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


"The Prisoner" story summary
My view of the series
Portmeirion filming location
Production Credits
Airing Sequence
"The Prisoner" DVDs
Events of The Prisoner Appreciation Society
Six of One information
Prisoner Links to other web sites
Sound clips, screen savers and other Useful Files

The Society Magazine

Every so often the editors of the magazine change and when they do a new name is used. This has occurred again and for the January 2002 (Winter) issue of the magazine it is now called "Free For All" and is now edited by Rob Beale and Geoff Lake.

Write them at:

Free For All
16 Whitecroft Road
Shrewsbury
SY3 7TJ
UK

E-mail address for them is ffa @ free-for-all-mag.co.uk

The Prisoner on DVD

In 2000 a complete set of DVDs were released that cover the episodes. There are a total of 5 DVDs. These are official copyright owner releases and were made with the cooperation of the Six of One Society. Short clips, reference material and other items were added onto the various DVDs provided by the Society. If you wish to purchase online you can do so right now.

Sometimes it's hard to find collectibles for 60's shows like The Prisoner. Fans of 60's shows can design their own t-shirts and have a t-shirt fulfillment company make the t-shirts up for them. There are some interesting downloads for collectors from The Prisoner below...

Useful Prisoner Files

If you would like to have a great background picture of Portmeirion for your PC you can download this image of Portmeirion taken from the hill above the village.

Wav sound clips from "The Prisoner" CDs (2 Megs) in ZIP format. There are three CDs containing all the music and sound effects from the Series. I purchased mine in Portmeirion. The new owners of "The Prisoner" shop there do take mail order.

Scenes from the 1998 Convention at Portmeirion, Wales

Download the 1998 Portmeirion Prisoner Convention Screen Saver

Uploaded in December 2000: A free Portmeirion village screen saver. Scenes of the village itself (no Prisoner specific images).

"The Prisoner" Summary

TV Series Background

Lava Lamp"The Prisoner" TV series was conceived by Patrick McGoohan as a one-time 6 part TV series. McGoohan is better know to US viewers the spy in the TV series "Secret Agent". Overseas the series was known as "Danger Man." The premise was that a Cold War era spy resigns. His bosses do not believe the reasons he gave in his resignation letter and so have him kidnapped and taken to "The Village." This village is not run by any one government — it works for any government — and all sorts of people are there to have their secrets extracted or kept there until they die so that no other government can know their secrets. McGoohan's character is assigned a number - - Number 6 - - upon his arrival. No one is to use names in the village.

He immediately takes offense at being Shanghaied and sets about escaping. To do so he is always battling in a game of wits against the people who run the village.

The initial 6 episodes as envisioned by McGoohan were expanded into 17. The series ran on TV in 1966 and 1967 in various countries. A lot of the ideas expressed in this short run has cropped up in many other TV series as of late. "Nowhere Man" that was on in the States particularly borrowed a lot of ideas — and in some cases a few plots — from The Prisoner TV series.

You can purchase the tapes - - and now DVDs - in many stores. It is also shown on TV once in a while mainly on PBS and the Sci-Fi channel are the most likely places to see it. The San Jose PBS station (KQED http://www.kqed.org/) showed the series back in 1990/1991 in a different order than the original airing (see below). In some people's opinion this re-sequencing of the episodes is better than the original sequence. You can follow his transformation of just trying to escape to understanding the system and then defeating it —maybe. You have to watch all 17 to find out.

There has been substantial movement toward filming a feature length movie lately. This is due to the recent rash of the 1960 TV series that were made feature movies that made money.

My Intrepertation of What The Show Means

Each episode is a reflection of both the current (and foreseen) operation of society as well as a profile of both No 6, and the people he deals with.

Sometimes it is an allegory of the village - society - trampling down on the individual for the greater "good" of society; most of the time it is "good vs. evil" with some shades of gray thrown in to make you think about what is on the surface is good but when overused or mis-used turns into evil.

It also is a warning that if people act differently from how they are expected to act then they are singled out to be watched over as a perceived threat to the society.

"The Prisoner" Production Credits

ITC/Everyman Films (ITV) Colour 1967-68

17 episodes (50 minutes)

Created by Patrick McGoohan and David Tomblin (with George Markstein).

Written by David Tomblin, George Markstein, Terence Feely, Patrick McGoohan, Anthony Skene, Lewis Greifer, Michael Cramoy, Roger Parkes, Vincent Tilsley, Gerald Kelsey, Roger Woodis, Ian L. Rakoff.

Directed by Don Chaffey, Pat Jackson, Robert Asher, Roy Rossotti, Peter Graham Scott, David Tomblin, Patrick McGoohan.

Produced by David Tomblin.

Executive Producer: Patrick McGoohan.

Starring: Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner), Guy Doleman/George Baker/Leo McKern/Colin Gordon/Eric Portman/Anton Rodgers/Mary Morris/Peter Wyngarde/Patrick Cargill/Derren Nesbitt/John Sharp/Clifford Evans/David Bauer/Georgina Cookson/Andre Van Gysegham/Kenneth Griffith (Number Two), Alexis Kanner (The Kid/Number 48), Angelo Muscat (The Butler), Peter Swanwick (The Supervisor), Denis Show (Shopkeeper).

The above info came from: Keith Topping (Keith @ tooon.demon.co.uk).

The original broadcast sequence

29 Sep. 67 - 2 Feb. 68

  1. Arrival
  2. The Chimes of Big Ben
  3. A, B and C
  4. Free for All
  5. The Schizoid Man
  6. The General
  7. Many Happy Returns
  8. Dance of the Dead
  9. Checkmate
  10. Hammer into Anvil
  11. It's Your Funeral
  12. A Change of Mind
  13. Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
  14. Living in Harmony
  15. The Girl Who Was Death
  16. Once Upon a Time
  17. Fall Out

Alternate Viewing Sequence

There is also different sequence to view the episodes that was put forth by Max Hora. I Personally like the alternate viewing sequence. Scott Apel hosted a rebroadcast of the series using this sequence, along with an introduction and a summation after each episode, on KTEH of San Jose in 1991.

  1. Arrival
  2. Dance of the Dead
  3. Checkmate
  4. The Chimes of Big Ben
  5. Free For All
  6. Many Happy Returns
  7. The Schizoid Man
  8. The General
  9. A, B and C
  10. Living In Harmony
  11. It's Your Funeral
  12. Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
  13. A Change of Mind
  14. Hammer Into Anvil
  15. The Girl Who Was Death
  16. Once Upon A Time
  17. Fallout

Portmeirion Filming Location

Portmeirion Wales is where they filmed "The Prisoner" series. I spent 20 minutes walking out onto the tidal flats to take this different view of the village of Portmeirion.
Patrick McGoohanThese are same flats where Patrick McGoohan ran on during the opening sequence of each show. (Actually his stunt double did the opening sequence shot.) He also ran on these flats a few times while trying to escape in the series.

When you go to "The Village" be sure to stop into "The Prisoner Shop". This shop used to be run by Max Hora. He was the proprietor of this specialty shop of "Prisoner" gifts. He, after almost two decades of running the shop, closed down in January of 1999. However, a new person - - who was an "extra" in the series negotiated with Portmeirion and opened up a shop there. I do not know the URI for them. However, you can e-mail them at: siopau @ portmeirion-village.com.

The Society itself has a new online shop with Prisoner gifts. You can e-mail them at SixOfOne @ netreach.net. They will ship outside the UK!

For those who really like "The Prisoner " you can stay in Portmeirion Village itself and immerse yourself in the atmosphere. The annual "Prisoner" convention is held in the village. However, there is no set time that it is held anymore so you have to contact the Six of One society to find out the exact dates.

Events

In the past every August the Six of One Prisoner Appreciation Society held a convention at Portmeirion.(Portmeirion is where Portmeirion China was originally designed and made. The factory is elsewhere now but they have a factory outlet in The Village.) In 2001 it was held during March.

During the convention they usually get some of the past actors or members of the production stall to talk about various aspects of making the series. They also show one or more of the episodes during the convention. The local village cinema is rented in Portmadog and it is watched on a real big screen. The Convention schedule is now random so you have to check with them each year to find out when it occurs.

Six Of One

If you wish to get more involved in understanding this series you can join The Prisoner Appreciation Society .

This was founded in 1972(?) and is still going strong.

In the US the POC is:

Bruce Clark
871 Clover Drive
North Wales, Pennsylvania 19454-2749

The Society is based in England. They can be reached at:

Six of One
PO Box 66
Ipswich IP2 9TZ
United Kingdom

The official online ordering URL is : http://www.the-village-shop.fsnet.co.uk/ where you can join the society, purchase items and find links to other sites and information about membership benefits.

A Prisoner Logo I designed using Intel's web site during a Pentium II promotion in 1996.

Some Prisoner links

Other interesting Prisoner references seen on the web

While looking for some other information I came across this URL http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/su/su.html where the byline reference was:
"I am not a Church numeral; I am a free variable!"

This URL points to "The Scheme Underground" This organization (?) is an effort to develop useful software packages in Scheme for use by research projects and for distribution on the net. They are at MIT so anything is possible! I thought it was a good reference to how much "The Prisoner" TV series still has influence on us all.

And another place where the influence has shown up is: Dilbert on TV!!! I was watching the episode "Holiday" where they were voting for Dogbert holidays and they used the same layout, scene, sounds (and result) as used in the trial scene in Fallout!

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