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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1968   1967  
Top Rated TV #172 | 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...  Number Six / ... 17 episodes, 1967-1968
Angelo Muscat ...  The Butler 14 episodes, 1967-1968
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 »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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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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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Rover", the menacing white balloon that acts as a surreal sentry in The Village, was supposed to have been a large robotic machine. During the filming of the first episode, it was supposed to travel across water on a pair of rails hidden under the surface. The machine fell off the rails and into the water, damaging the motors inside. Just then, a weather balloon passed by, and Patrick McGoohan came upon the idea of "Rover" being a large white balloon that traveled by itself. The reason the cast stands still as Rover wanders past is because the balloon is being pulled by a wire. The shots were then run backwards, and edited into the film (In one episode, smoke can be seen drifting back into a chimney in the distance as Rover passes by). 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

Number 6: I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. I resign.
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Crazy Credits

Patrick McGoohan does not receive on-screen acting credit on the final episode "Fall Out." His on-screen credit simply reads "Prisoner." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Very Best of 'Have I Got News for You' (2002) 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

TV that made you think
10 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

When it premiered in the US as a CBS summer series, no less than Isaac Asimov wrote an article in TV Guide praising it. So I was primed. "Arrival" was every bit at interesting as I expected, from the jazzy music and rapid-edited credit sequence all the way to that strange bicycle that assembled itself in the closing credits. The Village was beautiful and charming and hellish, with doors that open for you and mandatory classical music on the radio. McGoohan was perfect--he kept his cool but never wavered from his determination to find out who ran the show.

However, the idiots who ran my local CBS affiliate must have gotten calls from perplexed viewers. Next week, I was all set for episode two... and instead saw some crappy conventional syndicated spy show. Grrr. Since this was before cable, I never saw the rest of the series till PBS ran it.

It's hard to believe that any television network would agree to air something this wild. To this day, I can hear "I am not a number! I am a free man!" followed by maniacal laughter....

I loved the humor, too. One time Number Six had a double. His name--Number Twelve, of course. The whole concept of being labelled "unmutual" was worthy of Douglas Adams's "Share and Enjoy".


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