The Prisoner - The Birth of Modern Television?

I read this article and really enjoyed it...thought others here would too:


http://observer.com/2016/12/patrick-mcgoohans-the-prisoner-tv-mindfuck-westworld-mr-robot/


Elisacdrive

Comments

  • Any fans of the 1960's show The Prisoner? I was thinking of re-watching it because it's on Amazon Prime now and just finding this article. I'll be re-watching after reading a few top theories about the show.

    An interesting one I read today (from Babylon 5 creator J Michael Straczynski's tweets) that Number 6 was Number 1. McGoohan's character was offered #1 but didn't believe in the program; said not everyone can be broken, torture doesn't work and wouldn't work on him. They said if he could prove it, they'd stop the program. He did, and they did.

    Anyone have any favorite theories about the show?
  • I recall seeing a similar article about The Prisoner during Lost's initial run. Tried watching it (either the original or the remake), but couldn't follow it. 
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    Nice to see a thread from 2016 resurrected!
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    Babylon 5 is also on Prime now, as an aside.  Wonder how it holds up after all these years.

    CapeGabe said:
    An interesting one I read today (from Babylon 5 creator J Michael Straczynski's tweets) that Number 6 was Number 1. McGoohan's character was offered #1 but didn't believe in the program; said not everyone can be broken, torture doesn't work and wouldn't work on him. They said if he could prove it, they'd stop the program. He did, and they did.

  • lengmolengmo RTP, NC
    I love the show, but suspect anyone coming to it today would find it hard to watch as it's very much a product of its time in terms of acting, dialogue, etc.  If people do try to watch, be aware there are recommended viewing orders as the order they aired the show in various countries is different, and IIRC all are different from the order filmed.
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    Googling what you wrote I found this interesting tidbit. 

    “However, all is not lost, as Patrick McGoohan himself has a preffered order of what he considers the core seven episodes of the series which "really count." That order, taken from The Official Prisoner Companion, is as follows:
    Patrick McGoohan's What "Really Counts" Order
    1. Arrival
    2. Free for All
    3. Dance of the Dead
    4. Checkmate
    5. The Chimes of Big Ben
    6. Once Upon a Time
    7. Fall out (Conclusion)
    Apparently he originally only conceived around seven to ten episodes, but the producers wanted a minimum of twenty-six for world-wide syndication (finally 17 due to production difficulties etc.). The series therfore had to be padded with filler episodes; many of which like "The Girl Who was Death" (an unproduced Danger Man story) and "Do not Forsake Me Oh My Darling" (containing very little McGoohan due to him being off shooting "Ice Station Zebra") ending up being somewhat ridiculous and morethan a bit out of sync with the rest of the series.”
    Elisa
  • lengmolengmo RTP, NC
    That is interesting.  I'm not sure anyone watching just those today as their first exposure to the show would come back to see the rest (which has some very fine material), as the last two are full of trippy, 60's strangeness.  For ex:

    I'd recommend first finding some recommended order for all the episodes which leaves those last two last and try watching the show that way.  You'll know within an episode or two if the show is for you.  Then you can try alternate episode orderings or the above reduced list if you want, just like Star Wars fans watching Machete Order.

    As the article touches on, The Prisoner is a landmark work which has influenced countless creators.

    Around the same period was the show The Avengers, specifically the Emma Peel (GoT's Diana Rigg) run https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Avengers_(TV_series)#Series_4-5_(1965%E2%80%931968)
    which had spies and weird science but was much more lighthearted.  Also worth trying to see if it appeals

  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    Wow I didn’t expect to see this thread this morning. I’m a huge fan of the 60s show.  One of the greatest gems of television.  I binged it in my 20s, borrowing the DVD set from an old band mate.  

  • Patrick McGoohan's What "Really Counts" Order
    1. Arrival
    2. Free for All
    3. Dance of the Dead
    4. Checkmate
    5. The Chimes of Big Ben
    6. Once Upon a Time
    7. Fall out (Conclusion)
    Thanks, I like this order for a re-watch as I'm already breaking my new personal TV code to not re-watch any show or movie unless it's with someone who hasn't seen it. There is too much good stuff out there to be wasting time watching something for the millionth time. 
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