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Big Finish Sale - up to 60% off

 
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Lee
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2021 12:16 pm    Post subject: Big Finish Sale - up to 60% off Reply with quote

Just a heads up

Big Finish have a sale of their season 1 stories. There is up to 60% off.

The sale is on for the next few days.

I've decided to plunge into a couple of sets.

Just in case anyone is interested.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! I've got the first two, but need the rest.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woo! Saved 86!! Thanks.
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Lee
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome Very Happy

I listened to Hot Snow in bed when I couldn't sleep last night and WOW! Great atmosphere, played straight, with great vocal performances - I was really drawn in.

Julian W has managed to do Patrick MacNee and play Steed straighter in earlier stories than later, and Anthony Howell is mesmerising as Keel - what a great voice and mannerisms.

I know I've only heard the first one, but so pleased at the moment I took the plunge.

I need to decide whether to get a few more before the end date...
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Lee
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I've listened to the first three and a bit stories.

I REALLY like these. Both leads are great, particularly Anthony as Keel - great voice.

They are played very straight and are gripping to listen to. I've had them on my phones whilst up the gym.

In the end I picked up boxes 3 and 4 as well just before the sale ended.

Can't wait to hear the rest of them.

I keep wondering what the original leads would have done with the material. I wonder how close to the originals the scripts are.

Really interesting.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the scripts are pretty accurate, they only need slight tweaking where something was obviously relayed visually on TV and has to be indicated somehow in audio. However, for a very few of the first series there isn't a surviving camera script and that's really interesting!!! In those cases a lot had to be pieced together from other surviving materials (Tele-Snaps, plot summaries/synopses in listings magazines and previous books, rehearsal scripts if we're lucky enough to have one survive, etc) to make a workable and consistent story - for example in the way Dissolute does for the synopses of script-less stories on the excellent website: https://www.dissolute.com.au/the-avengers-tv-series/series-1/
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Lee
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting.

I was trying to imagine Pat in the scene in the second episode playing cards with te baddie, or his Irish accent in Square Root of Evil.

I think from the remaining episodes we have from series 1, we see a banter between MacNee and Hendry which I'm not sure is there between Wadham and Howell, even thought they do sound right together. Perhaps it will grow later in the run.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I know from the McGinlay/Hayes books that Macnee and Hendry did a hell of a lot of work sequestered together whenever they got a new script, bashing together ideas for how Keel and Steed would bring their personalities to it; so much so that Macnee reckoned Hendry was a co-writer of the scripts. That wouldn't be obvious in an initial, unamended rehearsal script. A lot of what the videotaped era Steed was (and which the Emma/Tara/TNA film series Steed grew from) was Hendry's (re) writing as well as Macnee's inputs.

The episode would've developed throughout the days and weeks until the final camera script. We can't have that with all the audios, they've got to be their own thing really. Like a theatre play from a known book but with a new cast. That's no bad thing, and I'm glad the two audio stars work. There is a quality in the stories which isn't apparent in much other 'pulp' thriller serial stuff from the early 60s or earlier. It was made with great love by a young production team and did start to change the way TV drama, and the 1960s in Britain, felt.
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Lee
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've loved this first set.

There were some very good episodes in the first year. Pity they are missing.
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Lee
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I've just finished the four box sets I bought in this sale.

Regrets? YES!

I wish I had been able to buy all seven.

These have been such an enjoyable listen. I can't believe have I have just lapped these up. These are my thoughts:

The theme arrangement is great. At first, I found it a little jarring with a few of the extra additions, but 16 episodes in and I have to remind myself it isn't the original. This fairs so much better than the Johnson version used for Emma and Tara, which sounds like it was made on a computer with a metronome keeping strict time. The Tara countermelody and brass stabs are only superimposed over and it doesn't seem to capture the original.

The incidental music is brilliant. It doesn't try to copy that of Dankworth, but it has the film noir Jazz feel and suits the story telling really well. There is quite a range of styles and cues, and I can see why some people would like a release of the music.

I love the fact that the add breaks are still there.

Julian and Anthony work so well together. They have great chemistry and have a rapport which has grown on me. As we know so little about some of these stories because they don't exist, I find it hard to think of Patrick and Ian playing these parts. In fact, in the behind the scenes interviews, they are gushing with praise for the original leads and have a lot of respect for them.

I love the authentic early 60s feel. They are played straight, matching the acting style of the early 60s. There is a British stiff-upper lip feel to the whole story telling, and some great voice work. Some of it sounds quite menacing. I could imagine a few violent scenes which, due to restrictions at the time, would have been would have been played down but your mind can work over time on audio.

There really were some excellent stories in the first season. For the majority of the first four boxes they seem to be using the existing scripts. Only Hunt the Man Down was fleshed out from a synopsis, but I would never have known: I thought it was an excellent script.


Negative points:

It's not Patrick, Ian and Ingrid - but that is all. And, considering they aren't around, there is nothing that can be done about that.

If you have doubted getting these - don't. I suppose I'm used to Big Finish as I have an extensive collection of their original Doctor Who stories. I know most parts are played by the original actors, but I was apprehensive when I first dipped my toe into their work, but I have got so used to Doctor Who on audio. I worried that with The Avengers being only visually represented I would find the audio a challenge, but no.

I whole heartedly recommend.

I wish now we could have some original story telling using Steed and Keel....
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with your recommendation. I'm ten episodes in (listening in original broadcast order) and am very glad I picked up the five sets which I didn't yet have, I only bought the first two way back when they originally came out and didn't get round to listening to anything after episode 2. I had missed out on some incredible sound design, stories and acting! Thank goodness I'm catching up now. I had dipped in and out of Doctor Who from Big Finish in its earliest years, from 1999, but never caught up and only have a few disks really. I don't dislike them but don't get the time to do them justice. After this I may risk some Jago & Litefoot stories, if they're done as well as The Avengers they'll be well worth a listen.

The music is, as you rightly point out, superb. I'm enjoying the musical interludes and atmosphere pieces as much as the voices, and the dramatic jabs and stings are perfectly placed and judged. It forms a cohesive whole of the "noir era" early Avengers. The intimacy of sound, with the actors so clear and the "new" (to me) stories so involving is going to make it hard to go back to TV! It's also great to have such a lively version of John Dankworth's theme, and in stereo.

The three leads play off each other so well that I actively look forward to hearing any two or three of them together exchanging witty repartee. Like you say, we've no option, we're going to miss the originals but this is the next best thing and the only possible solution if we want to enjoy the stories as well-made dramas. Steed's rather acerbic bosses work much better on audio than on TV, I find. And the guest casts are extremely talented.

The stories which don't exist as full scripts have been very cleverly plotted and the dialogue is totally in the style of the existing scripts. I really loved what they did with Crescent Moon, and Nightmare especially. Some of the solutions to plot problems in (or due to information missed out from) the synopses of Diamond Cut Diamond were ingenious and must, I'm sure, be close to the original logistical tricks and story developments. If nothing else it was great to hear Keels' reaction to being told to hide in a cupboard by Steed and his sarcastic remark later to the ambushed villain about them being "surprisingly roomy".

All in all, a total winner from the BF sale. If they come up again, I'd tell any fans of the videotape era to grab them. The CD "hard copies" will become increasingly tricky to get hold of since BF want to reduce warehouse stock and concentrate more on downloads for most of their work in future.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
I have to agree with your recommendation. I'm ten episodes in (listening in original broadcast order) and am very glad I picked up the five sets which I didn't yet have, I only bought the first two way back when they originally came out and didn't get round to listening to anything after episode 2. I had missed out on some incredible sound design, stories and acting! Thank goodness I'm catching up now. I had dipped in and out of Doctor Who from Big Finish in its earliest years, from 1999, but never caught up and only have a few disks really. I don't dislike them but don't get the time to do them justice. After this I may risk some Jago & Litefoot stories, if they're done as well as The Avengers they'll be well worth a listen.

The music is, as you rightly point out, superb. I'm enjoying the musical interludes and atmosphere pieces as much as the voices, and the dramatic jabs and stings are perfectly placed and judged. It forms a cohesive whole of the "noir era" early Avengers. The intimacy of sound, with the actors so clear and the "new" (to me) stories so involving is going to make it hard to go back to TV! It's also great to have such a lively version of John Dankworth's theme, and in stereo.

The three leads play off each other so well that I actively look forward to hearing any two or three of them together exchanging witty repartee. Like you say, we've no option, we're going to miss the originals but this is the next best thing and the only possible solution if we want to enjoy the stories as well-made dramas. Steed's rather acerbic bosses work much better on audio than on TV, I find. And the guest casts are extremely talented.

The stories which don't exist as full scripts have been very cleverly plotted and the dialogue is totally in the style of the existing scripts. I really loved what they did with Crescent Moon, and Nightmare especially. Some of the solutions to plot problems in (or due to information missed out from) the synopses of Diamond Cut Diamond were ingenious and must, I'm sure, be close to the original logistical tricks and story developments. If nothing else it was great to hear Keels' reaction to being told to hide in a cupboard by Steed and his sarcastic remark later to the ambushed villain about them being "surprisingly roomy".

All in all, a total winner from the BF sale. If they come up again, I'd tell any fans of the videotape era to grab them. The CD "hard copies" will become increasingly tricky to get hold of since BF want to reduce warehouse stock and concentrate more on downloads for most of their work in future.




that is a common problem...as the CD era is fast coming to a close...and over in my neck of the woods, CD players for the home, let alone for the car/truck, are getting harder to find..Eventually, DVD's will go that route...but I recently wanted to replace a CD player for my art studio...and it darn near took me a while to locate one...as Downloads, MP3 etc...seems to be the norm..
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose one day in the future there may be specialist companies to convert our outdated formats to something we can actually watch or listen to. It may get expensive with copyright fees to be paid!
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
I suppose one day in the future there may be specialist companies to convert our outdated formats to something we can actually watch or listen to. It may get expensive with copyright fees to be paid!


that day is here...sooner than you think.....
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee wrote:

I love the fact that the add breaks are still there.
The three-act structure is fairly integral to the first 3 series (Dennis Spooner's famous "dramatic W"), so it's good that they preserved it (or recreated it, in the ones that didn't have scripts).
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2021 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm feeling sad now. Only 6 episodes left to listen to (and watch the Tele-Snap reconstructions), then there will be nothing of the original 1960s Avengers which I won't have experienced. Sob!

I will carry on into the Cathy Gale era, so at least some of the interviews and extras will be new to me, even if I've done every episode 1961-77.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2021 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
I'm feeling sad now. Only 6 episodes left to listen to (and watch the Tele-Snap reconstructions), then there will be nothing of the original 1960s Avengers which I won't have experienced. Sob!

I will carry on into the Cathy Gale era, so at least some of the interviews and extras will be new to me, even if I've done every episode 1961-77.



but you can always experience the joy of re listening...myself, I never get tired of watching / listening to favorites...at times, it drives my wife batty..lol!
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