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The Prisoner

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The Prisoner
The Prisoner-Logo.jpg
Premiere October 1, 1967
Finale February 4, 1968
Creator Patrick McGoohan,
George Markstein
Network ITV1
Style 60-minute sci-fi thriller
Company Everyman Films,
ITC Entertainment
Seasons 1
Episodes 17
Origin UK
"We want information. Information! INFORMATION!"
"You won't get it."
"By hook or by crook, we will."

The Prisoner (1967–1968) is a science fiction thriller that aired on ITV. It ran for 17 episodes, although McGoohan initially only was interested in filming seven, before being reportedly cancelled by the British network.

The series was created by and stars Patrick McGoohan as an agent of the British intelligence service who resigns from his post for unknown reasons. Although he intends to spend his retirement on a tropical beach, he is gassed and kidnapped before he can leave for his destination. The man comes to in The Village, a strange town where he is known only as "Number Six." The man's captors, usually Number Two, attempt to have him confirm why he resigned (this fact they claim to already know), but Number Six refuses to let slip any information no matter how trivial. Instead of buying into the lifestyle of a model prisoner, Number Six attempts to find out who is running the village and how he can escape from it.

American audiences were introduced to the series when it was broadcast by CBS in the summer of 1968, after the series had been completed in Europe. Although the American broadcast removed one episode for perceived political content, the series quickly became a cult sensation. Fans spawned non-canonical books, video games and even a gift shop on Portmeirion, the resort village in which the series was filmed. Prominent fans of the series include comic book artist Jack Kirby, who borrowed themes from the series and incorporated them into early Fantastic Four comics, and Beatles guitarist George Harrison.

Since the series' debut, talks of a remake have cropped up from time to time. A film adaptation has been mentioned several times with people like Mel Gibson and director Christopher Nolan mentioned as possibly being attached. A remake of the series, also called The Prisoner, will debut in 2009 as a miniseries, co-produced between ITV and AMC.

Contents

Cast

Actor Character Duration
Main Cast
Patrick McGoohan Number Six 1
Recurring Cast
Angelo Muscat The Butler 1
Peter Swanwick The Supervisor 1

Seasons

Season Premiere Finale #
ITV
Season One October 1, 1967 February 4, 1968 17

In-Depth

  • At a Glance: Additional information about the series
  • The Village: Information about the village where Number Six is held

DVD and Blu-ray Releases

Title Release Date #
Complete Series
The Complete Prisoner September 25, 2001 10 purchase
The Complete Prisoner (40th Anniversary Edition) July 25, 2006 10 purchase
The Complete Series October 27, 2009 10 purchase
Episode Collections
Set 1 October 31, 2000 2 purchase
Set 2 October 31, 2000 2 purchase
Set 3 April 24, 2001 2 purchase
Set 4 April 24, 2001 2 purchase
Set 5 September 25, 2001 2 purchase
High Definition Releases
The Complete Series October 27, 2009 5 purchase

External Sites