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TOPIC: Start series discussion again?

Re: Start series discussion again? 5 years 4 months ago #2014

Hello Nathan,
I don’t have a black and white television set either, I’ll simply turn down the colour! Nor do I have HD ready, or Blu-Ray, however I do have ‘The Prisoner’ on re-mastered video and DVD which is quite enough for me. I do feel, and this is but a personal opinion, that the clarity of Blu-Ray, and the previous series of re-mastering the 35 mm film has had an adverse effect, and that it now show things in ‘the Prisoner’ which were never meant to be seen, as the series does have it’s flaws. I am reminded of what an old friend of mine said to me after first watching ‘the Prisoner’ on Blu-ray. He said that it was just as though ‘the Prisoner’ had been filmed yesterday. I said that’s the thing, it wasn’t!
Patrick McGoohan had of course been to Portmeirion filming for episodes of ‘Danger Man,’ and so had kept the Italianate Village in his back pocket. Which was fortunate that Portmeirion was available for filming of ‘the Prisoner,’ otherwise they would have ended up filming at a Butlins Holiday camp!
I was 12 when I first saw ‘the prisoner,’ and the Village Guardian didn’t frighten me! In fact I was fascinated by it. I wanted to know what it was, if it was alien to the earth, or man-made in a laboratory in the Village. Today I describe the Village Guardian as genetically engineered membrane, created by scientists and bio-chemists in a Petra dish in a Village Laboratory.
Ac for the way Out sign in the opening sequence, some fans see the Prisoner entering a building via the way out, and thereby demonstrating his rebellious nature. Myself, I see it somewhat differently. I see the Prisoner, having parked his Lotus 7 in an underground car park, then simply leaving the car park by the way out. I never surprised by the misinterpretations fans will place on everyday occurrences in ’the Prisoner.’ It’s no wonder I feel that the series is best viewed through the eyes of a child, because as adults we tend to over complicate matters!
I could go on, and on, and on, but I will spare you that. You can however, should you choose, view my ‘Prisoner’ based blog at david-stimpson.blogspot.co.uk

Kind regards
Be seeing you
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Re: Start series discussion again? 5 years 4 months ago #2015

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Hello David,I agree wholeheartedly with your friends sentiment about the Blu-ray version.It's like seeing it through the eyes of a child again.I also agree with your observation about adults reading too much into everything about The Prisoner.When I was 7 I watched it for what it was & waited for John Drake to escape from what I thought was an island.Only trouble for me came later when I tried to overthink everything.Now I try to watch it with an toward nostalgia.Will pop in The Chimes of Big Ben later this week & comment on it this weekend.Catch all of you later,BCNU :cheer: Nathan
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Re: Start series discussion again? 5 years 4 months ago #2016

Hello Nathan,

October 6th 1967 will be the first time I watched 'the Prisoner,' it was a Friday night.
I am gratified that I am not the only one who wanted to see whether John Drake would escape. John Drake being my boyhood hero, as 'the prisoner' followed on after 'Danger Man,' so it was natural to think that No.6 was John Drake, dispite what McGoohan had to say about it at the time!
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Re: Start series discussion again? 5 years 4 months ago #2017

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Hello David,same here.Secret Agent Man was huge here,every kid watched it & played it as well.It was still playing on daytime tv when The Prisoner came out.No doubt about it.Never any question in my mind at all.I think the denials were a result of the backstage battle of the egos.Hell,they were counting on Danger Man/Dark Agent/Secret Agent Man fans to tune in.We'll talk about John Drake's escape after 16 more episodes. :cheer: BCNU Nathan
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Chimes of Big Ben 5 years 4 months ago #2018

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“The Chimes of Big Ben”

“The Chimes of Big Ben” will always be the second episode to me. It was played second during the 1990 run on Chicago’s PBS station WTTW (when it replaced Doctor Who for a stretch). This episode was the buy-in for me. The Bad Guys win--quite ingeniously too. And it is only the supreme will and focus of the Good Guy that allows him to at least not completely fail. The “twist” sold me on the series overall, especially blending into my third episode of “A., B., and C.” If I had watched “Free For All” second, I don’t know if I would have bought in.

And if you ask me, Leo McKern’s #2 simply must come early in the series, as early as possible after a couple of #2s. This facilitates his coming back in the penultimate and final episodes and for some of the things said in this episode.

“I want him with a whole heart, body, and soul.”
“One tiny piece at a time? I don’t want a man of fragments!”

“You’ll be cured.” The best line to allude to Orwell’s 1984, where 2 + 2 = 5.

And #2 talks about #6’s resignation to a subordinate--there’s our exposition that should have been in “Arrival.” He doesn’t have to say it directly to #6.

As #6 plays chess with the General, a lot is packed into that scene. The General tells him to “settle down,” that there’s “no point in being uncooperative.” #6 is looking at himself in the decades ahead if he doesn’t do something. The General didn’t take a position of authority but didn’t crack, and he’s stuck here. I like to think the General is #6 that gave up, settled down, but still tells them nothing, sort of like the deal that #6 makes with #2 over letting Nadia go. #6 builds a boat; the General really does settle down.

When #6 first meets Nadia, he talks as if he is already part of the Village just like everyone else. I love it. You’d think he would be pleasant instead of cryptic, mean instead of condescending to her--just like everyone else was to him on the first day.

“Who is #2?” Nadia asks and #6 replies, “Who is #1?” This is huge to the overall story. It’s made a question instead of in “Free For All” where #6 comes out and says that “Number One’s the boss.”

The best scene of the entire series is the chat between #2 and #6 on the beach, watching Nadia begin to swim out to sea.
#6: Did it ever occur to you that you’re just as much a prisoner as I am?
#2: My dear chap, of course--I know too much. We’re both lifers. I am definitely an optimist. That’s why it doesn’t matter who #1 is. It doesn’t matter which side runs the Village.
#6: It’s run by one side or the other.
#2: Oh, certainly. But both sides are becoming identical. What, in fact, has been created? An international community. A perfect blueprint for world order. When the sides facing each other suddenly realize they’re looking into a mirror, they will see that this is the pattern for the future.
#6: The whole earth, as the Village is.
#2: That is my hope. What’s yours?
#6: I’d like to be the first man on the moon.
This dialogue means everything to the series. Compare to 1984. This is what these guys see the world as--in order to save it from itself, it needs to take over and crush down free thinking. If the people can’t think, we would have no trouble! That is the difference between #6 and these guys. And Leo McKern’s character buys it now, like all these people in charge of us. They think they know better than regular Joe Shmoes, and the sad part is that most of the time they are right. I’m a teacher and have fallen into this trap of the mind when I know what is best for these students. I see it as being important, I have had all the training and education to be able to decide what is most important for them. So when I have gotten debate, it takes a moment to go back to their new perspectives on life. It is sort of like when as parents we say, and mean it perfectly logically, “Because I said so, that’s why.” I also see this, for anybody that knows comic books, as how Sinestro took care of his world in the pages of Green Lantern. He was a dictator that took away free thought to keep them safe. Sure, he had order, but not happiness. But he was being assessed on the order he kept, not the happiness of the people he was supposed to be helping. As a teacher, if I don’t send anybody to the office, I don’t get in trouble--it really doesn’t matter if they are happy in my classroom or not. As long as students don’t fail my class, I never get talked to about them reaching any kind of standards--but if I have dozens of F’s and standards that are too high for slackers, then I am the one that is called onto the carpet; it doesn’t matter if the good students really pushed the envelope and succeeded beyond all expectations, what they all look at is the low range of grades. (FYI--I do not believe in these scenarios as a teacher, but I see them as possibilities.)

I love the exhibition being all likenesses of #2. Notice when #6 puts his head in the hole of his sculpture you can also see #2’s visage on a drawing on the back wall.

Rover being bulletproof is important--I have had students question why it can’t just be popped.

I always wondered about Fotheringay and the Colonel in the office that #6 knows “very well in London.” Does this prove that it’s run by the British side? But later, we see complete dopplegangers, even of #6 himself. So this proves nothing. He gets yelled at by the Colonel in a perfect argument--exactly what the guy should say had this escape been real.

After all the episodes, I think #6 comes the closest to failing right here.
“It was a matter of conscience!” This is the best answer we ever get.
“I resigned because for a very long time…”
Leo McKern comes the closest of all #2s but even he realizes that should never have worked. “I told you.” It’s almost like he was a player betting on the other team.
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A., B., and C. 5 years 4 months ago #2019

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“A., B., and C.”

My third episode is “A., B., and C.” because it helped to solidify the potential with twists and turns.

Colin Gordon’s #2 fails. “I know I’m not indispensible.” When he fails, I like to think that he was reassigned. He’s a good company man, overall. That’s why he comes back later as #2, several episodes later, in “The General,” one that’s really not even about #6. His reassignment experiment needed a realistic population of people and the Village is a good place for experiments.

This episode focuses on if #6 resigned to sell out, to whom would he sell out and what would he sell?

#14: “We all make mistakes. Sometimes we have to.” Clearly, especially with all the threats that #2 makes to her, she is just another one of those people doing her job. Where is the line drawn about doing one’s job compared to ethics?

While this episode may not be very deep, it is a great extension of the spy show. It’s a bridge, in a way, from Secret Agent Man to the deeper themes of The Prisoner.
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