'Unique But Similar' is a new book, written by Andrew K. Shenton, that is devoted to comparing the cult classic TV series The Prisoner to other television programmes.

By concentrating on the period of TV history up to 1987, the year of The Prisoner’s 20th anniversary, Unique But Similar examines programmes that were made in an era before the series gained the kind of critical acclaim that it enjoys today and before it exerted the degree of influence that has been more characteristic of television in the last 25 years.

With chapters devoted to analysis of The Prisoner on the one hand and shows like Mission: Impossible, Blake’s 7, Children of the Stones, UFO and the original version of Doctor Who on the other, Unique But Similar will appeal not only to fans of The Prisoner and lovers of cult television, but also film and media students, and film historians. 

Excerpt

This is a book of Prisoner comparisons. Essentially, it considers the similarities that can be detected between Patrick McGoohan’s programme and other television productions. Attention is focused entirely on the 1960s version of The Prisoner; it is not concerned with the 21st century revival. It must also be emphasised from the outset that the book does not seek to identify programmes that have influenced or been influenced by The Prisoner, directly or indirectly. This is not, therefore, a work concerned with cause and effect. It simply explores common features…

At first glance the “cult” 1960s series, The Prisoner, and the now largely forgotten serial, Cloud Burst, produced in the mid 1970s, appear to share few similarities. The former was a prime-time drama programme made for a mass audience, whilst the latter formed one of the stories within Look and Read, the long-running BBC series for schools, the main purpose of which was to instruct youngsters in the use of the English language, rather than to entertain. This educational aim is emphasised by the fact that in each of the ten episodes of Cloud Burst the drama was complemented by a didactic teaching segment that formed a significant part of the broadcast.

AUTHOR: Andrew K. Shenton

PUBLISHER: Indepenpress Publishing Ltd  

Buy Online: Unique But Similar: The Prisoner Compared