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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: 25/03/2015 - Peppa Pig in caterham 7 in Metro newspaper HERE... 23/03/2015 - Red Reflections review added to reviews section... Green Helmet movie (Features Portmeirion) on TCM Sunday 29th... 20/03/15 - Ian Rakoff ('Living in Harmony' writer) latest comic blog online HERE.... 5/3/15 - Ted Baker Video in Portmeirion HERE....1/3/15 - "Braveheart" where are they now? article HERE...Wonderful footage of sports presenters doing 'It's a Knockout' trailer on Harmony backlot set HERE.

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.

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.

TAKE THE TOURS

Highlights of "The Prisoner Calendar" are the location tours which take place throughout the year, and 2014 again has played host, and will play host, to several of these events.

Saturday 20th September 2014 sees the members of the "MGM Borehamwood Memories" Facebook group meet up in Elstree for their yearly look around the former site of the MGM studios (where The Prisoner was largely filmed).

Whilst the studios and sites have been demolished, it's a fascinating look around what now stands on the "Hollywood of Britain" and again the tour will be headed by MGM expert Kieran McAleer. Meet time is 1.00pm at the Toby Carvery in Studio Way. An hour earlier, Dave Lally will be leading a visit to the new Elstree Museum and Heritage Trail, starting at the Northbound platform of Elstree and Borehamwood station at 12.00pm (linking up with the main tour at 1.00pm).

Then, on Sunday 19th October 2014 Mr Lally will be conducting his long running "Prisoner" (2.00pm meet under Marble Arch) and "Danger Man" (10.30am meet at Victoria) location tours, where over 20 locations from the series are visited including Number Six's London home and exclusive access to the resignation corridor!

For full details of these events, which are FREE to attend and require no membership to any organisations, click HERE.

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.

'LOST' McGOOHAN FILM TO BE SCREENED

Readers of TUW will no doubt recall the recent research (see news item below) by Tom Mayer into "Catch My Soul", the only feature film to have been directed by Patrick McGoohan. Tom's fascinating articles about the movie can be read HERE.

For many years thought 'lost', a print of the movie has now been found and more exciting still is the news that, for the first time since the 1970s, a screening of the movie is taking place as The Riverrun Film Festival, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA will show the film at the ACE Theatre (left) on April 12th 2014. For more details and to order tickets click HERE, and click HERE to read local news coverage of the event.

With thanks to Tom Mayer for this news item.

COLISEUM FOR SALE

The Coliseum cinema in Porthmadog, two miles from Portmeirion, played an important part in the production of "The Prisoner", as it was there that the nightly "rushes" of what had been filmed that day were screened to Patrick McGoohan and the other members of the production crew.

Following the sad news from 2013 that the Save the Coliseum group (website HERE) had appeared to fail in their quest to keep the iconic building operating, the building is now up for sale (as a growing concern or, more worryingly, as a redevelopment site).

The sale page at the estate agents can be seen HERE, including photos of the projection room where The Prisoner episodes were screened all those years ago.

To read a report on the Coliseum and and interview with the projectionist who screened those rushes, click HERE, and a report from TUW's friends over at Secret Scotland can be read HERE.

With thanks to John and Helen Moran for this news item. Image (c) Rick Davy.

ONCE UPON A BIKE

TUW is indebted to Des Gorra for news that the The Clyde Walkway, that runs along the banks of the river Clyde in Scotland and is now part of National Cycle Route 75, has recently seen at least 2 sets of metal "sculptures" added to the paths near to Carmyle, which as you can see from the image (left) has the familiar Penny Farthing bicycle as it's main motif.

With thanks to Des Gorra for this news item and image.

GIRL TRIBUTE VIDEO COMPLETED

Readers of The Unmutual Website will no doubt also be fans of American rock band "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling", who have used the series to influence not only their name but also their music and videos.

In 2011 the band's amazing shot-for-shot recreation of the series opening title sequence (news item and video HERE) won countless plaudits.

For their last video they have again recreated one of the series' most unforgettable scenes - this time the poisoned pint scene from "The Girl Who Was Death". Starring Sophia Cacciola and Michael J Epstein (the band), the video is a sequel to the previous "Living in Harmony" video (HERE) and sees Michael reprise his role as Number Two. The new video can be viewed below:

 

Sophia was kind enough to spare some time to share more details with TUW regarding their latest video, click HERE to read her thoughts and see some more behind the scenes photos from the shoot.

The Unmutual Website cannot thank and praise the band enough for their amazing efforts and would encourage all readers to visit the band's website HERE as well as the individual links above.

With thanks to Sophia Cacciola for her time. Photos (c) Copyright Dave Green at http://www.davegreenphoto.com/

MAG-NIFICENT

Even after 47 years since its production, media interest in "The Prisoner" shows no signs of abating with the news that popular magazine "Sci Fi Now" have covered the series in an in-depth article in their January 2014 Issue.

Forming part of the "Timewarp" section of the magazine, the piece runs for no less than 8 pages and sits alongside articles concerning "Doctor Who" and the forthcoming "Star wars Episode VII" movie.

The article, penned by Krystal Sim, is well written, and profusely illustrated with photographs, and comes highly recommended by The Unmutual Website.

"Best of British" magazine's January 2014 issue also covered the series, with a two-page Portmeirion feature.

With thanks to Anthony Rooney, Roger Goodman, and Dave Lally for this news item.

ADVENTURES IN PORTMEIRION

Over the years a number of travel programmes have featured Portmeirion, and January 2014 saw another with a new series entitled "A Great Welsh Adventure". Presented by Griff Rhys Jones, the ITV series sees the popular presenter travelling through Wales. The first few minutes of the first episode featured Griff in Portmeirion, and "The Prisoner" TV series was mentioned.

The sequences were actually shot in June 2013 and The Unmutual Website has some exclusive behind the scenes photos HERE.

Images (c) www.matlockart.co.uk. With thanks to Alan Smith and Paul White.

ARE YOU GAME?

An interesting posting recently on the social networking site Facebook has led to TUW receiving a fascinating email from Mr W Maher of the United States, who is asking for YOUR help with regards to a very exciting "Prisoner" project.

In the 1990s and 2000s Mr Maher and Patrick McGoohan himself were in discussion regarding an exciting computer game based on the series!

Due to several factors, the project was shelved. However, is the time now right for the project to be revived? Click HERE to read the fascinating story of how this project nearly got off the ground and details of how YOU could help it come to fruition.

With thanks to W Maher for this news item.

ONCE UPON A SPY

Crooked Hand Productions, the team behind the well-received Magic Number Six (review HERE) play, have announced their next project, "The Monochrome Spy" which will of no doubt be of interest to Prisoner fans. Not only because Patrick McGoohan gets a namecheck in the play, but also for the theme of the play.

Writer Paul Gosling explains; "Our comedy-thriller is set in 1964, when TV was often performed and transmitted live. Our hero, Guy Boulton, star of "My Favourite Spy" realises the Russians are somehow sending secret messages via the transmission of his TV show and is recruited by the CIA to stop them. However, keeping his mission a secret from his wife and co-star proves problematic."

"We are delighted to announce that Rob Leeson is returning to work with us once again in the role of Guy Boulton. Auditions for other parts are being held in January 2014."

The Unmutual Website will of course keep readers up to date with this project as more details are announced. In the meantime, check out the Facebook page for the production HERE.

With thanks to Paul Gosling for this news item.

POETIC JUSTICE

Eric Mival, who was Music Editor on "The Prisoner" TV series, is a name well recognised by readers of The Unmutual Website, and it is with much interest that it is announced that another project that he worked on early in his career has finally received a DVD release.

In the early 1970s Eric, along with associate Colin Hobson, filmed the legendary Chilean poet Pablo Neruda reciting his poetry at The Roundhouse in London. The footage from this unique occasion, along with newly shot interview material, has been edited to form the DVD "Neruda in the Round", available HERE, and comes highly recommended by TUW (and eagle-eyed viewers may spot another member of the Prisoner crew amongst the crowd that night).

With thanks to Eric Mival and Colin Hobson for this news item and DVD.

BE TWEETING YOU

The Unmutual Website has further embraced the cyberverse recently, with the setting up of a Twitter account. Joining forces with the existing Facebook page (HERE), the page will send regular updates and news to "followers".

Click HERE to visit and follow The Unmutual Website's Twitter page.

SPEEDLEARN SAMPLED

The Unmutual Website is indebted to singer and musician Jane Weaver for information regarding her new album "The Fallen by Watch Bird" (left), which will be of interest to "Prisoner" fans.

The album, which comes highly recommended by TUW, contains a track called "Noctilumina", which uses the 'Electro Mind' music from the Speedlearn sequence of "The General".

The album can be purchased HERE, and individual tracks HERE, including samples.

This is not the first time that the Speedlearn music has appeared in released music of modern times. The group The Higher Intelligence Agency released an album called "Reform" in 1994 which has the track "Speedlearn" (Cat# HIACD 2). This CD is Re-Mixes from another LP they did called "Colourforms".

With thanks to Jane Weaver and Pete Warren for this news item.

VINCENT TILSLEY R.I.P.

Sad news has reached The Unmutual Website that Vincent Tilsley, who wrote the episodes "The Chimes of Big Ben" and "Do Not Forsake Me", has passed away at the age of 82.

A highly regarded writer he also worked on series such as "Z Cars" and "Dr Finlay's Casebook" and the entire series "The Death of Adolf Hitler" before retraining as a psychotherapist. In 2009 he published the book "Holy Night".

Other than Ian Rakoff ("Living in Harmony"), Vincent was the last surviving "Prisoner" writer and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Vincent's last appearance at a "Prisoner" event was at the 2009 Mind Mash event in London (left), where he was interviewed by Leslie Glen.

TUW would like to extend its sincerest sympathies to Vincent's family and friends.

With thanks to Simon Wells and David Stimpson for this news item.

MOKE RELAUNCHED

Exciting news from the Far East has reached TUW this week with the announcement that the Mini Moke, which of course featured as the Village Taxis in the series, are being re-launched!

After 20 years since production stopped on the original vehicle, Michael Young has designed what is called the "Classic Moke" for China-based Chery Motors. The new design has also been compared to the Volteis car from France (details HERE).

Click HERE for more details of the launch and HERE for a brief history of the vehicle, with Jalopnik providing more background HERE.

With thanks to Des Gorra and Bob Gunton for this news item. Images (c) Bob Gunton.

HARD WAY LOCATED

One of the most highly-regarded films to have starred Patrick McGoohan is "The Hard Way". Co-starring lee Van Cleef, McGoohan stars as a hit man hired to do "one last job". A dark and powerful thriller, the movie was shot at Dublin's Ardmore Studios and on location in Ireland.

Thanks to TUW reader Carol Brady, an extensive locations guide to the film is now online, along with a lovely review of the movie. The guide, profusely illustrated with personal photographs, is a joy to read and can be read HERE.

You can also use the above link to order the DVD of the film, with 5% donated to TUW's charity fund at no cost to yourself.

With thanks to Carol Brady for this news item.

CLOCKING ON

Time Custom Clocks are an international business run by Nick Martin, and the company have produced a wonderful "Prisoner" clock (left).

Priced at only £9.99 plus P&P the clocks come with warranty and have a Portmeirion image on the reverse, which can be personalised.

Nick has been very generous in offering 25% of all sales via The Unmutual to be donated to our fund for Ty Gobaith Hospice (so do mention the website when ordering).

For more details, images, and ordering details click HERE.

With thanks to Nick Martin for this news item.

STRINGER STRIPS ONLINE

Comic artist Lew Stringer ("Viz", "The Dandy", "The Beano" and others) has again referenced "The Prisoner" on his online comics blog this month with a wonderful resume of some of his "Prisoner" characters from years gone by which he created for a range of publications (including the Birmingham-based "Prisoner" fanzine "Camera Obscura").

Characters such as Allister Sadgitt (left) and strips such as Rogue Rover are included in the blog, which can be found HERE. Some of Lew's other work is online HERE.

With thanks to Lew Stringer 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.

UNUSED STORYLINE PAINTED

Visitors to The Unmutual Website will be aware (see below) that Eric Mival, Music Editor for the original series back in 1966/67, is something of a talented painter and that several of his paintings are for sale at an exclusive price for Unmutual Website readers.

TUW is delighted to announce that Eric has recently painted a very Prisoner-related painting (left), which is called and based on a script idea called "Ticket to Eternity".

"Ticket to Eternity" was one of two storyline ideas submitted by Eric (but not used) to producers Patrick McGoohan and David Tombin in 1967 when crew members were asked to submit script ideas (with Assistant Editor Ian Rakoff's Western idea accepted, later to become "Living in Harmony"). The painting, which measures 60cm x 60cm, is a visual representation of a scene from the "episode".

The painting has a reserve price of £299 (with 10% donated to TUW's event fund in aid of Ty Gobaith Hospice). Contact TUW with an offer!

With thanks to Eric Mival for this news item and image.

WE WANT INFORMATION

More recent developments have taken place in Portmeirion, the most interesting and newsworthy of which is that the old reception building (opposite Cliff House near to the toll booth (left)) is now home to a very useful visitor information centre.

Stocked with leaflets, books, and helpful staff the centre is open 7 days a week during visiting hours.

Photo (c) Rick Davy.

SOLDIER SOLDIER

The central piazza in Portmeirion became home to an extraordinary piece of art for a day on Wednesday 14th August 2013, when James Napier's sculpture "The Abandoned Soldier" was placed in the location. Created to highlight the plight of British soldiers, the metal structure was placed in Trafalgar Square in 2012 and even became a discussion point on BBC's "Newsnight"!

For more details about James' work click HERE.

With thanks to Paul White for this news item and photos.

BFI SCREENING SUCCESS

As announced below, August 2013 sees a season of Patrick McGoohan films and TV episodes being screened at the NFT at BFI Southbank, and so far the screenings have been a great success!

In particular, the "Prisoner Oddities" evening was a great success, which included never-before-screened footage of McGoohan being interviewed in both 1984 and 1993 shown to a packed audience.

Special Guests were also in attendance with "Prisoner" crew members Tony Sloman (who was interviewed on stage by Dave Lally) and Ian L Rakoff, Paul Gosling of Magic Number Six, Robert Fairclough, and many other notable "Prisoner" experts and fans. In addition, Portmeirion and The Unmutual teamed up to provide attendees with a selection of information leaflets and flyers, and Leslie Glen was on hand at the BFI bookshop signing copies of "The Prisoner Interrogations".

Thanks must go to Dick Fiddy and the BFI for providing these excellent events and also Tim Beddows of our friends at Network DVD for providing so much of the evening's content. The later "Danger Man" evening was also a success.

A full review will appear online after the BFI season has finished, but in the meantime the season has been covered by Robert Fairclough's online blog HERE, and the programme notes from the Danger Man evening can be found HERE. For more details of the forthcoming screenings, and Location Tour events organised to coincide with them, visit the event page HERE.

CATCH MY SOUL CAUGHT

A movie Rock-Opera version of William Shakespeare's "Othello" from the early 1970s, which sank without trace shortly after it was released with no video or DVD release at any point, may not seem on the surface to be of interest to readers of The Unmutual Website, until one realises that the movie, "Catch My Soul" starring Richie Havens, was the only feature film ever to be Directed by Patrick McGoohan.

It is with great pride and pleasure that TUW announces that for the very first time the film has been extensively researched (and, astoundingly, located). Tom Mayer, who recently provided unrivalled research into another McGoohan project, the TV series "Rafferty", has produced a huge two-part article, including interviews with those involved, and profusely illustrated with new and archive images, is now online exclusively at TUW.

Click HERE to read part one of "Total Immersion" (a link for part two is at the bottom of the piece), a truly astounding and unique piece of work.

With thanks to Tom Mayer for this news item.

ORIGINAL HARMONY LOCATED

It is amazing that after more than 45 years there are still new things to be discovered regarding "The Prisoner", and this week is no exception as for the first time the original location upon which "Harmony" and other "Prisoner" landmarks was based has been located.

The "Harmony" part of the backlot of MGM studios, where much of "The Prisoner" was filmed, also included the Recreation Hall area seen in many episodes.

This set was actually built for the film "Eye of the Devil" to double for Château de Hautefort in the Dordogne and for the first time, thanks to Tony McKay and the guys at Avengerland, comparison photos of the sets are now online.

Click HERE to visit the MGM section of TUW's locations guide for more information on this fascinating discovery, or visit the Avengerland website.

With thanks to Tony McKay for this news item.



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: 26/03/2015. Site History: Click HERE.

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