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.

Creator:

Reviews
Popularity
1,910 ( 56)

Watch Now

on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1968   1967  
Top Rated TV #138 | 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Danger Man (1960–1962)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

John Drake is a special operative for NATO, specializing in security assignments against any subversive element which threatened world peace. The series featured exotic locales from all ... See full summary »

Stars: Patrick McGoohan, Richard Wattis, Lionel Murton
Secret Agent (1964–1966)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two years after the original "Danger Man" series concluded, it was revamped and retconned. The series returned in a longer format. (1 hour/episode instead of 30 minutes). John Drake was now... See full summary »

Stars: Patrick McGoohan, Peter Madden, Earl Cameron
The Prisoner (TV Mini-Series 2009)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An update to the cult favorite series from the 1960s about a government agent who is kidnapped and sent to a remote island known as "the Village".

Stars: Ian McKellen, Jim Caviezel, Ruth Wilson
The Avengers (1961–1969)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A quirky spy show of the adventures of an eccentricly suave British agent and his predominately female partners.

Stars: Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman
The New Avengers (1976–1977)
Action | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

John Steed and his new accomplices Purdey and Gambit find themselves facing new and deadly dangers in the bizarre world of espionage. Mixing fantasy with a darker edge, the trio face ... See full summary »

Stars: Patrick Macnee, Gareth Hunt, Joanna Lumley
The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Ordinary people find themselves in extraordinarily astounding situations, which they each try to solve in a remarkable manner.

Stars: Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Series of unrelated short stories covering elements of crime, horror, drama and comedy about people of different species committing murders, suicides, thefts and other sorts of crime caused by certain motivations; perceived or not.

Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

The original surreal sketch comedy showcase for the Monty Python troupe.

Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Star Trek (1966–1969)
Action | Adventure | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.

Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley
The Persuaders! (1971–1972)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

English Lord Brett Sinclair and American Danny Wilde are both wealthy playboys, they are teamed together by Judge Fullton to investigate crimes which the police can't solve. These two men ... See full summary »

Stars: Tony Curtis, Roger Moore, Laurence Naismith
The Saint (1962–1969)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Simon Templar, a wealthy adventurer known as The Saint, travels around the world in his yellow Volvo.

Stars: Roger Moore, Ivor Dean, Leslie Crawford
I, Claudius (TV Mini-Series 1976)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

The history of the Roman Empire as experienced by one of its rulers.

Stars: Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips
Edit

Cast

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)
Edit

Storyline

"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

Taglines:

No Man Is Just A Number.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | | | | |

Release Date:

1 June 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El prisionero  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(17 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Leo McKern, Colin Gordon, Mary Morris and Peter Wyngarde are the only Number Twos to have their voices on the introduction piece featuring the questioning of Number Six. The other "standard" voice(s) of Number Two was supplied by 'Robert Rietty (I)'. See more »

Goofs

There is inconsistency about the location of the village, and whether it is on an island or not, perhaps deliberately: according to The Prisoner: The Chimes of Big Ben it is located in the vicinity of Lithuania and Poland, on the Baltic Sea; according to The Prisoner: Many Happy Returns it is on the coast of Morocco or southern Portugal, possibly an island; it is implied in The Prisoner: Fall Out that the village is in England near London, in Kent county. See more »

Quotes

Number Two: I've been hypnotised by you long enough.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Most (but not all) episodes begin with a recap taken from the first episode of Number Six waking in his "new home" and looking out of his window at the Village. This is followed by a standard dialogue between him and Number Two (i.e. "Where am I?" "In the Village.") which plays out under the episode credits. In most episodes, the actor playing Number Two recites the lines during this sequence, but in some episodes an uncredited male actor does the chore. The sequence is altered on two notable occasions: The Number Two played by Colin Gordon in two episodes introduces himself as "I am Number Two" instead of "The New Number Two" as all other actors do. In the episode "Many Happy Returns" the face of that week's Number Two is not revealed during the sequence in order to preserve the element of surprise. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Welcome to Eltingville (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Main Title Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Performed by Ron Grainer Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I find more in it, and it in more, every time I see it....
29 April 2003 | by (A Village in Central USA) – See all my reviews

This has become by far my favorite series of all time, so much so I have given up watching television altogether and turned to DVD's instead. That's not to say it's the best show ever, but it's one of those things you can watch as fluff action-adventure entertainment one day, or chew down to its bones, if you like, the next. That is, it doesn't require intelligence and concentration or an easy day at the office to enjoy, but if you've read a few books or have philosophical leanings you can amuse yourself by wringing quite a bit out of it.

On that note, it's especially fun to watch this series in conjunction with Danger Man/ Secret Agent. Although it isn't uncommon to have the same actors work together on different series, there is a town full of spies in DM/SA

referred to as the Village in the episode "Colony Three" which is the center of a debate on whether Number 6 and John Drake are the same. (McGoohan categorically denies this, but Markstein says it's true. Perhaps there is a legal hurdle involved? We will probably never get that information.)

I recommend watching them in order, so you can see Number 6 gradually abandon his open desperation and anger ("Arrival" to "The Chimes of Big Ben") for a cool and calculated needling of the system from within ("A, B and C" to "Hammer Into Anvil"). They try drugs, brainwashing, torture, virtual reality, letting him escape, and even babysitting to get him to talk. Each episode will appeal to someone different, some funny, some aggravating, but they all fit together by "Fall Out"; I have never met anyone who was not surprised at the final episode. It's truly extraordinary!

You will find references to the Prisoner are made constantly in other shows and movies, especially Sci Fi. The character Bester uses the Village greeting on Babylon 5; I have seen Village interrogation methods on the Pretender, John Doe and Farscape (whose leading man has an acting style similar to McGoohan's and a character similar to Number 6, IMHO, especially if you watch "A, B and C"); Number 2's trademark sphere chair is used on everything from Austin Powers to ads for American Idol.

The Village itself has appeared in tribute episodes of the Invisible Man and, of all things, the Simpsons ("The Computer Wore Menace Shoes"). Rover has actually appeared on the Simpsons twice!

I believe it's a classic that shouldn't be missed for anyone who ever feels trapped by rules that make little sense. If you like quoting Brazil and Office Space you'll find plenty of quotes to add to your collection here. My friends and I have even started referring to each other by number at work!

Be Seeing You!


40 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Imagining another actor as Number 6 andeez-29389
The Prisoner by the numbers brimfin
TV series similar to The Prisoner? anders_ekholm
What do governments do with their 'special people' geo1284060
First Eleven Episodes vs Last Five Episodes rediguana
The Prisoner by the numbers - revised brimfin
Discuss The Prisoner (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page