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TOPIC: Why Is It That No-One Uses The Prisoner's Name?

Re: Why Is It That No-One Uses The Prisoner's Name? 5 years 10 months ago #1891

  • NoNine
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Nathan, thanks for reminding us! :)

It just crossed my mind (again), what if "Number Six" was just an attempt to escape from being "John Drake" (among other things)? Wouldn't that be ironic? Could this be intentional?

Because of course there is no escape.. is it?

What do you think?
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Re: Why Is It That No-One Uses The Prisoner's Name? 5 years 10 months ago #1894

  • nathan
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Hey NoNine,I agree w/ your post.I think PM came up w/ the idea because of 1)PM needed out 2) John Drake also needed out & 3)they all needed out of the current Spy genre & television schlok,So in quiet desperation a modern classic was born.Even Pat realized he couldn't escape.Wherever he went he would be John Drake.Funny how it turned out isn't it?Nowadays people will mention The Prisoner even if they aren't familiar w/ the series,but they never heard of John Drake!
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Re: Why Is It That No-One Uses The Prisoner's Name? 5 years 10 months ago #1907

  • doc3d
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The more I look into this, the more it becomes evident John Drake is unquestionably The Prisoner. Even crew members working on The prisoner knew it was a continuation of Drake. McGoohan had a public contention it wasn't, likely made for legal or artistic control, or ego reasons, but others of equal import related to the show had equally valid counters to McGoohan. It is by no means clear that the primary ideas that framed the show were even McGoohan's. People tend to forget about Markstein, for example. By far, the best overall summation comes from a Wikipedia article. The weight of evidence is far on the side of the Number 6 character being a continuation of the John Drake character. The fact that he's not named in "The Prisoner" is just part of the surrealism of the show, and irrelevant. He's John Drake. And the reasons for McGoohan getting out of "Danger Man" with a lot of razzle-dazzle is kind of like Sean Connery quitting "James Bond" and doing a completely crazed movie like "Zardoz". (Great flick, BTW.)


The show was created while Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein were working on Danger Man, an espionage show produced by Incorporated Television Company (also called ITC Entertainment). The exact details of who created which aspects of the show are disputed.

Some sources indicate that McGoohan was the sole or primary creator of the show.[5][6][7] McGoohan stated in a 1977 interview (broadcast as part of a Canadian documentary about The Prisoner called The Prisoner Puzzle) that during the filming of the third season of Danger Man he told Lew Grade then chairman of ITC Entertainment, that he wanted to quit working on Danger Man after the filming of the proposed fourth series.[8] Grade was unhappy with the decision, but when McGoohan insisted upon quitting, Grade asked if McGoohan had any other possible projects; McGoohan later pitched The Prisoner. However, in a 1988 article from British Telefantasy magazine Time Screen, McGoohan indicated that he had planned to pitch The Prisoner prior to speaking to Grade.[9] In both accounts, McGoohan pitched the idea verbally, rather than having Grade read the proposal in detail, and the two made a verbal agreement for the show to be produced by Everyman Films, the production company formed by McGoohan and David Tomblin. In the 1977 account, McGoohan said that Grade approved of the show despite not understanding it, while in the 1988 account Grade expressed clear support for the concept.

Other sources, however, credit Markstein, who was then a script editor for Danger Man, with a significant or even primary portion of the development of the show. For example, Dave Rogers, in the book The Prisoner and Danger Man, said that Markstein claimed to have created the concept first and McGoohan later attempted to take credit for it, though Rogers himself doubted that McGoohan would have wanted or needed to do that.[10] A four page document, generally agreed to have been written by Markstein, setting out an overview of the series' themes, was published as part of an ITC/ATV press book in 1967. It has usually been accepted that this text originated earlier, as a guide for writers on the series.[11]

Part of Markstein's inspiration came from his research into World War II, where he found that some people had been incarcerated in a resort-like prison called Inverlair Lodge.[12] Markstein suggested that Danger Man lead, John Drake (played by McGoohan), could suddenly resign, and be kidnapped and sent to such a location.[12] McGoohan added Markstein's suggestion to material he had been working on, which later became The Prisoner. Furthermore a 1960 episode of Danger Man, "View from the Villa", had exteriors filmed in Portmeirion, a Welsh resort village that struck McGoohan as a good location for future projects.

Further inspiration came from a Danger Man episode called "Colony Three", in which Drake infiltrates a spy school in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The school, in the middle of nowhere, is set up to look like a normal English town in which pupils and instructors mix as in any other normal city, but the instructors are virtual prisoners with little hope of ever leaving. McGoohan also stated that he was influenced by his experience from theater, including his work in Orson Welles' 1955 play Moby Dick Rehearsed' and the 1962 BBC teleplay The Prisoner by Bridget Boland.[12] McGoohan wrote a forty-page show Bible, which included a "history of the Village, the sort of telephones they used, the sewerage system, what they ate, the transport, the boundaries, a description of the Village, every aspect of it…".[8]

In a 1966 interview in the Los Angeles Times with reporter Robert Musel, McGoohan stated that "John Drake of 'Secret Agent' is gone." Further McGoohan stated in a 1985 interview that No.6 is not the same character as John Drake, further adding that he had originally wanted another actor to portray the character.[13] However, other sources indicate that several of the crew members who continued on from Danger Man to work on The Prisoner considered it to be a continuation, and that McGoohan was continuing to play the character of John Drake.[9] Furthermore, Rogers states that Markstein had wanted the character to be a continuation of Drake, but that doing so would have meant paying royalties to Ralph Smart, creator of Danger Man.[10] The issue has been debated by fans and TV critics, with some stating that the two characters are the same, based on similarities in the shows, the characters, a few repeating actors beyond McGoohan, and certain specific connections in various episodes
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Re: Why Is It That No-One Uses The Prisoner's Name? 5 years 10 months ago #1908

Hello doc3d

That is a lot of words from wiki that seem to go nowhere. I am reminded of when Albert Einstein pointed out how if his idea was wrong all it would take was one good scientist and not reams of propaganda.

Here is another example that No.6 does not equal Drake:

"Secret Agent' Star To Make New Film

It seems rather definite that highly popular British series, CBS-TV's "Secret Agent," which has been a mid- season replacement for two years running, is finished on American television except as it is seen in syndicated reruns.

However, the stylish star of the show, Patrick McGoohan, is expected to begin shooting a new series in Britain in September and according to the source in England, the fact that it will be filmed in color indicates that the program has the American market in mind.

According to the source, McGoohan's new series will be called "The Prisoner" and it is an idea of his own which gets him away from secret agent roles but still requires "plenty of guts and action." Other than that information, says the source, McGoohan flatly refuses to to discuss the program.

June 3, 1966 Rick Du Brow

The above date is before Arrival had been completed being written.

And you can not get any simpler than 'John Drake of 'Secret Agent is gone'. July 25, 1966

Now if you can just tell me how anyone was able to drug Patrick McGoohan, the Producer, writer, director, star, owner of Everyman Films, and dragged him all the way up to Portmeirion to perform a character he personally said 'is gone'... well that would be even more interesting than 'The Prisoner' itself.;)



P.S. Just focus on 'John Drake of Secret Agent is gone'. July 25, 1966 and life is much simpler .... and again because 'The Prisoner' is an allegory No.6 can be John Drake if you want him to be... it is just a fact that Patrick McGoohan made it very clear that No.6 does not equal Drake.

Here again is the actual news clipping:

Last Edit: 5 years 10 months ago by Tommcfearsom.
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Re: Why Is It That No-One Uses The Prisoner's Name? 5 years 10 months ago #1909

  • nathan
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Hello all,yes John Drake is gone....he was knocked out by gas & taken to a mysterious village!Look to me it's only important that it was Patrick Mcgoohan.I was a 6 year old kid & PM was Secret Agent Man,The Prisoner & the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh!Later he was Jones in that great cold war flick Ice Station Zebra.He was third banana & he stole the show.Now I don't think The Scarecrow was John Drake,but Jones Damn sure was!Happy St.Patrick's Day to all & let's keep this ball a rolling. P.S. hey doc3d,any movie that has a huge flying skull puking out weapons is AOK w/ me. :woohoo:
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Re: Why Is It That No-One Uses The Prisoner's Name? 5 years 10 months ago #1911

Hello Nathan

Drake, Jones or Brenner in the allegorical Village... not a problem. Even a time traveling Dr. Syn if you like... Somebody had to be behind all those black and white masks in Fall Out... ;)



Happy Patrick's Day
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