Item description for The Prisoner: The Original Scripts Volume 1 by Robert Fairclough...
Regarded by many as the finest television drama ever produced, The Prisoner has intrigued viewers since it was originally aired in the late 1960s. Only 17 episodes were ever made, each of them riddled with symbolism and unanswerable questions. In this second book in his two-volume series, Prisoner expert Robert Fairclough has collected and annotated the original shooting scripts for the series, which include a number of variations on the episodes as broadcast. The Prisoner: The Original Scripts Volume One, which includes the first eight episodes as well as the script for the unproduced episode "The Outsider," will bring a new dimension to the understanding and appreciation of this enigmatic television series.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.13" Width: 6.14" Height: 1.73" Weight: 2.6 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2005
Publisher Reynolds & Hearn
ISBN 1903111765 ISBN13 9781903111765
Reviews - What do customers think about The Prisoner: The Original Scripts Volume 1?
a great "Prisoner" resource! Sep 11, 2007
This volume has scripts to the first eight episodes of "The Prisoner", together with extras like a script to an unmade episode called "The Outsider". Also contains a number of b/w Prisoner-related photographs.
An "annotated Alice" for the most eccentric TV series ever Feb 16, 2007
I'm old enough (sad to say) to remember when The Prisoner first aired on American television, as a Saturday night summer replacement for the Jackie Gleason show on CBS. No matter what comes out of all the debates about what the show "really" meant and what McGoohan's "real" intents were, it's definitely stood the test of time. Perhaps because it was as eccentric as it was in its own time. This book is to the series what Martin Gardner's "Annotated Alice" is to "Alice in Wonderland". Needless to say, if you are enough of a fan to want this book, you will also want Volume 2 (thanks, honey... :-), which covers those infamous last episodes (and one unproduced one).
I'm born all over again! Nov 9, 2005
This really sheds new light onto the series, with deleted lines, scenes, and information not found elsewhere. If you really want insight into things, read the scripts, assuming that you can handle script format...
The Prisoner Scripts 1 Review Oct 13, 2005
The book begins with a heartfelt foreward by the late Lewis Griefer (writer of "The General" under the psudonym of Joshua Adam), an introduction by the author, and then a reproduction of the original ITC "Prisoner" writers guide created for the series' writers by Story Editor George Markstein which is a most interesting read! Then follow the original shooting scripts for the first 8 episodes of the series.
Each is reproduced in full, along with cast lists, transmission dates, writers details, original TV Times "trailers", and music cues. The highlight of the reproductions, other than being able to witness the superb scriptwriting, are the endless footnotes supplied by the author. Every single subtle change from the original script to the finished programme are highlighted in these extensive notes, as are interesting snippets of information concerning the filming locations, shooting schedule, performers, crew, and much more. The amount of information Rob has managed to include is not far from astounding, and the mind boggles as to how many times he must have watched the episodes to include every otherwise unnoticeable word change. The above-mentioned footnotes are fascinating, and make this book the ultimate tome of "Prisoner" information.
Also included is "The Outsider", an unused script written by Morris Farhi (rejected by McGoohan), and two storyline ideas submitted by series Music Editor Eric Mival, as well as a biography of George Markstein. It could be argued that the scripts and footnotes would be enough to justify a positive review, but these rare "bonus items" are the icing on the cake and also make for fascinating reading.
Those familiar with the scenes of "The Prisoner" could be forgiven for thinking that reading such a book might be a dull experience, as they already have the episodes on DVD, but they couldn't be more wrong. Whilst much of the scripts remained unaltered for the finished product, there is much that is different. Small/subtle changes in some cases, large changes in others, each and every one is included. Two such interesting things include the inclusion of the "original" Rover device, complete with flashing blue light, and mentions of Number Two's residence as the "Georgian Cottage", rather than the more familiar "Green Dome".
To list all the interesting script changes here would be an impossible task, so I will close by advising that you go out and buy this book and see them all for yourself. At £19.99 (hardback) it is by no means cheap, but is well worth the price for the scripts alone, let alone all the "bonus items" and countless footnotes.
Evolution of a Masterpiece Sep 11, 2005
To say that Robert Fairclough's book is a revelation is perhaps an understatement. Sure, its just the scripts. But, the evolution between concept to realization is what this book is really about. Whether or not you agree with McGoohan's decision to take an essentially simple idea (the spy-prison) and turn it into his own subconsious metaphor, if you are a fan of this brilliant show this book is the only one I know that will give you any kind of window into this process.