tek's rating:

The Prisoner, ITV (UK)
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This show first aired in 1967-68, which is before my time. But I've seen a bit of it, on TV or video, and I always thought it was very cool, clever, rather amusing, and weird, certainly trippy. Full of mind games, or whatever, very sort of abstractly psychological. I guess. Anyway, lots of people consider it science fiction, and I suppose it is that, to some extent. Certainly one could call it speculative fiction. But it's not exactly my idea of sci-fi. Honestly, I'm not sure what category to put it in, in my reviews sections. I've got it under "weird shows," but "mysterious" would certainly also work.

Well. It's sort of a follow-up to another series, "Danger Man," which I've never seen any of, but would certainly like to. That show starred Patrick McGoohan, who played a spy. In "The Prisoner," McGoohan plays a spy who has just resigned from his job, though his name is never given. To the best of my knowledge, it is generally presumed that he's playing the same character from "Danger Man," but it's not explicitly confirmed. I could be wrong, though. In any event, he was kidnapped and sent to an island on which lies a mysterious place known as the Village. Everyone there has a number, rather than a name. McGoohan's character is called Number 6.

Well, each week there is a new Number 2, who is in charge of the Village. Among his duties is to try to get information from Number 6; specifically, why he had resigned. He always fails, of course, which is why he is constantly being replaced. Meanwhile, Number 6 seems to be about the only resident of the Village who doesn't go along with things. They're all prisoners there, for one reason or another, but they don't seem to care. Number 6 doesn't want to conform, he wants to escape. He wants to find out who's responsible for all this, and put a stop to it. He also wants to find out who is Number 1.

That's pretty much all I can tell you. As I said, the series is very clever, very inventive and original and bizarre and confusing... and possibly one of the best shows ever. I need to try to watch the whole series at some point, and perhaps edit this review....

In 2009, there was a miniseries remake of the show, though it wasn't nearly as good as the original.


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