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 #165 | 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
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Angelo Muscat ...
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 »

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Release Date:

1 June 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El prisionero  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(17 episodes)

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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

Labour Exchange Manager: Good, you are honest. That is of use. Honesty attracts confidence, and confidence is our core of our business. See how honest I am being with you?
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Crazy Credits

The episode "Living in Harmony" does not have opening credits and the series title "The Prisoner" never appears on screen. The episode "Fall Out" also does not have an opening credits sequence, replacing it with a recap of the episode "Once Upon a Time." The series title does appear on-screen, however. See more »

Connections

Featured in Forty Years of Science-Fiction Television (1990) 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

Absolutely essential viewing!
19 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

'The Prisoner' is one of those things that inspires either absolute devotion or utter confusion. There are no halfway reactions to this TV series. Many consider it to be the most imaginative and original TV show ever, and I'm inclined to agree with them. Nothing until 'Twin Peaks' came close to competing with it. However unlike 'Twin Peaks', 'The Prisoner' knew when to stop. There is hardly a bad episode in the whole series, and the final show is perfect. Patrick McGoohan will always have an important place in not only television history, but pop culture as a whole, from his involvement with this stunning and unforgettable show. To me it gets better and better as the years go by. If you haven't ever seen it make sure you do so! You don't know what you're missing!


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