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The Crack Magazine

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Unique But Similar: The Prisoner Compared

Andrew K. Shenton, Indepenpress Publication, £8.99

The TV series The Prisoner is perhaps the most enigmatic ever shown on primetime British TV and since its first screening in 1967 there has been reams of literature published relating to its “meaning”. This new book from local author Andrew K. Shenton takes a more tangential look at the show by comparing it to other programmes that share similar themes. It features sentences such as, “There is no doubt that individual episodes of Joe 90, The Prisoner and Yes, Prime Minister share some remarkable plot similarities” which may have you reaching for phrases such as “Yes, Prime Minister! Get out of town!” but the author skilfully draws together a pattern of connections that demonstrate how certain programmes may have been influenced, in some way, by the classic 60s show. There are some very obscure shows touched upon (Cloud Burst – a 70s children’s series made for schools…), but the author’s obvious love for intelligent TV really draws you in, and although this book is fishing in some very niche waters, it left me with a list of shows that I really must track down and watch.

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