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Sunday 22 April 2012

The Therapy Zone


    For many years the Prisoner was a very private affair. having watched the series on a black and white television at the age of twelve was the stuff that dreams and fantasies are made of, although the Prisoner was never intended as a childrens television series. The only trouble was that I seemed to be alone in my early days of Prisoner appreciation because whom so ever I spoke to about the Prisoner either didn't like it, or hadn't watched it. My father was one of the former, he hated the Prisoner and didn't enjoy my appreciation for the series. Well that didn't stop me, for even as a child I was on the rebellious side, that's probably why I took to the Prisoner so easlily in the first place.
    For me as a boy the Prisoner, because of the village, had something of a definate magical quality, and if truth be told, that magic is still held today. But back then in the early days of my Prisoner appreciation I didn't ask too many questions of the series, well there was not the chance first time around. The series was watched back in 1967-68, and once the closing sequence of fall Out began on the television screen the Prisoner was gone, and there was no way of knowing if the series would ever be seen again. So really those at the time were left with the basic of questions;

Who was the Prisoner?

Why did he resign?

Why was he abducted to the village?

Would No.6 actually escape? {I thought he had first time around during both The Chimes of Big Ben & Many Happy Returns}

Where was the village located? {Although at the beginning of ‘Fall Out’ the actual location of Portmeirion is displayed on the screen}

Which side actually ran the village?

And what was the village guardian "Rover"?

    All the other questions came almost a decade later in 1976, the next year of the screening of the Prisoner on British television. But I was still alone in my appreciation for the Prisoner and although I went on to watch the series for two and a half times in 1976-77, on different regional television stations, I still didn't have the answers I was looking for, but delved no deeper than that. In fact it was not until I became associated with like minded fans that I actually began to see just how seriously they actually took the Prisoner and to what depths they would delve in order to try and understand what the Prisoner was about. At that time I was of the opinion that one should not delve too deeply the fathoms of the Prisoner, because thee was the danger that too much familiarity might just breed contempt!

     There is a cartoon {I forget what its is called} about a mole who sees a beautiful magic castle outside his home. Mr. Mole loves his dairy castle until one day someone comes along and gives Mr Mole a pair of spectacles {because as we know, moles cannot see very well}. Mr Mole puts on the pair of spectacles and his fairy castle turns out to be a pile of rubbish! No I am not saying that the Prisoner is nothing more than a pile of rubbish, I am merely demonstrating a comparison. Mr Mole could see a beautiful castle until he put on the spectacles and in that one simple action his dream was gone forever. That is what it could be like with the Prisoner through knowledge and debate, over exposure with to many questions answered and too few questions remaining.
    But today as I sit here at the General typing these words I am of a very different opinion. Because having spent the past three years working on my manuscript The Butler Speaks, researching the Prisoner and all related material to a degree that has never before been attained. And the research which I have carried out quickly became compulsive, the more new and fresh discoveries I made, the more I wanted to make and make them I did. Not world shattering discoveries I have to admit, but in the village of the Prisoner and the fans therein, certainly interesting and fascinating discoveries never previously discussed, or even mentioned.
    And people want information, information, information, information on the matter of the Prisoner which I am happy to supply to the very best of my ability, to eagerly awaiting fans, in the hope that they like what they read, not necessarily agree with me, and in that they will want to discuss their own ideas and theories.

This written originally in 1994, and amended in 2007
Be Seeing You


  1. I was also introduced to 'The Prisoner' when I was 12. It was a season of classic tv which featured an episode from 'The Saint', 'Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)' - which along with 'Catweazle' was my first memory of tv, 'Department S'...etc...etc.

    'The Girl Who Was Death' represented 'The Prisoner', so naturally I thought the whole series was equally bizarre until Channel 4 screened it 3 years later.

    I wasn't far wrong - and thanks to my father's encouragement, I was hooked by the 5th episode. When I bought the 'Channel 5' videos (bliss!) I leaped out of my seat when I was reminded of the extended opening sequence in 'Arrival'!

    BCNU );oB

  2. Hello Steve,

    My father did his best to discourage me from watching 'the Prisoner,' so I rebelled against him, defied him, and continued watching!