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The Prisoner (1967–1968)

TV Series  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Reviews: 96 user | 35 critic

After resigning, a secret agent is abducted and taken to what looks like an idyllic village, but is really a bizarre prison. His warders demand information. He gives them nothing, but only tries to escape.


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1968   1967  
Top Rated TV #120 | 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Number Six / ... (17 episodes, 1967-1968)
Angelo Muscat ...
 The Butler (14 episodes, 1967-1968)
Peter Swanwick ...
 Supervisor (8 episodes, 1967-1968)


"The Prisoner" is a unique piece of television. It addresses issues such as personal identity and freedom, democracy, education, scientific progress, art and technology, while still remaining an entertaining drama series. Over seventeen episodes we witness a war of attrition between the faceless forces behind 'The Village' (a Kafkaesque community somewhere between Butlins and Alcatraz) and its most strong willed inmate, No. 6. who struggles ceaselessly to assert his individuality while plotting to escape from his captors. Written by Stuart Berwick <berws@essex.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No Man Is Just A Number.


Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi


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Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

1 June 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El prisionero  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(17 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


There is much debate over the proper order in which the episodes should be viewed, as neither ITV in Britain nor CBS in the US originally broadcast the episodes in production order. The A&E DVD release in 2001 placed the episodes in what it described as the "fan-preferred" order (though this is open for debate). The episode viewing order suggested by A&E is as follows: 1. Arrival 2. Free for All 3. Dance of the Dead 4. Checkmate 5. Chimes of Big Ben 6. A, B and C 7. The General 8. The Schizoid Man 9. Many Happy Returns 10. It's Your Funeral 11. A Change of Mind 12. Hammer Into Anvil 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 See more »


It was not always possible to mask the existence of civilization near Portmeirion, Wales, where much of the series was filmed. In several episodes neighboring towns and farms can be glimpsed. However, it should be noted the exact size of The Village is never specifically indicated, and there are numerous episodes that indicate it is significantly larger than the core settlement. Occasionally the Welsh flag can just about be glimpsed on the Village flag pole too. See more »


Number 6: If I knew where I was sailing from I could calculate where I was sailing to.
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Crazy Credits

Patrick McGoohan does not receive on-screen acting credit on the final episode "Fall Out." His on-screen credit simply reads "Prisoner." See more »


Spin-off The Prisoner (1980) See more »


Main Title Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Performed by Ron Grainer Orchestra
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Terrific and unique spy/action/drama satire.
11 January 2007 | by (Serbia) – See all my reviews

The best non-comedic TV show I've ever seen, and certainly one of the most unique TV shows of any genre. A terrific blend of Kafka's drama/satire, fantasy, and spy action/thriller. There is also a healthy dose of humour in it, but nothing over-the-top like we have in today's TV shows. Although it consists of 17 episodes, I would consider the first 12 to be the core of the series. After those 12 we have mostly filler episodes, like the dull one in the Wild West, or the one in which McGoohan barely even appears. The last two episodes, the less-than-grand double-episode finale, are a bit too abstract and quite tiresome at times even. From the last 5 episodes I would only name "The Girl Who Was Death" as being quite good.

The best/most fun episodes are "Arrival", "Dance of the Dead", "ABC", "The General", "A Change Of Mind", and "Hammer Into Anvil". From the first 12, I would only single out "Schizoid Man" as being much weaker than the others.

Several things went into making this show so much fun. First of all, the location, the Welsh village. Secondly, having McGoohan in the lead; I cannot possible imagine any other actor playing Number 6 in the excellent, off-the-wall yet controlled manner in which he plays him. McGoohan hits all the right notes; his performance is just as eccentric as it needs to be. (For the uninitiated, he was among the 2 or 3 main candidates to be the first James Bond, but refused the role.) Thirdly, the highly unusual, original scripts. Fourthly, the series was filmed in the mid-60s, and the visual quality of TV shows from that decade is superior to anything that came before or after. And fifthly, the acting from all the others was on a high level.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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