The Prisoner, complete series.

JediFonger

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i'm about halfway through on episode 7. man what a delicious TV series =). i'm glad TV on DVD exists because i would have never been able to watch this. i don't subscribe to premium cable and even if i did it'd be very difficult for me to 'be there' during syndications of this show.

i just love th premise of the show. why was it cancelled? was it too far ahead of its time (like Lost)?

what do you all think about it? i just love the revolving #2 and the answers that just aren't answered =).

um. for those of you that watched this in the 60's, did you ever find the white balloon to be laughable? i mean i know intellectually and conceptually what it is supposed to represent (control, etc.) but the actual execution gives people the heebeejeebees and it's very unintentionally funny.

PS pls move this if necessary =). i used searched but didn't find the prisoner anywhere.
 

Steve Y

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Glad to see another person enjoying this. I love this show, and make a point to go through it at least once every few years (I have the "big box" DVD set). It has so many good moments. It can be an "obtuse" show, but there lots of web resources if you are ever, well, "confused" by any episodes. Try not to read any spoilers before you go through it all, though!
 

Anthony Hom

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I don't think the show was cancelled, that's how long Patrick McGoohan of story he had. Many shows in UK have much shorter lifespans than US shows.

Rover, the white bubble does look dated now, but I liked the idea of a machine with no visible mechanism, it's like the T-1000 in Terminator 2 has a bit of a surrealistic feel to it. It was an accident devised by them when they tried to make a rover vehicle that could go anywhere and it failed. I think it was McGoohan who looked up in the sky, saw a weather balloon and decided to go with that. if you want to get philosophical, Rover could represent a barrier in your head that prevents you from really escaping the village in your mind, something McGoohan has tried to push.
 

Sam Favate

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The show is a highlight of television, especially from the 60s (it was a product of its time, after all). McGoohan was fantastic, and its a shame he isn't involved in the remake (which is being done by Christopher Nolan, after he completes The Dark Knight).

I agree you should avoid spoilers. The final episode is something to behold.
 

MatthewLouwrens

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Indeed, McGoohan only wanted to have seven episodes for the show's entire run, the producers wanted over 20, and it took a lot of negotiation to get to 17 episodes in the end.

Apparently, McGoohan's core episodes (and the preferred viewing order) are:
1. Arrival
2. Free for All
3. Dance of the Dead
4. Checkmate
5. The Chimes of Big Ben
6. Once Upon a Time
7. Fall out
 

JediFonger

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ummm... is there a "viewing order" for the rest as well? i'd like to keep it real =). any links to any info for viewing order?
 

Steve Y

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There are as many possible orderings as there are people watching the show, but the DVD order goes through them fine, with one (to me) very glaring exception -- "A, B and C" clearly belongs after "The General".

There's an informative web page which discusses points of the show, but do NOT read it before watching the entire show first. It is stuffed with spoilers. If you scroll down about 3/4 of the way down, though, there are four episode lists. Again, the DVD order seems to have the best "arc".

http://www.cosmoetica.com/B39-DES18.htm
 

JediFonger

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unfortunately i've already viewed the documentary with one of the producers so i have an idea of how it ends and how it doesn't answer all the questions =).

but i'll keep going. it's a very engaging series! =).
 

David_Blackwell

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I love the show. The plans to try to remake this has me not wanting them to do it or someone pulling something great off. I did read the comic book sequel to the TV series that came out in the late 1980s.
 

JediFonger

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YiFeng You
i'm just going with the regular order the SD-DVD came in. i'm still on ep7, #6 is still rebelling against the system and beating a few guys senseless hahahah =). nice.

David, pls tell us us what happens in the sequel! i don't think many of us will ever read it. and put it into spoilers =^).
 

TonyD

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that is one way to describe it.
i have another that i wont ay till you aRE finished.
 

Lucia Duran

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This is one of my favorite shows on dvd. I was first hooked on this show when a friend of mine showed it to me (her taped episodes from the late 80's)

Living in Harmony is my favorite episode. The whole show really was just amazing and very ahead of it's time. Patrick was a fantastic actor and Really had an incredible idea. Apparently, he got the idea from George Orwells 1984.

There was a book that I bought for my friend that was a complete history of the show and had some incredible pictures in it. It had a break down of each episode as well as interviews with patrick. Great book for any fan who wants to know more about the series and the location it was filmed in.

As far as the remake goes. I was bummed to hear that they passed over Clive Owen for the lead role. He would have been perfect.
 

JediFonger

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i thought patrick m got the idea during a dinner parlay with politicians and he overheard conversations about what do spies do when they retire? well, they are given amenities and kept well paid because the gov. doesn't want secrets to be sold to other nations =).
 

TonyD

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there used to be a long thread on the Prisoner , but it seems to have disappeared
 

andrew markworthy

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A little bit more info without introducing spoilers (and the apparent spoiler at the end of this message isn't a spoiler as such, just me being extra careful).

As folks have said, the original running order was for 7 episodes (the UK has rarely done long runs of shows for various reasons). I personally prefer just to watch the shows Matthew lists - I think the others are largely filler (though I admit there's a couple of good ones amongst them).

As regards the premise for the village, Patrick M or one of the other writers had indeed heard tales of spies who knew too much and who were felt potentially untrustworthy being allowed to live out their days in comfort in remote places.

The surreal village is a real place in Wales, which can still be visited. It had previously been used in an episode of Danger Man (PM's previous big hit).

Aside from the central question of 'what's it all about?' the series took the opportunity to take a swipe at a lot of contemporary issues such as rampant consumerism and the increasing stupidity of the popular media (note how in a couple of episodes the daily newspaper seems to be torn off what looks like a giant toilet roll). The allocation of numbers to everyone is based on the sixties' obsession with the oncoming 'computer age' where it was thought that everyone would become nothing more than a serial number.

Rover was originally meant to be a more robotic-looking machine, but early tests of it failed, so the big white ball (which I personally think is v. effective) was used instead.

PM was persuaded to do more than one series but poor ratings in the UK caused the second series to be cut short during filming. According to several sources, PM was given a weekend to concoct the final episode. This may explain some of its character.

Before seeing the final episode, it would be well worth your time reading up on basic Freudian psychoanalytic theory - in particular the concept of the id, ego, and superego. The central section will make a *lot* more sense if you can read the symbolism.

What the series is 'about' has a whole host of interpretations, and a quick use of Google should reveal a lot of them. My own is [don't worry, this doesn't contain a spoiler as such, but if you check up the reference given, there's a spoiler there] that there is only one interpretation that PM seems to avoid answering in interviews. Check out the name of his production company:
Everyman Productions. Just Google 'Everyman' and check out the plot of the medieval play with the same name
 

andrew markworthy

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A little bit more info without introducing spoilers (and the apparent spoiler at the end of this message isn't a spoiler as such, just me being extra careful).

As folks have said, the original running order was for 7 episodes (the UK has rarely done long runs of shows for various reasons). I personally prefer just to watch the shows Matthew lists - I think the others are largely filler (though I admit there's a couple of good ones amongst them).

As regards the premise for the village, Patrick M or one of the other writers had indeed heard tales of spies who knew too much and who were felt potentially untrustworthy being allowed to live out their days in comfort in remote places.

The surreal village is a real place in Wales, which can still be visited. It had previously been used in an episode of Danger Man (PM's previous big hit).

Aside from the central question of 'what's it all about?' the series took the opportunity to take a swipe at a lot of contemporary issues such as rampant consumerism and the increasing stupidity of the popular media (note how in a couple of episodes the daily newspaper seems to be torn off what looks like a giant toilet roll). The allocation of numbers to everyone is based on the sixties' obsession with the oncoming 'computer age' where it was thought that everyone would become nothing more than a serial number.

Rover was originally meant to be a more robotic-looking machine, but early tests of it failed, so the big white ball (which I personally think is v. effective) was used instead.

PM was persuaded to do more than one series but poor ratings in the UK caused the second series to be cut short during filming. According to several sources, PM was given a weekend to concoct the final episode. This may explain some of its character.

Before seeing the final episode, it would be well worth your time reading up on basic Freudian psychoanalytic theory - in particular the concept of the id, ego, and superego. The central section will make a *lot* more sense if you can read the symbolism.

What the series is 'about' has a whole host of interpretations, and a quick use of Google should reveal a lot of them. My own is [don't worry, this doesn't contain a spoiler as such, but if you check up the reference given, there's a spoiler there] that there is only one interpretation that PM seems to avoid answering in interviews. Check out the name of his production company:
Everyman Productions. Just Google 'Everyman' and check out the plot of the medieval play with the same name
 

JediFonger

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YiFeng You
i just finished the series. great show, definitely, a true predecessor of many, many modern shows like Lost, BSG, etc.

one thing i really like is this series is very re-watchable =)... except for the filler episodes.
 

RickER

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Great show, one of my top 10. I thought i had read of a remake of it, with Christopher Eccelston of Doctor Who playing the new #6?
 

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