Network on Air (studio)
156 min approx (length)
05 August 2019 (released)
05 August 2019
THE AVENGERS: THE CYBERNAUTS TRILOGY contains three newly restored (and in Blu-Ray format!) episodes of the Cybernaut saga. An absolute treat for all Avengers fans and yes, both Emma Peel and Purdey are all kicks and punches!
The first episode (THE CYBERNAUTS) from 1965 is still a black and white affair. Here Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) and John Steed (Patrick Macnee) investigate some strange murders in which the victims, all corporate businessmen, lost their lives seemingly through karate strikes. In fact, the assailant even used a battering ram to gain entrance into the first victim’s flat and fate holds a similar surprise in store for victim Nr. 2 when the assailant smashes through office doors. Karate expert Miss Peel can’t help but noticing that the the deadly injuries bear all the hallmarks of a type of karate blows called Inku and decides to visit an Inku specialist. Meanwhile Steed, pretending to be the murdered Mr. Lambert, visits Japanese electronics manufacturer Mr. Tusamo (Pink Panthers’ Bert Kwouk) while Peel investigates elecronic toys factory Jephcott Products. This leads them to a strange company called United Automation, run by the wheelchair-bound ex-ministry scientist Dr. Ing. Clement Armstrong (Hammer veteran Michael Gough) and his loyal assistant Benson (Frederick Jaeger). As our two spy-detectives are soon to find out, Armstrong's plan to automate the world is not limited to toys and household items - thanks to its automatic Cybermen robots, the megalomaniac Armstrong has much darker plans ...
1967 saw THE RETURN OF THE CYBERMEN, this time in color. Miss Peel and Steed enjoy the friendship of rich and influential entrepreneur Paul Beresford (Hammer veteran Peter Cushing in one of his best roles!). A cultivated connoisseur who appreciates the finer things in life, Miss Peel in particular is attracted by the charmer though Steed has his reservations although he can’t come up with any specific reason which prompts a bemused Miss Peel to conclude that Steed might be sowmehat jealous. However, Steed’s instincts are soon to prove right for Beresford's charming demeanour is deliberate: he is none other than Dr. Armstrong’s brother, who was killed by one of his own cybernaut creations thanks to Peel and Steed. Now Beresford thinks about revenge! Together with Armstrongs' former assistant Benson he abducts various renowned scientists and forces them to create a new army of cybernauts, or else… In case you haven’t figured it out already, Miss Peel and Steed are also to be turned into human robots... Fiercely entertaining and the ever reliable Cushing adds further gravitas to this classic episode!
Forward to 1976 and Steed, this time flanked by his new assistants Purdey (Joanna Lumley) and Gambit (Gareth Hunt), once again has to battle the cybernauts. THE LAST OF THE CYBERNAUTS ... ?? is only indirectly related to the characters of the two previous adventures. This time round double agent Felix Kane (Robert Lang) ends up terribly disfigured and wheel-chair bound after a chase during which our awesome trio tries to stop him from revealing highly confidential secrets to ‘the other side’. One year later, Kane (resembling a cross between Leatherface and the Phantom of the opera) is hell-bent on revenge – understandably perhaps. He kidnaps renowned scientist Frank Goff (Robert Gillespie), a former employee of Dr. Armstrong, and commands him to breathe new life into Armstrongs' leftover tin cans. Before you know it, the body count starts rising… Can Steed, Purdey and Gambit prevent a catastrophe? With its cracking (or should that be crashing) finale during which Purdey’s apartment is smashed to pieces in her showdown with a cybermen this episode offers a fitting conclusion.
This Blu-ray set containing all three HD-restored episodes also comes with a 32-page booklet by TV historian Andrew Pixley.
(Please note that THE CYBERNAUTS TRILOGY is a Network exclusive release and can be obtained via www.networkonair.com )