THE TALLY HO READ ALL ABOUT IT!
THE TALLY HO TOP 20 MERKMALE DER SERIE
THE TALLY HO WAS WAR... CHRONIK 1969
THE TALLY HO
WAS WAR... THEMEN 2009
VILLAGE BOOKSHELF LITERATUR UND QUELLEN
BLICK ANDERSWO GELESEN

BLICK
BILDER AUS WALES
BLICK
KLEINE PANORAMEN
BLICK NUMMER 6 - PRISONER CONVENTION
RÜCKBLICK 1969: DEUTSCHE FERNSEHPREMIERE
RÜCKBLICK
2006: DVD - IN UND AUS DER PRESSE
RÜCKBLICK 2010: ARTE BRINGT NUMMER 6 ZURÜCK
RÜCKBLICK
MISTER SECHS WILL NICHT KÜSSEN
RÜCKBLICK
ZDF-ANSAGE
DAVE BARRIE
...IM INTERVIEW
THE MARKSTEIN-McGOOHAN DEBATE

THE MAJESTY OF "FALL OUT"

"FALL OUT": THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

"DEMASKIERUNG": DER UNMÖGLICHE TRAUM

I'M INDEPENDENT, DON'T FORGET
SEVEN FROM SIX

RAKOFF'S FABLES - INTERVIEW MIT IAN L. RAKOFF

"DIE ANKLAGE": DUNKLE TRÄUME UND LANGE SCHATTEN

ARNO BAUMGÄRTEL
IM DORF - EINE LINGUISTISCHE LANDPARTIE

AKTENABLAGE: VON EPISODEN, DIE KEINE WAREN
DER AKADEMISCHE PRISONER

BILDER AUS WALES - KLEINE PANORAMEN

BILDER VON DER PRISONER-CONVENTION
PORTMEIRION: BAUTEN IN BILDERN
THE AMC PRISONER (2009) MINISERIE
WER SIND SIE? - DIE NEUE NUMMER SECHS

ARNO BAUMGÄRTEL & MICHAEL BRÜNE
DIE DEUTSCHE DVD

NUMMER 6 - NICHT DER GEFANGENE
ARNO BAUMGÄRTEL & B. FRANK
AUF DIE REIH GEBRACHT (1) DIE REIHENFOLGE

TOBIAS BECKER
ZIRKULÄRE REALITÄT

FRANK T. BITTERHOF
DIE OFFENBARUNG - THE PRISONER ALS BLU-RAY

M. KEITH BOOKER
DER POSTMODERNE PRISONER

TIM BOURNE
DIE SECHS-IDENTITÄT (INTERVIEW)
MICHAEL BRÜNE
EPISODEN-TRANSSKRIPT "DIE ANKUNFT"
AUF DIE REIH GEBRACHT (2) DIE REIHENFOLGE

DIE ANTHONY-SKENE-TRILOGIE
MARTIN COMPART
SOAPS: FERNSEHSERIEN...

ANTHONY DAVIS
PRISONER PRESS LAUNCH 1967

PATRICK DUCHER
JE NE SUIS PAS UN NUMÉRO, JE SUIS UN HOMME LIBRE!

ROBERT FAIRCLOUGH
POP UND POLITIK

HOWARD FOY
ES WAR EINMAL EIN TRIP...

B. FRANK
McGOOHAN & BOND

CAROLINE FUCHS
REALITY AND SIMULATION IN THE PRISONER

GUILLAUME GRANIER
SCHÖNER TAG! - SPÄTER REGNET ES.

LARRY HALL
ORSON WELLES: DER PROZESS

WHAT IT MEANS, NOT WHAT IT SAYS
HELGA HELLER
PORTRÄT EINES EXZENTRIKERS

MAX HORA
...IM INTERVIEW

MAX HORA & ROGER LANGLEY
6 PRIVATE - DAS HAUS VON NUMMER SECHS

HARALD KELLER
WIR SEHEN UNS - WIEDER

ÜBER NOWHERE MAN

NUMMER SECHS
INTERVIEW MIT BERND RUMPF

ROGER LANGLEY
(ZEIT-) REISE NACH PORTMEIRION

PRISONER'S PORTMEIRION:
DER ORIGINALSCHAUPLATZ
BÜHNENSTÜCK -
SET PIECE: DIE STUDIOBAUTEN
WARUM HABEN SIE SICH ZURÜCKGEZOGEN?

FINAL CUT: MYSTERIUM DER FEHLENDEN SZENEN

PUTTING THE PRISONER IN ORDER (3) DIE REIHENFOLGE

COOL CUSTOMER - PROFIL: GEORGE MARKSTEIN

DAS LA-TAPE

MOOR LARKIN
ICH BIN EIN BERLINER

JEAN-MARC LOFFICIER
NUMMER 6 ODER DAS GESPENST DER FREIHEIT

KEVIN PATRICK MAHONEY
DER ANARCHISCHE PRISONER

PATRICK McGOOHAN
DAS TROYER-INTERVIEW

DAS LA-TAPE

IM GESPRÄCH MIT MIKE TOMKIES
RUHM WIRD MICH NIE ZUM GEFANGENEN MACHEN

INTERVIEW MIT BILL KING
DER MANN HINTER NUMMER 6

INTERVIEW MIT ALAIN CARRAZÉ
THE PRISONER

BBC-INTERVIEW MIT SIMON BATES
DIE FIGUR IST NATÜRLICH REIN FIKTIV

RICK McGRATH
35th ANNIVERSARY DVD-SET

MARY MORRIS, NORMA WEST
INTERVIEW MIT TOM WORRALL

JANA MÜLLER
ZUFÄLLIGE ENTDECKUNG UND DANN NOCH EIN IRRTUM

"DER SCHWARM"

HORST NAUMANN
INTERVIEW MIT UWE HUBER

STEVE RAINES
...IM INTERVIEW

STEVEN RICKS
MGM - STUDIO DAYS

STUDIO DAYS: THE MGM BACKLOT

CHRIS RODLEY
DAS EISBERG-SYNDROM - SIX INTO ONE...

INTERVIEW MIT GEORGE MARKSTEIN

ZIAUDDINE SARDAR
WIR SEHEN UNS! - DIE POSTMODERNE UND DAS ANDERE

WARNER TROYER
INTERVIEW MIT PATRICK McGOOHAN

CHRISTOPH WINDER
ICH BIN KEINE NUMMER, ICH BIN EIN MENSCH

VALARIE ZIEGLER
THE PRISONER'S SHADOW SIDE

 

The Prisoner Nummer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


6

 

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
ALAIN CARRAZÉ 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

 

SPEEDLEARN

 

THE TALLY HO

Read all about it!

 
 

SEVEN FROM SIX

Von Dave Barrie

"... and out of all the scripts there are seven. There are seven I would pick and put in line, and I would keep those and throw the rest away."

- Patrick McGoohan (1979)

Dieser artikel basiert auf einem von Dave Barrie 1998 in Birmingham veranstalteten "brain bash". Es geht um zwei fundamentale fragen, zum einen: Welches sind diese

   

sieben episoden, von denen Patrick McGoohan spricht? Und zweitens: Woher stammten die ideen für die 17 stories?

"Arrival", "The Chimes Of Big Ben", "Free For All", "Dance Of The Dead", "Checkmate", "Once Upon A Time", "Fall Out". They all read like some kind of mantra don't they'? I mean, conventional wisdom in SIX OF ONE has for many years had it that these seven

are the 'core' episodes of the series. Ever since McGoohan first voiced his view that there was a definitive 'super seven' and the rest were mere padding, members have laboured to discover which seven he was referring to because, of course, in his enigmatic fashion, he has never actually defined them.

So how were the above elite chosen? At what point in time, and by whom, were these 'seven' attributed to McGoohan? The earliest reference to this that I can trace is the booklet entitled "The Prisoner Of Portmeirion" by our own Max Hora, first published in 1985. Under the chapter titled "Order! Order!" Max discusses the possible running order of the episodes. He then goes on to suggest the seven key episodes and concludes they are as above. He gives his reasons and in fact does not title "Fall Out", stating the seventh as "The Conclusion". Briefly, his rationale is that (to quote the Roger Goodman interview) Patrick said "Originally I proposed only seven episodes, not as a series but as a serial." It would be natural for Max to assume that these seven would be the five early scripts, plus "Once Upon A Time" and "The Conclusion".

Indeed, when I spoke to Max he told me this was indeed the case, and that on his part it was "an educated guess".

This would appear to have provided the source material for the 1988 book "The Official Prisoner Companion" by Matthew White and Jaffer Ali.
This comprehensive publication first appeared in the US before a UK printing ensured its availability here. The authors seem not to have interviewed McGoohan himself: but rather, relied upon an interview conducted by Barrington Calia for a 1985 edition of New Video magazine. In this interview McGoohan says "We started out with seven scripts with no intention of expanding it further. Lew Grade wanted twenty six scripts. I didn't believe the concept could be sustained over that period". That was nothing new. However, elsewhere in the book, White and Ali, in their discussion of the number of episodes contradict this by saying "McGoohan had material in his hands for five or six script ideas (not seven as originally reported)." Then, after alleging that Lew Grade had commissioned thirty episodes they list the seven - as given above - with the statement that these are the ones that McGoohan says "really count", adding that McGoohan's preferred running order is as above.

They do not qualify from where they gleaned this information, which I find rather odd. Furthermore, whilst the book is a rather good read it should not be treated as gospel because it does contain errors, both spelling and in the description of plot development, therefore an element of doubt concerning accuracy of "facts" must creep in.
My guess is that their sources are the Roger Goodman interview "On The Trail Of The Prisoner" supplemented by Max's booklet. As a consequence Max's "educated guess" was elevated to "fact".

INTERVIEW VON ROGER GOODMAN 1979 MIT PATRICK McGOOHAN

Perhaps it is understandable to cite these seven episodes as definitive yet, as in the case of "Dance Of The Dead", how can one include an episode abandoned and left on the shelf for months until rescued and assembledby editor John S. Smith? Ever since I learnt about the potential abandonment of this episode it has caused me to question the conventional wisdom which has been printed and reprinted as an established "truth".

McGoohan of course infuriatingly refused to name the seven, again quoting the above Goodman interview he says, referring to the seven, "I'd just keep those and throw the rest away."

Elsewhere in this he adds, "Lew Grade called me and said 'I'm having difficulty in selling them to the network. They say there aren't enough of them. Can you do twenty six?' At that time twenty six was a packaging deal. I said 'Lew, that's not possible, it won't sustain that long.' 'Can you do me anymore?' So I said 'I'll see what I can do over this weekend.' We're already shooting now so David (Tomblin) and I sat down and we thrashed out another ten storylines, very briefly, two, three, pages each, and I went back to Lew and said 'I can do another ten,' and he said 'Can you do any more?' So I said 'No, and most of them are padding anyway.'"

Roger then asked him about "Fall Out". "I knew in my mind where it had to go. I hadn't got the specific ending that we finished up with, but I certainly knew where it had to go and the way it should finish and the message that it should put forth. But I didn't have that last script at the beginning. In fact it was written by me very close to the end, in thirty six hours, scribbling away and chiselling at it. As far as I'm concerned it works. I wouldn't change it."

EPISODENWÜRDIGUNG: FALL OUT (D)
APPRECIATIVE EXAMINATON: FALL OUT (E)
CHRIS RODLEY: DAS EISBERG-SYNDROM

DAVE BARRIE: I'M INDEPENDENT, DON'T FORGET
DAVE BARRIE: THE McGOOHAN-MARKSTEIN DEBATE

Obviously it is difficult for any one of us to remember what we did months, weeks, or even days ago and we must remember that McGoohan was under incredible stress, working all hours, but here we are given the impression that many of the ideas were concocted by McGoohan and Tomblin and then farmed out to writers. Let's hear from the three principal players, talking about the script production. These quotes are all taken from the 1984 Channel Four documentary "Six Into One: The Prisoner File".

McGoohan on script editor George Markstein: "He brought the right experience. He knew writers with the particular bent of mind. They weren't Danger Man writers. They needed this stylistic thing!"

Markstein on his role: "The script editor's job is to cast the writers the way a director casts the actors."

Completing the trio, McGoohan's co-producer David Tomblin: "I did find that when we interviewed the writers, no matter how much detail you gave them, they came back with an entirely different story, only because the series was so different. So in the end detailed story outlines was the way to approach it, and that's what we did."

EPISODE GENESIS

So, having expressed views from the original driving force, let's turn our attention to the episodes at this point and attempt to unravel the genesis of each.

ARRIVAL
DIE ANKUNFT

There is general agreement about this one. The consensus is that script editor George Markstein, the man responsible for the ethos of the series, and Tomblin locked themselves away and produced this pilot. McGoohan read it and asked if he could make a few minor changes. These are believed to be the more surreal elements, for example the "clones". In effect, as early as this, McGoohan was introducing the ingredients that would elevate the series away from the spy adventure series that Markstein originally envisaged. He is quoted as saying it is the finest pilot he has ever seen, a statement that we all would probably agree with.

THE CHIMES OF BIG BEN
DIE GLOCKEN VON
BIG BEN

Vincent Tilsley says George Markstein rang him and came to see him the same morning brandishing a script of "Arrival" which Vincent thought was the only completed script at that time. At that initial meeting Vincent came up with the basic premise for "The Chimes Of Big Ben". Thus this script comprised part of the initial batch, sections of it being filmed on the first location shoot. Curiously however no location footage (apart from the helicopter shots) appears in the final cut. "I can remember sitting in the room saying it would be perfectly easy for any good set designer to reconstruct this room and even landscape the garden so that if I woke up I would think I was here. George liked that idea and he said write it - so I did." So said author Vincent Tilsley. In fact, if you think about it, it's exactly the same principle as duping Number Six when he wakes up in a replica of his own home...

A. B. AND C.
A. B. UND C.

Written by Anthony Skene, this was to come much later. Skene wrote to me "George (Markstein) was in disfavour by "A. B. and C.", though still working in his office. Tomblin wanted to do an episode using lots of stock shots he knew about. Number Six in front of back projections of Morocco or somewhere. I thought that crappy so went away and did "A. B. and C.", stitching it up fairly tight. Money was running low by then so I put on my wellies and traipsed over MGM's backlot. The church door, the French street were all leftovers ..." which Skene was able to inject into the plot. David Tomblin told Max Hora that this was his favourite episode.

FREE FOR ALL
FREIE WAHL

One of the first four written (the others are "Arrival", "Checkmate" and "Dance Of The Dead"). Penned by McGoohan under the pseudonym Paddy Fitz. A distillation of McGoohan's views on contemporary society. A courageous tour de force with McGoohan as director, producer, writer and star.

THE SCHIZOID MAN
DER DOPPELGÄNGER

Terence Feely was approached by Markstein as a result of a surrealistic play author Feely had running in the West End. Markstein gave Feely a synopsis of THE PRISONER who immediately saw this as a chance to get surrealism on the television. "I gave them 'The Schizoid Man' within two weeks. George was suspicious that it was a story I'd been trying to unload for years, but it wasn't. It leapt into my head the instant I heard the premise for the series."

THE GENERAL
DER GENERAL

"Pat loved 'The General'. He thought that was just exactly what he wanted to do. It was exactly his cup of tea." - Lewis Griefer, author of this episode, which he wrote under the pseudonym of Joshua Adam, his sons' names. The idea for the plot came to Griefer because of the way the educational system failed to meet his sons' needs. "It appeared to me that the amount of rote information being squeezed into their heads did very little for their imaginations and even less for their intelligence."

MANY HAPPY RETURNS
HERZLICHEN GLÜCKWUNSCH

Referring to his third script Skene says: "By this time George was at Thames. This was to have been the final of the thirteen. Number Six gets out but has to be recaptured in case the show continues." It is a matter of conjecture who dreamt up the plot. George, incidentally, liked this episode and felt it "was the way to go, a signpost for the future". In his recent booklet, THE PRISONER "I a m not a number", Steven Ricks who interviewed Tomblin, says that Tomblin was responsible for the story outline which was completed by Anthony Skene.

DANCE OF THE DEAD
DIE ANKLAGE

This Cocteau-esque episode was entirely dreamed up by Anthony Skene having not seen any form of guide at all, only having met with George at Elstree to have the essence of the series explained to him. It languished, unfinished, uncut, and unloved, for months. "If in doubt I do a trial", explained Skene.

CHECKMATE
SCHACHMATT

Again, one of the original four. The idea for the human chess match came about when Kelsey recalled a holiday he'd enjoyed in Germany. His host, showing him round a nearby castle, explained that a past Count had organised human chess games using his retainers. Kelsey's script, when filmed, did not meet the required running time, consequently McGoohan, at the very least, wrote and injected the "cocoa" scene involving Number Six and the Queen. To quote Tony Sloman: "'Queen's Pawn' (anm.: ursprünglicher titel) never worked. It kept coming in short. They kept shooting bits over it then got another editor in."

HAMMER INTO ANVIL
HAMMER ODER AMBOSS

This tale of revenge, scripted by Roger Woddis, although popular with members, is not essential to the unfolding tale of THE PRISONER. History does not record who suggested the plot.

IT'S YOUR FUNERAL
DAS AMTSSIEGEL

Pity poor Michael Cramoy, the writer. Drafted in to write an episode based around unused stock footage, his must have been an unenviable task. He made a valiant attempt, but certain elements - such as the concept of the "Jammers" just appear uncomfortable when viewed in context. Michael Cramoy has never been traced but is known to be a real person currently residing in the US. Not an episode crucial to THE PRISONER canon. It is believed he was shown the footage, had the concept explained, and was left to his own devices.

DO NOT FORSAKE ME, OH MY DARLING
2:2=2

A second, although reluctant, offering from Vincent Tilsley. Although it has its admirers it is again not an essential episode. Tilsley had to devise a plot that in some way allowed for the absence of the leading man. Certainly not one of the seven. "I cooked up this idiotic story about about a Professor who mind from one person into another."

A CHANGE OF MIND
SINNESWANDEL

Moris Fahri had been approached to write an episode but his idea was rejected. He then told his friend Roger Parkes about the opportunity to write for the series and gave him the briefing he'd had from George.
Roger's brother was a psychiatrist and would talk to Roger about the various mind bending techniques then in vogue. "I was familiar with lobotomies ... and it occurred to me very quickly that here was a useful tool for the people who had kidnapped the Prisoner," said Roger who came to the series in the later stages. After the original director Roy Rosotti was released by McGoohan at the end of the first day's shoot McGoohan took over the direction of this episode using the pseudonym Joseph Serf. It's worth noting that Markstein took Roger down to the set to see his episode being filmed. There he saw McGoohan directing it. Afterward Markstein said that the fact McGoohan was directing it showed that he obviously must be very keen on it. Alternatively it may just have been that the contracted director had been "released" by McGoohan.

THE GIRL WHO WAS DEATH
--3-2-1-0

McGoohan and Tomblin loved the idea suggested by writer Terence Feely for this episode so much they flew to the south of France where he was holidaying. Discussion took place as to whether it would stretch to a two-parter. However, budgetary restrictions at this late stage decreed that it would be a single episode. Certainly not one of the "essential" seven.

LIVING IN HARMONY
HARMONY

"Let's do a western," says stuntman Frank Maher. McGoohan is keen. At the same time Ian Rakoff comes up with a western as a response to the producers pleas for script ideas. As with "The Girl Who Was Death" it is an "out of the Village" episode (which finds favour with the star, the crew, and the money men. It can be shot on the backlot and everyone can get home at night). Again not an essential episode.

ONCE UPON A TIME
PAS DE DEUX

Scripted fairly early on by McGoohan who told the crew it was being written by Archibald Schwarz the pages appeared two or three at a time on a day by day basis. Drawing on McGoohan's life experiences, the star had every reason to be attached to it.

FALL OUT
DEMASKIERUNG

Torn from McGoohan's tired tortured consciousness in a feverish thirty-six hour burst this finale dovetails with "Once Upon A Time" to make a two-part conclusion. This has to be one of the essential seven, doesn't it? I used to think so....

Is it possible to draw any conclusions so far? Well, it is difficult to sustain the concept of McGoohan and Tomblin having the ideas for so many of the episodes, yet to be fair McGoohan is the sole author of three, certainly had a hand in shaping a number of others, and possibly breathed something extra into a few more, but where does that leave us with the accepted wisdom that there are seven key episodes?

TONY SLOMAN INTERVIEW

It is safe to exclude "Hammer Into Anvil" and "It's your Funeral" as well as three of the later offerings, "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling", "The Girl Who Was Death" and "Living In Harmony" as I have done above, but to define further I must include part of an interview with Tony Sloman at the October 1997 work in.

TONY SLOMAN (LINKS) INTERVIEWT 2012 VON TIM BOURNE

Tony was a librarian on the series from beginning to near the end. He was in charge of the back projection. He has been a guest of SIX OF ONE before and has meticulously recorded much of his involvement with the series. He also has an extraordinarily good memory. The previous day I had held the first "Brain Bash" and Tony was the society's guest that night at a buffet. He and I spoke, and he kindly agreed to be interviewed on the Sunday afternoon.

Tony Sloman In those days you either did 13 or 26 episodes. We only had scripts for about five. I had to have the scripts first because I had to order the back projection. I had to know what library material was needed for ordering purposes. I couldn't get scripts out of people - I didn't know they weren't finished - I just wondered why I couldn't get them. The one after "Chimes Of Big Ben" was "Degree Absolute" (the working title for "Once Upon A Time"). I never had a script it was just coming in single pages.

Dave Barrie That was quite early on and written by Patrick McGoohan under the pseudonym Archibald Schwarz.

Tony Sloman I've never heard of Archibald Schwarz till you mention him. I knew Pat was churning out those pages. We'd get three a day from his room. But what I also knew about "Degree Absolute" was that it was the last episode. It was the one that was going to be the last episode of the whole series.

Dave Barrie We're talking about McGoohan's favourite seven here, are we?

Tony Sloman "Degree Absolute" was always intended to be the last if it went to thirteen. Pat got on so well with Leo on "Chimes Of Big Ben". He was writing for Leo page by page, and while they had him there and they couldn't construct - for some reason - they didn't know what they were going to do next and "Degree Absolute" was a two-hander so it would be cheap thus defraying the cost of "Arrival" with this tremendous overspend. Very cannily, Pat must have convinced Lew Grade that he could do one with only two people so could carry on.

Dave Barrie You mentioned earlier that in your view McGoohan had seven episodes he cared for and these others were so much fodder.

Tony Sloman I didn't realise it was seven, but as I name the episodes that he cared, or seemed to care more about, in my mind, it turned out they totalled seven. In fact if you took the other episodes away those seven form a constant body of work. If I can remember them, certainly "Arrival", "Free For All" - the two that sat on the shelf he wasn't the least bit interested in. He wasn't interested in.

Dave Barrie "Dance Of The Dead" or "Checkmate"?

Tony Sloman No. They were makeweights to get it shot in the Village. "Chimes Of Big Ben" was crucial to Pat, then "Degree Absolute". When they shot that they knew it was going to be the last one. The others that mattered, "Schizoid Man", "A. B. and C.", "Change Of Mind". They were the ones that Pat spent more time on than any other.

Dave Barrie I thought he liked "The General"?

Tony Sloman Pat never liked "The General". He thought it was stupid.

Dave Barrie Lewis Griefer says it was exactly what Pat wanted to do.

Tony Sloman In theory. The idea is exactly what he wanted to do. The execution of that computer was a joke. "The General" and "Many Happy Returns" were makeweights, made at the same time, more or less. Lightweight Number Two's. Pat responded to people like Guy Doleman who had severity. When he felt Number Two was lightweight he didn't seem to care about the show. See those seven without the others. They're the most intense ones. They're the ones that reflect Pat's own personality.

Dave Barrie How was he going to wrap it up in "Once Upon A Time" to solve the question of who is Number One?

Tony Sloman He was never going to solve the question. There never was a Number One. Pat was Number One. We were all Number One. There was never a Number One. They shot a bit extra [Tony is referring to the final scenes after the death of Number Two - now 2 - where the supervisor asks him "What is your desire?" DB] so it would chine with "Fall Out" which was cut onto it to make it work. The extra shots were never there on the original. That was the end.

Dave Barrie So why write "Fall Out"? Lew Grade says (in Six Into One: The Prisoner File): "Pat came to me one day and said: "Lew, I've got so involved with the project I just don't have an ending. I've got myself too lost."" And Lew said "I thought that was very big of him, and I went back and told the networks: "We have no ending.""

Tony Sloman And what did the networks say? I can tell you. They said 'We're running it and you have no ending? What do you want us to do? Give us a big song and dance ending." So pressure would be put on him.

Dave Barrie So he gets thirty-six hours to do "Fall Out"? This surreal finale.

Tony Sloman But it isn't. It's a one-off. It's a conclusion and it has nothing else to do with the rest of this series. The ending was the end of "Degree Absolute" because that was the mood, the intensity and I can see that all of those seven are related. The ones he cared most about - they involved the mind; they were about brainwashing. He was an action hero, DANGER MAN, but THE PRISONER wasn't about escaping it was about the mind."

THE ESSENTIAL SEVEN?
MR. McGOOHAN AIN'T SAYING

So, if we are to follow Tony's line of reasoning that forces us to re-evaluate the series entirely.

No longer is it the first produced Portmeirion based episodes that dominate, instead we turn to the more cerebral. For some time I could not accept that "Dance Of The Dead" was pivotal - why should McGoohan dump something he cared about? So, for me, the discarding of a non key episode made sense. Tony told me that "Checkmate" was short, causing McGoohan to write at least one extra scene. It too was shown later in the series, perhaps these production problems explain this.

The essential seven? "Arrival" - yes. McGoohan has gone on record about this one. "Free for All" - without a doubt summarises McGoohan's personal philosophy. "The Chimes Of Big Ben" - yes, clever plot, and he enjoyed working with Leo, so much so that he cast him in "Degree Absolute". We know McGoohan was interested in the mind. Tony told me that "brainwashing" was one of his favourite words. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE was still hot news both as a book and a film. "The Schizoid Man", "A Change Of Mind" and "A. B. and C." draw inspiration from ideas featured in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, as at least one writer, Roger Parkes, has stated.

DAVE BARRIE: THE MAJESTY OF FALL OUT

But to consider that "Fall Out" - the episode that more than any other guaranteed the show's longevity and cult status - was not one of the seven I found a shock. However, the more I thought about it the more I could understand Tony's point. When the opportunity for writing about "Fall Out" occurred I expressed the view that for all its exceptional ground breaking it was "the product of a saddened, slightly embittered creator who is coerced into doing something against his principles." I did add that McGoohan "snatched at, and melded into the most anarchic, radical and adventurous TV script any ideas that echoed his values." However, whilst I agree with Tony that the haunting "Dance Of The Dead" and the-colourful "Checkmate" could be excluded I am in two minds about "Fall Out". True, it is an all singing and dancing "firework display" of an ending and maybe it is at odds with the ambience of the seven as Tony suggests, but then it is unlike anything that has ever been screened before or since. And, by Jove, emotionally, it still moves me.

In re-evaluating our view of the chosen seven readers could play a little game considering which episodes do feature an element of brainwashing. By my reckoning only "Hammer Into Anvil" and "It's Your Funeral" might be construed as involving plots where the brainwashing or the mind tampering of Number Six in some form is not instrumental to the story. There may occur to members one or two other episodes that might fall into this category. However, returning to Tony's thesis I can see why he holds this view of the seven. A certain similarity to the brainwashing element may be observed. Perhaps, in the light of Tony's comments, this article might open up the subject for discussion. Remember the "sacred seven" have never been defined by the series' creator.

And whatever the seven are, Mr. McGoohan ain't saying!

EPISODENWÜRDIGUNG: FALL OUT (D)
APPRECIATIVE EXAMINATON: FALL OUT (E)
CHRIS RODLEY: DAS EISBERG-SYNDROM

DAVE BARRIE: I'M INDEPENDENT, DON'T FORGET
DAVE BARRIE: THE McGOOHAN-MARKSTEIN DEBATE

Dave Barrie gründete 1977 die PRISONER Appreciation Society SIX OF ONE. Dieser artikel erschien im mitgliedermagazin "In The Village" 28/2000.

 


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