The Prisoner
The Village Files

Author: Tim Palgut
Titan Books
RRP 19.99

ISBN 1 84023 597 7
Available now

The Prisoner is one of the most written about and disguised TV shows of all time and as a result it has proved to be a fertile round for publishers. Not everything that's been written about the series has been good, although much is, but no book so far to hit the shops has stoops so low as The Village Files.

At heart, this book is a collection of black and white line drawings of items seen in the show along with a couple of plans of buildings and a map or two. These include a helicopter from two angles (Fantastic!), two chairs (Unbelievable!), a small dingy (Who would have thought it!), two views of a Village taxi (Wow! A small car!) and 19 plan views of Number 6's house showing the location of the hidden cameras (Great! So interesting!). But the best are the sketches of Rover, the show's spherical, bouncing guard. Now being perfectly round you would have thought that one view would have been enough. But no - Palgut gives us three: Front, Profile and Top. Oh, how I laughed at his cheek.

Other highlights include plans of three floors of the hospital, two views of a telephone and some out-of-proportion doodles of the Villagers' clothing. But the crowning glory is the accompanying text which is total tosh - clearly written by someone who doesn't understand English. In a mugged-up note, supposedly written by the Village hierarchy, Number 6 is described as a "paragon". The word's a noun so it would be nice to know what sort of paragon that is but in amongst so much total rubbish one more insult probably doesn't really matter that much.

The Village Files is one of the most pointless, shameful cash-ins books I have ever had the misfortune to see. It's a picture book of amateurish black and white drawings of objects better represented by photographs although only the most ardent fan would want a snap of an office chair in their Prisoner collection.

But before I pronounce my 'marks out of ten' appreciation of this utterly worthless piece of crap I feel I should bring to your attention one last particle of joy to be found within its pages - the page numbering system. Between pages 26 and 28 we get page 1, but the best run of numbering goes 65, 66, 2d, 2b, 4d, 3e, 5, 9d, 8r, 80, 81.Why?

Palgut claims to be a photographer and a computer graphics artist. On the strength of this shameful pile of nonsense you also have to hope he's also got a day job.

Avoid this book - it is worthless, shameless piece of merchandising which adds nothing to our appreciation of a great TV show.

Anthony Clark

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