More Adventures "In the Village"
ionadh | Texas, USA | 02/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Patrick McGoohan's Number 6 does battle in three new stories in this compilation from his classic 1966 television series; one is excellent, one very good, and only one is just fair, but even a fair episode of "the Prisoner" puts most other shows to shame. In "The Schizoid Man" - by far the standout story of the trilogy presented herein - Number 6 is put into the maddening position of having to prove to his captors that he is himself, and not the man who is impersonating him better than he is impersonating the impersonator. The story is ingenious, and worked out with a methodical and sinister brilliance worthy of an Alfred Hitchcock movie; McGoohan's acting, as the "real" and "fake" Numbers 6, is even more fascinating than usual. "Many Happy Returns" mostly takes place in the "real" world, as Number 6 realizes his dream of escaping - only to learn that his own former employers in the British secret service now consider him to be a possible traitor. The episode begins with an eerie portrayal of a completely abandoned, lifeless Village, moves on to Number 6's voyage across the high seas, and return to London - all portrayed without a single word of spoken dialogue for the first 20 minutes of the episode! Very cool, unsettling stuff. Finally, we have "It's Your Funeral," a rather routine story of multiple plots (of the criminal variety) being bandied about, disbelieved, and yet, still carried out, in the allegedly peaceful Village; Number 6 attempts, in vain, to warn the retiring Number 2 that his youthful successor is planning to send him to a *very* permanent retirement. The use of a bizarre, imaginary game called Kosho, something involving trampolines and martial arts (I am not making this up), which McGoohan invented particularly for the series, highlights a rather routine tale. Any episode of "The Prisoner" is still standout viewing entertainment, but this collection features only one truly standout piece, "Schizoid Man" - but the tape is easily worth buying, for that episode alone!"
Andrew McCaffrey | Satellite of Love, Maryland | 04/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Set Three of A&E's The Prisoner series features three episodes of the television program and an interesting interview with the production manager for the show, Bernie Williams. I won't spend too much time talking about the individual episodes. If you've seen the series before, then you know exactly how good they are. If you haven't seen them, then you owe it to yourself to view them. The transfer to DVD was very well done with nice little touches added in the menu pages. The video is excellent and the sound is superb; Number Six has never looked better.The three episodes here are a great representation of the series. In THE SCHIZOID MAN, the Prisoner is confronted by an agent sent to test his own sense of identity. This episode is excellent and mind-bending; it definitely deserves several viewings on its own. The interview with Bernie Williams may be a bit light for the hardcore fanatics, but as a casual fan of the series I found it to be quite enlightening and interesting. Williams goes over the creation of some of the classic show elements such as Rover and the various Number Twos."
Its about time!
Stephanie Manley | Houston, TX | 08/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alas, if you are looking at this to buy, you must be familiar with the show, The Prisoner. If not you are in for a real treat, but you should be starting with volume one. This incredible show still holds up so well after 30 years. The writing is excellent, and can not be missed. This one contains my favorite episodes The Schizoid Man and Many Happy Returns. Its a shame writing for most shows in TV isn't this good. This DVD copy it very good with no color fading. The extra material is a bit limited, but it will provide you with some very challenging triva."
"Smith. Peter... Smith."
Axel Law | Derby, KS, USA | 10/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1967, an allegorical television show emerged that has yet to be topped by any other English television series. The show: The Prisoner. Starring Patrick McGoohan, he plays the role of No. 6, a former secret service agent who resigned for unknown reasons and then finds himself knocked unconscious and trapped in a seemingly peaceful place called "the Village." Each episode features a new No. 2 (with a few exceptions), who watches his every move and strives to find out why he resigned. The only superior is the unseen No. 1, the supposed ruler of the Village. The only other characters that reoccur are The Supervisor (also called Controller), played by Peter Stanwick, and The Butler, played by Angelo Muscat.In "The Schizoid Man," Number 6's behavorial patterns are altered and he's convinced that he's Number 12 impersonating as Number 6. An interesting story that tests Number 6's individuality is among the best in the series. My favorite part: Number 2 tells him the "password" is Gemini. When he's confronted by street thugs and they ask for the password, he defiantly tells them "Jiminy."In "Many Happy Returns," the Village is seemingly deserted. He escapes, only to find that his superiors don't trust his motives. Still, a surprising plot twist makes his escape seem irrelevant... ah well, watch it and see for yourself.In "It's Your Funeral," Number 6 learns of a plot to assassinate a former Number 2. He doesn't believe it, thinking they're at him again as to why he resigned. Is it a trap, or the work of "jammers"? This one's pretty complex when it comes to the murder plot, but it unravels nicely in the end.The DVDs include an interview with Bernie Williams, the series' production manager and line producer. It's pretty insightful, as he stated that Patrick McGoohan had total control of the show (just because the show got weirder as it went along DOES NOT mean he had little control to begin with...) and it's comforting to know that most people involved with the show didn't even know what it was all about (Bernie said that it was "all in Patrick's head.").Here is where I agreed with A&E's episode placement. You can tell the Village administration growing desperate overtime and since the two aforementioned episodes are back to back episodes, it would only seem logical. Also, we're halfway through the series and the original airdate had "Many Happy Returns" BEFORE "Checkmate," which in the episode, Number 2 says "the early recruit." EARLY EPISODE, peoples.When Number 6 escaped from the Village, the world that we know that exists outside of the Village seemed not all that different... which goes to show you that the Village could be ANYWHERE, even the place that you live in. Perhaps this was to instill the idea into Number 6's head that he might be better off in the Village? Nevertheless, his individuality remained intact and still yearned to be free.Many people have compared Number 6 to John Drake (Secret Agent Man). Sure, they're both played by Patrick McGoohan and act similar, but are they the same? I don't believe so. As I have stated in my review for Set 1, I believe McGoohan meant for us to "fill Number 6's shoes." In other words, we too are prisoners in society, caught in a social order that we can't break from.I give every episode a 5 star rating, but I HIGHLY recommend you get the megaset instead of the individual volumes. This show is one that must be seen to believe."