prisonerThis TV series took the world by storm. It was not like anything else on the market. It was mysterious, it was edgy, it pushed the limits. Oh when I say pushed the limits, I do not mean profanity, sex, or gratuitous violence. It was a physiological thriller with a sci fi touch of pixie dust.

I was 12 years old when it premiered in 1967 and I was hooked. A total of 17 one hour episodes were released. As twelve year olds do, I moved on to the next big thing, The Man From UNCLE. It was almost 30 years later that I once again bumped into the iconic cult favorite. A married couple that I had become friends with mentioned the program, and I was quick to jump into the conversation. I was stunned when they told me that they had the entire series taped on VHS. Needless to say we went on a two day binge of The Prisoner.  It was every bit as good as what I remembered.

In 2003 I found myself running an adult learning facility. Mostly teaching computer geeking skills is about as exciting as disemboweling yourself with a plastic butter knife. It is hard to make Windows, Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, Powerpoint, etc fun.  Once a month I would run an Internet treasure hunt. It was a simple concept, one designed to hone peoples skills in how to track down information online. It was simple for several months, but then it became harder and harder to find questions that could not be answered by a simple google search. Yup, I did one on The Prisoner! It was a lot of fun to listen to my students answers, of course not every question has a simple answer. The Prisoner is a series that requires a good deal of thought and consideration.

Last week I discovered that a Sony backed website has all 17 episodes available online. I went on a binge! It was interesting to watch the 45 year old series again.

I have somewhat changed my opinion. The first ten or so episodes are splendid. Then we hit a bit of a problem. The show was such a huge hit that more episodes needed to be cranked out. The storyline in the beginning was somewhat thin, but entertaining, toward the end it moves to a Dali painting of drooping clocks, surrealism at its finest.

You can watch all of the episodes on Crackle.com.

A word of caution, Crackle uses Flash, I tried Firefox, which completely crashes and drags down all of the other web sites you have open. IE just hangs. I have found Chrome to be the best of a bad bunch. This is a less than scientific study, but as I recall Firefox got around 5 ‘What the F***S per episode, IE 3, and Chrome 1. Oh and Crackle also inserts ad’s at random. So if you are highly strung and carrying a gun Crackle might not be conducive to the longevity of your computer.

Simon Barrett

 

 

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