The Prisoner
35th Anniversary Companion

Starring: Patrick McGoohan
Carlton Visual Entertainment
RRP: £19.99

Certificate: PG
Available now

The Prisoner is one of the most discussed shows every made and considering its age and the limited amount of episodes produced that's no mean feat. However, this latest disc of off-cuts and extras from the show does little, if anything, to expand on our knowledge of the series or the adventures of Number 6.

Okay, so it's nice to be offered an early cut of the first episode, Arrival, albeit in a rather fuzzy form. But is it really worth including the whole 48 minutes for a handful of extra frames and some different title music? Frankly, no. And the feature - for 'feature' read fan blather - is as pointless as it is dull. "I like the series and have a shop that sells Prisoner merchandise." Wow! You're sad.

There are a couple of snippets that have already appeared on the A&E release in the US, such as the foreign language filing cabinet shots from the opening titles, and a fun car ad but if you're after anything of any substance you'll be sadly disappointed.

But the final and worst crime is that the disc contains yet another copy of the release edit of the first episode which is already available on DVD. Why? To make up the space of course, which is a cheap and shoddy ploy by Carlton. The only advantage - and it's a minor one - is that Arrival on this disc exhibits less picture crawl and compression artefacts that the previously available transfer.

Considering that all the audio elements from the show were recently purchased by a London sound archive it would have been possible to remix the soundtrack in at least stereo - no such luck.

Be seeing you - hopefully not.

Anthony Clark

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