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The Prisoner: The Complete Series

376 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Since its CBS debut in the summer of 1968, the masterful British TV series THE PRISONER has captivated American audiences. Now A&E presents a definitive collector's edition of the cult classic which is considered one of the most innovative TV series ever filmed.

After resigning from a top-secret position, a man (McGoohan) is abducted and spirited from his London home to a mysterious place known only as 'The Village.' Village Residents, known only by numbers, are held captive because each possesses valuable knowledge. The Prisoner, now known as Number Six, battles to protect his mind -- and his humanity -- while struggling to discover the identity of Number One and escape captivity.

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If a top-level spy decided he didn't want to be a spy anymore, could he just walk into HQ and hand in his resignation? With all that classified knowledge in his head, would he be allowed to become a civilian again, free to go about his life? The answer, according to the stylish, brilliantly conceived 1960s British TV series The Prisoner, is a resounding no. In fact, instead of receiving a gold watch for his years of faithful service, our hero (played by Patrick McGoohan) is followed home to his London flat and knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a picturesque village where everyone is known by a number. Where is it? Why was he brought here? And, most important, how does he leave?

As we learn in Episode 1, Number 6 can't leave. The Village's "citizens" might dress colorfully and stroll around its manicured gardens while a band plays bouncy Strauss marches, but the place is actually a prison. Surveillance is near total, and if all else fails, there's always the large, mysterious white ball that subdues potential escapees by temporarily smothering them. Who runs the Village? An ever-changing Number 2, who wants to know why Number 6 resigned. If he'd only cooperate, he's told, life can be made very pleasant. "I've resigned," he fumes. "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own." So sets the stage for the ultimate battle of wills: Number 6's struggle to retain his privacy, sanity, and individuality against the array of psychological and physical methods the Village uses to break him.

So does he ever escape? And does he ever find out who Number 1 is? "Questions are a burden to others," the Village saying goes. "Answers, a prison for oneself." Within this complete 17-episode set, all is revealed. Or is it? --Steve Landau

Also on the discs
The 2009 Collector's Edition has the same video content as the 2006 40th Anniversary Edition, but does not include the booklet or paper map. The principal other difference is that the 10 discs are packaged in five Thinpaks instead of 10. For an improved video transfer and new supplemental features, try the 2009 Blu-ray release. --David Horiuchi


Special Features

Includes the following exclusive bonus features:

- Ultra-rare original footage of the 1966 location shooting, accompanied by commentary with series production manager Bernie Williams
- Bonus program: The Prisoner Video Companion
- Rare alternate version of the episode "The Chimes of Big Ben"
- Rarely seen "Foreign File Cabinet" footage
- Rarely seen "Textless" intro and outro
- Original Broadcast trailers
- Original series promotional trailer
- Gallery of original production and promotional materials
- Production stills galleries
- Interactive map of the Village
- Prisoner trivia
- Subtitles


Product Details

  • Actors: Patrick McGoohan
  • Format: Box set, Collector's Edition, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 10
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 840 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (376 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002NB421C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,220 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

185 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Brother Bish on October 28, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I bought The Prisoner on Blu-ray yesterday. Contrary to the one star reviews that were written before the Blu-ray release by people that had not seen the Blu-ray set yet, I can definitively say the picture and sound quality is top notch and is 100x better than the previous US dvd releases. (which I also own and compared it too.)

There really is no comparison here. The previous dvd's were muddy and the picture quality was severely lacking. The image on the Blu-ray release is crisp, clear and looks absolutely amazing. It looks like it could have been filmed yesterday.

I think if I had one complaint it would be that the fifth disc that contains many of the extras is a regular DVD and not in HD. However knowing that I would still have bought this set and been completely happy with my purchase.

The Prisoner has never looked or sounded better.
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370 of 390 people found the following review helpful By Eric Pregosin on August 3, 2001
Format: DVD
Well not exactly Patrick McGoohan's opening from The Prisoner, but it did catch your attention :-). Seriously here they are, all 17 episodes plus the Prisoner Video Companion originally offered on MCI Home Video now on DVD compliments of our good friends at A&E. What's nicer is the episodes are arranged in what the fans believe to be the chronological order of the episodes in terms of Number 6's time in the Village rather than order of original airdate (although some of them are in airdate order). As a hint at this look carefully at "The General" and "A, B and C". Both star Colin Gordon as Number 2, but in the opening for "A, B and C" he says "I am number 2" rather than "The new number 2". Also this set contains something released on video previously but only in England, a special edition of the 5th episode of the series, "The Chimes of Big Ben". Definitely the best of McGoohan's 3 British Secret Agent types series, but also the quintessential scifi series as well. By the way, a special debt of gratitude to A&E Homevideo. When this series first came out on VHS on MPI Homevideo in 1990, they made a muff in the episode "Checkmate". In the "Where am I" segment of the opening sequence it started with McGoohan doing it with the fore mentioned Colin Gordon even though Peter Wyngarde played Number 2 in this episode. By the third line "That would be telling" the tape was ok. I can't speak for the new A&E VHS copy, but on these DVDs the muff has NOT recurred. Which means either A&E acquired a better copy of the episode to restore on DVD or someone told them about the flub from 11 years ago. So kudos to A&E Video for to repairing this decade old "blooper". This 10 pack is much better buy than the 5 sets of 2 DVDs individually. Get it now, return to the Village and escape at your own pace.
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249 of 267 people found the following review helpful By Alexander E. Paulsen on June 4, 2002
Format: DVD
I myself did not think the transfer was all that bad. In fact I think it looks good on my 61" Sony and Sony DVD.
I started watching the Prisoner when it first released in the US as summer replacement. I have been hooked ever since.
Yes it is about a spy or "Secret Agent" who resigns in obvious disgust and is kidnapped, taken to a very mysterious, secret and very secure place known as "The Village". It is also about his attempts at escape and other intrigues. Leading edge spy stuff for its time.
To appreciate The Prisoner you must go beneath the surface at what The Prisoner really means. The series is full of symbolism and social commentary while The Vilage is referred to as "The model for a new world order" by one of the constantly changing #2's.
The series blew everyones mind in the late 60's when it aired. I knew many people who could not get it and never watched more than one or two episodes. The die-hard fans hung in there and got our own minds blown in "Fall Out" the final episode.
After years and careful noticeof the world and politics and social upheavals The Prisoner now makes sense immediately to people who are just now seeing it for the first time - like my 22 year old daughter. she had it figured out (correctly) by the 3rd DVD.
Anyway, this is an important series and TV's first true masterpiece. It is a work or art, it is a social commentary and it is very prophetic and more relevant than ever.
I love this set. I enjoyed the bonus tracks. To those who think the bonus tracks are lacking, remember this is a TV show produced in 1967. This is a veritable gold mine of bonus material.
After seeing all 17 episodes again in order, sharing them with my daughter had brought me to even new revelations about the series and the genius behind them.
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By landru141 on August 19, 2005
Format: DVD
DVD - overview. Well, they are excellent transfers. Visually its as clear as it will ever be. The sound is a bit thin and could have used the detailed thought that went into the Original Star Trek series. The miracle would have been to actually interview or have McGoohan himself do a commentary. Since he's notoriously closed mouthed about this series, don't expect it. Ever.

The Show - What's it all about? There are at least 3 ways to view this series, which is at least 2 more ways than almost anything generated by popular culture in the last 50 years. However deeply you decide to invest your thoughts, it will not go unrewarded. The Prisoner is simply the best television show ever made and one of the few that actually attempts to make the disposable medium "art." The fact that I'm writing about it nearly 40s years later is a testament to the achievement of the singularly minded force behind it: the star, Patrick McGoohan.

McGoohan had come off a second 2-year run of his popular "Danger Man" series. The first series ran from 1960-62, the second from 1964-66 ... look them up on this site for further info ... and were hugely successful both in the UK and in the US. He had already turned down the role of 007 before it was offered to Sean Connery for various "moral reasons" which still seem vague to this day. He seemed to find the character of Bond's habit of killing and womanizing distasteful. In 1962, this wasn't such a big deal. James Bond had been a popular series of novels and the first movie was considered a modest undertaking at best. (Future Bond and current star of "The Saint" Roger Moore was approached and also turned it down.) Fast-forward to 1966, as McGoohan's own show was now going into its 5th year, he was offered the role again.
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Box Set - Old vs. New
Bought it: it has closed-captioning; have submitted note to add to product description. I imagine the old box set just hasn't sold out yet, and that is why it is still for sale.
Mar 26, 2007 by South Beach Diet |  See all 14 posts
Will these be captioned/subtitled?
The set is subtitled but they are horrible :( My wife is from Japan and sometimes has problems understanding accents so she asked that I turn on the subtitles for her. Pretty much every line is paraphrased. With a show this intelligent and considering all the wit and sarcasm that comes from... Read More
Nov 11, 2009 by Paul Robinson |  See all 8 posts
When will we have Scott Apel's input on this series?
I have all of the Scott Appel introductions (I think he even mentions me in one of them). They are on old VHS tapes.
It is way too bad that Scott's insightful introductions (done in #6 costume with props) are not on any DVD or Blu-ray.
Jul 21, 2014 by Paul J. Mular |  See all 2 posts
Will the A&E set mirror the UK set?
A&E, like Network in the UK, are only the distributor. I'm not sure that they are responsible for the film-to-video transfers. When I inquired as to the possibility of the Network set being distributed in North America, I was told that Network only had the distribution rights for the UK. The... Read More
Jun 22, 2009 by Blue Coronet |  See all 10 posts
Disc 5 DVD problem
I have Samsung Blu Ray player and disc 5 just pops out "Disc cannot be read",
so I'm guessing this may be widespread ???
Nov 15, 2009 by David Rout |  See all 24 posts
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