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Obscurity doesn’t mean much these days, and the internet is giving even the rarest cultural ephemera a place at the table.

The fine folks at Men.Style just tipped us off to AMC’s internet-rerelease of the British serial The Prisoner, quite possibly the best television the UK has ever produced.

Previously only available through the occasional PBS marathon, The Prisoner took the Cold War paranoia of the late 60s to psychedelic extremes. It takes place entirely in an isolated compound called The Village—a cross between a prison camp, an Italian villa, and a very bad trip. The following seventeen episodes aren’t all golden, but at its best the show revitalized tired spy tropes like the interrogation with an existential streak more interested in the nature of individuality than the usual guns and gadgets. Needless to say, TV hasn’t seen anything like it since.

Of course, AMC is being generous to prepare audiences for its remake of the series…but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt so far.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom