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Science Fiction TV Show Guides Forums British Sci Fi Series The Prisoner You Want Information? Information! Some information…

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    A man furiously tenders his resignation, is drugged , and wakes up in a strange and sinister place simply known as The Village.

    The man is numbered 6, and he is The Prisoner! *cue thunder and lightning* Using hallucinogens, psychological conditioning, thought control, and a bevy of other coercive and experimental techniques, his “keepers” try to learn why he resigned. But while they devise schemes to break him, Number 6 plans his escape. But escape from what exactly?

    The Prisoner is part sci-fi, part spy and psychological thriller, part adventure, part satire, part allegory, and altogether quite original. Symbolism, ambiguity, surrealism, existential angst, and garish costumes are some of the hallmarks of the series.

    Its seventeen episodes date back to the late 60’s, and whilst the plots were heavily influenced by the Cold war, its underlying themes remain relevant. It’s a very creative, symbolic, and timeless exploration of freedom and individuality; the struggles of one man against most oppressive authority, to be individual, whilst under strict surveillance. Sound familiar? Oh, did I mention that it’s also a lot of fun?

    The Prisoner Motto:“I am not a number, I am a free man!”

    The Prisoner Creed:“I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own!”

    Pawns and Players:

    No. 6 aka The Prisoner (Patrick McGoohan)

    No. 2 (Leo McKern, but No. 2 changes frequently)

    The Butler (Angelo Muscat)

    The Supervisor (Peter Swanwick)

    Dr. Schnipps & The President (Kenneth Griffith)

    No. 48 (Alexis Kanner)

    No. 58 (Rachel Herbert)

    Sonia (Justine Lord)

    Rover (I never thought a big bouncy ball could have such screen presence)

    KAR 120C (the real driving force behind The Prisoner?)

    No. 1
    Note: Some of these actors had more character "names" than I listed, and most are recurring characters

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    "Questions are a burden to others. Answers a prison for oneself."

    As you watch The Prisoner you’ll notice that many questions are posed, but few clear-cut answers are given. In fact, it’s most likely that you’ll have far more questions than answers by the end of it (even when they seemingly offer you some sort of an answer to a long-running question, you can still expect to be baffled by it).

    Much is left to the viewers’ individual interpretation, and this, I believe, is one of the reasons behind its lasting success and bona fide prime cult status.

    Several crucial questions are asked in this intro to each episode:

    No. 6: Where am I?
    No. 2: In the Village.
    No. 6: What do you want?
    No. 2: We want information.
    No. 6: Whose side are you on?
    No. 2: That would be telling. We want information, information, information.
    No. 6: You won’t get it.
    No. 2: By hook or by crook, we will.
    No. 6: Who are you?
    No. 2: The new Number 2.
    No. 6: Who is Number 1?
    No. 2: You are Number 6.
    No. 6: I am not a number, I am a free man!

    Where and what is The Village? Information for what purpose? Who is Number One, and for that matter, who is Number 6?

    While the prisoner’s number one question is “Who is Number One,” the major piece of information the “keepers” ask No. 6 is “Why did you resign?” Why did he resign? Why is it so important to them? And why does No. 6 under great duress refuse to answer? And who exactly are the “keepers” anyway?

    Once again the show treats you as an individual by allowing you to draw your own conclusions..

    But perhaps the most important question of all is "WHY?"* … Now that would be telling! … but, unfortunately, that’s one question that does not compute. 😉Be seeing you! :D"He has revolted. Resisted. Fought. Held fast. Maintained. Destroyed resistance. Overcome coercion.

    The right to be person, someone or individual. We applaud his private war, and concede that despite materialistic efforts, he has survived intact and secure!" (The President in Fall Out)"Freedom is myth." (Patrick McGoohan)

    Some DVD Info:The Prisoner is available on DVD in A&E (US), Carlton (UK), and AV Channel (Australia) editions (as well as others).I have found the A&E DVD “mega-set” listed at $85 (US)-The Carlton box set for £49-And the AVC 35th Anniversary box set (apparently the best) for $120 (Au)

    mandara k

    Well, guys if I had the spare cash, I’d try this show; hopefully by the time I do you guys will be hear to answer my questions and chat about it in general.

    Until then………..


    Hi Mandara! It’s been fairly often aired on TV — consult for Prisoner (or another TV listing service with a search function) for your area. PBS and A&E and possibly Bravo have been known to show it.

    I had been meaning to look, but I just realied that here in Canada it’s showing on one of the digital cable channels; Mystery (Channel 99 where I live) on Saturdays. Now I don’t get that channel, nor do I own the DVDs yet — SOON! — but my parents do get it (I have several Prisoner tapes in storage, and of course I’ve seen all the eps).

    Otherwise, your local library may carry the DVDs — they aint just books anymore! (I watched many from the library not too long ago- though they don’t have the complete season). Or you may have a video store which carries them.

    Or you could ask to air it! 😆


    Depending on what punctuation one chooses to put into the spoken phrases, the intro dialogue might also have been:

    No. 6: Who is Number 1?
    No. 2: You are, Number 6.

    Kinda changes the meaning, no?


    That’s very true, and it was said that way in at least one episode. Here’s one example of some discussion on it. Warning, major spoilers! Who did you think would be No. 1 (CLICK)

    But, of course if we’ve seen the final episode we know that the answer to the Prisoner’s number one question is really all just monkey business. 😉

    By the way, I deliberately tried to give out little hard information here — far more questions than answers is quite fitting to the Prisoner style methinks, and I wanted to avoid spoilers — but since this an information thread, and some “Village People” (especially Prisoner initiates) might actually want information, here is a review of the first episode which sets the series up: Arrival (CLICK)


    I would like to add that perhaps newbies visiting would like to stop by the Hall of Records. In our Village you can choose your own Number! 😆

    83 ;D

    mandara k

    I DID IT! I finally ordered the first season; with this excellent guide I’ll be able to make sense of it all right from the start.

    Thank you all!


    I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do Mandara — you’ll have the most fun making sense of it when you watch the final 17th episode, Fall Out. Really one of the things I like very much about the series is that there’s room for individual interpretation, and the show is multi-layered… and the premise really appeals to me… “To be individual…”

    Ever catch the sort of prequel series Danger Man (aka Secret Agent Man)? The spy stuff should be right up your alley. One of these days I’d like to do a Danger Man/ Avengers/ The Saint mega marathon — followed by a mega sleepathon since that would be a whole lot of viewing. D

    Number 5

    BTW, my email addy is currently inaccessable since I’ve moved to a different computer — courtesy my wife’s workplace. Funnily enough, the other ep. reviews I was working on long ago on a laptop are literally in China.

    mandara k

    Well, I checked out of the motel for good (but my posts can never leave heehee) and landed in the village; white balloons so innoculous a week ago are items to fear! 😯

    Gotta love that car, man ! I only saw the first 2-3 eps in season 1 but holey canolli this show is a fascinating ride! I like the carnival in Dance of the Dead and No. 6 going as himself; I guess the reasons behind why he left are mystery enough.

    “Sigh” now I’ll have to split my time between this and my other new home.

    Thanks for this guide Logan it’s very helpful!


    Hee! Hee! Wait till you get to the end! Hee Hee! 😆



    Holy excitement, Batman! Oops, wrong show. Really glad you’re digging it, Mandara. 😀 Can’t wait to experience the Fall Out when you reach the end! 😉 It’s a most intriguing show.

    Here’s a SadLink for more Prisoner stuff for those who want information, information, information.

    Prisoner Section


    Mandara k, just wondering if you’ve stuck with the show, and if you have any new thoughts? And what is this new place you speak of?

    I love that kar!

    “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!”

    Incidentally, everybody is numbered here CLICK Have you considered a number yet? How about 120 which is short for Mandara K-AR 120C. 😉

    mandara k

    “…..every ride begins with K-120” 🙄 Ooh sorry modifying the commercial for Kay Jewelers…

    No I’m taking hiatus from it all; no body listens to me 😥 😡 or when I do post….. my ideas get spirited off to another BB and filed under another name or I’m ignored; no karma change has rocked my world yet so I “keep my visions to myself’ as the Fleetwood Mac song goes; I be doin’ the me thing for awhile and the rest can kiss my …..

    I’ll make the rounds again at another time when a few more events go tapping on some doors then they may want to talk; they may not… either way is fine by moi; I haven’t changed I’m still embraceable me 😛

    !20 works dude tanks a lot!


    You’re welcome !20. 🙂

    I don’t want to move totally outside the Prisoner universe…

    As for people not listening to you, I don’t know about others, I think I do. Frankly, I don’t know if I’m on the right track here becausee I don’t really know what’s happened in your case, so this is just some general rambling with a little Prisoner twist…

    I think there are times when we all feel a little neglected/not listened to… As long as we know that we are listening to others, taking a genuine interest in them, we can stand tall…

    I’ve always been lucky with the boards; very few negative experiences. Guess much of it comes down to how you perceive it — how you think others perceive you has a lot to with how you perceive yourself and how you treat others affects how they treat you, I’ve found in my experience (which is where I’m coming from).

    Number 6 certainly wasn’t always listened to, and he had something to say (think of his megaphone speech when he ran for election in Free For All, or his speech in Fall Out –when you get to it). He fought his private and public war to be individual – he has been called paranoid..

    As for your ideas being stolen: Ideas don’t come into being in a vacuum – they’re informed by experience, inculcation, education (others thoughts) etc. It’s very difficult to come up with truly original (i.e. revolutionary) ideas. “We have with us a revolutionary of a different calibre”. When you see a show, many others will think the same things – similar ideas due to a shared experience. Building a style of ones own is important – no one else writes like you. It’s how we structure those ideas that is the true creation. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl. Boy kills himself. Girl kills herself. That’s Romeo and Juliet, even then it wasn’t the most original of plots (we build on others ideas), Shakespeare created something unique with the way he strung those words together. The important concepts that inform The Prisoner are not original, but incorporate them into a framework and it becomes an original series.

    Don’t worry about coming up with ideas that will be stolen by others for The Prisoner. Really, the show has been over and analysed for so long that there’s probably nothing much new that you can say (even if you think of it independently, someone else will have thought of it). How does one copyright an idea anyway?

    By the way, any original material you submit to this site is your own property. If anyone plagiarises you, you have a record to present as evidence that you’ve been wronged (the post and the date)… And Sad really knows about this stuff.

    So, you can keep your ideas to yourself out of fear that someone may absorb it and set it forth as their own (we absorb ideas and info all the time)… or you can share those thoughts, and maybe make a positive difference to other people’s thinking/understanding. It’s up to you, but one should try not to let fear, cynicism etc. dictate such choices. As is said in The Prisoner, ”Feel free”, or have a free feel if you prefer. To feel free is a lifestyle choice.

    “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

    If you keep your thoughts, your theories to yourself, you take them to the grave and no one is wiser. If you prepare something bigger and more polished than just an idea, then I suggest you copyright it.

    I’m very intrigued by the concepts of The Prisoner, because of who I am… His fight to be individual etc. His fight for freedom (with the establishment and more importantly on a personal level) — ultimately his fight with himself.

    “We thought you would be happier as yourself.”

    -Number 5

    As for the twist… Was the Prisoners twisted; a Shizoid Man? Was his fight all in vain? Was he fighting to be individual when he was in fact individuals? Is Orange Alert better with a twist of lemon? We’ve addressed these questions elsewhere.


    A “Shizoid” man?

    Is that pronounced how I think it’s pronounced?

    Is that when Number 6 gets constipated? 🙂

    sgtdraino wrote:

    A “Shizoid” man?

    Is that pronounced how I think it’s pronounced?

    Is that when Number 6 gets constipated? 🙂

    Number 6 is always struggling with Number 2. 😉

    😆 Actually, it’s more like that’s when Number 5 has a severe case of verbal diarrehoea. With such a long and rambling post as my one above, one can expect to get a little bogged down in typos — this time pun intended. Still, better than writer’s blockage I suppose.

    Wow, I just almost repeated myself from another post at another board I made today — minds in the gutter. 😉

    Number 5


    Okay, off-topic, but this is something I’ve been wondering about you british guys and your british euphemisms.

    Bog? Bog roll?

    Where does that one come from?


    I do hold a British passport, but I’m a Canuck so I was going to wait for one of the BritGeezers to answer…

    Number 2: You shouldn’t have interfered, No.6. You’ll pay for this.
    Number 6: No. You will.

    Really Bog’s (King Bog on his throne) more of a LEXX topic, but, as the old saying could go in the UK: Does the Archbishop preside in Canterbury, does a bear sh-t in the bog? And, for that matter, does it use a roll of sphagnum to clean itself with? I don’t know…

    Perhaps it’s because the ground under some outhouses would get swampy and like a bog… Or maybe the bogs were used as communal toilets in parts of the UK in the old days… Spaghnum (bog moss) which is very spongy would make excellent absorbent material to clean oneself with.

    I know that the derivation is unrelated, but it’s interesting that they say both “Sod off” and “Bog off” to mean the same thing. I mean you find sod (peat) in a bog.

    “Where is No. 2?” Interestingly, I can’t think of anyone mentioning the Village water closet by any euphemism in the Prisoner, which is probably for the best.

    Perhaps there may be just a little too much Information here! 😆


    What happpend to my hero Patrick after “The Prisoner”? Is it that the Brits took exception to his critical view of the English Establishment in the final episode of The Prisoner and he had to go to America to find any work at all?.
    Or did it make him rich and did he a village the sea…with a minder named……Roger?

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