- Jun 8, 2000
I have seen several different order preferences on different Prisoner fan sites. Is there a "correct" order?
The other episodes are patchy in quality, and add little to the overall narrative.
I must say old chap, but that's a wee bit harsh don't you think?
Yes, a few already mentioned episodes are a bit "pathcy," and as I stated previously, "ridiculous," but overall, every episode adds to the series' mythos and constitute the sum of the Prisoner universe in all its brilliant, goofy, frustrating, "ridiculous" glory.
Prisoner is one of my top 5 TV series of all time, but even so, I have many criticisms of the show, but still accept it as a flawed masterpiece, and would not leave one episode out of my collection.
My biggest fault with the series is that it was written into a corner, requiring an ending that means nothing and everything all at once. Ambiguity is fine, but the last episode, "Fall Out," IMO never lives up to the brilliant set up of "Once Upon a Time." In many ways it seems like a missed opportunity to me for reasons I can never quite articulate or reconcile (which McGoohan would probably say, "...is the point," but that is still a waaayyyay too pat answer for my humble intellect).
I've simply decided that "Once Upon a Time" tells us that the story of the Prisoner is nothing more than a fairy tale, and therefore, the last episode does not have to be grounded in any particular vein of "classical" reality or make logical sense.
However, one does often wonder, is the butler is related to the dancing small person (trying to be PC for any overly sensitive forum members) in the Black Lodge of Twin Peaks?
The notion of filtering out 'unnecessary' episodes for sake of academic cohesion and aherence to the show's main theme strikes me as a little bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
In McGoohan's list order, which I respectfully accept as his vision of the episodes that "really count," I see nothing more than him attempting to get at the answer of what the Prisoner is all about. After all, he created it and he knows what is what.
That said, I am also glad that the show ran 17 entertaining (for the most part [and far more than anything currently on the telly]) episodes. As I said above, I would not leave one out of my collection.
However, my idea of putting the core episodes on one disc was only offered to get new viewers into the fold and interested in experiencing the entire series, while at the same time honoring McGoohan's orginal intent.
This proposal leaves only winners, and I see no downside. As things currently stand, people can choose to watch or not watch. A collection or "filtering" down to core episodes is only one option of "Many Happy Returns" to a television materpiece.
P.S.: Has anyone noticed that the green smiley face looks a little like Mickey Rooney in "Breakfast at Tiffany's?"