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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1  
1968   1967  
Top Rated TV #163 | 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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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)
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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:

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patrick McGoohan would have liked to limit the programme to seven episodes, but there was no chance that ITC executive Sir Lew Grade would back such a short run, so he reluctantly agreed to make two "series" of thirteen each. The first was to end with "Degree Absolute" (later re-titled "Once Upon A Time", when it was decided to make it the first half of a two-part finale). When the point in time came when the entire run was supposed to be in the can and only the first thirteen episodes actually were, Grade pulled the plug (or, according to some, McGoohan told him that the premise wouldn't yield another thirteen stories). Eventually, Grade was convinced to allow four more episodes to be made, including a finale, but with the proviso that production continue uninterrupted. Many of the crew were committed to other projects (script editor George Markstein's departure is attributed to a falling out with McGoohan, but as he left at the exact same time as all the others, this is debatable), including McGoohan himself, who co-starred in the Hollywood movie, Ice Station Zebra (1968). For filming to be able to continue in his absence, "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling", with The Prisoner's mind transferred to another man's body, was concocted, and replacements for departed crew members were found. After the star returned from America, shot his ending speech and a few insert shots for "Darling," and the episodes "Living In Harmony" and "The Girl Who Was Death," he then confessed to Grade that he had no ideas for the finish (he knew only that he wanted no conventional "James Bond" type finale, such as one suggestion, allegedly from Markstein before he quit, that Number One turn out to be The Butler). Grade replied that the actor was obligated to come up with something. McGoohan locked himself away for most of the next week and wrote, "Fall Out" while the two episodes from the abandoned final season of "Danger Man" ("Koroshi" and "Shinda Shima") later reedited into a feature film, Koroshi (1968) preempted "The Prisoner" for two weeks to buy him the needed time. Actor Kenneth Griffith, who plays The President in the final episode, has repeatedly claimed that he was asked to write his own speech (singular his). As the character talks only in speeches, this is less than clear, but at least Griffith specified that his point was how pressed for time McGoohan was. See more »

Goofs

The number and knocker on the outside of Number 2's front door change style and position both within and between episodes. See more »

Quotes

Number Two: I'm the boss.
Number 6: No. One is the boss.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits of all but one episode end with footage of "Rover" (the big white balloon) emerging from the sea. The final episode, "Fall Out," omits this footage. The credits of the "alternate" version of "Chimes of Big Ben" don't use this footage either; instead, they end with a crudely animated earth exploding as the word POP fills the screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Person of Interest: Sotto Voce (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

A Masterpiece
2 August 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Just watched Once Upon A Time which for me is the best and most important episode in the series, the interplay between Patrick McGoohan and Leo McKern is quite simply brilliant. As for the series like many others I remember first seeing the show as a 10 year old, it left an indelible impression on me then and with time that impression hasn't faded one bit, I still consider it one of the finest television series ever created. I hope Hollywood nor anyone else attempt to remake it, it would be like a sad photocopy of the Mona Lisa, leave it alone please. To Patrick McGoohan and all those involved in creating it I'd just like to say 'THANK YOU'

For those who ask what the series is all about, I'd say watch it, and make your own mind up don't just accept my opinion on it, 'think' for yourself. Be seeing you.


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