The Prisoner: Season 1, Episode 5

The General (5 Nov. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 267 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Number 2 tries using an instant learning process as a brain washing tool and is stopped by Number 6.



(as Joshua Adam)
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Title: The General (05 Nov 1967)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Gordon ...
Peter Howell ...
Angelo Muscat ...
Al Mancini ...
Betty McDowall ...
Professor's Wife
Peter Swanwick ...
Conrad Phillips ...
Michael Miller ...
Man in Buggy
Keith Pyott ...
Ian Fleming ...
Man at Cafe and First Top Hat
Bette Bourne ...
Projection Operator (as Peter Bourne)
George Leech ...
First Corridor Guard


The Professor is an academic who has created 'Speedlearn',a process for educating the villagers, broadcast from large TV screens and developed with the aid of 'The General',whom noone has seen. In order to prevent Number Two from subverting his creation to brain-wash the population,the Professor seeks the aid of Number Six to send out a subliminal message of freedom to the village but this fails. Finally Number Six gets to meet The General,who is certainly not what he expected. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi




Release Date:

5 November 1967 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ian Fleming is credited as playing "Man at Cafe and First Top Hat". This strange billing is because they are in fact two separate characters. The first is a "student" in the Speed Learn history courses, the other an administrator on the project. See more »


As the professor's wife holds Number Six's drawing of her, a repaired tear can be seen running across the middle of it before she tears it in half a moment later, indicating it had been already been torn in a previous take. See more »


Number Twelve: What was the Treaty of Adrianople?
Number Six: September 1829.
Number Twelve: Wrong. I said "What," not "When."
See more »

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User Reviews

9 June 2015 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

Number six(Patrick McGoohan) becomes interested then alarmed in a new educational tool called "speedlearn" touted by number two(a returning Colin Gordon) that can instantaneously teach people facts and figures, which in theory would greatly reduce the need for traditional school, but in reality only feeds them knowledge without the ability to think about it, or more importantly, to reason, since this is really a brainwashing device created by a professor and used by a mysterious "general", which "six" is determined to uncover, though whose ultimate identity will come as a surprise... Effective episode is now a bit dated because of the clunky computer, but its themes of educational brainwashing for society/government still resonates today.

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