The Prisoner Nummer 6

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IL PRIGIONIERO

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BEWEGEN SIE DEN CURSOR
ÜBER DIE ZIFFERN!

No. 12:
You don't believe it. A university level degree in three minutes.
No. 6:
It's improbable.
No. 12:
But not impossible.
No. 6:
Nothing is impossible
in this place.

No. 12:
Nicht zu glauben. Ein Universitätsabschluss in drei minuten.
No. 6:
Unwahrscheinlich.
No. 12:
Aber nicht unmöglich.
No. 6:
Nichts ist unmöglich
an diesem ort.

 

THE ITALIAN JOB - IL PRIGIONIERO

The strongholds of a British production like THE PRISONER, almost naturally, are the Englisch speaking countries - plus, one should add, France with an agile, more or less organised fan scene and the German and Austrian chapters with supporters who have come to establish a rather strong informal supporting group over the past years.

However, little is known about IL PRIGIONIERO as the series is called in Italy where THE PRISONER was shown quite early on between October 1967 and February 1968, dubbed into that language. Their website established by Claudio Pittaluga seems to be no longer in existence. There is another available, however.

On July 29th 2012 a nicely made special feature on IL PRIGIONIERO and to the appreciation of Patrick McGoohan in his former TV role as DANGER MAN John Drake was broadcast on RAI-4, which is the digital terrestrial TV offshoot channel of Italy's "Big Mama" Radiotelevisione Italiana - RAI, the oldest non-commericial TV station. Aiming at people between 15 and 45 years, RAI-4 transmits a magazine known as "Mainstream", actually a container format of 20 minutes length, presenting a variety of contributions on popular culture such as computer games, movies, directors, TV series new and cult items old. Thus, one section of the programme was dedicated to some extend also to THE AVENGERS.

IL PRIGIONIERO ITALIAN PROLOGUE

The "Mainstream" programme as well as this particular feature were devised by Enza Gentile with the collaboration by Andrea Fornasiero, Stefania Carini, Fabio Longo, and Riccardo Trombetta. American media scientist and philosopher Alan Shapiro, who lives in Germany, talks about the relevance of THE PRISONER today, also film critic Emanuela Martini and Daniele Brolli, editor and writer, deliver their statements from the Italian point of view. Some minor errors cannot tarnish the feat and that one would love to see an equally well and affectionately made TV production especially here by German TV.

For a period of time IL PRIGIONIERO was available online but as of 15.01.2015 it is no longer accessible. The following is a true transcript of the PRISONER related section of this "Mainstream" programme (starting at min. 3:10).

   
DIALOGUE FROM
"Dove sono?"
"Nel Villaggio."
"Che cosa volete?"
"Informazioni."
"Da che parte state?"
"Si vedrà. Vogliamo informazioni. Informazioni. Informazioni."
"Non le avrete!"
"Con le buone o con le cattive, le avremo!"
   

ALAN N. SHAPIRO
media scientist &
philosopher

I believe that THE PRISONER is the best television program ever made. Even today it is still extraordinarily intelligent and up-to-date.
One of the characteristics of THE PRISONER is that all of its characters want to have information. And that’s the situation we are facing today with Facebook and the information society as represented by the Internet where all of our personal data is collected. I think that we need to consider this as a new form of totalitarianism.
It was George Orwell who in his „1984“ depicted the use of TV and video as tools of surveillance made to observe the populace.
Today we are experiencing a new kind of totalitarianism, where people out of their own free will reveal their private life and hand it over to Facebook, Google, Microsoft who, in turn, pass it on to the government, the FBI. Not to mention the use of satellite technology with its surveillance cameras covering every single square inch on Earth in order to watch it all. THE PRISONER is also about the village as described by Marshall McLuhan as the „global village“.
Therefore, we all are like prisoners under surveillance, subject to strong psychological torture as in captivity.
   
VOICE-OVER Transmitted between 1967 and 1968 THE PRISONER almost subsequently became an absolute cult item. Its production history thereby exemplifying the conflict with the power at the centre of the series. Because Patrick McGoohan wanted to produce only six episodes while the company was trying to push for 24. In the end 17 were agreed upon.
   

EMANUELA MARTINI
film critic

It’s a very simple story: A man, apparently from an intelligence service and right from the start not unlike
James Bond, acting like a cool secret agent, very British, hands in his letter of resignation. He gets into his car, drives to his London home where he has everything ready, passport and so on. Obviously he packs his suitcases, he’s on the run. Shortly before a hearse had been behind him and another man with a top hat fires gas through the keyhole. He falls unconscious, sleeps and regains consciousness, apparently still in the same appartment which he finds unchanged. He opens the windows and realises he is no longer in London but in a curious village instead where there are very happy people. And it comes to hin mind that escape is not possible. Actually he’s a prisoner. He is called Number Six, he is interrogated, he is welcomed by a gentleman called Number Two.
Needless to say, from the beginning he tries to escape. And in all of the 17 epsiodes we see Number Two watching Number Six’ escape attempts.
   
DIALOGUE FROM
"At last! Delighted to see you. Come in, come in!"
   

EMANUELA MARTINI
film critic

Number Two, who apparently isn’t Number One thus having a superior ranging above him, in every episode is a different person with a few exceptions. Errors may have occurred during the transmission: there should have been twice the same Number Two person, however, because the second part had not been finished further episodes with different Number Twos were inserted.
Number Two is apparently disposed of because the Prisoner’s escape has almost been successful.
   
DIALOGUE FROM

"By hook or by crook, we will!"
"Who are you?"
"The new Number Two."
"Who is Number One?"

........
"Get him!"
"I have taken his place. I am the new Number Two."
"Get Number 1!"
"As far as you're concerned I am in charge. What can I do for you."
"Cobb"
"What we do here has to be done. It's the law of survival. It's either them or us!"
"Imprison people? Steal their minds? Destroy them?"
"Depends on whose side you are on, doesn't it?"

   

EMANUELA MARTINI
film critic

Some very crazy things are in THE PRISONER. There’s the clothing: typical 60s style, all colourful, people with capes all over the Village. All but the Prisoner whose attire looks as if soon he’d become Number One.
Number Two and the other people donning their vertically striped capes, always very colourful in orange, green, red, pink and with odd hats. They drive around in small cars, like the taxis open-topped and they play chess.
   
DIALOGUE FROM
"Knight to kings bishop three."
"Who is Number 1?"
"Doesn't do to ask questions."
"Check."
"White Queens rook, sir, moved without orders."
"Bring him in for treatments."
   

EMANUELA MARTINI
film critic

I think the two craziest things about THE PRISONER are the Village symbol, the bicycle called Pennyfarthing, and then Rover. Rover is the Prisoner’s watchdog. He looks like a plastic balloon or a white sphere. He blocks you, arrests you because this huge plastic balloon squeezes and chokes you. An absolutely great story.
   
DIALOGUE FROM
"Orange Alert!"
   

DANIELE BROLLI
editor, writer

 

THE PRISONER represents a moment of short stopping and thinking about the past, about the meaning of the Cold War as well as to the reasons for this kind of war. THE PRISONER was made after a novel by the producer about a so-called cooler where secret agents were held captive after their resignation from service.
   
VOICE-OVER It was a ground-breaking TV series with an open end and it was heavily disputed at the time. The influence of THE PRISONER is still immense, also overseas.
   
DIALOGUE FROM
"I, I, I... Aye, aye, aye...!"
   
VOICE-OVER

It was quoted in LOST and hailed in BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and recently the series was revived in an interesting remake produced by AMC. However, the original is something without comparison.

   
   
VOICE-OVER McGoohan was born in New York to parents of Irish origin. The family first went back to their home and later moved to England. He plays at the theatre, among others together with Orson Welles, and then after minor roles for television, in 1960 he becomes DANGER MAN. This series lasted one year only but it was because of this role that he became one of the candidates for the role of James Bond which, being a catholic christian, he apparently turns down for moral concerns. 
   
DIALOGUE FROM
James Bond: DR. NO, Terence Young, 1962
"I admire your courage, Miss...?"
"Trench, Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck, Mister...?"
"Bond, James Bond."
   
VOICE-OVER The success of James Bond, however, can be rooted in DANGER MAN. In 1964 production of the series is resumed, this time it is also screened in Italy under the title GIOCO PERICOLOSO („Dangerous Game“).
Then McGoohan, once he got tired of the John Drake role, was about to quit TV. He is then offered plenty of rope for a new television series and that’s how THE PRISONER was created.
   
DIALOGUE FROM
"I, I, I... Aye, aye, aye...!"
   

DANIELE BROLLI
editor, writer

THE PRISONER was after DANGER MAN or SECRET AGENT, that’s what DANGER MAN would also be called, a 1960s TV series starring McGoohan in the role of a secret agent. It was then developed towards this strange story called THE PRISONER which was produced by McGoohan himself: A secret agent who knows a lot of confidential things resigns from his service and is abducted to an island where he is known only as a number, the number 6.
   
VOICE-OVER It is such a strong role that, ultimately, it was going to take its actor prisoner. He says: "Mel Gibson is going to be forever MAD MAX and I am going to be forever a number."
   

EMANUELA MARTINI
film critic

Patrick McGoohan, the Prisoner, has the peculiar look of those years – typially British, not unlike the British hero of that time, a mixture of middle class and nobility.
Most likely McGoohan, more than Sean Connery, meets that general English perception because McGoohan was from the simple working class. He is absolutley perfect for THE PRISONER. I don’t believe he’s a great actor. Yet the role doesn’t offer too many possibilities except of a big amazement, huge question marks in his face, and those ever troublesome escape attempts.
   
DIALOGUE FROM
ICE STATION ZEBRA
, John Sturges, 1968
"Mr. Jones... You're in my bunk."
"Mr. Jones -"
"Terribly sorry."
"Found him in my bunk, Captain."
"Yes, I... woke me out of a rotten sleep, asinine reflex, (seem) idiotic. Won't happen again.. Endless apologies."
"Do you always sleep with that thing on your pillow?"
"Childish habit, yes. Is that your bunk you say? A thousand pardons."
   
VOICE-OVER Ever since that time he has played roles in many other films: ICE STATION ZEBRA and SILVER STREAK. He was on TV again as RAFFERTY. And he is particularly remembered for his role in ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ where he plays the brutal prison chief warden which is opposed to his character in THE PRISONER and also his role in David Cronenberg’s SCANNERS.
   
DIALOGUE FROM
SCANNERS, David Cronenberg, 1981
"Don't suppose you speak much."
"No."
"Not surprising. With all those other voices in your head, how can you hear your own voice, how can you develop a self, a personality? How do you feel?"
   
VOICE-OVER But it was television again that brougt him back much esteem with the COLUMBO series and his participation as an actor in several episodes and as the director in others. He was awarded two„Emmys“ for this.
McGoohan’s final important role was in BRAVEHEART, in 2009. His voice was also heard in one episode of THE SIMPSONS as that of the Prisoner.
   
DIALOGUE FROM
THE SIMPSONS
"Oh, they drugged the tea! They knew my one weakness!"
"Hello Number 5, how is every little thing."
"Who are you and why are you holding me here? I want answers now or I want them eventually!"
   

Among many more the Mainstream library of 2013 features these (non-clickable):

DOCTOR WHO, The Vault: Treasures from the first 50 years by Marcus Hearn
WEB TV SERIES: How to make and market them by Dan Williams
PANOPTICON ovvero La casa di Ispezione of Jeremy Bentham
KUBRICK by Michel Ciment
DALLE ORIGINI AGLI ANNI ’60. Enciclopedia della Fantascienza in TV
JACK BAUER AND THE ETHICS OF URGENCY by Slavoj Žižek
THE IMMEDIATE EXPERIENCE: Movies, comics, theatre & other aspects of popular culture by Robert Warshow
MICHAEL MANN by Pier Maria Bocchi

Dialogue excerpts taken from the RAI online presence. Italian-German transcription by Adriana Merlini; English translation by Arno Baumgärtel; thanks for their support to: Michael Kimpel and Jana Müller. It should be kept in mind in terms of accuracy that, with the exception of the film and series dialogue excerpts, the statements have been re-translated from the Italian-German transcript. Prof. Shapiro kindly approved of his re-translated contribution.

 

 

THE ITALIAN JOB - IL PRIGIONIERO

Zu diesem beitrag, der transkription einer italienischen fernsehsendung von RAI-4 über IL PRIGIONIERO - NUMMER 6, existiert gegenwärtig keine deutsche fassung. Die sendung von rund 20 minuten länge war über einen längeren zeitraum online verfügbar, seit 15.01.2015 jedoch nicht mehr.

Entnommen von der RAI-online-präsenz. Italienisch-deutsche transkription von Adriana Merlini; englische übersetzung von Arno Baumgärtel; mit dank an Michael Kimpel und Jana Müller für ihre unterstützung. Im hinblick auf akkuratesse sollte bedacht werden, dass es sich mit ausnahme der dialoge aus filmen und fernsehserien um rückübersetzungen aus dem italienisch-deutschen transkript handelt. Prof. Shapiro hat freundlicherweise sein einverständnis zu dieser fassung seines wortbeitrags gegeben.

IL PRIGIONIERO SERIEN-PROLOG


Contact impressum filmtexte - texts on film deutsch english language
  "Wir sehen uns!" oder 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
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DISKURSE

MEHR INFORMATIONEN
SIX OF ONE · 601
THE VILLAGE · DER ORT
CAMERA OBSCURA
WER IST NUMMER 1?
DIE NEUE NUMMER 2
"WEISSER ALARM!"
VILLAGE FACT FILES
"MUSIK SAGT ALLES"
VILLAGE STORY BOOK
"DIE ANKUNFT" SKRIPT
SPEEDLEARN VERZ.
THE TALLY HO VERZ.
Nr6DE FREUNDE & FÖRDERER
NUMMER 6 WEBLINKS
TV-MAGIC WEBLINKS
IMPRESSUM | FEEDBACK

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