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TOPIC: Possible origin of "Number 2"

Re: Possible origin of "Number 2" 5 years 6 months ago #1904

doc3d wrote:
While this can't be as easily proved as the pre-Number 6 identity of 'The Prisoner' being the spy John Drake,

Hello doc3d

I am re-posting here a comment I made in another thread... John Drake is simply not No.6 for the reasons listed below. I am even throwing in a cutting from the original 1966 news item for you that says in no uncertain terms by the man who created The Prisoner, one Patrick McGoohan, that "John Drake of Secret Agent is gone"

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I have seen it posted elsewhere that McGoohan had stated to the UK press as early as April 1966 that he was pitching Lew Grade a new character that differed from John Drake.

In July 1966 there is a news item in the US press that McGoohan had conceived of 'The Prisoner' as a person in a high security position who resigns. McGoohan then stated that he was finished with the John Drake character.

I believe that production on 'The Prisoner' would have begun in September 1966.

Further McGoohan is on record in the UK press in Oct. 1965 as saying he wanted to create a film about life in a futuristic society where people had 'no names only numbers'.

Given all the above and that No.6 was given a number for 'official purposes' by the New Number 2 it would seem that the idea 'No.6 was John Drake' does not make much sense at all.

There is no 'show bible' that mentions John Drake is No.6, there is only a 1967 PR document that contains a rough over view of the show. In fact all of the early PR has McGoohan stating in no uncertain terms that No.6 is a new character and is not John Drake.

McGoohan stated, concerning 'The Prisoner', to reporter Robert Musel:

"John Drake of 'Secret Agent' is gone" (July 1966 L.A. Times, Patrick McGoohan)

You can not get any clearer than the above.

BCNU

Tommcfearsom

Last Edit: 5 years 6 months ago by Tommcfearsom.
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Re: Possible origin of "Number 2" 5 years 6 months ago #1905

  • doc3d
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Guess we have to agree to disagree on this one, because despite the paperbacks following the TV show, to me they still come under the aegis of the creative/legal control of the show, it's not fan produced stuff. The first two words in Prisoner novel number 2 by McDaniel are, "Drake woke."

Drake was a spy. The Prisoner wan an ex-spy. (And they look just the same!) B)

But I have enjoyed the discussion!

Be seeing you.
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Re: Possible origin of "Number 2" 5 years 6 months ago #1906

Hello doc3d

Yes No.6 could be a spy but he was an entirely different kind of spy than Drake, who was 'gone' before the camera's ever rolled... which I think you will have to admit here.

Again the later pastiche novels that came after Ian Fleming certainly are not 'canon', the same applies to the Disch novels and all for 60 cents in 1969 some three years after McGoohan had first pitched 'The Prisoner' to Lew Grade and had written Fall Out ( and re-written Arrival).

No.6 within the 'canon' of the television series is in no way John Drake by McGoohan's stated intentions and design.

What we can agree on is that since 'The Prisoner' was created and written by McGoohan as an allegory you, Disch or I can have No.6 be John Drake, James Bond or John Steed for that matter,in any forum we want. Just not in the TV series ... except as an allegory... but that is the nice thing about an allegory.

BCNU

Tommcfearsom

P.S. I am glad you enjoyed the reference to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. numbering system. It has the advantage that it was at the time McGoohan was studying the show by his own statement in the press in 1965... perhaps No.6 is Napoleon Solo... ;)
Last Edit: 5 years 6 months ago by Tommcfearsom.
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Re: Possible origin of "Number 2" 5 years 6 months ago #1913

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A word on the novels: They are based on the series, of course, and maybe on the Writers Guide by Markstein (which exisits, as I got to know by another long lasting fan). But the guides and drafts for the series did not state that Number Six is John Drake! The authors did the same that Markstein and many fans did and are still doing: They expected Number Six to be Drake and so he had to be him, at least in those novels and for those fans..

Thomas Theorem: If men define situations as real, they are real in der consequences.
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Re: Possible origin of "Number 2" 5 years 6 months ago #1914

Hello NoNine

Yes, about that writer's guide... it was revealed to be part of an unsigned 1967 PR document and could have just have well been written by Patrick McGoohan who wrote a 40 page document about the workings of The Village.

You are correct that it makes no mention of John Drake as No.6.

One author tries to place the document at an early date by certain features shared with early scripts but the paper shares just as much in common with late scripts such as Many Happy Returns.

It can only be said with any certainty, to be a guide for PR purposes written in 1967. Many writers of 'The Prisoner' have commented that they received 'not a scrap of paper' to guide them, let alone a "writer's guide".

It has only been referred to as a 'writer's guide' because fans have said as much, there is no record of George Markstein ever claiming to have written such a guide.

BCNU

Tommcfearsom

P.S. Your comment of 'uh uh' and revealing 6=1 is a hoot...;)
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Re: Possible origin of "Number 2" 5 years 6 months ago #1916

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Hi Tommcfearsom,

Interesting information, thank you!
it was revealed to be part of an unsigned 1967 PR document and could have just have well been written by Patrick McGoohan who wrote a 40 page document about the workings of The Village.

Yes, that's the guide I meant. And that fan also told me about those guidelines by Patrick McGoohan. But I didn't know that it is argued that the so called writers guide could have been written by Patrick McGoohan as well. But - nothing is impossible in this place.

Those mysteries and discussions and the chaos that seemingly ruled production maybe contributed to the mystery od the series itself, I think.

There you have the sum of ideas and anxieties of many writers concerning the beautiful prison of the village (and their times), mixed up with phantasies about spys, sarcasm, irony, surrealism and an omnipresent and rigorous actor, writer and producer who also must be taken into account when writing the script...

:huh:

I guess one could really enjoy a film about the making of The Prisoner. Not a documentary, but a "fictional" film. But then, who could play Patrick McGoohan?

I will take this and open another thread :)

BCNU!
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