, no set text from which to spin off another take on the character. Patrick had three words: "Steed stands there." And he created a character out of whole cloth. And Donald Monat does the same. I agree his Steed seems older, too (that is, older than the Emma/Tara Steed). He's really the one that grounds the whole radio series, just the way Patrick did with the TV version. But I never miss Patrick when I listen to Donald. The same goes for Diane--she's an Avengers girl, but on her own terms. And the dynamic they create between them sparks in all the right ways, but there are different angles to it than the Rigg/Macnee relationship. Alternate Universe is the best way I can describe it. Somewhere out there, this is the original, and Patrick and Diana are the remakes. Wink
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thanks to lightning-fast helpful service from Alan, I got all the available Avengers radio serials last night by download. Also the associated music collection (download too). The sound quality is excellent (I listened to the first 6 episodes in a darkened room in the middle of the night, so if there was any extraneous hiss or muffling I definitely would've picked it up!).

I chose to listen with the adverts, although I also have the non-advert versions. The ads were amusing, though I started to feel my age when I recognised the early 70s "Comfort" jingle! Apart from Wall's Pink Pussycat lollipops, most are for cleaning products, like with the old-time radio and TV soap operas. Avengers fans must be a smelly lot as we apparently need Cold Water Omo, Vim99, Comfort fabric conditioner, Lux Soap (Jill St John recommending it in this case, not Diana Rigg), etc...! It's great to break up the cliffhangers with these because it recalls the days of watching The Avengers on proper commercial television - when you had to fret about your hero and heroine during the ads!

The episodes themselves - well of the 19-and-a-bit stories I've only heard 6/7ths of the first one (I had to get some sleep sometime, though I didn't want to stop; my little girl woke up in the wee small hours so we attended to her). There are some lovely witty additions and Donald Monat is perfect at sly little grumbles and wry remarks, and I actually laughed aloud at several bits (the narrator has some lovely pokes at Steed especially when Steed hits the bottle nearly as hard as Mother, or reels in horror from the harem-eunuch fantasy: "Brigitte Bardot will be of no use to you now, Steed!"). The TV series can't really surprise me in that way now, me being so familiar with it.

There were even some post-modern self-referential quips: after Emma looks at a newspaper and notes that the cost of gin had gone up ("Mother won't like that"), Steed is more worried about reports of people being alarmed by a radio show...

Despite this story being one where Steed and Emma spend time investigating separately (it is based on "Honey For The Prince"), there is instant rapport between Monat and Appleby as Steed and Emma in their scenes together, and I prefer this warmer Emma who seems less keen on showing off her erudition all the time (only when it's necessary)... the chemistry is obvious (unlike that blasted movie!!).

The pictures are better on radio, they say. The fights are pretty exciting too - Steed versus the dagger-wielding assassin was quite fraught!

So far I'm torn between listening to about 2-3 parts per night (they're roughly 15 minutes long) or gobbling up a story at a time. All in all a great purchase, and made really easy by Alan's rapid help with the download links.

The Declassified pages about the radio shows (http://declassified.theavengers.tv/radio_main.htm) are very comprehensive and informative, and also an enjoyable read. There are also some extras at the bottom of this page: http://declassified.theavengers.tv/radio_archive.htm
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Last edited by Frankymole on Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:24 am; edited 2 times in total
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So glad you're enjoying it so much, Franky! The narrator is one of my favourite parts as well--he's not in favour of everything that goes on. Laughing

And the chemistry between the leads just sparkles. I'm actually more inclined to believe they have something going on on the side, while I still remain somewhat unconvinced about their TV counterparts. Wink
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