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The Prisoner is a British espionage fiction/science fiction television series first broadcast in the UK from 29 September 1967 to 1 February 1968.

As noted in Andrew Pixley's 2007 The Prisoner - A Complete Production Guide book, the first UK premiere was 29 September 1967 on ATV Midlands and the last episode first aired on 1 February 1968 on Scottish Television. Starring and co-created by Patrick McGoohan,the series follows a British former secret agent who is held prisoner in a mysterious seaside village where his captors try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job.

PlotEdit

The series follows an unnamed British agent who abruptly resigns his job, and then finds himself held captive in a mysterious seaside'village' that is isolated from the mainland by mountains and sea. The Village is further secured by numerous monitoring systems and security forces, including a mysterious balloon-like device called Rover that captures those who attempt escape.

The agent encounters the Village's population, hundreds of people from all walks of life and cultures, all seeming to be tranquilly living out their lives. As they do not use names, they have each been assigned a number. The agent inquires of the Village's chief administrator, Number Two, "Who is Number One?", to which Number Two responds, "You are Number Six". The dialogue continues, "We want information", to which the agent responds "You won't get it!". "By hook or by crook, we will..."

The task of attempting to extract information from Number Six is carried out by the ever-changing "Number Two", acting as supposed proxy to the unseen "Number One". As the series unfolds, the audience learns that the Village authorities have other interests in Number Six aside from the knowledge he possesses: interests that often spare Number Six from the more destructive information-gathering techniques employed by the Village authorities upon other inmates.

Number Six, distrusting of anyone involved with the Village, refuses to co-operate or provide answers. Alone, he struggles with multiple goals: determine for which side the Village works, remain defiant to its imposed authority, concoct his own plans for escape, learn all he can about the Village and subvert its operation. Some of his schemes, while not resulting in an escape, do lead to the dismissal of an incumbent Number Two on two occasions. By the end of the series the administration, becoming desperate for Number Six's knowledge and fearful of his growing influence in the Village, take drastic measures that threaten the lives of Number Six, Number Two, and the rest of the Village.

The series features striking and often surreal storylines, and themes include hypnosis, psychedelic drug experiences, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation, and various forms of social indoctrination. A major theme of the show is the conflict between individualism and the demands of state secrecy. Thus in the first episode "Arrival", Number Six is informred by a maid played by Stephanie Randall that, "A still tongue makes a happy life."

LinksEdit

(seeded from Wikipedia)