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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Thought For The Day

    1960s television series 'The Prisoner,' has been described as being quintisentially British, and to a large extent that is correct, despite the wide variety of different nationalites of the members of the cast. For example Leo McKern was born in Australia, as was Guy Doleman. George Baker was born in Varna in Bulgaria, Earl Cameron is Bermudan born for example, Pat McGoohan was an Irish-American for examples. No.6 asked No.2 in 'Dance of the Dead' "Are you British?" But what about the Prisoner's nationality, is he Biritsh? I only ask because there are certain Americanisms used by No.6, such as the word "fall" in one of his electoral speeches, "I can supply it, winter, spring, summer or fall," if the Prisoner was British, he would have said "autumn" not "fall!" Also No.6 was said to be "running for office," if he was British he'd be "standing for election." 
    Poor old No.36 in 'It's Your Funeral,' who really couldn't go a day without her sweets! We discover this through the 'daily prognosis report on No.6.' It is predicted that No.6 will buy a bag of sweets for No.36. But No.2 refutes this claim“He never eats candy" he tells No.8 And yet we see on the screen No.6 buying a bag of candy for No.36. Here in Britain we’d say “sweets” not “candy” which is an American word, Pat McGoohan would have known that. So if 'the Prisoner' series is meant to be British, why use American phraseology? Through some research, it would seem that the use of American words and phrases was quite intentional. The slight Americanisation of ‘the Prisoner,’ might be put down to the fact that originally ‘the Prisoner’ series was produced so that it could be sold to an American television network. So certain American phraseology could have been instigated at the instigation of Lew Grade, but through McGoohan, so to make the series easier to sell in the American media market.
Be seeing you


  1. A slight Americanisation as an instrument of marketing. A good interpretation. Being not a native English speaker who only knows about certain Americanisms while not knowing every conceivable ramifications I can see one explanation why they'd have used and preferred the term "running for office": It's a good wordplay too. When No. 2 asks, "are you going to run?" No. 6 replies, "Like blazes". And later: "I shall be running for office..." - BCNU!

    1. Hello Arno,

      It is indeed good wordplay, I enjoyed your comment.

      Very best regards