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Saturday 22 December 2012

The Therapy Zone

    “Rover" the buoyant weather balloon that fadelessly enforces the village laws, is perhaps the most bizarre character in television history. Originally this ominous police vehicle was conceived as a faceless, driverless Volks Wagon with a blue light on the top. Such a vehicle was actually created for the Prisoner {but a Go-Kart not a Volks Wagon}, but it failed one major test, when placed in the sea during a critical point of preproduction, it quickly filled with water and sank. Unable to retrieve this vehicle, McGoohan looked to the skies for assistance and found it in a passing weather balloon. McGoohan asked his production manager , Bernard Williams, to enquire as to the availability of such a balloon. "He took off like a rocket, and after we had done a few shots, he arrived back with a station wagon full of these balloons in varying sizes, from six inches to eight feet in diameter, as well as cylinders of oxygen and helium and various other things. That's how we got what turned out to be th best-possible menacing Rover that one could have." Rover remains the show's most expensive special effect."

No.7's It Doesn't Really Mean Anything
    The Prisoner doesn't have to mean anything if you don't want it to. The Prisoner can simply be entertaining, and superb escapism, if that's all you want it to be.


  The "Ins" And "outs" Of The Prisoner
     Patrick McGoohan resigns from the role of Danger Man John Drake. He takes an idea of what he wants to do to Lew Grade, the man who said yes, or words to that effect, early 1966.
    McGoohan and David Tomblin set up the production company Everyman Films Ltd, and employed many of the people who had previously worked on Danger Man. Over the following five months or so, the first scripts were written, and the early episodes were carefully planned.
   The first filming commenced on September 5th 1966. McGoohan originally wanted the Prisoner to be a mini-serial od seven episodes and production started with just that number in mind. However, during the production, Lew Grade contacted McGoohan and asked him if he could make the series of 26 episodes, thus making the Prisoner easier to sell to the American television networks. McGoohan said that it could not be sustained that long but promised to do as many episodes as he could. Some more story-lines were then prepared and the Prisoner series grew from 7 to 13 episodes.
   After making the first 13 episodes, which includes Once Upon A Time, which although was shown as 16th episode, it was filmed much earlier in the production order. And it was at this point that many people left the production, including story editor George Markstein, having disagreed with McGoohan about the direction the series was being taken. This meant that the following episodes, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, Living In Harmony, The Girl Who Was Death, and fall Out were produced with an almost entirley different production crew, apart from McGoohan and director David Tomblin, along with Music editor Eric Mival, who survived until the end of the series!

Be seeing you

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