72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Superb DVD set with loads of extras,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Prisoner [DVD] (DVD)For some reason, the reviews for both the DVD and blu ray releases have been linked together by Amazon.
So to avoid any confusion, this review is for the standard DVD set and NOT the blu ray collection.
(EDIT 28/01/13) The reviews are now linked together for at least four other box sets, so for further clarification, this review refers to the 7 disc standard DVD box set released by 'Network' in the UK (Amazon ASIN: B001AQVFDO).
'The Prisoner' episodes themselves are so well known and familiar to most people that there is little point describing or trying to explain them here.
So what's in the digitally restored DVD set from network? Well just about everything!
As well as the 17 episodes themselves (several with commentaries), there's original/alternate edits of 'Arrival' and 'The Chimes of Big Ben'. 'Arrival' is also presented as an original edit with the complete (and abandoned) Wilfred Josephs music score only (no dialogue). 'Arrival's' opening credits are also shown in side by side 'before and after' restored quality comparison. The alternate 'Chimes' appears to be the one previously released on the Carlton box set a few years ago.
There's a fine documentary about the making of 'The Prisoner' called 'Don't knock yourself out', featuring original cast and production team members.
A 'clean' opening and closing sequence, with no titles or credits superimposed is included, along with the original animated penny farthing 'advert bumpers' that were used for the commercial breaks on the ITV transmitions. There's also some shots of the filing cabinets from the opening credits with the 'resigned' label done in different languages for overseas sales.
Trailers for all the episodes ( I think these may be the same as on the Carlton release).
Photos/production stills - There's loads and loads of 'em. I wouldn't be surprised if every publicity shot ever taken for 'The Prisoner' isn't here, including around 50 photos from the 1967 press conference. As well as stills, there's also production designs by Jack Shampan.
16mm and 8mm home movie footage show behind the scenes of the filming in Portmeirion.
Put the discs in a PC and there's PDF files to view. Each disc has scans of original scripts. On disc seven, there's two unused scripts ('Don't get yourself killed' and 'The Outsider'), and two unused storylines ('Friend or Foe' and 'Ticket to Eternity'). There's also two 'Tally Ho' village newspaper front pages, call sheets, magazine and book covers, etc. Phew!
To top it off, there's an excellent paperback book by Andrew Pixley. This must be worth at least a tenner alone! Readers of other work by Andrew Pixley will know that his attention to detail on the making of genre TV classics is second to none and this book is no exception.
So, what's the quality of the DVDs like? Well, I already had the Carlton box set and was quite satisfied with the quality of that. I really purchased this new set for the wealth of extras. Having said that, the picture quality on this set is superb. The main improvement that I found over the Carlton release was on the opening titles. They are much cleaner and fresher on the new release. But I personally couldn't see a great deal of difference (if any) on the picture quality of the actual episodes themselves. But that's just my opinion.
Sound wise, I personally find the new Dolby 5.1 sound just a little bit 'tinny' for my taste but there's the option of the original mono sound to choose from if required.
All in all, a fantastic package.
My verdict. An absolutely brilliant buy!
If you already have the Carlton box set and only want to improve on the picture quality of the episodes, it may best to go for blu ray. If you have the Carlton set and want tons more extras, get this now!
One final note : Why are the plastic cases so reluctant to let you remove a disc!! I keep expecting a disc to snap before it comes out!
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 May 2011 23:39:30 BDT
Amazon do this linking with other items. Its totally misleading and its time they got their act together. Serves them right if customers keep returning items because of it.
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2011 14:28:59 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Jun 2011 14:30:23 BDT
M. Burgess says:
I'm really happy you pointed this out, it's very frustrating to be shopping for a blue ray replacement for a standard DVD or set that I already own, and read endless reviews of the standard version and not the blue ray. If I'm trying to determine the improved quality of a blue ray title, I'd like to read reviews that are relevant to it, a product review, not umpteen subjective opinions on whether they thought the dramatic content of the series or film was any good or not. More PRODUCT reviews please, people, you're not writing for Empire magazine.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2012 11:25:39 GMT
I am with you all the way on this....by all means critique the show/movie whatever but CONCENTRATE on the product you have bought so that proper comparisons can be made. And what is also annoying is how a review on one dvd box set is linked directly to another....I adore this series but ended up buying a dvd box set with dutch programme notes! Obviously, the episodes are the same but it wd be nice to be able to understand the notes and I have a heck of a job working out on what disc a particular episode is! If you have any info on the blu-ray set I would be obliged.
Posted on 16 Sep 2012 21:21:38 BDT
I was going to write a review myself but I think you've covered everything perfectly here - Even the little problem with the sound! So I'll just mark this review as helpful instead :)
Posted on 28 Jan 2013 18:54:44 GMT
I definitely am going to get this, but I've one question and am a tiny bit confused. This box set is listed as six discs, but in your (very thorough and excellent review, by the way!), you'd mentioned 'disc 7.' I still will be buying it, be it six discs or seven, but just wanted to make sure that there's not another box set, with the same cover as this one, that has seven discs (of course, we all would want as many discs as there are for the enjoying). Thanks again for the brilliant review.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jan 2013 20:18:19 GMT
Thanks for your comments. It's the 7 disc box set that I was reviewing but it now looks like the review is linked to several other listings that don't have 7 discs. Make sure it's the 7 disc set that you order as it's the one with all the extras. I've just updated the review to include the details that it's the release by 'Network', Amazon ASIN: B001AQVFDO
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