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The Prisoner - The Complete Series: 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition (10DVD)
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THE PRISONER 40TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION Is The Definitive Version Of The British TV Cult Classic
Patrick McGoohan's classic 17-episode British Television series THE PRISONER has been mesmerizing American viewers since its CBS debut in the summer of 1968. In this sleek new 40TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION, a new host of hidden mysteries are unearthed with a fully illustrated, 50-page Limited Edition series companion guide complete with extensive episode guides, liner notes, and a detailed fold-out map of the village. Fully restored and digitally re-mastered, THE PRISONER is presented in the fan-preferred episode order, offering a chronological interpretation of perhaps the most unusual and challenging television series ever filmed.
If a top-level spy decided he didn't want to be a spy anymore, could he just walk into HQ and hand in his resignation? With all that classified knowledge in his head, would he be allowed to become a civilian again, free to go about his life? The answer, according to the stylish, brilliantly conceived 1960s British TV series The Prisoner, is a resounding no. In fact, instead of receiving a gold watch for his years of faithful service, our hero (played by Patrick McGoohan) is followed home to his London flat and knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a picturesque village where everyone is known by a number. Where is it? Why was he brought here? And, most important, how does he leave?
As we learn in Episode 1, Number 6 can't leave. The Village's "citizens" might dress colorfully and stroll around its manicured gardens while a band plays bouncy Strauss marches, but the place is actually a prison. Surveillance is near total, and if all else fails, there's always the large, mysterious white ball that subdues potential escapees by temporarily smothering them. Who runs the Village? An ever-changing Number 2, who wants to know why Number 6 resigned. If he'd only cooperate, he's told, life can be made very pleasant. "I've resigned," he fumes. "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own." So sets the stage for the ultimate battle of wills: Number 6's struggle to retain his privacy, sanity, and individuality against the array of psychological and physical methods the Village uses to break him.
So does he ever escape? And does he ever find out who Number 1 is? "Questions are a burden to others," the Village saying goes. "Answers, a prison for oneself." Within this complete 17-episode set (which contains the entire series), all is revealed. Or is it? --Steve Landau --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I became a fan of this show when it first came out in the 60s for an entirely different set of reasons than I have now for considering it a masterpiece (or very close to). The concept of being held under constant surveillance by the powers that be was something unheard of for the television media back then and, other than Orwell's great work, something the media has generally never shown no particular interest in. That's not entirely surprising considering the chief purveyors of political and corporate disINFORMATION are so closely tied to today's media. A series of this sort will never see the light of day again (sans the manipulative twisted social agenda of the western media) and there is very good reason for that. No old boys club is going to point the finger of blame at itself for creating a perverted and obscene society.
There are those who absolutely hate this series and in some ways that's understandable as well. The main character is not a thoroughly likeable one and has a tendency to come across as smugly self-assured. That can be irritating and, as today's viewing public is convinced their heroes should portray a perfect balance of society's most cherished misconceptions, it's not surprising some will be unable to appreciate number six's unique character traits. They are however essential for carrying the series' winding plot to it's inevitable if somewhat bizarrely choreographed conclusion.Read more ›
You can readily see the impact of going back to the original 35mm film negatives on this blu-ray version - I have never seen the Prisoner like this. I was disappointed with the original A&E DVD versions of the Prisoner, as the image quality was not really that much better than typical broadcast quality (and you had all the visible MPEG compression effects to boot). No doubt they had simply worked from a print version of the series for those DVDs (and one that had suffered age effects at that).
In contrast, the blu-ray version has clearly been painstakingly remastered and adjusted for high-definition TVs. Portmeirion village never looked so clear, sharp and colourful, and the montage of London city scenes during the opening credits almost looks like it was re-filmed! The level of detail is unbelievable.
In many ways, the effect is even more startling than watching the original series Star Trek recently released on blu-ray. There as well, they returned to the original 35mm film negatives and remastered, giving you much higher definition than what originally aired. 35mm clearly holds a lot more detail than previously available on the prints. Although not true Hi-Def, in many cases the signal approaches 720p (i.e. it's not uncommon to clearly see Captain Kirk's pores in all those close-up shots).Read more ›
I first saw this wonderful series as a 14 year old back in 1968, when it appeared as a summer replacement for "The Jackie Gleason Show" on CBS. While certainly a product of its time, its questions not only remain timeless but all the more relevant today, when privacy is at an even greater premium & the individual is bombarded with an endless deluge of homogenized consumer, political & cultural inanity & propaganda.
What began as a mystery/suspense series quickly became something much deeper, much richer -- but creator & star McGoohan was smart enough to provide plenty of excitement & adventure for those viewers who wanted nothing more than that (although the densely symbolic final episodes must have proven frustrating for them). In various episodes, the series explores the limits of democracy; the role of the media in shaping public opinion; the various aspects of supposedly benign Big Brotherism (both from Left & Right); the perversions of science & technology, often used to mold & control people rather than serve them; the morality of violence in service of the State; the boundary between individual conscience & community need ... and we're just getting started!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A favorite Cult series from the 60's like only the British can do;
I was so glad I could finally get the series on DVD. Read more
Imagine living on an idyllic seaside in a temperate climate, where everyone is friendly and pleasant, and all your needs are taken care of. Sounds fun, right? Read morePublished 17 months ago by E. A Solinas
Upon viewing the first episode, it occured to me that perhaps it was better in my memory than it actually is, perhaps I need to watch a few more?Published 19 months ago by Nature / Food / Music lover
The Prisoner: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] (1067-1968). I do not remember the series looking this good. I only saw reruns as I was in Viet Nam at the time. Read morePublished on March 7 2014 by Bernie
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