JP On Gaming

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Be Seeing You, The Prisoner 1967

It is with a sad heart that today I complete my mini-marathon of my favorite TV show of all time, 1968's The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan. One of the biggest things about it: It is only one season. It leaves you wanting more, even if the final episode kinda leave you uncertain and has a strange ending. One which leave you with your most pregnant questions, in a way the X-Files are mere titillation.

It is generally agreed that the series is a sequel of "Danger Man" ("Secret Agent" in the US) because McGoohan plays the main character in both series, essentially the same way. Drake and Number Six's personality is very similar. (A few scripts of Danger Man were re-purposed for The Prisoner)

The Prisoner is a 1960s show that is difficult to classify and describe. Patrick McGoohan (whose name we never learn) is Number Six. He fights against the assignation, and claims, in the credits "I am not a number, I am a free man." It features a rather extended introduction wherein you are presented with a resume of how he got to "the Village".

You may not have seen it, but the show has so many iconic scenes and elements that if you ever watched TV, you have seen it. The odd 60s colors and detachment of people to things, the willingness of people to fit in, peer pressure, use of drugs and hallucinogens, abuse of authority, so many things we see today.

Now anyone who knows me and watches the show will understand a lot about how I see the world, particularly the episode "Checkmate". The episode where Number Six takes part in a game of human chess. Twisted and convoluted, with a plot twist that makes you go slam you head in that wall with a "how could I not see that coming, it was right there all along!"

I completely - and quite pleasantly - forgot how completely strange and un-resolved the final episode left us. It ends in a way that leaves questions as to whether Number Six really escaped. The final scene is the same as the first scene of the series. I could tell you what I think happens at the end, but you need to see it for yourself.

The aesthetics of the series and its location makes it a cult TV show I love to re-watch every few years, with twisted delight. I shout with joy when Number Six pulls one on the Village, and I cackled with gleeful horror when Number Six's escape plan inevitably fails.

By the way, I don't mean the garbage they vomitted in 2009. That was complete trash.

Be seeing you!

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