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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Therapy Zone

Patrick McGoohan
   Once said in an interview "At the beginning of the production {of the Prisoner} I said to the crew, who were all friends of mine I had worked with three or four years on the other series ‘Danger Man.’ "Nobody on this set mentions the word television." they knew I was serious. So, we didn't talk about television. Because when you start talking about it, people's thinking changes. You can make a movie for theatrical release which costs, lets say, five million dollars. You can take the same script, the same budget, the same people in it, and say "We are going to make a 'Movie of the Week' for television" and all of the thinking changes. Because you have introduced the word "television", then short cuts come to mind. "We can get away with this on television" is a favourite line.
   So Patrick McGoohan set about filming the Prisoner as one might for the "big screen" and not for television. Hence the large budget of £75,000 per episode, and all the detail that went into the earlier episodes. Not so much the later episodes, as filming was not done at Portmeirion for these, but instead hugh painted backdrops of Portmeirion were used, together with the use of "stock film footage," as money was, and eventually did run out. That is why the latter episodes are of a poorer production quality than those earlier episodes.

Many Happy Returns
    The original closing scenes of this episode essentially remain true to the finished episode. However the script does originally have Mrs. Butterworth, who is ultimately revealed as No.2, who apart from presenting the Prisoner with his birthday cake, also has Mrs. Butterworth giving him a birthday present. A box tied with pink ribbon, which contains the roll of undeveloped film which he deposited in a safe deposit box earlier in the episode. Mrs. Butterworth-No.2 also has the nerve to ask the Prisoner "Why did you resign?"!

A Badge For All.......the Village Logo.
    In a letter/article written by a fan of the Prisoner in the mid 1980's, it was stated that only unmutuals and deviants refuse to wear the village symbol. Well of course that statement is not at all correct. Okay No.6 refuses to wear his penny farthing numbered badge, but so too does the Butler, yet there is no question of his loyalty to either his master, or the village. And the same can be said of the doctor who carries out the Prisoner's medical in ‘Arrival.’ Together with the Professor and Madam Professor in ‘The General,’ and they came to the village of their own free will.
   How do certain citizens get away with not wearing their badge? I have no idea, we simply have to accept it for what it is. On the other hand, perhaps in the case of the doctor in Arrival, it could be a case of forgetfulness! Forgetfulness of someone on the production team working on the Prisoner, who forgot to pin a Village badge to his white coat. Other than that the badge could simply have fallen off! And that could also be said of both the Professor and his wife, if it were not for the fact that there is not one scene in ‘The General’ where the Professor and his wife are seen to wear the village badge. And the same can certainly be said of the Butler throughout the series.
    On the other hand, you have the watchmaker who is against the village, becasue he has not met anyone who has committed a crime, and he wears his badge, as does No.93 in ‘A Change of Mind,’ who is an unmutual! And don't forget the Rook who rebelled on the chessboard. He is against the Village, and like others, he still wears his badge.

Be seeing you


  1. MHR: Perhaps they felt that having Ms. Butterworth come up with the birthday cake was enough "treatment" for No. 6 and, in a way, bitterly ironic too. So, there was no need to add the standard question. - BCNU!

    1. Hello Arno,

      You may very well be right.

      Kind regards