Patrick McGoohan as The Prisoner in Portmeirion
Events

Celebrate The Prisoner’s 50th birthday at Portmeirion

Network DVD, which releases all manner of archive DVDs, is celebrating the fact it’s the 50th birthday of The Prisoner this year with a very special event in the village itself – Portmeirion.

The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan’s visionary television series, reaches the half century of its first UK transmission in September. In celebration, Network is returning to the place where it all began – the village, aka Portmeirion, to host a one day event for the launch of our new feature-length documentary plus a brand new Blu-ray and DVD edition

This unique day will bring together surviving cast, crew and other special guests alongside screenings of key episodes from brand new 35mm prints, Q&A’s, installations and more.

The centre piece will be the world premiere of Chris Rodley’s new feature-length documentary In My Mind, followed by a very special 35mm presentation of Arrival at 7.30pm, 50 years to the minute of its UK premiere.

The new edition of our Blu-ray and DVD set is included in the ticket price for those attending the event, ahead of the official release date. All 17 episodes feature brand new detailed text commentaries and a wealth of newly produced special features, including the documentary feature In My Mind, unseen footage and much more.

This deluxe edition also includes an updated edition of Andrew Pixley’s definitive and highly-regarded book on the series, lavishly illustrated with rare and unpublished photographs and a newly remastered 6-CD soundtrack of the specially composed music scores by Albert Elms, Wilfred Josephs and Robert Farnon, Ron Grainer’s themes and the Chappell music library pieces altogether in one set for the first time.

Tickets are available to purchase from today but places at this unique event are strictly limited, and offered on a first come, first served basis. Tickets are priced at £135, which includes admission to the premiere, all episode screenings, Q&As and events around the village throughout the day plus the new deluxe BluRay or DVD box set.

A very limited amount of overnight accommodation for 28th and/or 29th September in Portmeirion itself is available to purchase separately. Please email [email protected] with your details and PRISONER50ACCOM as the title for further details.

TV reviews

Preview: Space: 1999 – The Bringers of Wonder (Special Edition)

Space: 1999 - Bringers of Wonder

Space: 1999 - Bringers of Wonder

Starring: Barbara Bain, Martin Landau
Price: £13
Released: December 8 2014

Today is a day of firsts. Not only is it December 1st, the first day of Advent, it’s also the first time since I started this blog up way back in 2005 (gosh, nearly 10 years ago!) that I’ve published a guest post. Isn’t that amazing?

This first guest post is by noted author and critic Mr James Cooray Smith, who has bitten the bullet and done something I could never do: watch Space: 1999 again. In this case, he’s watched the forthcoming limited edition Blu-ray release of the show’s only ever two-part episode, The Bringers of Wonder, as well as the cinema version of said two-parter, Destination Moonbase Alpha get it while it’s hot, because only 1,999 copies of this are being produced.

After the jump, Jim will let you know what he thinks and reveals that the show is officially considered a form of torture in the US. Before then, here’s a trailer, and if you’re feeling brave, I’ve also provided the two episodes in question, so you can see what you’re going to get (NB: watching the episodes may be considered illegal under Geneva conventions of all kinds):

Continue reading “Preview: Space: 1999 – The Bringers of Wonder (Special Edition)”

Classic TV

Filmed in Supermarionation – coming Autumn 2014

Filmed in Supermarionation

Network has completed a new film about the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson that’s going to be released in Autumn 2014. They were the minds behind Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Stingray, UFO, Space: 1999 et al, in case you don’t know.

Directed and produced by Stephen La Rivière (The Story Of Upstairs Downstairs, We Were ‘The Champions’), Filmed In Supermarionation is a screen adaptation of his book of the same name telling the story of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s TV productions using a wealth of previously unseen archive footage, new interviews with those involved, and clips from the shows themselves.

And here’s a trailer.

TV reviews

Nostalgia corner: Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969-70, 2000-2001)

Back in the 1960s, crime stories were all the rage (well, crime stories and spy stories. But crime stories particularly.) Finding a way to differentiate the main characters and give a series a unique selling point compared with others was often a challenge.

Possibly the most differentiated – and indeed interesting – crime show of the 60s was Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) (known more prosaically in the US as My Partner The Ghost because focus group research suggested viewers wouldn’t understand the word ‘deceased’). Its premise was simple: two down-at-heel British private investigators, Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt) and Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope), are investigating a case. The bad guys don’t like this and think they’re getting too close so they kill Hopkirk.

Except that doesn’t stop him. Hopkirk is so dedicated to his friend, Jeff – and so keen to bring his murderers to justice – that he returns as a ghost to help solve the case and stop the bad guys. Unfortunately, it takes him too long and after the bad guys are rounded up, a curse dooms Hopkirk to walk the earth as a ghost in an eternally spotless white suit for 100 years.

So Hopkirk stays on to help Jeff solve further cases as best he can, despite being intangible and invisible to everyone else. Cue catchy theme tune and 25 more episodes.

Continue reading “Nostalgia corner: Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969-70, 2000-2001)”

UK TV

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

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.

View Larger Map

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?

Continue reading “I am not a number, I am a holiday-maker: a field-trip to Portmeirion”