When I think of the classic 60’s sci-fi T.V show, The Prisoner, I immediately think, big, bouncy balls. Anyone who’s seen the show will know what I mean. The big balls that used to guard the perimeter of the mysterious village, where nobody had a name, just a number. The Prisoner ran for 17 episodes in 1967 and was very much a precursor for shows like Lost. Even at a time when Sci -Fi shows were considered low brow, and the special effect budget reflected as much, this was pretty bizarre. But when I saw those 80’s re-runs, they left an indelible mark on me. Then Iron Maiden wrote a song about it and I was completely sold. So to see this awesome show, brought back to life in comic form for it’s 50th anniversary, is as much a treat for me as much as it will be for other fans of the series.
The plot has shades of the original T.V series, but is rooted firmly in more modern age. In a world where information is now currency MI5 agent Breen, whilst on a mission in the Middle East breaks the first rule of being a spy, never leave your partner behind. James Bond never had these moral dilemmas, but anyway, he manages to escape but his partner Agent Carey, is now missing and believed to be in the aforementioned village. Breen, racked with guilt, must find a way to infiltrate the village and get her out, but he’ll need something to trade for her life. A top secret item known only as The Pandora. Set up as a traitor for stealing said item by his peers Breen finds himself in the infamous village where he is now needed, for their own mysterious ends.
There’s a reassuring familiarity about this book, which I and I’m sure other Prisoner fans will appreciate. It’s good to see that they haven’t gone full tilt and re-imagined the whole thing. The village still looks like the village and its mystery is still intact and there’s a certain vibe that the characters portray, which brings to mind classic 60’s espionage spy thrillers, that the original was influenced by, whilst still acknowledging the modern world.
An excellent kick off to whole new series, by Peter Milligan, much like the show, I have questions that need answering already and I am totally hooked. And I haven’t even mentioned that they’ve managed to add the infamous cover art from none other than Marvel legend Jack Kirby, as 1 of the 6 exclusive covers available. We want more, more, MORE! Chris Andrews