The Prisoner: Season 1, Episode 1

The Chimes of Big Ben (8 Oct. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Mystery
8.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 299 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 2 critic

Nadia, Number 8, arrives in The Village and together with Number 6 they plot their escape.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 5 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Chimes of Big Ben (08 Oct 1967)

The Chimes of Big Ben (08 Oct 1967) on IMDb 8.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Prisoner.
« Previous Episode | 2 of 17 Episodes | Next Episode »

Videos

1 video »
Edit

Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
Nadia Gray ...
...
General
Richard Wattis ...
Angelo Muscat ...
Kevin Stoney ...
Christopher Benjamin ...
Number Two's Assistant
David Arlen ...
Karel
Peter Swanwick ...
Hilda Barry ...
No. 38
Jack Le White ...
First Judge (as Jack Le-White)
John Maxim ...
Second Judge
Lucy Griffiths ...
Third Judge
Edit

Storyline

A new prisoner, Nadia, or Number Eight, knows where the Village is, which means she and Number Six can escape. Using a boat that was disguised as a piece of abstract art, they make their way to the nearest shore and from there back to London, hidden in packing crates. But Number Six learns that nothing in this adventure was what it seemed. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Edit

Details

Language:

| |

Release Date:

8 October 1967 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The strange-looking propeller freight plane with the 747-like hump is an Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair. See more »

Goofs

Hilda Barry plays "No. 38", but the closing credits say "#36". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Woman Over Loudspeaker: Good morning, good morning, good morning. And what a lovely day it is. Rise and shine, rise and shine! Before our program of early-morning music, here are two announcements. The long-range weather forecast is that the fine spell will continue for at least another month. Your local council - and remember it is *your* local council, democratically elected by you - have decided to organize a great new competition. Can you paint? Can you draw? Can you model in clay? If you can, then ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Battle Royale (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Ionosphere
Performed by Queen's Hall Light Orchestra (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"I don't want a man of fragments!"
24 October 2009 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The second 'Prisoner' to be shown in the U.K., this is one of Patrick McGoohan's core seven episodes ( the other ten were added to make the series saleable to America ). It is indeed a strong story of manipulation and betrayal, conforming to the conventional spy theme established by its predecessor 'Arrival'. Things would start to get really weird with 'Free For All'.

Number 6 prepares to face a new day while watched by the latest Number 2 ( Leo McKern ) and his Assistant ( Christopher Benjamin ). 2 comments on how 6 can 'make even the act of putting on his dressing gown appear as a gesture of defiance!'. Annoyed by the blaring radio he cannot turn off, 6 puts it in his fridge, provoking 2's admiring laughter. It is now some months since 6's arrival, and still he has not been broken. 2 wishes to know the reason for 6's resignation, so an elaborate scam is put in place.

A new arrival in The Village, Nadia ( Nadia Gray ), comes from Estonia. Before she resigned, she saw a secret file in which the Village's location was given as Lithuania. 6 befriends her, and uses an arts and crafts competition as a cover to make a boat, in which they both take to sea late one night. 'Rover' chases them along the Baltic coast, until a man with a high-powered rifle shoots it away. So now 6 and Nadia are free. Or are they?

The outcome is superbly executed, with not only McGoohan brilliant but also Kevin Stoney as 'Colonel J' and Richard Wattis as 'Fotheringay'. The latter had appeared in a number of early 'Danger Man' episodes in the role of 'Hardy'. In a line of dialogue deleted from the broadcast episode, Fotheringay claimed to have been at school with Number 6.

This story began a thread of speculation amongst viewers that the British Establishment might conceivably control the Village. At one point 6 asks Colonel J: "Are you sure you haven't got a Village here?".

As 'Number 2', the bearded McKern manages to be both sinister and likable, putting that wonderfully raucous laugh of his to good use. "You'll be back...whimpering!", he yells at 6 as he leaves The Green Dome. Small wonder that McKern was asked to return ( not once, but twice ).

The late Nadia Gray is very much a 'Danger Man' sort of Russian; beautiful, courageous ( she tries to escape from The Village soon after her capture by swimming out to sea ) and strangely enigmatic. Her banter with 6 inside the crate suggests she has fallen for him.

One of my favourite scenes is the hilarious arts and crafts competition. Puzzled by his unusual entry ( which he calls 'Escape' ), the judges ask Number 6 what it is ( anticipating the very questions McGoohan would later be asked about the series itself ). When one likens it to a church door, he snaps: "Right first time!". Art means whatever you want it to mean.

Finlay Currie appears as a grumpy old General, whom 6 plays chess with ( rather like the 'Admiral' from 'Arrival' ).

Written by Vincent Tilsley, later to write 'Face Unknown' ( retitled 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling' ) for the series. Your heart will go out to 6 in the final scene. Luckily, we are consoled by the fact that there are another fifteen shows left.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Shattered Visage stevewyzard
TV series similar to The Prisoner? anders_ekholm
What Should I Know About the Series Before Watching It? reinis2408
What do governments do with their 'special people' geo1284060
The Prisoner's lack of a name....problems! Hungerhill
Visit to Portmeirion paul-273-129025
Discuss The Chimes of Big Ben (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?