on the other hand, is officially reactivated to cope with Number Six in
the "Once Upon A Time" episode. In the German TV version of 1969, however,
this fact is somewhat blurred: "Ive been here once" -
McKern's first entry takes place quite early in "The
Chimes Of Big Ben", German episode 11 creating continuity where
there is none at all. When TV station Arte rescreened the series in 2010 thereby dubbing the four omitted episodes the British standard order was used.
McKerns and Number Six duels of words are staged brilliantly.
He is the most profiled actor in this role. McGoohan wanted McKern to
play another episode (which was "Once Upon A Time"). Eventually
he even performed in the very last one, months after having shaved his
beard and cut his hair. And the script was adjusted consequently for Number
Two to return from amongst the dead...
the first batch of PRISONER episodes had been shot McGoohan went
to Hollywood to film ICE STATION ZEBRA directed by John Sturges, a Cold War submarine tale of which not very much stays in mind except the McGoohan performance. There's indication that McGoohan accepted the role in order to secure the continuation of the PRISONER production. It had, however, been decided to conclude THE PRISONER with the rather unusual number of only 17 episodes. Costs had been high and the
audience's response wasn't as had been imagined. Time was running short
and some episodes hadn't even been written yet. So, a story was created
where the star of the of the whole series wouldn't be shown at all: "Do
Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling" was the result. The mind of Number
Six, in this story, is transferred into the body of another man. McGoohan
is seen only at the end, shot after he had returned from America.
of Number Two is held by women three times. Although women are treated
ambivalently to the extreme by the series - and so by McGoohan. "Never
trust a woman, even a four-legged one", he says about Morris/Number
Twos cat. Suppose, not just a dialogue line. On the other hand,
Number Six surely is always ready to help women in distress. Mary Morris
does have the strongest part in "Dance Of The Dead". It is a stronghold
to have a woman in that position but this is of relative value only since
Trevor Howard was to get the role.
There isnt anything like tenderness or sexuality within THE PRISONER.
A fact resulting from McGoohans imagination of some puritanical,
clean-cut family entertainment and his attitude towards women as well.
Even John Drake never kissed the girl. Many of those involved in
the shooting have reported this.
So, a chambermaid
wearing a green wig of "Dance Of The Dead" appears to be lascivius in
this perspective, young and innocent is a watchmakers daughter ("Its
Your Funeral"). For centuries German audiences never got to see the
most pleasant females: Alison of "The Schizoid Man" believes
shes connected to Number Six more than telepathically. As people
are often, she is misused by the Village authorities against Number Six.
McGoohan is said to have the episodes basically unambigous script
altered: after exercising with her for a mindreading contest he awkwardly
walks her out of his home, "its getting late."
Kathy of "Living In Harmony" is a saloon girl. She develops
something like passion for him. When Number Six finds out what really
happend Kathy is all in tears because she definitely loathes the machinations.
This is the only episode to have a character express sensual, sexual desire.
Of course, not McGoohan/Number Six but a young actor, Alexis Kanner, as
The Kid/Number 48 who went on to play the revolting juvenile in the last
episode of "Fall Out".
Its twilight status between the audience and the ambition rating eventually
the end of the commercial television show THE PRISONER - fortunately,
in a way. A fragment that leaves many questions unanswered. All those
the reason of his resignation from duty,
- about the
identity of his abductors: was it them or us?
will Number Six' attempt to escape be successful?
- who is
mere McGuffins, the device to propell the audiences interest.
Number Six himself does in fact give an answer to the question of his
resignation: "For peace of mind." But, could this be the answer
audiences, let alone Number Two had eagerly been waiting for?