A Conversation for The Prisoner - The TV show

Peer Review: A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 1

Hoovooloo

Entry: The Prisoner - The TV show - A739208
Author: Hoovooloo - U114627

Wrote an entry on the Klingon language, and wanted to link to this, but it didn't exist. So it does now.

H.


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 2

Kerr_Avon - hunting stray apostrophes and gutting poorly parsed sentences

Cracking entry! Onlt two things spring to mind straight away, but I'm sure I'll think of some more.

One- Portmerion, despite looking like it should be two words, it's one!
Two- how about an episode list?


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 3

Kerr_Avon - hunting stray apostrophes and gutting poorly parsed sentences

Oh and, some original air dates? You know, the boring stuff that should be there for reference sake smiley - smiley


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 4

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

'men' and 'girl' should probably have capitals!

Apart from that, nothing to add.

Nice work, Hoo!

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 5

Otto Fisch ("Just like the Mauritian Badminton Doubles Champion, 1973")



Greetings....

Nice entry!

Could you say anything about its influences, and what it influenced in turn?

I've never seen it, but wish I had. Maybe it will be repeated one day. It might be worth adding a spoiler warning as well!!

Otto


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 6

Hoovooloo

If you've never seen it, but wish you had, it's worth knowing that there's a box set of DVDs available from all good online retailers which for about $100/E100/£60 will get you ALL the episodes. Not sure that spoiler warnings are that necessary for a series almost 35 years old, which has pretty much been discussed to death over the years in episode guides and suchlike.

As for influences... I leave that as an exercise for the reader! smiley - winkeye

(although I've mentioned Kafka, I think, the most obvious)

H.



A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 7

Hoovooloo

Added a link to the official Portmeirion website - the place is well worth a visit if you're ever anywhere near there.

Also added a couple more sixties spy things which occurred to me - can't BELIEVE there's no edited entry on the Avengers...

As for episode lists, original airdates and all that stuff - it's all at the fan site. That's what links are for!

H.


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 8

a girl called Ben

Hi Hoo

Have you been doing *anything* else this weekend at all?

This is good, and made me want to watch the shows. Not enough to buy a DVD player, but enough to make me aware of another gap in my cultural experience.

What you said reminded me of a book in which the spy is captured by Eastern Europeans and imprisioned, as he assumes, somewhere in Soviet controlled Eastern Europe. It is only when he escapes he discovers that he is in fact in London. I think it was the Ipcress File. (Book, not film, natch). If I am right, the movie was made in 1965, the book was published in 1962.

Ben


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 9

Hoovooloo

Yes, I've mowed the lawn, bought some lawnbuilder and an applicator and used them, reorganised my windsurfing equipment and done the washing up!

If it makes you want to watch the shows, this is good. The series really is probably one of the top ten greatest uses of the medium of television drama EVER. Not necessarily worth buying a DVD player for, but if it's on the telly - watch it.

Actually the plot you describe is *very* similar to the Prisoner episode "The Chimes of Big Ben", with a slightly different twist! I don't *think* it's the Ipcress File, but I haven't seen that, so I can't be sure.
smiley - cheers

H.


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 10

Azara

Hi, Hoovooloo!

This is a great entry - I think it covers the whole topic very well. I spotted one typo: 'peninsular' for 'peninsula'.

There is an Edited Entry on Portmeirion at A506378, which might be worth a link at the end.

I seem to remember that there was an idea floating round last year that Portmeirion would be a good place for a h2g2 meet.....


Azara
smiley - rose


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 11

Smij - Formerly Jimster

Absolutely need an entry on this, and this looks like it'll be the one!!

Just a few comments (hope you don't mind):

Location - should probably mention that the village is a hotel *now*, but it wasn't built as such, it was created as a folly.

The Idea - Just a suggestion - there's a theory that the opening dialogue gives the ending away in some episodes. Some of the No. 2s stres the word "You" in "You are, Number 6". That might look better in bold than the number 6 bit ...

The conclusion to the show is a bit more convoluted than you suggest, I'd say. After a long trial, which is more an exercise in surrealism, Number 6 gets to meet the masked Number 1, and after a struggle, Number 6 unmasks him to reveal his own face - not necessarily saying that he himself was number 1, but that we are each our own captors. Especially when he gets home and his front door makes the same noise as his old home in the village.

Not sure you need to go into that much detail, but I think it's a little misleading saying just "he was number 1", as that's not *quite* what happens - it's all VERY confusing anyway.

There was a graphic novel published in the 1980s, a kind of sequel to the prisoner, where a woman is brought to the village, and an old, bearded Number two with a startling similarity to Patrick McGoohan is assigned to break her.

Anyway, enough from me. It's a cracking entry as it stands, and I'm sure it won't be long before we see it on the Front Page.

Cheers,

Jims


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 12

Hoovooloo

Thanks for the comments Jimster! smiley - cheers Point by point then...

Not built as a hotel? Wanna bet? It first opened as a hotel in 1926. Bertrand Russell wrote "Freedom and Organization in 1814-1914" in the library at the Castell Deudraeth in 1933, and Noel Coward wrote "Blithe Spirit" during a one week stay in May 1941. It really was always a hotel.

I put "number 6" in bold partly for the benefit of those getting here from the entry on Klingon Language and partly because the whole "number 6" thing is really iconic. There are all sorts of theories which fans have concocted based on different readings or mishearings of various bits of dialogue. McGoohan, who really comes across as quite grumpy about the whole thing, rejects all these theories and just says "everything thing is there on the screen, there are no hidden meanings". (Funny, McGoohan's attitude to "The Prisoner" is very similar to Eric Idle's about Monty Python and Spike Milligan about the Goon Show - "yes, I know I produced a work of unparalleled genius THEN, and I'm never going to match it, but could we PLEASE talk about something I've done within the last three decades?")

I really wanted to avoid getting into too much discussion of what goes on in the final episodes - as you say it's terribly confusing and surreal. Better, I thought, to just try to encourage the reader to SEE it, which I think this succeeds in doing. No explanation on a page will do it justice.

Ah yes, the graphic novel - "Shattered Visage", by Dean Motter and Mark Askwith, DC comics. It was done originally in four parts in 1988 to 1989, and was done as a single book in 1990. Definitely worth a read. Mind you, so is the book on the series by Alain Carraze and Helene Oswald, and I understand there's a new Official Guide out. I *could* mention all these things, but again, I think the link to the fansite and the appreciation society can supply all those needs...

Thanks for reading!

smiley - cheers

H.


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 13

a girl called Ben

Have you read The Wizard of Earthsea? If you have, you'll know why I ask, and if you haven't then explaining why I do ask would be too much of a spoiler.

B


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 14

Smij - Formerly Jimster

Ah - well I stand .... sorry, *sit* corrected smiley - smiley

Still a cracking entry, and if more people get to see it, then maybe *one* of them can work out what it's on about.

Think it was very wise to leave off the episode lists to. A mate of mine devised a "recommended viewing order" which is at odds to the transmitted order, but which makes more sense because of character progression, little continuity strands etc. His order was different to the order recommended by "Six of One" too...

Jimster


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 15

Hoovooloo

Yeah, viewing order... always a good one for debate. Personally I think you can get away with pretty much any order as long as you make sure you stick to the following:

(1) watch "Arrival" first (DUH!)
(2) watch "Once Upon a Time", then "Fallout", last (DUH!)
(3) DON'T watch "Many Happy Returns" until you've seen at least four or five other episodes - the suddenly deserted village will then seem a lot spookier. (Channel 4 showed it SECOND! What were they thinking?)
(4) leave "The Girl Who Was Death" as late as possible, so as to be more inclined to indulge it.

There's an interview in the Carraze book with McGoohan, in which he states that seven episodes would have been the ideal number, and that there are only seven that are true to the concept. He feels the rest were, on occasion, "stretching it a bit". So, "Prisoner" fans - only seven episodes were true to the concept. Which seven, and why? Discuss. (45 marks. Write on only one side of the paper at a time.)

H.


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 16

Hoovooloo

Any more for any more?

H.


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 17

coelacanth

Aha! The entry I've been meaning to write for ages. smiley - smiley Well done! I've had Prisoner quotes flying across my page since the BBC took over h2g2.

I was in "Six of One" in the late 70's and I still have a box full of their newletters and things like stills taken during filming that they used to send out. I got all this out to look at again quite recently when I was showing episodes to my daughters.

Elfin has been shown some of them at school by her English teacher too but she was the only one in the class that had ever heard of it.

I remember attending a London meet up to walk round the locations used in the opening sequence and also in "The Chimes of Big Ben". I have a map from one of the newsletters. These are full of debates about the meaning of each episode, trivia, cast details, episode sequences, interviews etc.

smiley - bluefish


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 18

Hoovooloo

Just revisited this to add a snippet of info and a couple of links - just remembered that the 1976 Doctor Who story "Masque of Mandragora" was filmed in Portmeirion. Which of course brings to mind all sorts of crossover-type humour possibilities...

"Who are you?"
"Yes, that's right."
"Er, eh?"
"Prisoner, are you?"
"What do you want?"
"Universal peace and a chameleon circuit that works. And another bag of jelly babies."
"You won't get it."
"By hook, or by crook... no, I probably won't, will I?"
etc. etc.

H.


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 19

Gnomon - time to move on

An excellent entry!

There's only one line I'm not happy with: "Portmeirion is a hotel unlike any other". While it is now a hotel, this gives the wrong impression. It should be "Portmeirion is a village unlike any other". Of course, the next couple of lines will then have to be changed to match.


A739208 - The Prisoner - The TV show

Post 20

a girl called Ben

Hoo, are you absolutely sure that Portmerion was a hotel when Coward was staying there? Wasn't he doing that cool British thing of hanging out at someone else's place for weeks the way they did before the Second World War.

FYI there is another William Clough Ellis building in Wales which is now a Hotel. Llangoed Hall, which is near Hay and Hereford. It is a perfect British Country House, and is now owned by Bernard Ashley. It is almost a pastiche of itself. I used to spend Christmas there with my ex: the most stressful thing was deciding whether to go for a walk before or after lunch, and whether to veg out in front of the log fire in the Music Room or in front of the log fire in the Library after dinner. Real Cluedo stuff. Big bucks though. It amazes me now how well off we were then.

B


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