Prisoner, The (1967)-Number 5: Fall Out
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Original Fall Out Trailer
Featurette-Original Portmeirion Location Footage
Featurette-Collecting The Prisoner
Featurette-The Prisoner Companion
|Year Of Production||1967|
|Running Time||49:17 (Case: 150)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.29:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.29:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
'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:
Highly recommended if you don't mind having to think.
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.
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.
|Surround Channel Use|
This disc contains mostly extras in addition to the last episode.
The menu included an intro, stills, music, dialogue and the ability to select scenes and episodes.
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.
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..
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.
This is the original television trailers for
16mm footage behind-the-scenes captured during on location shooting. Definitely of interest to fans.
Text profiles for the the actors who appeared in multiple episodes; Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat, Peter Swanwick & Alexis Kanner.
8 photos of various promotional items.
8 stills from behind-the-scenes of Fall Out.
The case includes a selection of trivia and information on the various screening orders.
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.
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.
The video quality is wonderful considering the source.
The audio quality is good.
The disc has the major extras included in the box set.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Bose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)|