Dave Matthews presents the Authorised Guide to

On Video

Last updated : 8th December 1996

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Sadly video coverage of the show has not been too good with most companies merely releasing episodes that other companies had already brought out. However half of the 26 episodes are available, albeit in different formats in different countries. The first releases (as far as we're aware) came in 1988 when Polygram subsidiary Channel 5 (no relation to the UK television station!) released six stories in the UK. They were due to release both parts to 'K is for Kill' but lack of interest from the buying public led them to abandon plans for further tapes. Click here for the list of Channel 5 vids. Why the poor sales? Well the tapes themselves are a very half-hearted affair, being of poor picture quality and the episodes themselves being edited-down versions (with about five minutes hacked from each, these copies were often used for repeat runs on UK television), despite claims of 'Full length epsiodes' on the covers.

In France The New Avengers is regarded as being a French production and is regularly rerun on the TF1 channel. Sony France came up trumps and released a box set of twelve episodes tapes in the early 90's. Unfortunately the tapes were only available in SECAM format. Click here to see these.

In 1993 small British company Video Gems started to issue tapes from Brian Clemens' other classic series The Professionals and I approached the company to ask if they would consider The New Avengers. Seeing as both shows came from (almost) the same company, surely obtaining release rights would be a similar process? Well it was a little more complicated than that but a little under twelve months later, VG had managed to secure the rights to release eight episodes. Unfortunately these were merely the ones that Channel 5 had given us several years previously (plus 'K is for Kill') but at least this time they were full-length (apart from an editing error which meant the end credits to 'Gladiators' mysteriously disappeared!) and of reasonable picture quality. What's more VG were determined that they would release all 26 episodes eventually. Unfortunately this was not to be we believe VG ran into financial difficulties and the waterfall of releases quickly dried up. VG went bust in April 1996. Click here for a list of Video Gems releases.

Salvation seemed to come in the form of Lumiere, a French company who had done a roaring trade in tapes of the original Avengers series. Within weeks of Video Gems folding, Lumiere had released four further New Avengers episodes and another two were due for imminent launch. But fate soon dealt another blow: Lumiere were taken over by French company UCG who, for whatever reason, decided to shut down domestic video operations. I spoke to the head of video marketing at Lumiere's UK office and the poor man was in a dreadful state, not really knowing what was going on or whether he would still be in employment by the end of the week. Click here for Lumiere's tapes.

Channel 5 releases (dodgy, dodgy!) note PAL format only
Volume Episode Episode Video Code Comments
1'Last of the Cybernauts...?''Sleeper'?
2'Faces''Target!'?The cover lists the episodes in the wrong order
3'Eagle's Nest''Gladiators'?

Sony France 12-episode box set note SECAM format only
Episode Episode Episode
'Eagle's Nest''Cat Amonsgt the Pigeons''Faces'
'House of Cards''Gnaws''Angels of Death'
'Last of the Cybernauts...?''K is for Kill part one''K is for Kill part two'
'Midas Touch''Target!''Sleeper'

Video Gems releases PAL and NTSC fomats available for UK and US
Volume Episode Episode Video Code Comments
1'Eagle's Nest''Last of the Cybernauts...?'R1686
3'K is for Kill part one''K is for Kill part two'R1693
4'Gladiators''Faces'R1697Usual careless editing by Video Gems resulted in the end credits for Gladiators going 'missing'. Apart from that, this is the full-length episode.

Lumiere releases PAL formats for the UK.
Volume Episode Episode Video Code
1'Midas Touch''House of Cards'?
2'To Catch a Rat''Cat Amongst the Pigeons'?

E-MailIf you are aware of any other tapes, or different fomats of those listed above, then please inform Dave. Thanks!

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