That is the statement which the Prisoner makes while down on the beach, as his fist punches the air. An early demonstration of his defiance of the village. But the Prisoner was a number long before he became No.6, ZM 73 if memory serves. So why was the Prisoner so against being known as No.6?
As for being a "free man," the Prisoner wasn't a slave was he. A slave who has been given his freedom, who feels the need to make such a statement "I am a free man." Mind you Drake, had been used in his former life, by both Admiral Hobbs and Gorton of M9, to name but two, General Carteret would be another. Mind you, that could have something to do with Drakes own keen sense of morality which he applied to certain assignments he was given.
But having been used and pushed for so many years, he resigned. Was abducted to the village, and became a prisoner. But bars do not a prison make, well for a start the village has no bars, save for during the closing credits, oh and the bars of the cell in the sheriffs office in ‘Living In Harmony.’ No.6's prison - the Village is said to be a prison of the mind. Well if it's a state of mind, No.6 could always pop out to his local public house the Hope & Anchor. Have a couple of pints and a game or three of Bar Billiards. On the other hand, he could always have a quiet night in, in the relative safety, and comfort of his cell, I mean cottage.
I'll be seeing you.