I have been, and will be this morning, corresponding with Anonymous about why Patrick McGoohan chose the number 6 for the Prisoner. Over the years there have been many theories about this, I do have a theory of my own, but none of them have ever been confirmed. This is perhaps the biggest unsolved mystery of 'the Prisoner.'
So why the number 6?
PMcG saying he chose the 6 because it's the only number that becomes another one when turned upside down sounds nice. But why, then, didn't he take the 9 instead like the Beatles in 1968: "Revolution 9". Probably he told people because he needed something after being asked. Elsewhere on this blog I speculated that the number 6 was chosen becauseReplyDelete
1. of the "magic" year 1966 in which the series was made. Likeliness: higher medium.
2. of the duodecimal system in GB with the 6 being "half a dozen of the other". Less than medium.
3. the "Be seeing you!" hand gesture, if properly made, displays a 6. Unlikely but great.
Now, this could be added:
4. Its the symbolic importance in Christian, Hebrew and Islam religion. E.g. God created the world in 6 days, on the 7th he rested. The number 7 unless almost absent in The Prisoner is widely neglected. Likliness: Lower highs.
5. According to Wikipedia, "6 is the smallest positive integer ... Since six equals the sum of its proper divisors, six is the smallest perfect number..." What more can we expect! Likeliness: above medium.
5. No. 6 is under the influence of the Village powers. His home is the "Round House". The round shape can be associated with the Village, but it isn't completely round. Now, the numberal 6 resembles a circle albeit an imperfect one. We don't know exactly how his own home looked like but hexagonal structures, like honeycombs, are extremely stable and their wall material - volume ratio is described as optimal (also WP). Likeliness: higher than low.
6. The Devil and 666. Likeliness: very low.
Only guessing. BCNU!
We can indeed speculate, and many, many fans over the years and decades have done likewise. And yet none of the fans speculations have ever been confirmed. And who is to say that none of your thoughts on the subject are wrong. The question is which one of them could be correct?
And yet as I said in my email;
For myself I feel the number 6 could stem from McGoohan's own school days, and Morag is of that opinion also. Because ones school days help forge the person, and those days remain with you for the rest of your life. Ratcliffe Collge, where McGoohan spent the remainder of his school days during the war, is situated on the Six Hills Road. And during the war, there was an RAF base right next to the College, called Station 6. Okay that might not be the reason for Number 6 either, but it's as good as any, and more likely than some. However having said that, the reason why the number Six, could be as simple as....Patrick McGoohan one day asking one of his daughters to think of a number between one and ten, "Six" say's his daughter!
Very kind regards
How old was his daughter at the time of The Prisoner? Do you know? - BCNU!ReplyDelete
That's an easy one to answer. McGoohan's eldest daughter at the time was 14, the next 7, and the youngerst daughter 6 years of age.
Very kind regards
Was she? Alright, that's at least one indication.Doesn't have to be the sole explanation, of course. - BCNU!ReplyDelete
I offer that not as any form of explanation or indication for the number 6. It is a possibility only that, as there is only one thing we can be sure of, and that is we can be sure of nothing!
Very kind regards