The Prisoner: Season 1, Episode 9

Hammer Into Anvil (10 Dec. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Mystery
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Number 6 goes after Number 2 after he drives a fellow village resident to her death.



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Title: Hammer Into Anvil (10 Dec 1967)

Hammer Into Anvil (10 Dec 1967) on IMDb 8.8/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Cargill ...
Victor Maddern ...
Basil Hoskins ...
Norman Scace ...
Psychiatric Director
Derek Aylward ...
New Supervisor
Angelo Muscat ...
Hilary Heath ...
Number Seventy-Three (as Hilary Dwyer)
Arthur Gross ...
Control Room Operator
Peter Swanwick ...
Victor Woolf ...
Shop Assistant
Michael Segal ...
Laboratory Technician
Margo Andrew ...
Shop Kiosk Girl
Susan Sheers ...
Female Code Expert
Jack Cooper ...
1st Guardian (as Jackie Cooper)


Number Six is incensed when he witnesses the suicide of Number Seventy-Three who has been brutally interrogated by Number two and he informs Number Two that he will avenge her death. He begins a war of nerves,leading Number Two to believe that he is Agent D6,employed by a superior called XO4, and making him fear that he is in danger. Ultimately the prisoner is triumphant as yet another Number Two resigns. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

10 December 1967 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Portmeirion postcards can be seen for sale at the stall (although presumably the postcards are only for use *within* the Village!). See more »


No. 6 attaches a note to a pigeon. When he writes it, he uses black ink, but when it is retrieved for No. 2, it is written in blue ink. See more »


[first lines]
Number Two: Why did you slash your wrists, Seventy-Three? Aren't you happy here? You're not being very cooperative, my dear.
Number Seventy-Three: There's nothing I can tell you.
See more »

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User Reviews

Patrick Vs. Patrick!
27 May 2012 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The late Roger Woddis was known to me for years mainly as the chap who wrote witty poems for 'The Radio Times'. It came as a shock, therefore, to find out in 1983 ( when 'The Prisoner' was first repeated on Channel 4 ) that he had written an episode of this complex psycho-drama, directed by the great Pat Jackson. 'Hammer Into Anvil' begins with No.6 ( Patrick McGoohan, of course ) witnessing the suicide of a young woman

  • 'No.73' ( Hilary Dwyer ). Enraged, he begins a campaign of revenge

against the individual responsible, the current 'No.2' ( Patrick Cargill ). Unlike previous incumbents in the post, this one takes relish in physically intimidating No.6, describing himself as a 'hammer'. No.6, using tricks and ploys which would not look out of place in 'Mission: Impossible', cons his adversary into thinking he is really 'D6', planted by The Village to keep tabs on No.2. As the war of nerves continues, so then No.2's paranoia increases and he even turns on his own staff, such as the loyal 'No.14' ( Basil Hoskins ) and The Butler ( Angelo Muscat ). The scene is set for the final showdown at The Green Dome...

It is a terrific episode, neatly reversing the show's premise, and with a fine performance from Cargill ( known mainly for comedy roles ) as the 'Queeg'-like No.2. So effective is 6's campaign - including the placing of a cuckoo clock outside No.2's house, which the latter thinks must be a bomb - that you almost feel sorry for him. Even the cuckoo clock chimes appear to mock 2's sanity!

This marks the first appearance of the bizarre 'Kosho' game ( in which 6 and an opponent jump about on trampolines over a pool of water! ), but fortunately, it gets less air-time here than in 'Its Your Funeral'. Alongside Cargill is another familiar face from the world of sitcom - Victor Maddern, cast as the 'Bandleader'. We get to see quite a bit of new Village technology, such as the 'Beam', a device that emerges from a flag-pole and shoots down a pigeon! McGoohan is also on good form; had he not been 'No.6' he would have made a great 'No.2'!

It is a pity that the recent remake of 'The Prisoner' had nothing to offer of this calibre. After two promising episodes, it shrivelled away to nothing, rather like 'Rover' at the end of 'Fall Out'.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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