Tag Archive | The Prisoner

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What TV's on at the BFI in August 2013

Posted on June 25, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's time for our regular look at the TV that the BFI is showing, this time in the month of August 2013. This month, the Doctor Who celebrations leap to the ninth Doctor – the eighth Doctor will see his own celebrations in September – with a showing of his last two episodes Bad Wolf and Parting of the Ways:

But there's also a Patrick McGoohan season – when I'm on holiday, of course – as well as a preview of Cillian Murphy's first major TV role, BBC2's Peaky Blinders, and an ITV 'Missing Believed Wiped'.

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I am not a number, I am a holiday-maker: a field-trip to Portmeirion

Posted on April 15, 2013 | comments | Bookmark and Share

Portmeirion road-sign

So, I went off to Snowdonia (that's in North Wales, non-UK readers. You know where Wales is, right?) for the weekend – hence my absence on Friday. Bit of a trek, what with the traffic and all, so seven hours drive each way. Argh.

Anyway, we're just coming up to our hotel when to my surprise, I see a sign to Portmeirion. Honestly, I had no idea it was there – I thought it was further north. It's not.

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But the TV gods had clearly spoken to Dealcloud, which is how we ended up at this particular hotel (which also turned out to have been visited by Jackie O and Ted Kennedy at some point) only 15 minutes away from where The Prisoner was filmed. Remember The Prisoner – the original Patrick McGoohan version, not the remake? Here, at least, is the iconic title sequence, which also explains the plot (secret agent resigns so is kidnapped and imprisoned in a seemingly loving prison called The Village):

Anyway, having made it out that far, how could we not go and have a wander round? Okay, it's £10 per adult, but we'll live. So, after the jump, lots of pictures of Portmeirion: how much will you recognise, discerning Prisoner fans?

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Mini-review: Danger 5 (SBS1) 1x1

Posted on March 9, 2012 | comment | Bookmark and Share

Danger 5

In Australia: Mondays, 9.30pm, SBS1. Available on the SBS web site (Australians only)

So imagine a world where the Second World War is happening in the 1960s, Hitler is still alive and five secret agents from around the world have ganged up to try to stop the Nazis.

What do you mean, "Why?" Because I tell you to, that's why.

Actually, that's a very good question that maybe we should ask the creators of Australian show Danger 5, who seem to have taken some peyote while watching Thunderbirds, The Prisoner, The Champions, Inglourious Basterds, the Godzilla movies and huge amounts of those bizarre 1960s eurospy movies that Tanner writes about. They've come up with a very precise pastiche/homage that tries to walk the line between affectionate and mental, except the peyote is so strong the line actually looks like a blancmange being ridden by Anne of Cleves.

So we have Hitler sending out zeppelins to steal the Eiffel Tower in scenes that remind you of Derek Meddings' efforts on a bad day; someone with an eagle's head dressed like Patrick MacGoohan in The Prisoner; deliberately bad dubbing; seductive, smoking, talking robot dogs; bad accents; Champions-like telepathy; exploitation cinema bondage scenes; and more - but for no apparent reason other than it looks cool and people who love the 60s will go "Oh yes, that's from X". There's no plot coherence and no real jokes.

It looks fantastic. A lot of work has obviously gone into it. But it'll leaving you wondering what the whole thing is supposed to accomplish and why you should be watching it. Even more than Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, in fact.

Here's a trailer in case you missed it the first time I showed you and the Internet-only pilot episode so you can see for yourself.

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