It’s all a question of interpretation I suppose, and your interpretation could very well be a different one to mine, and equally correct, on certain matters concerning the Prisoner. The series has been described as a slightly off-beat spy drama, adventure at its best, and nothing more. This type of thing comes from someone who probably didn't like the Prisoner the first time round, and so didn't bother to watch the series again during its re-screening in the mid 1970's.
The village is a microcosm of society, where people are encouraged to be identical to one another and individuals are not tolerated. Well that might be true of the episode ‘A Change of Mind,’ but not of the series on the whole. After all there are individuals in the village, only the behaviour of the citizens, the "inmates" is controlled, this for the good of the community, to contain the possible idea of a mass breakout, which No.6 tired to initiate at the end of ‘Free For All.’ Take the gardener in ‘Checkmate,’ the one No.6 wanted a word with. He told No.6 that he would have to wait. The gardener was as individual as no.6.
The Prisoner is a load of codswallop, irritating in the extreme, which fails to fulfil its obligations to the viewers by not providing clear answers to questions like "Who is No.1?" Well if this person couldn't work that one out for himself or herself, when during the very first opening sequence of ‘Arrival’ who No.1 is, then they have no chance with all that follows. Because when you come across comments such as this, it means that they want it all laid out on a plate for them, so they don't have to bother themselves with finding the answers for themselves. And what would be the point in that?
The whole series in merely a dream or a drug-induced "trip" suffered by the character. Well that's one point of view I suppose. I can't see what the point would be to have the Prisoner-No.6 in a permanently "drugged-up" state, or what the village administration would learn Unless they used the truth drug, or really get Number 6 drunk in the Therapy Zone! then the villages administration would learn something. A dream, well No.6 would have to wake up some point wouldn't he!
Some have seen, and I do recall the "great religious debate," which I never became involved with, the whole series, and ‘Fall Out’ in particular, as biblical overtones. The characters of No.2 and No.48 are "crucified." The court scene is "Judgement day", No.2 is literally resurrected, and No.48 is "born all over." Well, not exactly being a man of deep religion I can see where they are coming from. But then again McGoohan always claimed that there was never any religious intent. So there you go. You pays your money and takes your choice.
The village represents all forms of authority in our lives, parents, teachers, bosses, the government etc, etc. Well it would, wouldn't it. After all the village is a complete unit of our own society, and includes all that society provides.
The main message of the series is an exhortation to "be oneself," which does not necessarily mean "be like No.6," but is a warning against following the crowd and not being true to your character. Well in my time I have not tried to be like No.6, but to be true to my own character. I have not followed others, tried to be different to others, but not going directly out of my way to be so. At school in my 5th year we were allowed to wear what we wanted. I chose a blazer with a crimson lining. Whilst the other wore everyday clothes. Then having left school, from my late teens on, I took to wearing suits, three piece suits, when everyone was mostly wearing Denim. These were old school friends who rebelled against the school uniform, wanting to wear their own clothes. So now they had swapped their school uniform, for the uniform of Denim. And there I was, an individual in a suit!
You have to watch, and unravel the Prisoner series for yourself. To form your own opinions as to what it all means, what's it all about. But I can help with most things, to help point those who ask in the right direction, and have done in the past.
Be seeing you
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