The Prisoner Nummer 6


The sediments at the bottom of television: series and serials, omnipresent and almost as infinite as the medium itself. Few only were successfull in touching the underside of our attentiveness.
UNWAHRSCHEINLICHE GESCHICHTEN ("Improbable Stories") was one that did, the classic TWILIGHT ZONE.
Anything associated with the expression TV-magic applies to this.

Phantastic television of the sixties, among other things, is one conjuring formula:
"Be seeing you!" or
L'année dernière
au Village:

CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS:
(GERMAN KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED)

 

SEITENBLICK:

ANDERSWO GELESEN
 

AUTOREN:

BEITRÄGE VON...
 

INTERVIEWS:

Nr6DE MIT
DAVE BARRIE
Nr6DE MIT
TIM BOURNE
Nr6DE MIT
MAX HORA
CHRIS RODLEY MIT
GEORGE MARKSTEIN
SIMON BATES (BBC) MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
BILL KING MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
MIKE TOMKIES MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
WARNER TROYER MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
TOM WORRALL MIT
MARY MORRIS, N. WEST
UWE HUBER MIT
HORST NAUMANN
Nr6DE MIT
STEVE RAINES
DAVE BARRIE MIT
IAN L. RAKOFF
HARALD KELLER MIT
BERND RUMPF

 

GADGET AND GENERAL

Electronic surveillance, chemical and psychological brain washing as well as medical experiments abound.

But it’s the very technically oriented episodes which by now look dated: "The General", artificial intelligence the sixties’ way and with orwellesque overtones; "A. B. and C.", manipulation of dreams with the help of drugs; "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling", body-swith/mind transfer by means of a machine; "A Change Of Mind", lobotomy, partly "The Schizoid Man", split/double personality. Above all of these there is the McGoohan credo: "The problem with science is that it can be perverted."

On the other hand, there are those episodes where Number Six is badly treated or where he tries to escape, beside "A. B. and C.", "Do Not Forsake Me...", "Many Happy Returns", "The Chimes Of Big Ben", "Checkmate", "Free For All", "Living In Harmony". And of which "The Schizoid Man" is one of the most originally conceived stories.


< 6 private  
 

 

ORDER OF EPISODES
SEE ALSO:
PUTTING THE PRISONER IN ORDER
ABOUT THE PRISONER AND 24
THE PRISONER VERY BRITISH?

Science fiction, among others out of its temporal context, is one stock piece here. The futuristic technology as displayed is straitforward naive, not only because of TV constraints. Especially in the case of "The General" some truly misguided suppositions about artificial intelligence are made. It is the worst episode, clumped together out of leftover pieces and images, only held together by the faint idea of the menace of omnipotent control.

But THE PRISONER isn’t just a soap opera, unfocused as the episodes may be. To be sure, science fiction is not the basis that THE PRISONER needs to rely on.

The apparent kafkaesque and alienated character of Number Six dominates "Arrival", "Checkmate", "Dance Of The Dead" and "Once Upon A Time" together with some traces included in "A Change Of Mind", "Fall Out" and in "Living In Harmony" although this episodes is constructed differently.

Some logical holes are there, too, regarding continuity. Number Six seems to have a fiancée, his former bosses daughter, in "Do Not Forsake Me...". However, in "The Chimes Of Big Ben" he denies having a relationship with a woman or being engaged. Neither do we get to know anything about the duration of his stay in the Village which in fact might be intentional. There is no interconnection of the episodes with the exception of the last and the last but one.

Regardless of this a rather lively debate on the probable, proper or supposed order of the episodes has been going on during the past decades. It’s up to the explicitly scientific plots to deliver the most serious contradiction: Because if you have the depicted means of manipulating and brainwashing either to extract information or to coerce someone into cooperation why, then, hold Number Six captive in a golden cage? Of course, this is the basic assumption of the whole show.

It's the threshold of disbelieve that's been cleverly restricted to shoestring height. Just like one has learned to accept that Kiefer Sutherland, in the "real-time" series 24 is likely to solve his problems within a single 24 hour period, never has to go to the toilet and always having a charged battery pack in his mobile phone.

Some insight into the Village’s structure of power is given, though in a rather confused way, in "It’s Four Funeral" and "Hammer Into Anvil", the better story because of the way Number Two gets outmanoevered. "Free For All" satirically hits on (only apparently) democratic election rites. Number Six: "Elections, in this place?" Of course, things never really are what they appear to be. Little wonder that this episode wasn't screened in mid-60s Germany with students protesting against former Nazis still and again holding political power and the US government expanding the war in Vietnam.

"The Girl Who Was Death" is the most English episode, "Living In Harmony" the most American. Both indicate the task the script authors had to face with the Village as the place of action slowly exhausting. "The Girl Who Was Death" is a live comic, a mad Holmes/Bond parody which had already been written for DRAKE. The nameless stranger of "Harmony" paraphrases certain western shows of the movie and television era.

Some psychology is at the center of "Checkmate". But it's the final image that conveys the series’ central metaphor in one single shot: the Butler putting one pawn back on the chessboard. End credits and start of a new game. What remains are the same questions: who is prisoner, who warder? Who is player, who piece? Who plays with whom?

 

 

Contact impressum filmtexte - texts on film deutsch english language   "Be seeing you!" or L'année dernière au Village The Prisoner · Nummer 6

 

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WIR SEHEN UNS! D
BE SEEING YOU! E
THE CAFE
FREE SEA
OLD PEOPLE'S HOME
CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU
WALK ON THE GRASS
6 PRIVATE
2 PRIVATE
GENERAL STORES
TOWN HALL
LABOUR EXCHANGE
COUNCIL CHAMBER
BAND STAND
CHESS LAWN
www.match-cut.de
DISCOURSES

FREE INFORMATION
SIX OF ONE · 601 D
THE VILLAGE D
CAMERA OBSCURA D
WHO IS NUMBER 1?
THE NEW NUMBER 2 D
"ORANGE ALERT!"
VILLAGE FACT FILES
"MUSIC SAYS IT ALL"
McGOOHAN INTERVIEW D
"ARRIVAL" SCRIPT
SPEEDLEARN DIR
THE TALLY HO D DIR
Nr6DE FRIENDS & SUPP.
THE PRISONER WEBLINKS
TV-MAGIC WEBLINKS
IMPRESSUM | FEEDBACK

ARRIVAL
THE CIMES OF BIG BEN
A. B. AND C.
FREE FOR ALL
THE SCHIZOID MAN
THE GENERAL
MANY HAPPY RETURNS
DANCE OF THE DEAD
CHECKMATE
HAMMER INTO ANVIL
IT'S YOUR FUNERAL
A CHANGE OF MIND
DO NOT FORSAKE ME...
LIVING IN HARMONY
THE GIRL WHO WAS DEATH
ONCE UIPON A TIME
FALL OUT

PATRICK McGOOHAN