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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Action > Adventure > British TV > The Prisoner 35th Anniversary DVD Set (1967 – 1968/Umbrella Entertainment/Region Zero/PAL)

The Prisoner 35th Anniversary DVD Set (1967 – 1968/Umbrella Entertainment/Region Zero/PAL)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B     Episodes: A



PLEASE NOTE: This DVD can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Zero/0 PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review.  Also, this DVD set version has been updated for its recent 35th Anniversary Edition, which we reviewed as an import from Umbrella Entertainment.  You can read more about it at this link for the older, out-of-print A&E U.S. NTSC DVD Set:





That will tell you about the show’s background, episodes and influence.  It remains an excellent show and even as it is about to be remade in the shadow of creator/star Patrick McGoohan’s death, remains one of the greatest TV shows ever made.  New prints were made for this edition and it is enough of an improvement to replace the older edition.


The transfers of the episodes, all 1.33 X 1 full frame, have some detail limits I did not expect, but the color improvements are much more like it and closer to the bright, full, and rich colors and look as intended by McGoohan, cinematographer Brendan J. Stafford, B.S.C., the costume and production designers.  That does not mean they are always great, but usually so and the inevitable Blu-ray edition will show just how good the new prints really are.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is even more improved from the average, aged sound that the old A&E set exhibited, despite its high 384 kbps rate (a record for Dolby 2.0 anything) and a lossless version on Blu-ray might be better still.


This upgraded set also has extras including trailers for each episode, text production notes, “Foreign File Cabinet” which shows the variations in different languages form the opening scene when No. 6 resigns, plus the intro and outro for the show minus any text (aka textless) over it, Tally Ho stills gallery, production/promo materials, 8mm and 16mm behind-the-scenes footage of the shooting of the show and The Prisoner Video Companion originally produced when MPI issued the show on VHS a long time ago and the analog videotape quality shows its age.  However, after a slow start, it kicks in good and more than justifies its presence in this set.  It is meant to be scene after watching the series, preferably a few times, through.  It offers some answers and suppositions about what the series is about, but some of what is offered is too pat.  In many cases, it is on the right path.  Too bad this was not still updated from the previous DVD set with better-quality footage and even more ideas about the show, but it is a classic in itself among longtime fans just the same.


New extras include the Collecting The Prisoner featurette, actor profiles and rare animated Penny Farthing Commercial Bumpers for the show.  That is more than the previous set and just about all of the extras from the last set.  The Prisoner 35th Anniversary DVD Set is affine enough upgrade and that it is better on half of the DVDs of the old A&E set (5 versus 10!) and fits inside a case the size of a single DVD is a real plus.



As noted above, you can order this PAL DVD import exclusively from Umbrella at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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