A life time fan and Prisonerologist of the 1960's series 'the Prisoner', now a leading authority on the subject.
Hi David,I just wondered if you had noticed that in one scene with the "see saw" there was a man who looked a lot like Boris Karloff, and he spoke to the supervisor. I can't remember the episode that he appeared in, but I think it's Boris Karloff every time I see that scene!Love the Jack Shampan sets...they really are stunning visually!Best Regards!BCNUKaren
Hello Karen, Yes the chap you are thinking about sits on one end of the steel sew-saw in ‘Free For All.’ Number 2 asks him where they got the technique of The Test which Number 6 is undergoing at the time in the managers office of the Labour Exchange. He tells Number 2 that they got it from the Civil Service, and adapted it immediately. Yes he does look like Boris Karloff, the actors name is Kenneth Benda. sadly he is not credited for his one line. Jack Shampan’s set designs are very futuristic looking. Best regardsDavid
Hi David , I'm sure glad that you knew who the actor was...I always thought that it was Boring Karloff . I guess I associated Bristol Karloff with horror shows...and that it would have been a great cameo role for him ...and a perfect touch in The Prisoner!One of my favorite scenes in Arrival is when the automatic doors open and The Prisoner sees Number 2's control room for the first time ! I can remember the feeling of awe when the globe chair rose up like a huge black marble...and the huge screen with the blobs moving around on it. Marvellous . ..fantastic . ...awesome !!!Best Regards , BCNU Karen
Hello Karen, Certainly ‘the Prisoner’ gave cameo roles to a number of actors who were perhaps at the end of their acting career, such as the ex-Admiral - Frederick Piper, the General – Finlay Currie, and others. In fact within a couple of years a large number of actors and actress who had appeared in ‘the Prisoner’ died. That brought about the rumour of the curse of ‘the Prisoner,’ which was of course utterly absurd. Just some people allowing their over active imaginations to get the better of them! As it happens I have an article written about that very scene you mention in your comment, to be posted on my blog in the not too distant future under the tile of ‘A Favourite Scene In Arrival.’ A favourite scene in Arrival for me is when the Prisoner is trying to make a telephone call from the telephone booth. The operator asks him for a number, the Prisoner informs the operator that he hasn’t got a number, so no number, no call. Of course some fans of the series think the reason why the Prisoner cannot make his telephone call is because he doesn’t have a number, and they are right. However as far as the Prisoner is concerned the reason why he cannot make the call is because the phone itself doesn’t have a number, he is completely unaware at that time that residents living in The Village each have their own number. Once upon a time here in Britain if you wanted to make a telephone call you have to give the operator the number you wanted to call, and the number of the telephone you were making the call from. If you watch the scene, when the operator asks the Prisoner for a number he looks at the telephone which doesn’t have a number on it, and that’s why he says he hasn’t got a number, not him, the telephone! I love that scene.Best regardsBe seeing youDavid
Hi David , Yes, I have also been aware of the amount of older actors in The Prisoner . ..and I think the 50's and 60's TV shows did allow more older actors in general . There are far fewer shows and movies that depict folks who don't fit into the "Barbie and Ken" ideals today . I too noticed the duality aspect of the "telephone " scene in Arrival ... and I have an idea that the duality aspect is one of the main themes that Patrick McGoohan wanted to get people to think about . He was showing us that not only does man have two sides...good and evil . ..but anything can be used and viewed from more than one aspect . ..and sometimes , what we initially thought was good...might be one of the worst ideas we ever had . I believe that's why he made the comment about the need to slow down . ..that we are progressing too fast.This subject is so rich that I could discuss it for months , but I have to get going right now . Best Regards , BCNU Karen