As Patrick McGoohan once explained "Is a development of the subliminal advertising technique which has been made illegal."
A process by which the viewer is unconscious of the fact that ideas are being implanted in his mind. they are flashed onto the cinema or television screen during the showing of a straightforward subject but at such a rate that the eye is not aware of seeing them. This subject was actually dealt with in an episode of
starring Peter Falk and Robert Culp in the episode Double Exposure. Colombo
But to continue, it is possible in this way, for example, to give instructions which the viewer will obey without realising that, he or she, has received the message. An advertisement for ice cream flashed almost invisibly on a cinema screen during a film will have the effect of making a large percentage of the audience buy ice creams during the interval without being aware that they have seen the advert.
If ‘the Prisoner’ is anything, it is both Patrick McGoohan and Portmeirion. Yet having watched the Prisoner documentary ‘Don't Knock Yourself Out’ found on the 40th anniversary
DVD, the evidence is quite clear on the matter, that Patrick McGoohan was the driving force behind the Prisoner series cannot be denied. That he took overall control over every asspect of the series production, acting, producer, director, script writer, and even having a say in the production of the theme music, cannot be denied. I'm sure that so much involvement tipped Patrick McGoohan over the edge, in the way he treated members of the production crew, at times he completely lost it, ranting and raving at directors in front of the whole cast and crew. And in his office at script writers.
I wonder if it would have been better for Patrick McGoohan if all he did was his job, and left others to get on with theirs, and not become involved with every aspect of production, and then taking over completely. Better for him healthwise, he would not have driven himself into the ground the way he had. But then perhaps ‘the Prisoner’ would not have turned out the series it did. As sometimes when you feel so passionately about something, you need to stamp your authority upon it. In Patrick McGoohan's case, I think his passion and drive were just too much for some who worked on the production of ‘the Prisoner.’
Number 2 is portrayed as being very English even when played by Australian actors Guy Doleman and Leo McKern. However they did get it right with Living In Harmony with American born actor David Bauer as the Judge/No.2.
If there is one thing which stands out in the Prisoner it's very Englishness. It is thought that the Prisoner-No.6 is English. But he isn't. Not having been played by Irish-American born Patrick McGoohan, ah but then was he tht?. The Village maybe an International community, yet in this cosmopolitan village it is it's very Englishness which make you think that the installation known as the Village is actually run by the British. But if that it the case, why should the village be thought to be behind the Iron Curtain in the episode ‘The Chimes of Big Ben?’ Well simply going by the information given by Nadia, which if true, makes both the Colonel and Fotheringay as having gone over to the other side. But of course the Village is nowhere near the Iron Curtain, let alone behind it. Those 25 days the Prisoner spent at sea, on a north-easterly course, during the episode ‘Many Happy Returns’ goes to prove that much.
As Prisoner production manager Bernard Williams once said "Perhaps it would have been better if we'd used other, non-English actors as Number Two." Well that would certainly have added to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Village.
I'll be seeing you