The Prisoner  

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The Prisoner is a British 1960s television drama series starring and co-created by Patrick McGoohan which combines spy fiction with elements of science fiction (see spy-fi), allegory and psychological drama.

It follows a former British secret agent who, after abruptly resigning from his position, is held captive in a small village by the sea by an unidentified power that wishes to establish the reason for his resignation. Episodes typically feature the unnamed prisoner, labelled "Number Six" by his captors, unsuccessfully attempting to escape from or change the authority of "the Village." However, Number Six has numerous victories of his own, successfully thwarting the various individuals serving as the Village's chief administrator, "Number Two" in their attempts to break him or control the Village, causing a disconcertingly rapid turnover of personnel in the position. Eventually as the series reaches its surreal climax, Number Six's indomitable resistance and his mounting blows against the administration eventually threaten the viability of the Village itself, which forces its desperate warders to take drastic action.

The show was created by McGoohan and George Markstein, with exteriors filmed primarily on location at the Hotel Portmeirion in Penrhyndeudraeth, North Wales. Seventeen episodes were produced. The first was originally broadcast in London on 1 October 1967 and the last aired on 4 February 1968. The world broadcast premiere was on the CTV Television Network in Canada on 5 September 1967.


Although sold as a spy thriller in the mould of McGoohan's previous series, Danger Man, the show's combination of 1960s countercultural themes and its surreal setting had a far-reaching effect upon science fiction-fantasy-genre television and also popular culture in general.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Prisoner" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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