Who did you think would be Number 1?

Forums British Sci Fi Series The Prisoner Who did you think would be Number 1?

This topic contains 16 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Fatguy 15 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #39239

    Anonymous

    Early on in the series I had a feeling that the quiet, subserviant Butler would really be Number One — I expected some sort of twist.

    [img]http://www.members.shaw.ca/funky2funky/The%20Prisoner/PrisonerButlerCrop.jpg[/img]

    Who, or what, did you think would be Number One?

    #66674

    Fatguy
    Member
    #66685

    nursewhen
    Participant

    I thought the butler did it too. He was the only character consistently in the corridors of power.

    #66688

    Jhevz
    Participant

    Well sometimes, I thought who ever was #2 during that episode was #1; other times, I thought #6 was & other times, other characters from the show.

    Prisoner Fans Unite,
    Jhevz ๐Ÿ˜‰

    #66975

    streudel
    Member

    My husband and I both thought it would be the butler. Hubby still contends it should have been the butler. Me, I thought…SPOILER

    Number 6 being Number 1 was a brilliant idea. I’m pretty sure no one saw that coming.

    #66984

    pet
    Moderator

    I thought it was the Butler, too, mostly, then sometimes one of the Rovers. Remember the scene with the creepy people in the Rover cave sitting around it as if they were worshipping it in “Free for All”? I thought it might be some underground Hell creature, or something.

    No.83;D

    #67187

    Anonymous

    [quote=”streudel”]Number 6 being Number 1 was a brilliant idea. I’m pretty sure no one saw that coming.[/quote]

    There is of course that bit where No. 2 pauses thusly:

    The Prisoner: “Who is Number 1?”
    No. 2: “You are … Number 6″

    And then there’s the Prisoner’s address. In that opening sequence when the soon to be Prisoner visits his London pad I think you can vaguely see 1 written on his door. Actually, I only really noticed that near the end of Fall Out when the Butler is standing outside his door.

    [quote=”nursewhen”]I thought the butler did it too. He was the only character consistently in the corridors of power.[/quote]

    LOL, yep, I thought the butler always did it. But exactly, the ubiquitous butler who sees all and says nothing and “is consistently in the corridors of power” would be an obvious choice, perhaps too obvious. I was also thinking of him because of The Wizard of Oz (and ZardoZ, and Spaceballs) — the little man behind the curtain who is the ruler.

    #67195

    streudel
    Member

    [quote]There is of course that bit where No. 2 pauses thusly:

    The Prisoner: “Who is Number 1?”
    No. 2: “You are … Number 6”

    And then there’s the Prisoner’s address. In that opening sequence when the soon to be Prisoner visits his London pad I think you can vaguely see 1 written on his door. Actually, I only really noticed that near the end of Fall Out when the Butler is standing outside his door.[/quote]

    Both of those clues blew right past me. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    #67197

    pet
    Moderator

    <geek mode>

    He lives in flat 6 in Danger Man.

    </geek mode>

    83 ;D

    #67200

    Anonymous

    I wouldn’t place much value on such “clues”. They often throw them in so that they can tell you later, “I told you so,” or “See it all makes sense” … even when the clues were unintentional. Often people find clues that were never meant to be clues in the first place — one can’t disclaim happy coincidences or people’s fertile imaginations. Not that in the case of The Prisoner they really tried to make you think it all makes sense, or at lest they never tried hard to help you to make sense of it … a big part of its charm to be sure.

    Anyway, one can always find clues in such shows if you look hard enough — intentional clues or otherwise. I expect that I could find a supposed clue if I really wanted to that would lead me to believe that the cat from Dance of the Dead was the real Number 1.

    Take this quote for instance about the cat as said by No. 6: “Never trust a woman, even a four-legged one” First of all we can assume that you can’t trust No. 1, and we also know from No. 6 that you can’t trust woman, even felines of the feminine persuasion. So far so bad, but the clincher is of course that No. 1 is four-legged “four-legged [b]One[/b],” and he’s talking about a specific four-legged No. 1. And if that’s not proof enough, in Fall Out the late Number 2 says, “Meet [b]him[/b]? Meet him! Hahaha … Whoever you are, [b]whatever[/b] you are.” One could surmise that it’s a female and quite possibly inhuman from his statement. And so it must be the cat, :roll:, except for at least two insurmountable problems: We know by the end that the cat is in fact, to our total surprise, not Number 1, and if The Prisoner believed that the cat was No. 1, then why did he keep asking, who is Number 1?

    Where was I? Oh, ah, sometimes I find in movies or shows that they’ll tell us what the clues are after we’ve seen the thing (special features and whatnot) and the clues are so obscure, ridiculous, or convoluted that it’s quite laughable. That’s how I felt about the “clues” as explained in the Sixth Sense, convoluted. Think they called it the rules of something… Ah I forget, if you’ve seen it you’ll know I’m talking about.

    And it’s funny in Survivor where they feed you far more clues that point you in the wrong direction as to who will win than ones that point you in the right direction, and then at the end they show you the clues and say, “See, the answer was there all along. If only you’d looked a little more closely.” Or something like that. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Be Seeing You,
    No. 96

    #67201

    Anonymous

    [quote=”pet”]<geek mode>

    He lives in flat 6 in Danger Man.

    </geek mode>[/quote]

    Well that’s just flat out cool! ๐Ÿ˜€

    <greek mode>

    His favourite food is lamb [b]six[/b]kabobs!

    </greek mode>

    Sorry, now I’m just getting silly. ๐Ÿ˜›

    #67204

    pet
    Moderator

    [quote=”Logan”][quote=”pet”]<geek mode>

    He lives in flat 6 in Danger Man.

    </geek mode>[/quote]

    Well that’s just flat out cool! ๐Ÿ˜€

    <greek mode>

    His favourite food is lamb [b]six[/b]kabobs!

    </greek mode>

    Sorry, now I’m just getting silly. :P[/quote]

    <greek mode>

    Well he [i]is[/i] the gyro of the show!

    </greek mode>

    83 ;D

    #68282

    sgtdraino
    Participant

    I, too, originally thought the Butler would turn out to be No. 1. Especially after the episode “Hammer Into Anvil,” when No. 2 screams at the Butler and raises his hand to strike him, but the butler just stands there and stares at No. 2 with this incredibly blank, uncaring expression on his face. As if No. 2 was nothing to him.

    I take the minority position in that I am most interested in analyzing The Prisoner in purely literal terms, and not allegorical. i.e. I am most interested in figuring out what “really” happened. As such, I DON’T believe that No. 1 was really No. 6, no matter what McGoohan says. In fact, I believe it is possible (though not certain) that there never was any real personification of No. 1.

    Spoilers follow…

    Obviously No. 1 and No. 6 cannot be the same person, since they are shown to be two separate people in Fall Out. Granted, they look alike, but they are still separate people. Unless No. 6’s encounter with No. 1 is a complete hallucination. But that would still rather mean that No. 6 is simply insane, not that he is No. 1. No. 6 was a prisoner in the Village, which existed before he arrived or even knew about it. Obviously he is not the one giving the orders.

    As for the literal events of Fall Out, I think the most likely scenario is that the Village created another clone or look-alike of No. 6, and used this copy in one last attempt to break his spirit.

    #68347

    Anonymous

    VERY interesting points SgtDraino. Perhaps having Number 6 as 1 was just to confuse people (and p-ss them off). “We thought you’d be happier as yourself” (Fall Out). Perhaps he was a clone, or just another elaborate ruse to confuse No. 6, and p-ss HIM off (thought that many times before, makes sense). The Village authorities were always trying to fool him. And maybe there never really was a Number 1. “Number 1’s the boss” (Number 6). It was clear that Number 2 had superiors, not just a superior — (and the Village was very much a bureaucracy). Maybe number 1 was the rocket itself or the computer onboard anyway (computer fits in very well). “Whoever you are, whatever you are.” (a late No. 2).

    Anyway, I find it hard not to look at The Prisoner as allegory, but one can look at it literally at the same time. It’s clear that they tried to leave room for individual interpretation within the show (offered many questions that they failed to answer definitively)… but some hypotheses are much better than others… ‘Tis a puzzlement and that’s a big part of its lasting appeal.

    I loved that scene in The Chimes of Big Ben where No. 6 was describing his masterpiece entitled “Esacpe” and when asked what it meant he said, “It means what it is.” Literally “Escape.” I won’t bother completing my thought-pattern, it’s far more fun to let others figure out what I’m saying. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Great example of The Butler, I’d consciously forgotten that, but yes, that’s exactly where I was coming from. But then part of it is that The Butler knows that Number 2’s come and go… He needn’t tolerate him for long, and he’ll probably get his. The Butler has far more job security, and I believe he knew far more about what was going on than the Number 2s (the Number 2s were really Prisoners too — some apparently more than others — failure is not tolerated)… ‘Twas interesting how the Butler changed sides at the end (or did he really change sides ;)), but that’s another issue. He gave his loyalty to Six, perhaps recognising a real leader… A very interesting character.

    “New allegiances, how sad.”

    #68361

    sgtdraino
    Participant

    I know I’ve said I like to concentrate on the literal, but allow me to wax philosophical for a moment.

    I think I know who Number One is.

    People often remark at how much of himself Patrick McGoohan put into the characters of John Drake and Number Six. This is certainly the case, yet Number Six (and John Drake) are not Patrick McGoohan. Not quite. There are certain important differences between the character and the man.

    If Number Six is John Drake…

    Then Number One…

    Is Patrick McGoohan.

    Number Six never gave up trying to escape, never stopped believing it was possible.

    Patrick McGoohan believes escape is impossible.

    Number Six, while adept at mind games, prefers revolt that is “good and honest.”

    Patrick McGoohan wants questions, arguments, discussions, and fists waving in his face. In short, he enjoyed messing with our heads. Particularly with Fall Out.

    The weight of evidence seems to suggest that Number Six is a continuation of John Drake from Danger Man.

    Patrick McGoohan will probably go to his grave before admitting any such thing. Partly because of money, but mostly (I suspect) because of pride.

    Who was the all-powerful force controlling events in The Prisoner? Well, clearly it was Patrick McGoohan. He possessed nearly ultimate power of control over the show, and wholely controlled the manner at which it came to an end, in Fall Out.

    Patrick McGoohan is Number One. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Don’t get me wrong. I have the greatest respect for the man and his work. Without him, there would have been no Danger Man or Prisoner. It would be a great honor to meet him someday.

    But let’s not kid ourselves either. He has a reputation of being difficult, and at times the first class a**hole.

    Or should I say the Number One a**hole. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thoughts? Questions? Arguments? Discussions?

    Fists waving in my face? ๐Ÿ™‚

    No. 241

    PS – Is it just me, or is Fatguy’s picture kinda creepy? I’m not sure why, but it gives me the jibblies.

    #70239

    Anonymous

    [img]http://www.sadgeezer.com/html/modules/My_eGallery/gallery/Prisoner/FallOut.jpg[/img]

    Itโ€™s taken me a long time to respond, because [i]ultimately[/i] I agree with your assessment. P. McG is certainly Number 1 from that vantage point โ€“ heโ€™s the puppet master โ€ฆ stringing us along for the ride. But thanks for the trip!

    Hereโ€™s a quote from Patrick McGoohan about who is Number One:

    [quote=”P. McGoohan”]What is the greatest evil? Is it the bomb? The greatest evil, that one has to fight constantly, every minute of the day, until one dies, is the evil side of oneself. That’s what I did, and I’d do it again. There were many alternatives that went through my head, but I didn’t consider them for a second.[/quote]

    So, one can easily interpret that to mean that the Number One of the show is Patrick McGoohanโ€™s evil side โ€“ heโ€™s had personal demons to fight โ€“ “I have seen the enemy, and the enemy is me.”

    Or, “I have looked into the face of evil, and… talk about monkey business!”

    6 as 1 is a bit creepy (especially the monkey mask bit)โ€ฆ As for Phi’s “masked” picture, itโ€™s rather two facedโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜‰

    #70242

    Fatguy
    Member

    Personality are the characteristics that make a person stand out from the crowd for easy identification. The stronger the personality, the greater he/she stands out from the crowd, the greater the value of individualism, freedom of thought and so forth. I have come the the conclusion that ‘lone wolf” individualists are a miserable, lonely crowd. They do not require public acceptance and they can perform well at public speaking, yet be totally anti-social in small groups. They are the leaders and also the outcasts.

    So of course Number Six and Number One could be the same if you use this form of construct; but that is just a metaphor for reality.

    I really did not play the game of who is Number 1…..I had social issues to deal with at the time, and only looked at The Prisoner as a bolstering social icon at the time. The good looking, empty headed predictable people are the happiest, they are never alone, and they never feel like prisoners in their societies.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.