Maybe you're unfamiliar with The Prisoner, the surreal sci-fi/paranoid conspiracy thriller that ran from 1967-1968. Maybe you don't realize that this series, created by and starring the dashing Patrick McGoohan, was one of the most influential genre series ever made (seriously, you can draw direct lines from The Prisoner to LOST and Westworld and Twin Peaks and a bunch of your other faves). Maybe you better get with the program.
The Prisoner is one of our favorite things here at Birth.Movies.Death., a psychedelic spy series that was way ahead of its time. McGoohan starred as Number Six, a secret agent who wakes up one day to find himself imprisoned in a deceptively tranquil-looking beachfront village. Who has put him there? How will he escape? What's up with that giant, floating white orb named "Rover" that's stalking the village perimeter, killing anyone who attempts to leave?
McGoohan's series didn't run for long, but it left one helluva impression on an entire generation of genre geeks, including a good portion of the BMD staff. As such, you can imagine how excited we were to learn that Titan Comics is celebrating the show's 50th anniversary (the one tied to its Stateside premiere, if you're wondering) with two new comic releases...well, one new comic release and one kind-of new comic release.
The first, simply titled The Prisoner, will be written by Peter Milligan (Hellblazer, Enigma) with art by Colin Lorimer (The Hunt, Harvest), and deals with Number Six's successor (whoever this turns out to be, we're guessing they'll have just as hard a time escaping the village). First cover's by Mike and Laura Allred, and looks like this:
The second release is even more exciting. THR broke the news, so I'll let them tell you about it:
"In July, Titan will also release The Prisoner: Original Art Edition, a hardcover edition of previously unreleased work by Jack Kirby, Gil Kane and writer Steve Englehart to adapt the pilot episode of the TV show to comics created during the 1970s. In addition to featuring the complete Kirby artwork for his unpublished issue — six pages of which were inked and lettered by his long-term collaborator, Mike Royer — the collection will also feature 18 pages of Kane’s pencils, and the complete script for Kane’s issue by Englehart."
Yes, Kirby and Kane's unreleased Prisoner comic is getting a deluxe hardcover release. It looks like this:
We're thrilled to learn both of these books are headed our way this year. This is, in fact, all the reason we needed to revisit this show's entire run (you can rent season one episodes via Amazon; just make sure you don't accidentally rent episodes of AMC's staggeringly boring remake, from 2009). If you need us, we'll be off watching those episodes in the interim.
Are you folks as excited about this as we are? Have you still not gotten around to The Prisoner? Sound off in the comments below.