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The music in Derek Lawton’s new 3-disc set of Prisoner music is both testimony to the show’s enduring popularity – on DVD, Blu-ray and CD – and a validation of the quality music written by composers for the Chappell Music Library, one of the major houses during the 1960s where filmmakers could buy pre-recorded music (the real ‘mood music’) and use it in TV shows, commercials, feature films, or industrial movies.

Lawton’s project is the missing link in completing the commercial release of the show’s entire music catalogue. That substantial body is comprised of Ron Grainer’s classic theme, original score and source cues composed by Grainer, Robert Farnon, Wilfred Josephs, and Albert Elms, and library cues written by many unknown composers. The exceptions to the latter group are Robert Farnon, Roger Roger, and Camille Sauvage, as well as a young Jean-Claude Petit (Jean de Florette, and Manon des Sources), and prolific library composer Johnny Hawksworth.

Totaling just under 100 cues, the Prisoner / Chappell project was a serious undertaking, and in the interview below with producer Lawton, we discuss the production of what, for now, is the final word on The Prisoner music.



Star/Producer/Ubermeister Patrick McGoohan



Mark R. Hasan: How did the 3-CD set of The Prisoner (1967) come about, since collections of series music have been released by other labels?


Derek Lawton: This CD set came about by accident. I was researching with a colleague the missing library tracks from the soundtrack of Gerry Anderson's Space: 1999 (1975-1977), and I was drawn to doing a similar search for The Prisoner. As so much library music was missing from current Prisoner releases, I figured there would be interest in the Chappell cues.

I would have liked to include the original commercial tracks – the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love,” Carmen Miranda’s “I, Yi, Yi, Yi / I Like You Very Much,” and “Dry Bones” sung by The Four Lads - but it would have been too expensive; these tracks are available elsewhere.

It was a coincidence that the Network soundtrack set had been recently released.  I decided to issue this set in a DVD case, like the Network release, so they can sit together on the collector's shelf.



MRH: Was it hard to verify what cues were used in each episode, or were there accurate logs in the original Everyman Films production notes?


DL: It took a lot of time and effort to identify and catalogue the library tracks. However, I did have some guidance from published sources and help from [series music editor] Eric Mival, and his production notes that included a lengthy list of library cues that could be used. I did not have access to the official music cue sheets until after the CD set had been released. I have checked these and there are several gaps. (Perhaps that means Everyman Films did not pay for all the cues?)

There were 8 cues I couldn't identify as original soundtrack or library cues - Eric Mival thought that the majority of these were likely to be sound effects - though some sounded similar to the Eric Peters cues. I could not identify these as coming from the Chappell library.

However, one of these mystery cues (from the “Once Upon a Time” episode) has been identified as a Robert Farnon-composed Chappell library cue. I am 99% certain that there are no more missing Chappell cues, but there are 62 seconds of Chappell missing from this release, and the fanfare at the beginning of “Arabian Market” was not included on the CD provided to me by Chappell.

Other things being equal, I intend to release this missing music on a follow-up budget CD, featuring the best of the unused cues - many of which were featured in other ITC productions such as Department S (1969-1970), Man in a Suitcase (1967-1968), Randal & Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969-1971), and The Champions (1968-1969) – and the complete Chappell cues from the original un-transmitted edits of the “Arrival” and “Chimes of Big Ben” episodes.

[The 40th Anniversary DVD and Blu-ray sets contain longer, alternate edits of “Arrival” and “Big Ben,” with the latter sporting different music from the broadcast version.-Ed.]

Beware of the smooshee balloon...

The Network 3-disc release

A place where agents retire and respire...

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