(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.
(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.
(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".)
(S01E03) "Music, dance, and happiness--by order."
This episode pits Number 6 versus the new Number 2, a pixie-ish woman with a demonic laugh, in a battle over who can control who. Number 2 persuades Number 6 to join in the carnival festivities, but Number 6 wants no part of it, being that he does not want to be a member of the village and is constantly plotting to escape. He also is being observed by an attractive woman who seems not to enjoy her job, but she has no problem reporting on his activities and scheming to get him to supply Number 2 with information.
As Number 6 contemplates another escape, he comes across a dead body on the beach, where he finds a wallet and a radio on him and takes them with him after he hides the body in a cave. As time passes on, Number 2 continues "by hook or by crook" to get Number 6 to assimilate more into the Village, but his anger at being there and his plans for escape are his prime motivation.
When watching this show, it's amazing to see how many psychological devices are used to get prisoners to talk. Electric shock treatment, the administering of powerful drugs, and mind control techniques are just a few of the ways that the powers-that-be use to get what they want. I bring it up only because even though British television in the 60s certainly allowed more "adult" or "controversial" material to be broadcasted than the FCC would in America, but it's pretty strong stuff just the same.
Painting with Explosives: The myth is, if you blow up a can of paint in a room, will it coat the room fully with the paint? And can the room withstand the explosion? A Mr. Bean episode mocked being able to do this, even showing a silhouette where someone was standing in the way of the paint blast. The MythBusters set up a small room on a bombing range, complete with a Buster for simulating the silhouette. First go, the explosion covers the room about 40% with paint, no silhouette, and destroys part of it in the process. So, myth busted.
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