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Restoration Project

Table of Contents

Series Guide
• Background Notes
• The Series in Detail
• The Programmes
• Personnel File
• Steed Talks

News and Comment
• Episode Recoveries
• Restoration Project
• Features
• Reviews
• Your Views

Resources
• The Avengers Declassified

About this Site
• Site Stuff

Avengers on the Radio designed, maintained and Copyright © by Alan and Alys Hayes.

The Avengers is Copyright © CANAL+IMAGE UK Ltd. No attempt to infringe this copyright is intended. 

INITIAL TRANSFERS TO DIGITAL

Using a Revox A77 four-track reel-to-reel recorder borrowed from our friend, John Day, we commenced dubbing of serials to our Pioneer hifi-separate CDR deck on Sunday 19th May 2002. At this point, only minimal graphic equalisation was employed - the recordings are otherwise being transferred untreated initially.

As the tapes are replayed, we began to realise that some had survived the thirty years since recording extremely well. Others had fared less impressively. This listing gives a rough evaluation for each serial.

One of John Wright's index cards...

The Rundown...
One of John Wright's index cards. This tape contained The Fantasy Game (7 episodes), Love All (6 episodes), The Quick-Quick-Slow Death (6 episodes) and Get-A-Way! (6 episodes).

The Sun didn't set on "Train of Events"!

It May Be Sunset...
But the sun didn't set on Train of Events, recorded on this tape.

All serials will require restoration work. Those marked "excellent" will require noise reduction and minor graphic equalisation, plus a detailed pass for clicks and pops. The others will need much, much more work!

Train of Events presented its own, unique problem while replaying... Cut back to Sunday 26th May for this breathless restoration update... "Cripes! What a day! After a marathon session yesterday, where we dubbed all four tracks from one tape (a days work, to be honest), we thought we'd take the easy option today, and dub from one of the tapes where there was only a single track which contained The Avengers. In fact, it's the tape that you can see above: the Sunset brand tape containing Train of Events. Now, this is one of the very long, 2400' tapes. Still on a 7" reel like all the others, the extra length is made possible by the tape being extremely thin. These longer tapes are prone to snapping, and, as we quickly discovered, this was exactly what this one had done, at some point in the past. Episodes 1-3 were dubbed off with no problem (and remember, up to now, everything has gone without physical problems since last Sunday). Three and a half minutes into Episode 4, our hearts leapt into our mouths. A couple of splices went through (fortunately there is no material missing - so the splices are clearly pre-Avengers) and then suddenly, we noticed that a third splice had come apart, and had become attached to a piece of tape it rested against on the reel. Whether this was by static, sticky or plain magic, we weren't sure. Anyway, we were too busy panicking, as two sections of tape were pulled through the capstans and somehow attached themselves to the other reel. (Now, that was magic!) Not sure what to do (and aware that this might mean we ended up losing Episodes Five and Six as well as the fourth, we elected to continue, and dubbed those episodes without trouble. Afterwards, we had to play the tape to the end, and then turn it over and play it back to the trouble spot, for fear that fast forwarding or rewinding might do further damage. When eventually the tape was parked back at the troublesome break, we took the reels off the player and set about splicing the two ends back together. We were able to do this without losing any footage at all. Phew! All that was left was to take the tape back four minutes to the start of the episode, whereupon we were able to dub it without problems - not even a glitch at the splice point. We lead a charmed life!"

All nineteen recovered serials were dubbed successfully from John Wright's ¼" tapes and are now preserved in digital format. The transfer process was completed on Saturday 1st June 2002.

by Alan and Alys Hayes