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The Web The Unmutual Website

Well Come to The Unmutual Website - dedicated to the 1960s TV series "The Prisoner", starring Patrick McGoohan, and the village of Portmeirion in North Wales where the series was filmed.

LATEST NEWS.....

STOP PRESS: 09/02/16 - Norman Hudis, writer of 'Danger Man' episodes 'Koroshi' and 'Shinda Shima' has passed away aged 93. RIP....19/01/2016 - New Man in a Suitcase / Department S crossover comic online HERE....14/01/2016 - National Express include Portmeirion in list of places to visit HERE...article on The Prisoner and The Leftovers HERE...04/01/2016 - Check news items below for updated Big Finish Prisoner audio series news!...

ESSEX-BOUND ANNETTE

Exciting news has reached The Unmutual Website that much-loved actress Annette Andre will be attending a special signing event in April 2016.

Annette, who played the part of Monique in the episode 'It's Your Funeral' and is also fondly remembered for her many other roles on TV, including 'The Saint', 'The Persuaders', 'Crossroads', 'Prisoner: Cell Block H', and of course as Jeannie in the series 'Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)', whilst not having enjoyed her time working with Patrick McGoohan, has always been incredibly kind and giving to fans and is always happy to chat about her time on all these shows.

The event is taking place on Saturday 16th April, at Tenth Planet in Barking, Essex, from 10.00am-1.00pm. Signed items start at only £10 each, and there will also be opportunities for photographs.

Click HERE for more details. Be Seeing You there?

With thanks to SR for this news item.

SECOND SERIES FOR BIG FINISH

With the first series of 'The Prisoner' full cast audio dramas from Big Finish on the shelves and very well received by fans, it is with delight that producer and writer of the series, Nicholas Briggs, has announced that series two has now been confirmed, and is now available for pre-order prior to a January 2017 release.

Big Finish have further announced a very special competition, the prize for which is attendance at a recording session for the second series later this year! Check out The Unmutual's Facebook page HERE for more details!

To keep up to date with all things 'The Prisoner at Big Finish', click on TUW's dedicated page HERE.

For several reviews of series 1, click HERE, and HERE for a behind-the-scenes photo report, and for a review from Planet Mondas click HERE.

With thanks to Ed Watkinson and Anthony Rooney.

R.I.P. CONRAD PHILLIPS

Yet more sad news has reached The Unmutual today, with the news that actor Conrad Phillips, who played The Doctor in the episode 'The General', has passed away yesterday (13th January, the 7th anniversary of Patrick McGoohan's passing), at the age of 90.

Philips is probably best remembered for his role as swashbuckling hero 'William Tell' in the classic 1950s TV series, and a five-year recurring role as Christopher Meadows in the soap opera 'Emmerdale'.

Often referred to as 'the man who was in everything', Conrad appeared in many other ITC series from around the same era as 'The Prisoner', such as 'The Saint', and 'UFO'.

Conrad retired in 1992, his last role was in the comedy series 'Never the Twain', and lived his final years in a converted barn in Normandy.

The Unmutual Website would like to offer its sincerest condolences to his widow Jennie, two children, and two grandchildren, and all who knew this very talented and likeable actor. A further obituary from The Guardian can be read HERE.

With thanks to Gareth Bevan and Andrew Frith for this news item.

RIDLEY'S REMAKE?

Over the years there have been countless rumours regarding a possible movie remake of 'The Prisoner', with many names (such as Christopher Nolan, Mel Gibson, and Patrick McGoohan himself) linked with it since the original series aired in 1967/68 (click HERE for an article about the succession of remake ideas).

The latest of these is the news that 'Alien' director Ridley Scott is in early discussions with Universal regarding a possible remake, with 'The Departed' writer William Monahan having written an early draft script. More details HERE.

The series was remade in 2009 as a TV mini-series by AMC, but was pretty much universally panned (click HERE for many reviews).

Keep an eye on The Unmutual Website for any further developments! A news archive page for remake news is online HERE.

BIG FINISH SET AVAILABLE

The wait is now over! The long-awaited Big Finish full-cast audio drama re-imagining of 'The Prisoner' is now available, and what a magnificent set it is!

Click HERE for The Unmutual Website's review of the set, and click HERE for a special behind-the-scenes photo report from one of the recording sessions, featuring exclusive interviews and photos.

You can of course keep up to date with TUW's speial dedicated Big Finish page HERE. Click HERE to order.


New Number Six Mark Elstob at the recording session (MORE HERE).

APRIL TOURS CONFIRMED

Exciting news for folk interested in the London locations used in the filming of both 'The Prisoner' and 'Danger Man' will be delighted to learn that the next FREE location tour events have been announced, for Sunday 10th April 2016.

More than 20 locations are visited from the series, including Number Six's London house (left), the underground car park, and the famous resignation corridor, click HERE for the events page for more details.

With thanks to Dave Lally for this news item.

FREE AUDIO FOR ALL

Well it's a very Merry Christmas from Big Finish, as they have placed online a 30-minute excerpt of the first episode of their forthcoming audio CD series of 'The Prisoner', FOR FREE!

The series, written and produced by Nicholas Briggs, is released in January 2016 and TUW has a special page dedicated to the release, which includes in depth interviews with Nick and all the news and details.

Click HERE to listen to the free section of 'Departure and Arrival' and HERE for The Unmutual's special Big Finish page, which includes photos, information, and links to interviews with Mr Briggs.

Update January 4th 2016 - Check Facebook for regular behind the scenes videos, in 6 parts, from Big Finish regarding the project!

2015 IN REVIEW

The reviews section of The Unmutual Website (click HERE) has been updated, with several reviews from this past year, including DVD releases, books, and events.

The event reviews include an in-depth photo report of the May 2015 Prisoner Weekend (including the 2015 Mind Mash event (left)), the October location tours, and an Elstree Heritage screening evening.

More events are planned for 2016, including of course Dave Lally's always popular 'Prisoner' and 'Danger Man' location tours, the first of which has been confirmed for Sunday 10th April (see events page for more details).

BETTINE LE BEAU R.I.P.

It is with much sadness that The Unmutual Website has learnt that actress Bettine Le Beau, who played the part of Lucette the maid in 'A, B, and C', has passed away at the age of 82.

A holocaust survivor, Bettine will be remembered for her inspirational speaking and writing as much as for her acting skills and modelling work.

Her many and varied roles included wonderfully entertaining appearances in such series as 'The Likely Lads' and as one of 'Hill's Angels' in 'The Benny Hill Show', as well as more serious roles such as the first James Bond film 'Dr No'.

In 2008 Bettine attended the PM2008 event in Portmeirion and gave a wonderful interview about her life and career. An inspiration to many she will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

With thanks to Glenn Knowles for this news item.

KEEPING TRACK

Over the years several record labels, and most recently TUW's friends at Network have released 'The Prisoner' and 'Danger Man' music on various formats, and the latest of these are Cherry Red Records, whose latest CD release, 'Escape in Time' (left) features the theme music from both shows, an additional 6 pieces of incidental music from 'The Prisoner', as well as other cult and telefantasy tracks such as 'The Saint', and 'The Avengers'.

With the vinyl comeback in full swing, Network have also added to their recent releases of 'The Prisoner' on that format, with new 180g vinyl remastered sets of series such as 'Gideon's Way' and 'The Baron' (below).

'Escape in Time' can be purchased HERE (with profits donated to TUW's Ty Gobaith charity fund), and Network's title from HERE.

With thanks to Andrew Frith and Network Distribution for this news item.

A NOVEL IDEA

Several books have been written over the years which can lay claim to being 'Prisoneresque', or be influenced by the series, and the latest of these is 'The Cubist's House', by French-born author Jean Bonnin.

The book is undoubtadly an interesting read, and the Prisoneresque elements are clear throughout.

The book is described as; 'If Marcel Duchamp, Friedrich Nietzsche and Le Corbusier collaborated on a project The Cubist’s House would be the result. A cross between The Prisoner and Tales of the Unexpected things aren’t always quite how they appear.'

The book is available from Amazon (click HERE to visit the site and TUW's event fund for Ty Gobaith will receive 5% of your spend at no cost to you).

With thanks to Jean Bonnin for this news item.

JOURNEY'S END FOR CMS

Over the last two to three years The Unmutual Website, thanks to the work of researcher Tom Mayer, has been something of a hub of excitement regarding the long-thought-lost movie 'Catch My Soul', the rock-opera version of Shakespeare's Othello which was the only feature film to be directed by Patrick McGoohan, which was recently 'found' and screened in the US.

It is with much thanks to Tom that TUW can announce that not only is the DVD and Blu-Ray set now available for sale here at The Unmutual Website (click HERE for the 'Village Shop' to purchase your copy, a 2-disc edition* with extras and extensive booklet), but that the fourth (and final?) part of Tom's research into the film is now online to read.

This part of the article includes interviews with cast and crew, location photos, and information relating to the recent release of the film. Click HERE to read it.

*Discs are Region 1/A. With thanks to Tom Mayer for this news item.

FINISHED PACKAGING

More aspects regarding Big Finish's audio re-imagining of 'The Prisoner, for release this coming January, have been announced.

First up is the excellent packaging (left) for the discs, artwork, and booklet, which includes extensive background on the set from Nicholas Briggs, profusely illustrated with photographs behind the scenes. Also announced, is a new/second audio trailer for the new series, which can be heard HERE.

Click HERE for TUW's special Big Finish Page, and HERE for exclusive interviews with writer and producer Nicholas Briggs.

With thanks to Nicholas Briggs of Big Finish for this news item.

JOIN JANE, NIKE, AND CHRISTOPHER

The month of November 2015 will see not one or two, but three events of interest to fans of 'The Prisoner', with regards to three special individuals who appeared in the series.

Firstly, on Friday November 27th, Jane Merrow (pictured left, in Portmeirion at PM2006), who appeared in 'Schizoid Man' and two episodes of 'Danger Man', will be the subject of 'An Evening With...' at the London Cinema Museum. Tickets start at £15 and more details can be found HERE.

Then just two days later, a similar evening is planned for Christopher Benjamin, who appeared in no less than three episodes, including as Potter in 'The Girl Who Was Death'. Click HERE for more details of the event, which takes place at Manchester's FAB cafe.

Also appearing, for the first time at an event, is Nike Arrighi, who played the Romany woman in 'Many Happy Returns', who will be signing at the London Film Convention on 14th November, details HERE.

With thanks to Ray Warren, Darren Stokes, and Brian Gorman for this news item.

GRAPHIC NOVEL FOR EVERYMAN

Readers of The Unmutual Website will doubtless recall the excellent stage production 'Everyman', written by and starring Brian Gorman, which tells the story of the first 40 years of the life of Patrick McGoohan.

The play was very well received (see two reviews HERE), so much so that Brian, an accomplished artist, has converted the story into a graphic novel.

Running for 70 pages, the novel is a highly accomplished piece of work, featuring artistic realisations of famous moments, scenes, and photographs from the early life of McGoohan, right up to the making of 'The Prisoner'.

The book will be available through the publishers, FBS, as well as Amazon, very shortly. For more details, click HERE. Keep an eye on TUW for release and review, coming soon!

OCTOBER FAREWELLS

2015 will go down in history with 'Prisoner' fans as one of the saddest, in terms of the numbers of cast and crew from the series who have sadly passed away.

The latest of these is all the more saddening as it seems the news has seemingly largely gone un-noticed since 2013, and that is that Alan White, who so memorably played Roland Walter Dutton in the episode 'Dance of the Dead', passed away that year, after a long and distinguished career in TV, Film, and on the stage.

Alan was always especially kind to fans of 'The Prisoner' and he always returned their correspondence in detail and fondly recalled his episode of the series.

In more recent news, The Times (and Telegraph HERE) reported in October 2015 that casting director on 'The Prisoner', Rose Tobias-Shaw, has sadly passed away on October 27th 2015, at the grand age of 96. PF Sloan, the composer of "Secret Agent Man," has also passed away this month, as has actor Keith Michell, who appeared alongside Patrick McGoohan in 'All Night Long' and 'The Gypsy and the Gentleman'.

The Unmutual Website would like to offer its sincerest condolences to the families of all these indivuals, who all played a great part in making 'The Prisoner' series and other films and series as well-remembered as they have been.

With thanks to David Stimpson, Geoff Dodd, Leslie Glen, Alison Bett, and Julian Bridger for this news item.

BIG FINISH CAST ANNOUNCED

The Unmutual Website is deighted to announce that the cast for their forthcoming 'The Prisoner' audio drama series has now been officially announced, following the recent teaser/trailer announcements (see new below).

Confirmed as the Number Six role is stage and screen actor Mark Elstob (below) with Celia Imrie (left, with Sara Powell as Number Nine), Sir John Standing, Ramon Tikaram and Michael Cochrane as the four Number Twos.

Writer and Producer Nick Briggs has again spared time for questions from TUW, click HERE to read his interviews in full, and click HERE for photos and quotes from the cast and all the latest news regarding the series!

Images (c) Rick Davy

HERITAGE SCREENING FOR DAM BUSTERS

One of Patrick McGoohan's earliest screen roles was an uncredited part in the classic war film 'The Dam Busters', and thanks to TUW's friends at Elstree Screen Heritage, there is a rare chance to see the movie on the big screen, on Saturday October 31st 2015 at The Ark Theatre in Borehamwood.

Paul Welsh MBE will be your host for this very special event, which marks the 60th anniversary of the film. Click here for the events page for more information.

PRISONERESQUE NOVEL SEEKS SUPPORT

The name Brian Gorman will be one familiar to readers of TUW, following his successful 'Everyman' theatre production (reviews HERE), for which a forthcoming graphic novel is also being produced.

Brian Gorman's Prisoner-inspired original graphic novel, 'Borderliners', is due to be published early next year, and a crowdfunding campaign is drawing to a close. There's still time to get onboard, and claim some very special perks. You could even appear in the story, alongside theatrical kinights Roger Moore and Ian McKellen (who have given Brian permission to use their likenesses).

Click HERE to visit the crowdfunding page, and keep an eye on TUW for further announcements regarding Brian's Prisoner-related projects.

With thanks to Brian Gorman for this news item.

TRAILER ONLINE FOR ANNIVERSARY

September 29th 2015 has not only market the 48th anniversary of the first UK screening of 'The Prisoner', but also the launch of the official audio trailer for the forthcoming Big Finish audio 'Prisoner' series CD box set (full cast audio dramas based on the original series). Artwork (left) showing some cast members has also been released.

Nicholas Briggs, producer of the series and executive producer of Big Finish, has again been most kind to spare a few moments to share his thoughts on the latest developments, exclusively for The Unmutual Website.

Click HERE to read Nick's comments, Click HERE to listen to the trailer, and HERE for the new theme music. Share your thoughts on TUW's Facebook page HERE.

With thanks to Nick Briggs for this news item.

OCTOBER 2015 TOURS CONFIRMED

Each year, David Lally operates location tours of sites seen in 'The Prisoner' and 'Danger Man', and the highlights of these are the twice yearly London location tours.

The latest of these has been announced for Sunday October 18th 2015, with a morning tour of 'Danger Man' locations, and an afternoon tour of over 20 'Prisoner' sites (including Number Six's home, left, and the famous resignation corridor).

Click HERE to visit TUW's event page with full details of how you can attend - the events are FREE FOR ALL.

FIVE FOR SIX FOR ITV SIXTY

With the 60th anniversary of ITV fast approaching, it has been no surprise to have seen several mentions of 'The Prisoner' of late, most notably finishing 5th in a Radio Times poll of the greatest ITV shows ('Auf Wiedersehn Pet' the surprise winner), with the full list in the next (26th-3rd October 2015) issue of the magazine.

To coincide with the anniversary, TUW's friends at Network have released as special DVD set (left) containing 60 of ITV's greatest shows ('The Prisoner' is of course included, in the form of the episode 'Checkmate') and some previously unreleased rarities.

Network also produced a wonderful trailer for the set, which can be viewed on youtube HERE, with 'The Prisoner' pride of place. Click HERE to visit Network's website!

With thanks to Dennis Buckingham and Geoff Lake for this news item.

PRISONER A-O-KAY

'The Prisoner', or at least clips from episodes of it ('Checkmate' and 'Free for All'), popped up on BBC2 last week, during an episode of the comedy-drama series 'From Cradle to Grave', which tells the life story of popular presenter Danny Baker (left).

Baker's father, portrayed by comedian Peter Kay, was seen watching the episodes, and commenting on them, in episode two of the series, available on BBC iPlayer.

With thanks to Tim Cannon and Peter Preston for this news item.

RELEASE FOR CATCH MY SOUL

Exciting news has this week been announced regarding the film 'Catch my Soul' the only movie to have been directed by Patrick McGoohan.

Following the extensive research conducted by Tom Mayer for The Unmutual Website (read his series of articles regarding the film HERE), Etiquette Pictures in the US have restored the film and have announced the film is to receive its first release!

November 22nd is the date for your diary, with the film receiving a special Blu-Ray/DVD double pack release, which will not only include the film, but the original trailer, a special 'making of' featurette featuring original cast member interviews, and also extensive sleeve notes which have been adapted by Tom Mayer from his TUW articles.

Click HERE to visit Etiquette's Facebook page, HERE for a blog piece, and HERE for a recent article. Ordering details will appear here as soon as details are announced.

With thanks to Tom Mayer and Etiquette Pictures for this news item.

SIX IN A SUITCASE

A new online comic has been produced, by superb artist Mike James Gorman, of interest to fans of not only 'The Prisoner', but another ITC action show, 'Man in A Suitcase'.

Using photoshop, Mike has re-touched stills from both series, adding his own elements too, to create the strip 'Prisoners and Pawns', which comes highly recommended by The Unmutual Website.

Writes Mike; 'I really wanted to do something very different and how great it would be to have McGill meet Number Six.'

To read Mike's comments in full, click HERE, and to view/read the comic, click HERE.

A, B, AND CEDAR TREE

Readers of TUW, and inhabitants of North Wales, will recall that Portmeirion bore the brunt of some severe storms in 2014 (new story HERE), resulting in the loss of countless trees. One of these trees has now been used by Gwynedd-based artist, David Nash OBE RA, to create his latest sculpture.

Entitled 'Habitat', the seven foot high artwork has been installed in Diamond Wood within the estate of the University of Warwick to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Full story HERE.

Image copyright Martin Neeves. With thanks to Peter Dunn and Nicola Jones at Warwick University.

NICK BENNETT R.I.P.

Yet more sad news has reached The Unmutual with the sad announcement that Nick Bennett, 'Prisoner' and Portmeirion fan known to many, and yearly holiday companion to several readers of The Unmutual Website, passed away on Friday 21st August 2015 after a short illness.

Few people had as much passion for Portmeirion, cult TV, and music than Nick, who would always put others before himself, and be the first in Portmeirion's hotel bar to buy everyone else a drink.

In all the years Nick was involved in fandom, no-one ever had an ill word to say about him. Nick (left, in between Eric Mival and John Smith at the PM2005 event at which Nick was the official photographer) will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Rest in Peace, mate!

ORIGINAL MOKE TO BE AUCTIONED

It is with much excitement that news has come to light that the original Mini Moke vehicle used in the series (news story about this fascinating story HERE) which was discovered in 2011 is to be auctioned at the end of August 2015.

Click HERE to visit the auction site - it would be great if this item could enter the hands of a 'Prisoner' fan for an accurate restoration, contact TUW if you are interested in bidding (either solely or if you'd like to explore being part of a syndicate).

UPDATE: Sadly, the Prisoner fan syndicate was unsuccessul, and the Moke sold at auction for £13,500.

With thanks to Sam Denham and Lee Arnall for this news item.

CONNECTING THE PRISONER

It is quite often that 'The Prisoner' is a subject for questions on a TV quiz or game show (usually folk are asked what Patrick McGoohan's number was, or where the series was filmed), and the latest of these occurrences appeared on 27/07/15 on the BBC show 'Only Connect' (left), only this time the question was more challenging than usual.

The teams had to guess what comes next in the sequence: 4. Free For All 3. A,B&C 2. The Chimes of Big Ben 1.? Neither team got the correct answer of 'Arrival', although one did know it was from 'The Prisoner' but thought it was the last 4 episodes. Better than the other team though, who gave 'The Jackson Five' as their answer!

Also on TV recently, Jo Wood (wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie) appeared on the show 'The TV That Made Me', during which she discussed 'The Prisoner.

With thanks to Geoff Dodd, Howard Foy, Dennis Buckingham, Peter Preston, Tim Cannon, Alan Smith, and Christopher Lewis for this news item.

AUBREY MORRIS DIES

Yet more sad news has reached The Unmutual Website, with the news that character actor Aubrey Morris, who played the town crier in 'Dance of the Dead' (and also appeared alongside Patrick McGoohan in 'Danger Man' and 'Columbo') has passed away at the age of 89.

Specialising in eccentric and sometimes uneasy or unsettling roles, he starred in countless film and TV productions, from a particularly memorable role in the cult film 'The Wicker Man', to an amusing cameo in 'The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy', from a creepy performance in 'Up the Junction', to a renowned role in 'A Clockwork Orange', as well as being a much respected theatre actor.

Aubrey Morris remained friends with Patrick McGoohan right up until his passing, and was also mooted to have had a role written for him in the ill-fated movie version of 'The Prisoner' being prepared by McGoohan and Polygram in the 1990s.

He was an actor of much talent and TUW would like to express its sincerest sympathies to all who knew him. Guardian obituary HERE. Time magazine HERE, USA Today HERE, AV Club HERE.

With thanks to Geoff Dodd, Robert Fairclough, Christopher Lewis, Tom Mayer, and Giles Kendrick for this news item.

ERIC AND PHYLLIS R.I.P.

More sad news has reached The Unmutual Website in the last week, with the announcements of the deaths of two crew members who helped shape the last 3 episodes of the series.

Eric Boyd-Perkins (left) was an editor of high regard, who worked on many films, such as 'The Bridge Over The River Kwai' and after 'The Prisoner' edited cult classics such as the movies 'The Wicker Man' and 'Hawk the Slayer', and who joined the series for the last few episodes, including the finale of 'Fall Out' after fellow editors Noreen Ackland and Dick Best struggled with its completion.

He spoke highly of his time on the series, and was interviewed for Network's 40th anniversary 'Prisoner' DVD set as part of their feature'length documentary 'Don't Knock Yourself Out'.

Phyllis Townsend was Continuity lady, also on the last three episodes, of 'The Prisoner', and her career list (see her IMDB page HERE) speaks for itself, with work on countless TV series, such as 'The Sweeney', 'Van Der Valk', 'Minder', and many more, particularly in commercial television, and was also a highly trusted person in the role in the film industry also, working within both the James Bond and Indiana Jones franchaises.

The Unmutual Website would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family and friends of both Eric and Phyllis. May both Rest in Peace.

With thanks to Jon Older, Geoff Dodd, and Al Samujh for this news item. Photo (c) Network Distributing, from their 'Don't Knock Yourself Out' documentary, available from http://www.networkonair.com.

VILLAGE WHEELERS

Portmeirion recently saw another TV film crew at the location, this time in the form of 'Wheeler Dealers', a popular Discovery TV programme in which the two presenters, enthusiast Mike Brewer and mechanic Edd China, restore classic cars.

This time it was a Caterham Seven they were working on and TUW readers Fraser Levey and Garth Worsey were on hand to take photographs of the finished result in the village, click HERE to see them.

This follows soon after Jodie Kidd was seen in the village, being filmed for a now transmitted episode of C5's 'Classic Car Show'.

With thanks to Dennis Buckingham, Fraser Levey and Garth Worsey for this news item and photos.

MODEL CITIZEN

Over the years there have been several attempts to bring aspects of 'The Prisoner' and Portmeirion to life in the form of models, with varying levels of success.

Si's Soldiers is a gaming-related model site which is now home to various completed and ongoing Prisoner-related projects, which as well as creating new models from scratch, also utilise existing gaming models for adaption into the 'Prisonerverse'.

Si's models and restorations/conversions are superb, and TUW is delighted to announce that work on several Portmeirion buildings is now in its early stages! Click HERE to see more of Si's models and details regarding his website.

Also, in an exclusive offer to The Unmutual Website, Si has very kindly donated several of his Rover models (see below) for sale, with all profits donated to TUW's event fund for Ty Gobaith Hospice. Click HERE to purchase for only £11 + P&P!



NOR THE MOON BY NETWORK

Exciting news for fans of the film work of Patrick McGoohan has reached TUW, with the announcement that TUW's good friends at Network are releasing the highly regarded 1958 movie 'Nor the Moon by Night'.

Click HERE to visit Network's website, and click HERE to see McGoohan's complete filmography with details of DVD availability of each title.

With thanks to Linda Schley and Geoff Lake for this news item.

WAYWARD THINKING

Over the years, 'The Prisoner' has inspired countless artists, musicians, and TV writers and producers. Series such as 'Twin Peaks', 'Lost', and 'Babylon 5' are on record as having been influenced by the series, and several others have tried to include passing homages and mentions to the series in its episodes wherever possible.

The latest to have been influenced is the FOX series 'Wayward Pines', which stars Matt Dillon as an agent in the secret service who cannot escape a mysterious village he is investigating, following the disappearance of two colleagues.

The series, produced by renowned director M Night Shyamalan (who directed 'The Village' movie several years ago), includes countless Prisoneresque elements, and is airing in the UK on the FOX satellite channel.

With thanks to Carmel Morris and Bruce Frumerman for this news item.

UNDER THE KOSHO

TUW has received an interesting email from long-time reader of the site Des Gorra.

It appears that a series of television adverts in Scotland, specifically on the Freeview channel STV Glasgow, have been airing recently for 'Air Space Freestyle Jumping' - a large Trampolining park in the city of Glasgow.

In the advert, and at the centre, folk are seen competing in various trampoline battle and ball sports, some of which are very reminiscent of the Kosho sequences in 'The Prisoner'.

With thanks to Des Gorra for this news item.

R.I.P. MATHEW LOCK

It is with much sadness that TUW can announce that much loved friend and highly talented artist and 'Prisoner' fan Mathew Lock has passed away after a battle with cancer.

Mathew will be fondly remembered for his wonderful Portmeirion artwork (see his website for examples), his photography, film-making (he made several much-loved 'Prisoner' fan films in the 1980s and 1990s (details HERE)), but most of all for his friendship to many.

It was calculated that he had spent over two years of his life staying in Portmeirion, a place he loved, and it is hoped a memorial to him will be placed at the site in the near future. It is also hoped that a website will be created to display all his wonderful artistic creations.

Mathew's funeral service took place at Bristol South Crematorium on Monday 1st June at 2.00pm, with attendees, at Mathew's request, wearing bright colours and not formal/funeral attire. Mathew was taken to the crematorium accompanied by many fans of 'The Prisoner' and was pulled by a low-loading race trailer, at his request. R.I.P. Mathew.

CLOUGH'S CAFE REFURBISHED

For many years, the North Wales town of Criccieth, just a few miles from Portmeirion, has been home to an art-deco cafe/restaurant designed by Portmeirion architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis.

Exciting news has reached The Unmutual Website that the long-mooted takeover of the establishment by Dylan's has now taken place, and the resultant refurbishment is first class!

Click HERE to see a range of images of the refurbished building, thanks to Paul White.

PETER HOWELL R.I.P.

More sad news has reached The Unmutual Website with the news that Peter Howell, who played the Professor in 'The General', passed away on April 21st 2015 at the grand old age of 95.

Peter was a distinguished actor with a long and varied CV, probably best known for his long running role in the TV drama serial 'Emergency Ward 10', before his appearances in 'The Prisoner', 'Doctor Who', and several other series.

In the early 1970s he appeared in the highly regarded TV play 'File on Harry Jordan' which was a very Prisoneresque tale featuring a mute midget butler!

He was most proud of his appearance in the TV movie 'Scum' as the governor but was also proud of his association with 'The Prisoner' saying; "working with Pat McGoohan on The Prisoner, this extraordinary, mystifying, magic series was very exciting."

Wonderful company and always pleasant to speak to, Peter kindly donated signed photographs for auction in 2006 to raise money for TUW's Ty Gobaith Hospice fund, and this sums up the kindness that Peter always displayed. He will be greatly missed by family and friends, including Sir Ian McKellen who has paid tribute to Peter HERE.

With thanks to Gareth Bevan for this news item.

ROBERT RIETTI R.I.P.

It is with much sadness that TUW announces that Robert Rietti, actor and voiceover artist, passed away on April 3rd 2015. He was 92.

Robert was a uniquely talented man, who was not only an accomplished actor (appearing in films such as 'The Italian Job' and 'The Omen', and countless TV series) but also one of the worlds most highly regarded voiceover artists, doubling for countless actors including, on many occasions, the great Orson Wells.

Robert will be best remembered by readers of TUW, of course, for his work on 'The Prisoner'.

Not only was he the voice of the generic voice of Number Two at the start of many episodes, but he also appeared throughout the series (such examples include the male village announcer, the interrogator in 'Chimes', the voice of Mexican Sam in 'Harmony', and many more). He also re-voiced Patrick McGoohan himself for the entirety of the movie 'Nobody's The Greatest'.

Robert, who was a Knight of the Italian Empire, also provided many voices heard in James Bond films, and in one movie famously provided voices for almost the entire cast in every scene!

Robert was a special guest at The Unmutual Website's PM2008 event in Portmeirion and was not only a fascinating guest, but wonderful company and a joy to be with, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Click HERE for a review of the PM2008 event, and HERE for a full obituary from The Times.

With thanks to David Stimpson, Leslie Glen, and Gareth Bevan for this news item.

I THINK I'D LIKE SOME TEA...

Ever fancied owning your very own tea-pot based on Number Six and his Lotus 7 car?

Well now you can, thanks to the considerable talents of Gary Seymour, who professionally makes unusual tea-pots for the ceramics industry, who has created a truly stunning item, as you can see.

The tea-pots will be limited to 67 in number, and each is individually hand-made and fired. They can be posted, or collected from Gary's studio in Kent.

The cost of one tea-pot is £150 (each takes one day to make, and a week to go through the firing processes). Click HERE for more photos and information. If you're interested in purchasing one, or finding out more details, please contact TUW HERE and your details will be passed to Gary.

With thanks to Gary Seymour for this news item.

BIG START FOR BIG FINISH

Following on from the recent exciting announcements regarding the forthcoming series of "The Prisoner" from Big Finish (see news items below), there has been a further announcement today with the episode titles and synopses for the first four episodes of the series announced for the first time (click HERE for the press release).

The series kicks off with "Departure and Arrival", based on "Arrival", an entirely new episode called "Your Beautiful Village", and then re-workings of the original TV episodes "The Chimes of Big Ben" and Schizoid Man".

Executive Producer and writer Nick Briggs has again spared the time to tell TUW more about the episodes, and you can read his thoughts, in addition to the earlier interview he gave TUW, HERE.

The Unmutual Website will of course update you as and when more news is announced regarding this exciting series.

With thanks to Nick Briggs again for his time.

MAY FOR LONDON PRISONER WEEKEND

The Unmutual Website is delighted to confirm that a whole weekend of 'Prisoner' events and activities has been confirmed by the various event organisers for May 15th-18th 2015 in London, including location tours, special guests, screenings, and much more, for which all Prisoner fans are welcome to attend.

The events include the welcome return of Leslie Glen's Prisoner Mind Mash on Saturday May 16th, which this year will include several special guests attending, including series music editor Eric Mival, series film editor John S Smith, and the writer of 'Living in Harmony' Ian L Rakoff! The event will also include officially sanction screenings, presentations, discussions and much more.

Sunday 17th will see Dave Lally's always popular 'Danger Man' and 'The Prisoner' location tour events take place, with Monday 18th seeing further tours in the Hertfordshire area related to both series, and Friday 15th a location visit and social evening.

More details on all these events and how you can attend (all events are FREE FOR ALL apart from the Mind Mash, which is a non-profit event in aid of Ty Gobaith Hospice) can be found on the event page HERE.

With thanks to Dave Lally and Leslie Glen for this news item.

RITE OF PASSAGE

"Passage Home" was a 1955 Peter Finch and Diane Cilento movie, which also co-starred a young Patrick McGoohan, in one of his earliest film roles.

So far, the movie has only received a DVD release as part of a larger Peter Finch set, and as limited edition European releases and The Unmutual Website is delighted to announce that it has secured a limited number of used but very good condition copies of one of the two German releases, available to readers at only £3.99 plus shipping.

The DVD (pictured left and below) includes a still photo which includes McGoohan on the inner inlay, and has both English and German language versions (IE the German packaging does not mean a German movie).

Click HERE to purchase yours, with any profits made donated to TUW's event fund for Ty Gobaith Hospice.

In other 'McGoohan Release News', TUW reader Tina Jerke informs us that the "Columbo" episode "By Dawn's Early Light" has received a standalone Blu-ray release in Germany, and "All Night Long" has received a Hi-Definition Criterion Collection release available on Amazon and iTunes.

With thanks to Peter Preston.

ANIME MAGIC

Imprisoned in a strange village, where the residents are given numbers and get subjected to mind control and escape is impossible due to a large floating white balloon. Sound familiar?

What has just been described is an episode of the Japanese anime series "Lupin III" entitled "Church of the Poison Mind", which reader Des Gorra has found and researched.

Aired in 1978, the episode is not available commercially, but is occasionally screened online via official sources, and Des has kindly investigated the different methods of tracking down the episode, which is well worth watching.

Click HERE to read more details about this fascinating film.

With thanks to Des Gorra for this news item.

STAIRWAY TO SEVEN

The Unmutual Website is indebted to reader and former Prisoner Caterham Seven owner Paul White. Paul recently attended the opening of Caterham's new showroom near to Gatwick Airport and has provided a review, including photos, of the event.

The new showroom includes mentions, of course, of 'The Prisoner'. Click HERE for Paul's review.

With thanks to Paul White for this news item.

HEADLINERS FOR SIX

Each year in September, the music and entertainment festival 'Festival Number Six', which takes its name from Patrick McGoohan's 'Prisoner' character of course, takes place in Portmeirion, and 2015 is no exception, and headliners are now being confirmed for the event, which takes place in the village 3rd-6th September 2015 (ticket only).

Artists already confirmed for this year include Belle and Sebastian, and Grace Jones. As always, further updates will be posted here and on Facebook as more headliners are announced. Tickets for the Festival can be purchased HERE.

NICK BRIGGS INTERVIEWED

Following on from the exciting recent news (see below) that Big Finish, best known for their extensive range of "Doctor Who" audio dramas, will be producing original "Prisoner" audio dramas to be released in January 2016, The Unmutual Website is delighted to announce that executive producer and writer of the dramas, Nick Briggs, has been kind enough to spare some time to give a few more details regarding his plans for the series.

Interviews and casting is underway for the lead character of Number Six, and the first script has already been written with Nick saying; "My intention is to make something great that will entertain and engage fans of the original as well as people who are new to it."

Click HERE to read the full interview with Nick, HERE to visit the Big Finish website and pre-order the first box set, and HERE to discuss the project on TUW's Facebook page.

With grateful thanks to Nick Briggs for his time.

RARE MCGOOHAN VOICEOVER RELEASED

"Red Reflections" is a documentary made for TV in 1966 and 1967 and has just been released on DVD for the first time.

This will be of great interest to readers of The Unmutual Website as not only was it directed and produced by "Prisoner" Music Editor Eric Mival at MGM whilst the series was being made, but also features a guest voiceover for one scene by none other than Patrick McGoohan!

The documentary, which follows a group of international students through Eastern Europe into Russia during the height of the cold war, is available in the Village Shop, Amazon, and the Quoit Media Limited website.

Extras on the DVD include Eric discussing the film, and McGoohan's involvement, with co-producer Richard Owen, and Eric's first film, "The Retrievers", from 1955. Click HERE for the full Press Release / details.

With thanks to Eric Mival for this news item.

NEWSNIGHT HOMAGE

"The Prisoner" has been seen several times in the past on various shows being pastiched, or used to illustrate a point, but possibly not as well done as last week, when a special report on BBC2's flagship current affairs show "Newsnight" programme used music, clips, and imagery from the series to form much of Chris Cook's (left) report on how government departments are not adhering to the freedom of information act (an apt topic to utilise "The Prisoner" for, of course, given many of the key themes of the series).

Largely filmed at Portmeirion, with blazer and Rover props to boot, Chris's report was superbly Produced, edited, and directed by highly respected producer Stuart Denman who told TUW "I very much enjoyed making it ...it was like having a whole film set to ourselves". Click HERE for more quotes, photos and details of the production and to see the finished piece.

With thanks to Stuart Denman, Chris Cook, Crispin Hodges, and Eric Mival for this news item. Images (c) BBC.


THE VINYL COUNTDOWN

Our good friends at NETWORK have done it again! Throughout recent years the organisation have stunned fans with their "Prisoner" and "Danger Man" DVD, Blu-ray, and soundtrack releases, and 2015 is no different with the announcement that "The Prisoner" is to be released on 180g Vinyl!

Not only will there be a gatefold LP release, but also a limited edition white vinyl (left), both of which have been painstakingly remastered and pressed from the original source tapes. Beautfully presented, it is according to Network MD Tim Beddows; "the ultimate if you are a fan of the music element of the series".

Click HERE to visit Network's site (they are also currently holding a soundtrack sale too) and pre-order the "Prisoner" vinyls, which will be released in May 2015.

With thanks to Tim Beddows at Network and the many people who have alerted TUW to this news.

COME SPY WITH ME

Fans of the superb work of Crooked Hand Productions will be pleased to hear that their new film "The Monochrome Spy" is in the can!

Crooked Hand were responsible for the excellent play "Magic Number Six" (review HERE) and "Mr No Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (see "What if?" news item below) and their latest project is set to be just as entertaining, as Paul Gosling's script sees Rob Leeson return with the author and Co-Director Carolos Dandolo for a comedy-thriller set in the mid-6os in the world of live television and espionage.

The premier screening is free to attend (tickets in limited number, so book now) at the Phoenix Theatre in Leicester on February 26th at 3.00pm. For tickets and more info click HERE. Be Seeing You there?

With thanks to Paul Gosling for this news item.

MORE PODCASTS ONLINE

Following news a few months ago (see "Broad Casting" news item below) that a new "Prisoner" podcast was available online ("The Village People" where friends Roo, Nodge, and Steve watch each episode and comment on it in a light-hearted way HERE), and subsequent news of Shane Poole's "In The Village Prisoner introcast" (HERE), news has reached The Unmutual Website of a third podcast, this time from across the pond.

"Back in the Village" (site left) is a podcast produced by Clay McCormack (whose name readers might recognise from artwork projects in the past). Again light hearted and humourus (and perhaps for adult listeners only) the podcast site can be found HERE.

All three of the above podcasts come highly recommended by The Unmutual Website.

VOTE FOR LEGO SEVEN

There is a splendid model of the Caterham version of the Lotus 7 that is being prepared on the Lego Ideas website. Should the project reach 10,000 supporters then the Lego organisation will consider making a retail set based on the idea. As there are over 6,000 supporters so far so things are looking promising, and I'm sure all TUW readers would like to support this design/idea. Click HERE to visit the Lego ideas website and cast your vote.

With thanks to Mark Stevenson and David Mackenzie for this news item.

BERNIE WILLIAMS 1943-2015

Yet more sad news has landed on The Unmutual Website's e-newsdesk with the sad announcement in Hollywood that Bernie Williams, who was Production Manager on "The Prisoner" died on 5th January at the age of only 72.

Much of what "The Prisoner" became was due to the wonderful vision and hard work of Williams, who was interviewed for the Carlton 35th Anniversary special DVD release and the Network 40th box set, including he and Patrick McGoohan creating the balloon version of Rover whilst looking at the skies for inspiration following the failure of the original Rover device.

It is hard to place into words the contribution that Bernie made to shaping and developing the series and TUW offers its sincerest sympathies to all who knew him at this sad time.

He will also be fondly remembered for the fanastic work he did on films such as "A Clockwork Orange" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and many others, as producer after he moved to Hollywood in 1981. A uniquely talented man.

With thank to Geoff Dodd for this news item.

BIG FINISH SET FOR PRISONER AUDIOS

Exciting news has reached The Unmutual Website that Big Finish Productions, best known for their highly regarded and highly polished "Doctor Who" audio dramas, have been granted the licence to produce official "Prisoner" audio dramas.

Released in January 2016 the audio series is yet to be cast, but it will have not only a new score but also will be written and directed by Big Finish’s co-executive producer, Nicholas Briggs, who announced on their website ‘The Prisoner has been a great love of mine for many years'.

The audio set is available for pre-order from the Big Finish Website HERE. As always, TUW will bring you more news as soon as it is announced.

With thanks to Anthony Rooney and Geoff Lake for this news item.

BRIAN CLEMENS DIES

More sad news to report in January 2015 with the announcement that renowned writer and producer Brian Clemens has died.

Whilst best known for creating the TV series' "The Avengers", "The New Avengers" and "The Professionals", and work on other series such as "Thriller", he also wrote 9 episodes of "Danger Man", including the very first episode "View from the Villa", which features Portmeirion. In 2004 he recorded three audio commentaries for the Australian "Danger Man" box set by Umbrella.

A prolific writer in a career that spanned six decades, Brian changed the face of British television and all fans of cult TV owe him much. TUW extends its sympathies to Brian's widow, children, family, and many friends. RIP.

Click HERE to read a superb obituary from The Scotsman.

With thanks to Lee Arnall for the link.

AL BE SEEING YOU

Up until Christmas 2014, comedian Al Murray may not have been an individual whom you would have associated with "The Prisoner", but it turns out that it is his favourite TV show!

"Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies" (left) was a one-off BBC4 special broadcast in December which featured many classic British spy films, but also a small TV section in which Murray stated his love for the series.

Clips from the series (as well as "The Avengers" and "The Champions") were included, as Murray led a discussion with Matthew Sweet (film historian), Dame Stella Rimington (ex MI5 head) and Matthew Forde (comedian). and he finished the programme by saying 'Be seeing you'. The show is available on iPlayer for a short period HERE.

With thanks to Dennis Buckingham, Alan Smith, Sam Denham, and Mathew Lock for this news item. Image (c) BBC.

DAVID, RAE, AND LEO R.I.P.

The Unmutual Website is sad to have learnt that several influential folk during the early days of "Prisoner fandom" have sadly passed away.

David Lawrence, pictured left in Portmeirion in 1981, will be remembered as the organiser of the "Once Upon a Time" fan club that grew out of the "Sussex Friends of The Prisoner" group in the UK before moving overseas and running successfully throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

David was also very active since that time and was a great help to The Unmutual, agreeing for his articles and interviews to be reproduced on the site and also writing aspects of the event programme for several of the official events ran by TUW at Portmeirion from 2005-2008 (reviews HERE). His wife Marsha, who sadly passed away in 2004 (news story HERE) ran the now defunct "Virtual Portmeirion" website. David was always a kind, helpful, and generous man who will be very much missed by all who knew him.

Rae Wittrick was the co-author, along with Roger Goodman, of the 1983 book "The Patrick McGoohan Screenography" and sadly passed away in December 2014 at a care home in Essex. Rae's collection of "Prisoner" memorabilia has kindly been sold by her family to The Unmutual Website for the benefit of other fans and to raise funds for Ty Gobaith Children's Hospice. TUW's thoughts are with her family during this sad time.

TUW is also saddened to hear that Leo Sapiets, another familiar name from the early days of "Prisoner fandom" also passed away recently. TUW's thoughts are with his family and friends.

With thanks to Kipp Teague for this news item and photo.

STAND UP FOR PATRICK

The Unmutual Website is delighted to bring readers news of a fantastic (and unique) piece of merchandise related to "The Prisoner".

Larry Green Productions, after consultation with ITV Studios and Patrick McGoohan's widow Joan, have produced the first ever life size Number Six cardboard cutout standup figure (left), which can be utilised as a card stand-up or a door poster.

Larry Green will be a name familiar to most "Prisoner" fans. Larry was a good friend to Patrick and Joan McGoohan, and all Patrick's official signed items were arranged via Larry up until Patrick's sad passing, and it was via Larry that Patrick very kindly donated signed items to TUW for auction at our official events in Portmeirion (more details HERE) several years ago.

To purchase this superb new standup, click HERE (if you intend to purchase, please enter ebay via TUW's link HERE and our charity fund will recieve 5% of your spend from ebay at no cost to you or Larry).

PORTMEIRION FILMING CONTINUES

The Autumn of 2014 saw a higher than usual number of film crews visiting Portmeirion for some very exciting, and very different, projects.

Firstly, the popular Welsh language children's TV series "Llan-ar-gollen" which features Portmeirion as a fictional magical village inhabited by weird and wonderful characters (sound familiar?) has been filming for its new series.

The show, which includes characters such as Prys, Ceri the CGI dog-detective, and Ragli the postman (left) can be viewed weekly on Welsh TV station S4C.

Also recently in the village was BBC TV presenter Dominic Standbrook, who is fronting a new BBC4 show regarding science fiction series. Dominic utilised a "mini Rover" for his piece regarding "The Prisoner". Finally, also filming in recent months were Bangor University Performing Arts department for their short student film "Solitaire".

For several behind the scenes photos and videos from ALL THREE of these Portmeirion shoots, click HERE (a behind the scenes video of "Llan-ar-gollen" can be seen below).

 


EBAY LINK UP FOR CHARITY FUND

The Unmutual Website is proud to announce that it has signed an agreement with eBay and as such is now an official eBay partner. Rather like the association TUW has with Amazon (click HERE for more details), this means that our charity event fund for Ty Gobaith Children's Hospice can benefit from site readers shopping on the site.

Quite simply, if you'd like to buy something on ebay enter the eBay site VIA THE LINK ON THIS PAGE and TUW's charity fund will receive a percentage of your spend AT NO COST TO YOU.

If all TUW's 5000+ weekly visitors did this each time they used eBay and Amazon much money for the hospice fund would be raised.

TED BAKER TEAMS UP

On September 22nd 2014 photographers and designers, along with models (left, and below) and a selection of outfits of course, could be found in Portmeirion working on behalf of the World-renowned fashion brand TED BAKER.

The reason for this has now been revealed!

Not only were they filming a promotional video, and countless still photos, for TB's Spring/Summer 2015 range, but Portmeirion Pottery have teamed up with Ted Baker to produce the stunning new "Ted Baker Portmeirion Dinnerware and Giftware Ranges". The pottery range is due for official release in Spring 2015.

Click HERE to see the finished video, HERE to visit Portmeirion Pottery UK's Facebook page for images of the new sets, and HERE to see more photos from the shoot.

Images (c) Rick Davy

WHO MEETS SIX

Fans of "The Prisoner" and "Doctor Who" are in for a double treat in January 2015.

News has reached The Unmutual that there is to be a special screening of the Tom Baker story "The Masque of Mandragora", which was filmed in Portmeirion, followed by the "Prisoner" episode "Checkmate" at Theatr Harlech in North Wales on Saturday January 17th 2015.

The screening is organised by BAFTA Cymru in association with Film Hub Wales and forms part of a larger series of screenings "Doctor Who Monsters - The Bretheren" (poster left).

Tickets can be purchased direct from the theatre HERE.

Update: It appears that this screening has been postponed until mid-February. Keep an eye on the Theatr Harlech website for more details.

With thanks to SR, Paul Von Der Fecht, and Peter Preston for this news item.

AVENGERS RE-BOOKED

Fans of the Cult TV series "The Avengers" (which in many episodes guest starred many actors and actresses who appeared in "The Prisoner") will be pleased to hear that in addition to Mike Richardson's recent book (see news item below), another has been published.

"With Umbrella, Scotch and Cigarettes" by Richard McGinlay and Alan Hayes is a fantastic follow up from Hidden Tiger Books to their earlier "Avengers" book "The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes", and looks again at the show’s first series but this time from the perspective of its production, transmission, personnel and reception. The book has been compiled with reference to internal ABC production documentation and communications, scripts, press archives and library collections, and in co-operation with a number of people who worked on the series.

The book can be ordered via Hidden Tiger Books HERE. For a limited period, the book is reduced in price and a further 15% can be saved on print versions with the promo code FWD15. This discount and code does not apply to sales via Amazon. Lulu have also issued a free shipping code which runs until Tuesday 11th November at midnight. The code is HSQ2 and it can be used in conjunction with the FWD15 code.

With thanks to Alan Hayes for this news item.

MOKE HITS FIFTY

The Unmutual Website was delighted to recently connect again with the Mini Moke Club - the membership club for owners and devotees of the famous Mini Moke vehicles, seen in "The Prisoner" as the Village Taxis!

The vehicle celebrated it's 50th Anniversary this year, and as such events have been occurring throughout the World regarding these wonderful and fasinating vehicles, and some of these are outlined in the club's membership magazine "Moking" (latest issue pictured left).

The magazine comes highly recommended and the club can be joined via http://www.mokeclub.org where details of events and other items of interest can be found.

A brief history of the Mini Moke vehicle and associated news and items can be found HERE.

With thanks to Roy Scott and Chris Naish of the Mini Moke Club.

LAST PLEA FOR COLISEUM

The Coliseum Cinema in Porthmadog, North Wales, near to Portmeirion, is an important landmark in "The Prisoner", as this was the building in which cast and crew watched each day's filming rushes back in 1966.

As readers of TUW will know, a campaign has been running in recent years to save the iconic art deco building (with 10% of this website's income donated to the cause).

Now it sadly seems that all is nearly lost, as planning has been received at Gwynedd County Council to demolish the building. However, TUW is asking all its readers to contact GCC to object to the proposal.

If you click on the link below it will take you to the planning page - under Community - type Porthmadog - Dates between 1st - 17th October, there you will find the latest application which is demolition of the Coliseum, you can voice your objections with the following text (or something similar):

Dear Sir/Madam,
I very strongly object to the proposed demolition of the Coliseum cinema building in Porthmadog and believe that this iconic building needs to be kept as part of the town's heritage and culture. The building, which enhances the landscape on which it stands, could, with the right mind-set and investment, play a pivotal role in reinvigorating a town that so desperately needs it at the moment.
Regards,

Link to planning page

UPDATE 1/12/14_Bad news is that CADW are refusing to have the building listed, however there is some hope that the building might be saved if bats are found to be roosting in the roof. More details: HERE.

With thanks to Tegwen Haf Parry, David Stimpson, and Phil Caunt. Photo (c) Rick Davy.

LILES REMEMBERED

The Unmutual Website was recently delighted to chat with Sue McNaught, who whilst not having any direct connection with "The Prisoner", worked for MGM and was also the partner for some time of Ronnie Liles, who was Production Manager on the last 4 episodes of "The Prisoner" along with other Cult classics such as "Department S" and "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)".

She had some lovely memories to share, including regarding Patrick McGoohan and his regular biscuit-related kindness!

Sue's memories, along with a lovely photo from the period (left) can be read exclusively HERE.

With thanks to Sue McNaught for the memories and photo.

CATHERINE THE GREAT

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London plays host to an exciting new "exhibit" (left) which features the voice of none other than Patrick McGoohan's daughter Catherine, which is running until 27th October 2014.

"Breathless Beauty, Broken Beauty" is a 12k sculptural film installation by Vanessa Jane Hall who "over 12 months travelled England to create a film that captured the raw beauty of architectural structures whether sparkling or faded."

Catherine provides the voice of the Broken Beauty in the film, Neil Dickson (star of the movie "Biggles" and the Cult TV series "She-Wolf of London") provides the voice of Breathless Beauty. For more information visit http://www.breathlessbeauty.co.uk

With thanks to Jo Davies for this news item and image.

DONALD SINDEN R.I.P.

It is with sad news that TUW announces that the esteemed actor, Sir Donald Sinden, has died at the age of 90 after suffering from prostate cancer.

Sinden memorably portrayed the part of The Colonel in the episode "Many Happy Returns", although could remember little about his role when interviewed in later years.

He made his name largely as a Shakesperean actor on stage, but will also be fondly remembered for his film roles such as "The Cruel Sea", and his TV comedy roles such as "Never the Twain" and as the brother of Patrick Cargill (who of course appeared alongside him in "The Prisoner" too) in "Father Dear Father".

The Unmutual Website would like to express its sincerest condolences to Sir Donald's many family and friends. Click HERE for a news item in the Guardian newspaper, and HERE for the New York Times.

With thanks to David Stimpson, Anthony Rooney, and Tom Mayer for this news item.

REGION ONE DVD BONANZA

Fans of the work of Patrick McGoohan who are based in North America will be delighted that not one but two DVD releases of 2014 wil be of interest.

Firstly, December 9th sees the release of a 17-disc set of the entire "Danger Man" series ("Secret Agent" in North America). Extras include an interview with Catherine McGoohan and 3 audio commentaries with writers and directors which appeared on the 2004 Umbrella release of the series. However, the set is just a re-branding otherwise of the A&E release of several years ago, and therefore for a crisper/remastered picture you're recommended to get the Network DVD sets of the series. Click HERE for more details and HERE for PR, and HERE (DVD Talk) and HERE (Inside Pulse) for reviews .

Also released, for the first time on DVD (although the quality of the film transfer is poor) is the McGoohan film "The Moonshine War". Details HERE. Click HERE to read Tom Mayer's exclusive in-depth review for The Unmutual Website.

With thanks to Tom Mayer and Derek Joyce for this news item.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

For the second time in recent years, "The Prisoner" has been chosen as a contestant's 'chosen specialist subject' on the popular BBC TV quiz series "Mastermind".

Following on from David Wilson's attempt in 2007 (see news item and questions HERE), September 2014 saw a Mr Mike Foden score 13 points on the subject, which along with a successful general knowledge round saw Mike win the heat and move into the next round. It will be interesting to see what his chosen subject will be next time.

With thanks to Jan Davis, SR, Andrew Frith, Steve Matt, and Geoff Dodd for this news item.

WORLD WIDE WALES

The Unmutual Website is delighted to see that "Prisoner" and Portmeirion expert Catherine Frumerman's website, "Eye on Wales", which covers "The Prisoner", Portmeirion, and North Wales in general has had a revamp!

With new stories and information, and excellent archive items (such as "Antiques Roadshow" in Portmeirion, left), the new website can be found at http://www.walestales.com/

With thanks to Catherine Frumerman for this news item. Photo (c) Wales Tales.

BEYOND ALL DOUBT

One debate which raged for many years in "Prisoner" circles, including here at The Unmutual Website, was that of "what is the location of the runway at the start of every episode?"

Several sites were put forward, each of them seeming convincing arguments at the time, but several years ago, following research by Anthony Mackay and others involved with the Avengerland locations organisation, it was confirmed that Podington Raceway (AKA Santa Pod) was the location used (which backs up Assistant Director Gino Marotta's 1993 claims).

Exciting new footage and images have since been unearthed by Anthony, one of which is below. The top portion of the screen is the opening shot from "The Prisoner". The shot underneath is a still from Pathe News footage of drag racing at Podington in 1967. As you can see, the two locations are totally identical, proving beyond any doubt that the location was indeed Podington.

Further information and images can be found at The Unmutual Website's extensive locations guide HERE.

 

BROAD CASTING

One of the new things which the internet has added to "Prisoner" fandom is that of the podcast. The "Waffle On" podcast is on The Unmutual has always championed (click HERE for more info), and now you can add "The Village People" to that list.

The Village People is a new podcast which sees old friends Roo, Nodge, and Steve talk about "The Prisoner" in both a fun and informative way. Anthony Rooney (AKA Roo) states; "You might not learn anything you didn't already know about The Prisoner from the podcast but we hope listeners will enjoy being in the company of three mates chatting about the series".

Click HERE to listen to episode one of the podcast, which comes highly recommended by The Unmutual Website. It is hoped more will be recorded and made available soon.

COMIC BLOG ONLINE

A blog serialising of the memoirs of Ian Rakoff, screenwriter, film editor and obsessive comic book collector, is now online, thanks to the V&A museum in London.

Ian (pictured left in the 1970s) will be best known to "Prisoner" fans as not only an assistant editor on several episodes of the series back in 1967, but as the creator and writer of the episode "Living in Harmony". He also wrote the book "Inside The Prisoner", published by Boxtree in the 1990s.

To read Ian's blog, "Confessions of a Collector – misdemeanours of a comic book addiction" click HERE.

With thanks to Ian Rakoff for this news item.

MARTIN GOLDTHORPE R.I.P.

The Unmutual Website is very sad to confirm that Martin Goldthorpe, a long standing and much loved "Prisoner" fan, has passed away.

Martin will be remembered by many fans as the man who each year single-handedly organised all the Portmeirion accommodation in the 1980s and 1990s for fan conventions, and throughout the 2000s as a great supporter and contributor to The Unmutual Website and its events.

A holiday companion and friend to many of us who visit Portmeirion several times each year, he will be missed by all who knew him.

Click HERE to read a tribute from Fulham FC (Martin never missed a game). Our thoughts at this time are with his wife Catherine and son James. RIP Martin.

GEORGE MARKSTEIN BOOK PUBLISHED

A new book (left) has just been published which will be of great interest to fans of "The Prisoner" series.

"George Markstein and The Prisoner" is a new 100-page book, printed in both hardback (limited to 500 numbered copies) and softback editions. Edited by Roger Goodman, the book includes contributions from "Prisoner" historians, writers, and those who knew Markstein, correspondence from Markstein himself, and a transcript of his only in-depth audience-participation interview.

Including several never-before-published photographs, the book "examines the various claims and counterclaims" regarding who created "The Prisoner", as well as an in-depth look at Markstein's life and career, and "Prisoner" involvement before, during, and after the series. The full press release can be read HERE.

Also available from Portmeirion and Amazon, you can click HERE to order both the hardback and softback editions.

SATAN'S TRIUMPH

Readers will no doubt recall the recent amazing news that Patrick McGoohan's only directorial movie, "Catch My Soul" AKA "Santa Fe Satan", for many years thought lost, had been researched by Tom Mayer and a subsequent print of the film found in a dusty vault.

Thanks to this print, the movie, as advertised on TUW (see below), was screened at the recent Riverrun Film Festival in North Carolina.

Tom Mayer of course attended the screening, as did several other TUW readers, and as such TUW is delighted to announce that Tom has kindly reviewed the event/screening, and also thanks to some updated restoration news, added a third part to his wonderful series of articles, "Total Immersion".

Click HERE to read part 1 of the trilogy, HERE for part 2, or HERE to go straight to part 3 and Tom's review of the screening.

Tom's work also gets mentioned at a comic blog HERE, on Facebook HERE, and again on Twitter HERE. With thanks to Tom Mayer for this news item. Images (c) Tom Mayer.

IN WITH THE NEW

Improvements to the self-catering cottages in Portmeirion continue apace with the refurbishment of the interiors of Gate House, Belvedere, Government House (left), and White Horses (with more planned for the future).

Each cottage includes new kitchens and bathrooms and refurbished bedrooms, with some cottages now with increased sleeping capacity with some single rooms now doubles/twins.

Also updated in Portmeirion are the signs on the main drive, as well as other improvements around the village. For more information and images, click HERE for the latest Unmutual Website Portmeirion update.

Photos (c) Rick Davy

ICE TO SEE YOU

The Unmutual Website can now confirm, following news (see below from a few months ago) that "Angel Ices Gelataria", Portmeirion's new ice cream shop, is now open for business.

Located in what was the Golden Dragon Bookshop (the bookshop has been relocated to what was Cadwallader's Ice Cream Parlour building, Arches) Angel Ices offers home-made ice cream and other items, sit in and out facilities, and drinks.

As for the ice creams themselves, they are a vastly improved and much creamier tastier offering than previously available in the village, and come highly recommended by The Unmutual Website.

Photos (c) Rick Davy.

FALL OUT POPS UP

In recent years, two superb "Prisoner" CD soundtrack sets have become available. One from Network Distributing, which includes all the music composed for the series, and Derek Lawton's set (available HERE) which includes all the music used from Chappell's library used in the series.

However, 3 tracks which were not included in either set were the "pop songs" used in the episode "Fall Out". The Beatles "All You Need is Love", Carmen Miranda's "I Yi Yi Yi I like You Very Much" and The Four Lads' "Dry Bones".

The latter two tracks are included as part of a new CD, along with the song "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" from "Do Not Forsake Me" entitled "Pop Goes the Easel - The Start of the Swinging Sixties", and you can order your copy from Amazon from the link below (with 5% donated to TUW's charity event fund at no cost to you if you use this link).

 Pop Goes The Easel: The Start Of The Swinging Sixties

With thanks to Andrew Frith for this news item.

WE WANT FREE INFORMATION

One of the most interesting sequences and props in "The Prisoner" is that of the "information board" seen in several episodes (most notably in the episodes "Arrival" and "Free For All").

In the 1980s, "Prisoner" research trailblazer Steven Ricks discovered that the prop was heavily based on a real life information centre called a "Directomat", and now thanks to Unmutual Website reader Al Samujh, film and photographic evidence of such a device in situ has been located!

The stills shown here are from the British Transport Films documentary, "The Sixth Rail Report - The Good Way To Travel" (1966) and shows a working machine in Waterloo Station, placed at the location as part of a trial of the machines. Writes Al; " It would have been seen by anyone travelling out of town to Shepperton around the later Danger Man period - who knows, maybe even Patrick McGoohan. As it looks like an expensive bit of kit I wonder if it was placed in The Prisoner as a promo?"

With thanks to Al Samujh for this news item.

WHAT IF?

In the 1960s at the height of Danger Man's success, Patrick McGoohan was reportedly offered the role of James Bond, and turned it down due to the promiscuous and violent nature of the character.

Thanks to Paul Gosling (the man behind the "Magic Number Six" stage play) we can now see what might have happened had McGoohan accepted the role.

To see Paul's wonderfully clever video, "Mr No Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", click HERE.

With thanks to Paul Gosling for this news item.

THE RETURN OF TMA

Jaz Wiseman will be a name familiar to readers of The Unmutual Website. Not only was Jaz a key person involved in the DVD release of the alternative version of "Arrival" during his time at Carlton (and subsequently a guest at the Prisoner Day 2003 event) who also worked on Umbrella's "Prisoner" and "Danger Man" DVD releases, but for many years produced a hugely popular ITC and Persuaders fanzine entitled "The Morning After".

TUW is therefore delighted to announce that not only is TMA now up and running again in the form of an online in blog, but the first 10 issues of the magazine have been compiled to form a beautiful paperback book (pictured left).

Unmutual Webnsite readers can get 15% off the cover price by using the code FWD15. Click HERE to purchase your copy of the book, and HERE to read Jaz's excellent ITC blog!

With thanks to Jaz Wiseman for this news item.

ABOUT 'THE UNMUTUAL'

THE UNMUTUAL WEBSITE serves as the world's largest online source of information about the iconic 60’s T.V. series ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘Danger Man’ providing information about both series, Patrick McGoohan, the cast and crews, the village of Portmeirion in which filming took place, and all official and independent ‘Prisoner’ related activities, books, events, and news. It supports Ty Gobaith, a children's hospice in North Wales, by donating profits raised by the Unmutual Website's online sales or events to them. http://www.hopehouse.org.uk/care/
The Unmutual Website is not a fan club, Society, or group. It is a free online resource.



THE UNMUTUAL. An online non-profit cyber-magazine, intended to serve as a free news service for fans of The Prisoner TV series, its star Patrick McGoohan, and Portmeirion in aid of Ty Gobaith Hospice. Promotion of Prisoner merchandise provided entirely free of charge for the benefit of Prisoner fans. Neither this website nor events run under its banner are connected with any society, group, or fan club whatsoever, or any other website using the name "Unmutual". No responsibility can be taken for individuals unconnected with this website claiming to act on its behalf.

Compiled, written, and hosted by Rick Davy. Words and Images may not be reproducedwithout prior permission, and are © Rick Davy and The Unmutual Website unless otherwise stated. "The Unmutual" logo design, "Unmutual News Archive" logo design, and the character "Alistair Sadgitt" are all Copyright © Lew Stringer 2004. Not to be used without written or emailed permission.

Thanks to the various sources for supplying the news items and everyone for their continued help and support (you know who you are) and to Lew Stringer, who devised and originally ran The Unmutual Website.

The Prisoner is Copyright © Granada Ventures.

Site last updated: 10/02/2016. Site History: Click HERE.

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