Television really exploded for me when The Prisoner series debuted. I didn’t know Secret Agent with Patrick McGoohan except for the paperback novels and comic books based on the show.
To be honest with you, during the initial run of the first season, I didn’t quite follow the episodes well except for one. The intrigue, action and mystery of the show hooked me, along with Patrick McGoohan’s performance.
There were 17 episodes completed with one banned in the U.S. due to the Vietnam war. As it was, McGoohan, the co-creator of the show, had only wanted to make a core group of 7 episodes.
A few years later, a lot of information came out about the show when it was repeated on BBC. That was when the 17th episode was premiered. It had been deemed too controversial due to its subject matter, a sheriff in the old west refusing to wear a gun, during the real life drama of the Vietnam War.
After resigning from his position as a secret agent, the agent was kidnapped to a place called the Village. The Prisoner, as was all of the villagers, was only know known by a number, his number 6. The Village was surrounded by water and mountains. The only maps available were of the local area.
Number 2’s position was to find out why Number 6 resigned. It was a premise created by George Markstein, based on a real operation during WW2. McGoohan didn’t base it on his previous character, John Drake and had planned on having another actor play the lead role as not to have his previous role linked with the Prisoner.
There’s a beginning and an end, unusual for TV shows. The ending gets rather wild and psychedelic befitting the times.
It’s available online, DVD and has even been remastered for blu-ray. I recommend it highly as one of the best TV series ever developed.
Be seeing you.