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Pity poor Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman. Their big-screen Avengers wasn’t just up against memories of the ’60s TV spy spoof — it also had to contend with the British original’s much-anticipated video debut. Digitally remastered and looking better than ever, The Avengers ’67 Collection — arguably the peak of its 1966-69 run — is now available in four boxed sets. That’s 25 episodes’ worth of blithely spirited camp, as gentleman agent John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and high-kicking partner Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) swap bons mots and quaff champagne while dueling diabolical masterminds and deadly man-made monsters. Macnee’s dapper, proper Steed makes an improbably perfect pairing with Rigg’s ultra-mod Emma, an action heroine ahead of her time. They send up the genre with such consistent style and wit that you can’t go wrong with any of these sets, each including several high points, from ”Venusian” invaders (set 1) to killer kitties (set 2) to sinister nannies (set 3) and murderous ”cybernauts” (set 4). Set 4 also features Rigg’s farewell episode, ”The Forget-Me-Knot.” But you needn’t tip your bowler goodbye to her yet: Coming in 1999 is the 1965-66 season, also starring the future Bond girl and Mystery! host, frequently in that infamous leather catsuit. Now you know what to put on next year’s shopping list. A

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