(S01E17) The final episode of The Prisoner is arguably the most controversial and confusing finale to a television series ever filmed. If you've been watching the episodes over time and think you're going to get some sort of resolution with this final portion of the story, think again. I've viewed this series a number of times over the years and, frankly, I still don't totally get what Fall Out was all about.
(S01E16) It has come down to this. Number 6's captors have failed in every attempt to get him to tell them why he resigned. Since this is the second to last episode in the series, something has to give.
It doesn't take long to realize that this episode is going to be an interesting one because Leo McKern returns as Number 2. In my opinion, he is the best Number 2 because he just seems so comfortable in the role. As he returns, we can see that he is not happy to be there. It appears that he has been brought back to ascertain Number 6's reason for his resignation. Upon looking at Number 6's actions on the video screen, he asks angrily, "Why do you care?"
(S01E15) Do you ever get the feeling that when each episode of The Prisoner was being conceptualized and filmed that Patrick McGoohan knew he was playing with the audience's minds?
Seriously, after each episode, I think about what I've just seen, but then I have to replay nearly the entire story in my mind to make sure I understood what I just saw. But then later on, I'm still not quite entirely sure I got it all.
(S01E14) If you can believe it, this particular episode is perhaps the strangest of the entire series. It arguably is one of the most famous as well, because it is so different from the rest.
When watching it, you might be interested to know that CBS did not air it originally back in the late sixties, apparently due to some anti-war sentiment expressed by the episode. Whether this is actually true or not is open to debate, but just the same, it makes for interesting viewing.
(S01E13) The beginning of this episode certainly will startle you if you've been watching The Prisoner regularly. There are no opening credits, at least at first. There is a teaser and then goes the title card with different music and no dialogue with Number 2.
First, a little background regarding this episode. When this episode was being filmed, Patrick McGoohan was filming his role in the movie Ice Station Zebra which starred Rock Hudson. (Not a bad flick, by the way.) In any case, you don't see much of Number 6 here except at the beginning and at the end, but his presence is felt throughout the entire episode.
(S01E112 Angered over the suicide of a fellow prisoner (Number 73) resulting from relentless badgering from the new Number 2, Number 6 decides to pull out all the stops to avenge Number 73's death. What transpires is an elaborate game of cat and mouse whereby Number 6 gets Number 2 to question his own sanity.
At this point in the Prisoner story, it seems that Number 6 is not interested in escaping from the Village. That doesn't mean to say he's given up--but it appears that his motivation is more to frustrate and humiliate his captors.
Chris Nolan, the director of last year's summer blockbuster Batman Begins, is nearing a deal to direct a movie version of the cult classic television show The Prisoner.
According to the website comingsoon.net Nolan will direct a contemporary version of the show once he is finished with production of The Dark Knight, a sequel to Batman Begins. The movie adaptation of The Prisoner will be written by Janet and David Peoples (Twelve Monkeys, Blade Runner). It's unknown if this modern version of the show will connect in any way with the remake of The Prisoner that has been commissioned by Britain's Sky One satellite channel.
Only lasting 17 episodes back in 1967, The Prisoner featured Patrick McGoohan as a government agent who resigns, is kidnapped, and placed on an isolated island known as the Village. It's there that he is given the new identity of Number 6. If you are interested in getting a feel for the series, number one fan Michael Sciannamea is currently reviewing episodes of The Prisoner for TV Squad's Retro Squad column.
(S01E11) Say what you will, but Number 6 is a tough son of a bitch. He's been subjected to all sorts of tactics by the Village leaders in order to get him to talk about his resignation, but he has not cracked -- not even a little bit.
(S01E10) Although the "landlords" at the Village have thwarted Number 6's numerous attempts to escape, they still haven't broken him down psychologically enough to make him reveal the reasons why he resigned. This episode centers around assassination, espionage, conspiracy, and "the truth", in whatever form it turns out to be in the Village.
(S01E09) This particular episode is excellent at playing with your emotions. You already have a good idea of what is going to happen at the end, but you still somehow continue to root for Number 6 to successfully escape from The Village and get back to his normal life.
(S01E08) This time around we get to see what lengths the powers-that-be at The Village will go through to get Number 6 to tell them why he resigned. After engaging in a mind-reading exercise with an attractive fellow resident, Number 6 is removed from his quarters while asleep. We then see him wake up with a moustache and darker hair--or, at least we think that's Number 6. It appears that the new Number 2 is leading a plot whereby an exact replica of Number 6 (Number 12) has been surgically altered to look like our hero Number 6. Got that so far?
(S01E07) In this episode we don't see too much of an effort by the powers-that-be in the Village to get Number 6 to give information as to why he resigned. Here, we get to see up close some of the reasons why the villagers seem so robotic and obediant and incapable of expressing any individual thoughts or opinions.
One clue might be SpeedLearn, an instruction platform that allows a person to learn and comprehend a university level course in just three minutes. (A precursor to the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Courses?) The courses are taught by "The Professor" with support from "The General". Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? Who needs to sit in a classroom for months on end and be inundated with useless information?
We then see a man being pursued by a mob of people on the beach, and Number 6 discovering a cassette recorder in the sand, which turns out to be some sort of message from The Professor that doesn't exactly fit Number 2's expectations. (BTW, this is the same Number 2 who appeared in "A, B, and C".)
(S01E06) Despite their best efforts so far, the powers-that-be at the Village can't seem to break Number 6 and ascertain the reason as to why he resigned from being a spy. In this instance, the new Number 2 gets a call from (presumably) Number 1 who implores him to get information from Number 6. We see a clearly agitated Number 2 acknowledge to his boss that he "is not indispensable", so it would be safe to assume that more drastic measures will be taken to get Number 6 to talk.
We are then introduced to Number 14, an attractive female doctor who has developed a means to get Number 6 to talk via the combination of mind-altering drugs and dream analysis. In other words, Number 6 is knocked out and then placed on a table with electrodes hooked up to his head and the doctor administers a shot whereby we see his dreams on a television screen. Number 2 hopes that he can get the answer he is looking for so he can get Number 1 off his back.
(S01E05) I've always liked this particular episode because of the excellent acting of the late Leo McKern ("Rumpole of the Bailey") as the new Number 2. Although he is doing everything "by hook or by crook" to extract information from Number 6, he seems to be doing it with a twinkle in his eye, if that makes any sense. Plus he's got a very infectious laugh, even when he's scheming against Number 6.
This is a very taut episode--not a lot of extraneous material. It's a simple storyline of Number 2 wanting to find out why Number 6 resigned. Number 6 does say that it was "a matter of conscience," but that's not good enough for Number 2. In the meantime, we are introduced to Number 8, an attractive female spy from Estonia who is a new "resident" of the Village. Number 2 then "treats" Number 6 to view some of the tactics that are used to extract information from prisoners, and it's pretty rough stuff. In fact, Number 8, who happens to be an Olympic medal-winning swimmer, attempts to escape by swimming out to sea, but the ever-present Rover reels her back in.
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