Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Prisoner, The Avengers and Casino Royale

I love British TV series from the 1960s-especially the Spy series.
My two favorites were ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘The Avengers’ with ‘The Avengers’ taking the number one spot.

The Emma Peel and John Steed period was by far my favorite but I enjoyed the series overall.  

Originally created as revenge series the show evolved into a spy thriller starring John Steed and several sexy leading ladies.

After the original series was cancelled it was resurrected in the 1970s as ‘The New Avengers’ and in the 1990’s it hit the Silver Screen.

I have an extensive collection of books about ‘The Avengers’ but they pale in comparison to author Michael Richardson’s ‘Bowler Hats And Kinky Boots: The Unofficial And Unauthorized Guide To The Avengers’, published by Telos Publishing Ltd.

It is the most exhaustive and thoroughly researched book about ‘The Avengers’ I have ever encountered.

Everything there is to know about the show is included such as episode guides, behind-the-scenes tidbits, production notes, sequence of original broadcasts, cast and crew bios and so much more.

There are even sections on commercial merchandise tie-ins, the legacy of the show and spin-offs.

There are spy shows and then there is ‘The Prisoner’ what I consider to be an ‘anti-spy’ TV show.

The series star, Patrick McGoohan had just come off his immensely popular ‘Secret Agent’ TV series, as it was known in the United States.

In a brilliant move to bring an end to his popular spy series, McGoohan created ‘The Prisoner’ which although it did not name the key player, was known by fans as the spy in Secret Agent.

When a British spy resigned he is kidnapped and taken to a location known only as ‘The Village’.

While there he is subjected to various forms of mental manipulations in an attempt to learn his secrets.

It is never made clear whether his kidnappers were from the British government or enemy agents.

The series only lasted one season and successfully brought to a conclusion to the saga of the main character.

‘Fall Out: The Unofficial And Unauthorized Guide To The Prisoner’ written by Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore, delves into the enigmatic thriller that changed the face of TV forever.

Filled with pop culture references, utilizing unique storytelling techniques and cleverly managing to keep audiences guessing each week, ‘The Prisoner’ is a cult classic.

Learn all about the series from production secrets to cast and crew bios to episode examinations.

Another British creation made a successful transition to movies from popular novels.

James Bond, the suave and deadly British spy premiered on the Silver Screen in the early 1960s.

Due to a copyright snafu the popular series had a lapse where another production company was able to make its own ‘unofficial’ James Bond film based on ‘Casino Royale’.

Made with tongue securely placed its cheek, ‘Casino Royale’ was more farce that a spy-thriller.

Still it is a James Bond film and although lambasted by ‘true’ James Bond fans it does have a place in cinema history.

‘The Making Of Casino Royale (1967)’ by Michael Richardson takes a good hard look at the James Bond spoof.

Cast and crew bios, production notes, missing scenes, production difficulties and how the film was adapted for the screen and other interesting tidbits fill the pages with information about the cult classic.