A Conversation for 'The Prisoner' - the TV show

You are Number One...

Post 1

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

>Occasional dark references were made to 'Number One', but the identity of that character was not revealed until the final episode, when it posed more questions than it answered.<

Really? I always thought it was pretty self-explanatory, and had been hinted at throughout the show in the opening credits;

Prisoner: Who is Number One?
Voice (presumed to be Number two):You are Number Six.

Try putting a comma in that sentence after 'You are' and see what affect it has on the meaning...smiley - winkeye
I always assumed McGoohan's original point had been that whatever mediatory body we choose to let tell us what to do and how to do it, we are ultimately all responsible for our own behaviour.

Otherwise corking entry, even if it does fail too mention Dr Feelgood's brief apropriation of the imagery of the series.smiley - yikes
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 2

Mens Sana In Thingummy Gosho

Oh, you're just a big smarty-pants aren't you smiley - winkeye

Great entry though smiley - cheers


You are Number One...

Post 3

Pan, the piper at the gates of dawn

He *was* always looking out for number one.


You are Number One...

Post 4

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

Exactly.
Number Six spent most his time being berated for refusing to join in with the spirit of the community.
A man alone, very much always looking out for Number One, himself, over the community in which he lived.
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 5

Mens Sana In Thingummy Gosho

An allegory of capitalism vs. Communism then...


You are Number One...

Post 6

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

I don't think I'd go that far, though certainly there are echoes of a 'socialist' ideal to the Village.
I think McGoohan was aiming at a more general examination of the role of the individual in society.

Of course, I could be wrong, and to be honest, better and more intelligent peiople have examined the series in much more depth.
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 7

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

I don't think I'd go that far, though certainly there are echoes of a 'socialist' ideal to the Village.
I think McGoohan was aiming at a more general examination of the role of the individual in society.

Of course, I could be wrong, and to be honest, better and more intelligent peiople have examined the series in much more depth.
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 8

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

I don't think I'd go that far, though certainly there are echoes of a 'socialist' ideal to the Village.
I think McGoohan was aiming at a more general examination of the role of the individual in society.

Of course, I could be wrong, and to be honest, better and more intelligent people have examined the series in much more depth.
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 9

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

smiley - grr
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 10

Researcher 196840

Balls! There is no number one. There probably isn't even a number two or a village. Metaphor or Reality? Discuss.
Be Seeing You.


You are Number One...

Post 11

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

smiley - erm
I'd be interested to see on what basis you say that there is no Number Two, in the face of several actors appearing wearing a badge pretty clearly bearing the number 2.
I'd also be interested to know what evidence that you have that there is no village, in the face of the clearly defined geographical boundaries within which Number 6 was allowed to roam.

While I'd concede that the Village and everything else in the series *may* be metaphors, but question remains what are they metaphors for, not are they metaphors inside the internal reality of the series.

Whilst 'Fallout' may have been rushed (it was, after all, some seven episodes early, being week 17 rather than the projected week 24 of the series), I've never seen a suggestion that Number One as shown in that episode is anything other than that which was originally by McGoohan and the writers of the show.
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 12

Researcher 196840

Physically there is a village and a number two, but the village bleeds into the outside world on many occasions, "Many Happy Returns" and "The Chimes of Big Ben" spring to mind. The location of the Village is also geographically all over the place as if it was not a solid entity of existence-I view the Village and the numerous number twos as a continual attempt to crack number 6's psyche, without number 6 there is no village. That is why in "Fallout", once number 6 reaches his own nexus-looking at the back of his own head so to speak-the village gets abandoned and possibly destroyed-number 2 (Leo McKern) becomes a civilian and the dwarf becomes number6's butler. Whether or not this is a moebious strip which will eat itself is unclear and fruitless to analyse. One other thought-number 2 wields no power-he is just as much a slave as number 6-No Village and No number 2. Merely a theory and I'd be interested to see what you think out there...I see "The Prisoner" as something existential and not something that is as linear as a lot of fans seem to think it is-It exists on many,many levels. Social. political, spiritual and philosophical.
Maybe number 6 sums it up himself in "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling" when he asks the supercomputer the ultimate question
"Three letters...W.H.Y."
"Why?"
"Why."


You are Number One...

Post 13

Researcher 196840

Ever been surprised?


You are Number One...

Post 14

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

'number 2 wields no power-he is just as much a slave as number 6-No Village and No number 2.'
Exactly
I think we are arguing the same point from slightly different points of view. It is inherent in what I was saying about Number Six being Number One that he invests power in Number 2 and the Village by refusing to exercise that power, that responsibilty himself. He chooses to make himself a cog in a mchine which he also drives-maybe a comment on the failings of democracy, which claims to give power to the people but at the same time removes it and makes us subordinate to those who wield it?
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 15

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

smiley - erm
Ever been suprised about what?
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 16

Researcher 196840

It is obvious that you have thought about this a hell of a lot more than me...the only problem with this seriously ingenious series is that no-one can ever be proved right-frustrating but tantalising. I still like to see it as a world that turns upside down and inside out with every episode, the logistics and rules set up by one episode can quite easily be overruled and rebuilt in the next. We're just juggling jelly here...but it beats work.
O.K-I call a truce-Favourite Episode?


You are Number One...

Post 17

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

Probably 'Checkmate'. I'm waiting to win the lottery so I can afford to buy the dvd's and rewatch the entire series...
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 18

Researcher 196840

Got the DVD mate...Alternative ending "The Chimes Of Big Ben" is amazing. My favourite episode is a dead heat between "Many Happy Returns" and "Fallout"...It's hard to say though-it's all good. Ever been to Portmerion?


You are Number One...

Post 19

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like

Sadly, no, though it is on my list of places that I want to go, and has been since before I saw the Prisoner for the first time (when I was about 17, so just the right age to be impressed by it, I'd guess.

I would buy the dvd tomorrow, to be honest, but we only just got a player and I'm trying to not to repeat the follies of my video collection.smiley - laugh
Maybe I'll buy them one at a time and savour them.
Wicker Man first though...smiley - biggrinsmiley - magic
smiley - shark


You are Number One...

Post 20

Researcher 196840

Oh yeah-meant to ask...in what order to do you think the series should be shown? I'm a firm believer that "Checkmate" should be shown straight after "Arrival". On Video and DVD "The Chimes..." follows the first but I think "Checkmate" works better in mood. Number 6 is still edgy, agitated and not yet as relaxed in the village throughout "Checkmate" whereas in "The Chimes..." he is almost jovial with number 2 and a lot more at ease (or is he?). Naturally one has to watch "Once Upon A Time" and "Fallout" together at the climax of the show but I think "Arrival" and "Checkmate" work great as the opening stanza of this twisted and brilliant work of insanity.


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