The Prisoner Trilogy by Roger Langley

The Prisoner The Prisoner Trilogy by Roger Langley

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Product Description

Three, fully illustrated stories by Roger Langley as originally published, now in a single volume. Based on the Patrick McGoohan cult TV series of the 1960s - The Prisoner.

The three stories are;

  1. Think Tank
  2. When in Rome
  3. Charmed Life

 

Think Tank

'You!' The noise was deafening. 'You no longer have a name, number or letter. Nobody knows where you are. Only I know who you are. We have met before. The Degree Absolute test was a picnic. Our Operation "Fall Out" was a Joyride. The Think Tank is reality. Soon you will not know who you are. Your location will remain a mystery to you.'

The words boomed out at No.6. He fought the noise, not wanting to give them the satisfaction of seeing him cup his hands to his ears. But alreeady his head was throbbing.

'You will never leave here' continued the voice, 'that is unless you provide me with the information I seek. This is the ultimate confessional box. Time here is immaterial.'

When in Rome

'Cancel! Cancel!' screamed No.2, watchihng his electronic board in disbelief. The display board had suddenly come to life, a large, fast-moving white dot crossing the screen. Whether or not it was heading for No.6, or No.9, or both, was not worthy of time-wasting speculation. If anything happened to either of them, No.2 was doomed.

'We cannot cancel,' called a stricken Supervisor, 'No alert has been ordered. They must have entered the forbidden zone.' He thought carefully before imparting the last piece of information. 'It's programmed to kill.' 'What?!' shrieked No.2, 'Do something! Get out there! Stop it, stop it!' banging his fists on the display panel.

The Supervisor moved quicker than he had ever done in his life. He flung himself at a bank of telephones and bellowed some orders, his voice breaking under the strain. 'Security. Full Alert. Sector thirteen. De-activate Rover. Contact imminent. Death imminent. Cancel!'

Charmed Life

The door closed behind No.6. He was inside a typical hospital room. A small locker, a chair, a set of curtain screens and a wall wash-basin were all the items of furniture present, except for a single, functional-looking bed. The patient was lying within the latter, her dark hair spreading across the provided pillows. The woman raised both eyelids, focusing upon her male visitor.

Across the centre of her forehead was a dark bruise. Her left cheek bore a large grazed area and partially healed cuts appeared around the mouth. Her lips started to speak, but no sound was audible. No.6 moved closer to the top of the bed, recognising the woman's features.

The patient swallowed, blinking with effort. No.6 reacted by pouring some water into a plastic glass from a carafe he had lifted from the woman's bedside cabinet. He handed the receptacle to her, watching the injured mouth sipping the offered drink. The glass was lowered and a successful attempt at speech was made, albeit whispered. 'I never expected to see you,' the occupant of the bed said with obvious difficulty.' 'It's a small world,' replied No.6 with a reassuring smile.

Two (and a half) decades on...

These three works of Prisoner fiction were written between a quarter of a century and two decades ago, at a time when there were, effectively, no mobile phones, Internet-connected communities, electronic mail, digital imaging, or massive data transfer and storage systems that exist today. When these stories were first published, as separate books, there was no major close-circuit TV 'surveillance' and little in the way of satellite broadcasting. Now, ordinary homes seemingly have more communications technology than an emergency control
centre might once have boasted. Fast online broadband and diverse methods of instant communication allow domestic users to flit round the world, access archives, communicate universally and copy items with the press of a button, before something 'restricted' might disappear.

Contrast earlier times, when a government official or agent - perhaps somebody like the original "Number Six" character - would have had to infiltrate several different clandestine departments in order to obtain all the wide-ranging data on any particular topic. In the first of the stories, it is revealed that Number Six was chosen as the sole 'courier' of a collection of top secret documents and information which would be vital to an enemy power.

He would undertake the assignment, but without knowing that after completing his mission, he would never be allowed to be a free man again. Questions once more arise within these latest 'episodes' of renewed confinement, in the mysterious "Village". Nowadays, highly sensitive data is encrypted (hopefully) before being sent securely (hopefully) to its intended destination. Robots search out enemy explosives, devices 'listen' to 'chatter' and a different world has come of age. The hush-hush assignments go on, beyond our knowledge and hidden interrogation camps, with rights-denied prisoners, are 'out there'. Will things ever change?

 

Dedicated to Patrick McGoohan, George Markstein and Everyman Films, who between them in 1966/7 created the unique television series "The Prisoner" (upon which these books are closely based) and released the "Number Six" in us all.

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