The Prisoner (1967–1968)
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Once Upon a Time 

Because all other attempts to break Number 6 have failed, Number 2 decides to engage him in a game where one of them will end up dead.



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Episode cast overview:
Angelo Muscat ...
The Butler
Peter Swanwick ...
Umbrella Man
John Maxim ...
Number Eighty Six (scenes deleted)


Number Two conducts tests on Number Six to force him to reveal why he resigned but Number Six's iron will resists and he uses psychology to turn the tables so that his interrogator ends up grovelling to him. Still refusing to answer Number Six watches as Number Two is locked in a cage after which he requests that he sees Number One. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi





Release Date:

28 January 1968 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


No 2 calls No 6 a "lone wolf", and says that lone wolves belong in the wilderness, not in society. "Lone Wolf" was the code name of John Drake in the series Danger Man (1960), and some fans see this as more evidence for No 6 being that character, which is something Patrick McGoohan denied, but George Markstein affirmed, and was carried into The Prisoner (1967) promotional materials. Markstein was involved in the earliest stages of the development of the Prisoner, but later quarreled with McGoohan. See more »


When Number 2 is writing on the chalk board, the close up shots do not correspond to the style of writing seen on the faraway shots. See more »


[first lines]
Number Two: [shouting at the butler] Wait! Remove it! I told you to remove it!
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Written by Paul Bonneau
Chappell Recorded Music Library
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User Reviews

It Came Out of the Heydays of Beckett, Ionesco, and Pinter
23 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yes, even though my knowledge is inadequate to totally understand the theatre of the absurd, this sojourn into the realm of despair and existentialism is a masterpiece that I would bet most people are unaware. As our Prisoner, Number Six, is again manipulated with mind altering actions, he finds himself living as a child in a man's body. Once again, the purpose is to get him to reveal why he resigned as a spy. What is done is to take Shakespeare's "The Seven Ages of Man" and run our hero through these passages from birth, to infirmity, to death. Along the way, it is hoped that he will develop a bond with his "father" (Number Two) and reveal things that he previously will not. Number Two stakes his life on this. As Number Six passes through each of the ages, he develops knowledge and more resistance, the stubbornness and wonder of the child, if you will. The misfortune, if you can call it that, for Number Two is that he has done some programming to deny Six to the access of his past. The whole visual portrayal and the incredible acting of Patrick McGoohan and Leo McKern provide a tour de force that is hard to forget.

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