Daily Archives: Wednesday, 5th Dec 2007

The Prisoner – 40th Anniversary Special Edition

Now this is another one of those “make Les buy stuff twice[1]” things, but I’m prepare to forgive it.

The Prisoner shouldn’t really need any introduction, but that’s never stopped me from talking about anything else, so here goes. The series was devised by its star, Patrick McGoohan after he got bored with making his very successful show Danger Man[2]. The series opens with a man – we learn later that he’s some kind of intelligence agent – resigning. He’s followed home by suitably mysterious people who release gas through his door. The man loses consciousness. When he comes round, he finds he’s in a facsimile of his room which has been created in a bizarre isolated village.

The village is known only as The Village, and it appears to be a secret installation run by some government or other to interrogate and keep people who know too much. McGoohan’s character is told that he is Number Six, and in the seventeen episodes we see his battles with a sequence of Number Twos[3]. They want information. He won’t let them have it. He wants to know the identity of Number One. They won’t tell him. But they do attempt a variety of entertaining ways to persuade Number Six to talk.

The series is often bizarre, surreal and damned strange. Number Six is a fascinating character – far too awkward, individualistic and brilliant to be beaten down by the best efforts of his opponents. If you’ve never seen it, you really should. Now. Right away.

People who are familiar with the series will be wondering why they should want to buy this box, especially if they already have one of the previous releases. Well, this one has been given a much needed wash and brush-up, or “digital remastering” as its more usually known. The soundtrack has been given a fresh Dolby 5.1 mix. There are commentaries on a selection of episodes. There’s a new, and quite long, documentary on the making of the series, with contributions from many of those who were involved. Patrick McGoohan’s involvement is limited to an on-screen caption which quotes him as saying, in effect “if you didn’t understand it, I’m not explaining it, so there”, which is pretty much what I expected from him, so that’s OK.

There are a lot of other bits and pieces and a 300 page book – a detailed guide to the production of the series, with more information than most reasonable people could ask for.

This is a good box set – shop around if you’re interested. When I got it Virgin Zavvi had it for £5 less than Amazon.

[1] Or three times if you count the old VHS release…
[2] Known as Secret Agent in some countries
[3] I’m not going to make the obvious joke :lol:

More tree lights

These actually are lights in trees, as opposed to lights in the shape of trees. The lights in the background are the Trafalgar pub, which I presume will be demolished along with the rest of Trinity Square.

More tree lights

More tree lights

Lots of lights in trees in Gateshead town centre

Tree lights

Christmas lights in Gateshead town centre. It was a bit windy[1] for holding the camera steady for longer exposures this evening, but I managed to capture this light reasonably well.

Tree lights

Tree lights

The Christmas lights in Gateshead have a bit of a tree thing going on...

[1] That’ll be one of those understatement thingies :tongue:

Feels like I’m living in a town closed down for winter

That line from Sense by the Lightning Seeds came to mind this morning as I passed Trinity Square in Gateshead. The whole development is going to be demolished early next year, and most of the shops have already closed. While it was never the most attractive of shopping areas, the various shops served their customers for many years – this cafe was usually busy, but now it’s gone. Plans for the new development were still in the vague concept stage last I heard. For reasons that aren’t altogether clear, someone has painted the shutters of the closed shops in a delightful colour. And for reasons that are even less clear, nobody seems to be telling the bank staff what’s going on.

Weight Report

Well, it seems that yesterday’s mutterings about random fluctuations were a little premature. Today’s weight is actually even lower than yesterday’s. Woo hoo, etc.

I walked to work again, and despite having two bags to bring home, I walked back and even took some photographs on the way. Which means I’m either dedicated or crazy. Or maybe both. I won’t get to do the walking thing tomorrow, as I have an early start and a train to catch, so it’s probably a Good Thing that I’ve made up for that in advance.