After listening to all the fantastic interviews on the disc 5 documentary (longer than 90 minutes, btw), I can only come to the conclusion that what The Prisoner is really about ... is the performer/actor/genius going stark raving mad. That's right, it's the television version of Roger Water's "Dark Side of the Moon." The evidence really starts to add up, once you gather all the testimony. McGoohan was coming off 86 episodes of Danger Man and really burned out on the character. And it's Drake's face/photo that's being typed over and desecrated in the title sequence of The Prisoner. So the premise of the show really is about Drake being 'retired,' but the show or McGoohan were obviously never allowed to admit that because of obvious proprietary character copyrights, etc. "I am not a number ... (86!), I am a free man!" Not quite, Patrick. You're about to push yourself over the edge. The actresses on the show said that even though the script called for him to kiss them, he never would. This supports Joseph's comments above about his strict religious beliefs and morality. But some of these women were pretty hot for the day, so I have no choice but to put this one in the 'crazy' column. Leo McKern, God rest his soul (and happy birthday, btw). The penultimate episode was not the last episode, "Fall Out," but the one where McGoohan and McKern as Number 2 go at each other in a room like an EST Course From Hell ("Once Upon a Time"). McGooghan was so over-the-top intense that McKern claims he was actually physically strangling him for real in one sequence. McKern had a nervous breakdown, filming was suspended, and you get the feeling he never really recovered (especially from the fried look of him in this ever-so-brief interview they probably nicked from him in a pub). It wasn't a show any more at this point to McGoohan; it was real. And he lost it, big time. Then there's the pressure of coming up with a finale. He'd already alienated and banished the co-creator of the concept; George Markstein - probably the one guy who could have put a coherent finale together nicely tying things up. McGoohan had also fired numerous directors in the middle of episodes and taken over their duties. His control of the show had become so meglomaniacal that the whole enterprise was becoming just an extension of his own ego ... and his id. Meanwhile, just before coming up with the final episode, he goes off to Hollywood to do a movie with Rock Hudson. That's just crazy. OK, maybe not so much if you think about all the women he wouldn't kiss. But seriously, he does a major action film, Ice Station Zebra, with 14 shows already in the can, more shooting without him (don't even GO there), and everyone waiting on the finale, then flies back to England, locks himself in a room for 36 hours and starts scribbling out the episode that became "Fall Out.". So what state of mind do you suppose infused that little exercise? A more apt title for the episode ... "Freak Out!" Actually, that episode was probably the most honest reflection of what was actually going on in his head at the time. How could it not be with NO OTHER INPUT, except the thoughts banging around in his brain after 86 episodes of Danger Man, 16 control freak episodes of The Prisoner that he had shepharded forth, 3 months holding off Rock Hudson's hungry eyes, and Sir Lew Grade, his benefactor, and the entire fan public for the show demanding CLOSURE?? So he flipped. He went starkers. He lost it. He went round the bend. To the dark side of the moon. And then he FILMED THE WHOLE THING. And that's when everyone else promptly went mad. Apparently, fans were so upset, he was accosted on the street after the show aired by fans screaming at him for ruining the show. What the hell happened? Now we could give him the benefit of the doubt and attribute the process he went through for 36 hours putting that story together to some Grade A blotter acid he brought back from L.A. After all, the show featured several episodes detailing with the use of hallucinogenics to trick or coerce Number 6 to talk. Cary Grant was treated by his Beverly Hills psychiatrist with LSD more than 83 times (it was legal until 1966), and there are reports that McGoohan had some experience with the drug, too, whether therapeutic or perhaps at a Peter Fonda party. But that's just an easy excuse. No, I'd like to believe that ... due to his temprament, his strict beliefs, his ridiculous work schedule, his meglomaniacal need for control or perfection, his loss of personal privacy, his fear of kissing hot actresses ... he just went stark, rovering mad, and The Prisoner is his magnum opus to that experience. And, just like "Dark Side of the Moon", it will remain a timeless masterpiece for everyone else to witness or share that experience. And if anyone wants to defnitely know what in the name of babbling monkeys that last episode is all about, I'm just calling the whole thing the "Dark Side of the McGoohan." That's my intepretation and I'm sticking to it.