ROVER’s RE­TURN

Big Fin­ish are ven­tur­ing back to the Vil­lage in a new version of The Prisoner

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

For a show that lasted a scant 17 episodes, Pa­trick McGoohan’s The Prisoner left an in­deli­ble mark on Bri­tish sci-fi; so much so that at­tempts to res­ur­rect Num­ber Six in the years since have proven less suc­cess­ful than the av­er­age run-in with Rover. Big Fin­ish hopes to buck that trend with The Prisoner Vol­ume 1 – a full-cast au­dio drama which rein­ter­prets the orig­i­nal se­ries.

“It never occurred to me to do a con­tin­u­a­tion,” says writer/di­rec­tor Ni­cholas Briggs. “How could you con­tinue some­thing that ends in an ut­terly in­ex­pli­ca­ble, al­le­gor­i­cal way? I wanted any­one who loves The Prisoner to enjoy it in a slightly dif­fer­ent way.”

Three of the box set’s four hour-long episodes will be fa­mil­iar to fans of the se­ries – De­par­ture And Ar­rival, The Schizoid Man and The Chimes Of Big Ben. But Briggs has also penned a new tale – Your Beau­ti­ful Vil­lage – which sees Num­ber Six de­prived of his senses. “I wanted to do an episode that could only have worked on au­dio,” Briggs en­thuses. “It’s also about cer­tain rev­e­la­tions in Six’s re­la­tion­ship with some­one who has been in the Vil­lage a lot longer than him and who doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily rep­re­sent the side of author­ity.”

Mark El­stob has the un­en­vi­able task of fol­low­ing in Pa­trick McGoohan’s gar­gan­tuan foot­steps while Celia Im­rie, John Stand­ing, Ra­mon Tikaram and Michael Cochrane all take up res­i­dence in Num­ber Two’s ball chair. Fur­ther box sets re­main un­con­firmed, but Briggs al­ready knows which sto­ries he’d like to tackle next. “I want to do ‘Many Happy Re­turns’. And ‘Ham­mer Into Anvil’. And ‘A, B And C’. I want to do them all really!”

The Prisoner Vol­ume 1 is re­leased on disc and as a down­load in Jan­uary.

Dif­fer­ent faces, same great iconog­ra­phy.

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