in with a whopping thirteen-discs Network has issued the celebrated
second season of the Patrick McGoohan starring series with a
set of crisp and clear transfers. With all of the forty-seven
fifty-minute episodes included on this release space/budget
for extras was possibly at a premium so don't expect oodles
of commentaries or documentaries, but each disc does include
a high quality image gallery of stills from episodes featured
on each disc.
With some solid scripts and the charismatic brooding of McGoohan
this seminal series that helped open the floodgates to a thousand
inferior spy thriller programmes is always compelling viewing.
Hidden away on each disc is an archive of pdfs of original script
with a hugely impressive total forty-two scripts assembled from
various sources. Taken together this a fabulous and fascinating
collection and possibly the most I've seen for an archive TV
There are also image galleries for items of merchandising including
books and a rare set chewing gum cards (also featured as a pdf
on the disc for easier study), a collection of alternate title
sequences and elements including commercial break bumpers, opening
rushes and a suite of title music cues. A nice unexpected collection
tucked away on the final disc is completed by pdfs of both Danger
Man annuals from the mid-sixties.
The cream of the extras is the paperback book detailing the
history and production of the series entitled The Battle of
the Cameras. Penned by the ever-reliable Andrew Pixley the book
is fantastically detailed and the definitive study of the programme.
Pixley examines every aspect of the production in the first
half of the book before embarking on an episode-by-episode dissection
of the series that details every minute titbit of trivia. One
negative aspect is that the book lacks an index or contents
page, but a minor quibble.
This could be a stand alone book in itself and together with
the excellent transfers makes the set well worth purchasing,
though I don't think it will help expand the fan base of the
series and will appeal to established fans only. The set bodes
well for the Network's promised release of The Prisoner, especially
if Mr Pixley will be on hand to excavate the history of the
series in some form.