Prisoner, The (1967)-Number 5: Fall Out

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Released 26-Nov-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Original Fall Out Trailer
Featurette-Original Portmeirion Location Footage
Biographies-Cast
Gallery-Photo-2
Featurette-Collecting The Prisoner
Featurette-The Prisoner Companion
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1967
Running Time 49:17 (Case: 150)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Robert Asher
Don Chaffey
Pat Jackson
Patrick McGoohan
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Patrick McGoohan
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Ron Grainer
Wilfred Josephs
Albert Elms


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   

'Be Seeing You'

    The Prisoner is an English television series made in 1966/67 which over the years has become a cult favourite, with many websites and societies devoted to it. It was controversial when it first aired because of its very different and confusing approach and especially because of its strange, surreal ending. It has been released here in Region 4 by Umbrella/AV Channel and is available either as a box set of 5 discs or as individual discs. For this reason there will be five single disc reviews followed by a box set review, tying them all together, so bear with me. Each disc contains extras but the major extras are contained on Disc 5.

    The basic premise is that a high ranking government employee in London, obviously somehow involved in international espionage, decides to resign and during the credits which start most episodes, he visits his boss in an underground location to thump the desk and hand over his letter. He returns home to pack and get away from England, however, while he is doing so he is gassed and kidnapped. When he awakes he is in a strange place, called The Village, which is really a prison but without obvious guards, fences, wire or locks. He quickly learns that they want to know why he resigned and he is referred to only as Number 6 (Patrick McGoohan). Not being sure who or which side he is dealing with he refuses to tell them anything. The village accommodates many people, all with different numbers, most of whom have given up the information they held and now live as virtual automatons, following the instructions of the chief administrator, Number 2, on how to behave and react to various situations. The show follows the various attempts of Number 2 (played by various actors) to break Number 6 and get him to answer their questions. It also follows various attempts by Number 6 to escape and work out who Number 1 is. Because of Number 6's importance, Number 2's shadowy superiors will not allow him to use risky or destructive techniques to bring Number 6 to heel.

    The only episode on this disc is:

  1. Fall Out - This final episode was extremely controversial when originally aired, causing the switchboard at the television network to melt down and Patrick McGoohan to go into hiding. (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) After his defeat of Number 2, Number 6 is taken before The President (Kenneth Griffith) in triumph and he is offered the job of leading the group or returning to normal society with a fortune. What will he choose? Also features Leo McKern as Number 2 & Alexis Kanner as Number 48. This episode is quite confusing but very intriguing and leaves you to decide what you think happened and what it all means. Excellent. A magnificent ending to a great series.

    Highly recommended if you don't mind having to think.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent. A wonderful job has been done in restoring the video presentation. It is not without problems, however compared to footage from the series in some of the extras and documentaries, the difference is quite amazing.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was surprisingly clear and sharp throughout considering the age of the material, with no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was decent but certainly nothing special.

    The colour was generally very good, however I did notice some chroma noise from time to time.

    Considering the age and television source of the material, artefacts have been kept to an absolute minimum but they are certainly present. From a film artefact perspective, there were occasional specks and lines, although all things considered these were quite minimal. There were also occasional jumps in the film but these were not regular and not really badly noticeable. From a film-to-video artefact perspective there was some regular mild aliasing throughout on car grilles, windows and more. There was also some edge enhancement which occurs regularly. I noticed some tape tracking errors but these were very irregular. From an MPEG artefact perspective there was some macro-blocking to be seen, such as in the clouds in the credits and here and there during the episodes. None of these artefacts could be considered overly significant and considering the age of the original series, the overall video quality is excellent.

    There are no subtitles which is a shame.

    The layer change is between programs.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is good and in the original mono.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout. Audio sync was an issue in two episodes but was generally fine.

    The music in the series includes the excellent theme as hummed by Patrick McGoohan to Ron Grainer who then took the original idea and developed it into a full theme. Other incidental music was by Wilfred Josephs & Albert Elms. Generally, the music is excellent, weird, effective, surreal and interesting.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This disc contains mostly extras in addition to the last episode.

Menu

    The menu included an intro, stills, music, dialogue and the ability to select scenes and episodes.

The Chimes of Big Ben - Alternate Version (50:38)

    An alternate and quite different version of this episode which was shown at a press preview and then changed significantly before airing. This version gives some information about The Village which was not consistent with the rest of the series. The music is also different and the video quality is much worse. Fans will love it.

The Prisoner Companion (48:14)

    A US produced documentary about the series which delves into some of the debates, trivia, anecdotes and meaning of the television series. A lot of the running time is taken up by extended scenes from the show itself but there are certainly some interesting stories and quotes included. Discusses the various explanations which have been put forward as to the show's meaning such as apocalypse, science and technology going too far, cold war and others. Interesting and worth having..

Collecting The Prisoner (6:21)

    A short more recent featurette about people that collect memorabilia from the show. Also includes an interview with the man who runs The Prisoner shop at Portmeirion.

Original Episode Trailer

    This is the original television trailers for

Original Portmeirion Production Footage (8:03)

    16mm footage behind-the-scenes captured during on location shooting. Definitely of interest to fans.

Actor Profiles

    Text profiles for the the actors who appeared in multiple episodes; Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat, Peter Swanwick & Alexis Kanner.

Prisoner Memorabilia Photo Gallery

    8 photos of various promotional items.

The Tally Ho Photo Gallery

    8 stills from behind-the-scenes of Fall Out.

Case Notes

    The case includes a selection of trivia and information on the various screening orders.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I will cover the Region 4 vs Region 1 differences in the box set review as the sets are reasonably different. There is no direct comparison for each individual disc as the Region 1 set is spread over 10 discs. Smaller sets were released earlier with two discs each, however, the spread of episodes is quite different.

Summary

    The last disc of an intriguing, weird, surreal and political television series made in 1966/67 that could not possibly be made today.

    The video quality is wonderful considering the source.

    The audio quality is good.

    The disc has the major extras included in the box set.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, April 11, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Audio sync - REPLY POSTED
I must be blind ;-) -