Thought-provoking, revelatory and just plain cool – Patrick McGoohan’s iconic series is as fresh and dynamic now as it was when first unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in 1967.
Thought-provoking, revelatory and just plain cool – Patrick McGoohan’s iconic series is as fresh and dynamic now as it was when first unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in 1967. This definitive box set contains all seventeen episodes which have been newly restored from the original film elements with new Dolby 5.1 soundtracks especially for Network DVD.
George Markstein the script editor of other ATV-ITC series Danger Man, remembered that during World War II some captured enemies were incarcerated in a resort-like prison. Markstein suggested that the Danger Man lead, John Drake – also played by McGoohan – could suddenly resign, and be kidnapped and sent to such a location.
The idea was first tried out in the Danger Man episode entitled Colony Three – which Drake infiltrates a spy school in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The school, in the middle of nowhere, is set up to look like a normal English town in which pupils and instructors mix as in any other normal city, but the instructors are virtual prisoners with little hope of ever leaving.
The Prisoner follows an unnamed British agent who abruptly resigns his job, and then finds himself held captive in a mysterious seaside “village” that is isolated from the mainland by mountains and sea. The Village is further secured by numerous monitoring systems and security forces, including a mysterious device called Rover that captures those who attempt escape.
The agent encounters the Village’s population, hundreds of people from all walks of life and cultures, all seeming to be tranquilly living out their lives. As they do not use names, they have each been assigned a number. The agent is told by the Village’s chief administrator “Number Two”, that he is “Number Six”, and they are seeking “information” as to why he resigned; the task of doing this is carried by the ever-changing “Number Two”, acting as supposed proxy to the unseen “Number One”. As the series unfolds, the audience learns that the Village authorities have other interests in Number Six aside from the knowledge he possesses: interests that often spare Number Six from the more destructive information-gathering techniques employed by the Village authorities upon other inmates.
Number Six, distrusting of anyone involved with the Village, refuses to co-operate or provide answers. Alone, he struggles with multiple goals: determine for which side the Village works, remain defiant to its imposed authority, concoct his own plans for escape, learn all he can about the Village and subvert its operation. Some of his schemes, while not resulting in an escape, do lead to the dismissal of an incumbent Number Two on two occasions. By the end of the series the administration, becoming desperate for Number Six’s knowledge and fearful of his growing influence in the Village, take drastic measures that threaten the lives of Number Six, Number Two, and the rest of the Village.
Trailers; there are digitally restored trailers for all seventeen episodes and two generic trailers as well as production guides from Andrew Pixley. For the first time enjoy unique behind-the-scenes footage, taken on location at Portmerion, which shows a number of aspects of the production, including the only known footage to exist of the original, abandoned Rover prototype.
Production Paperwork Archive; original scripts for each episode are included on Discs 1-6 and Disc 7 contains some original production documentation, press releases and other memorabilia. An extensive ATV image collection of over 1200 stills are featured throughout this set. Also included on Disc 6, courtesy of the Steven Ricks collection is a series of Exposure Strips produced originally by the film labs when prepping rushes.