I think I got it, just remind me of the question again! The message did you get it? Oh you mean how Patrick McGoohan wanted us all to think and not just sit there watching soap operas like ‘
Coronation street! He wanted to make people angry, not to imply accept things as they are. To ask questions, and speak out against injustice when we see it. He tried to shake the television viewer out of their mental lethargy, to make them sit up and take notice for once. I that the message?
What does ‘the Prisoner’ mean to me? As a whole it’s good escapist television.
The Village for example, well everyone knows it’s Portmeirion in
North Wales. And yet looking at it from the fictional perspective, being a physical place, it’s somewhere south west of and Portugal , perhaps on the coast of Spain , but it’s not an Morocco Island. And yet the Village can also symbolic of the state of mind, the Village created in the mind from which there can be no escape.
No.6, he’s a prisoner, and at the same time No.1. The one the alter ego of the other, such is the struggle within the Prisoner against himself. He is his own worst enemy.
No.6 represents the struggle of the individual against the stifling oppression of the authority of the system.
No.2 represents authority within the Village. He/she is the oppressor, who freely takes away peoples identity, their freedom, and individuality. He/she is a member of the establishment.
The Village Guardian, it’s physical being possibly man made is the keeper of the Village, it serves and protects. It is the watch dog, hence the name ‘Rover,’ as it rounds up stray sheep, returning them to the flock.
It is also symbolic of ones fears. When confronted by the Village Guardian one is confronted by ones own worst fear, and it is that fear which suffocates it’s victim.
The canopied Penny Farthing bicycle, as a whole simply a brilliant iconic logo or trade mark. The bicycle representing progress in our time, that perhaps man should slow down, and think about what he has achieved in his time. Perhaps to slow down and return to a more slower age. The canopy symbolic of the ‘nanny state’ we all live in today, in an age where health and safety rule over us. That nothing dangerous should be attempted with considering health and safety first!
The butler, is symbolic of the ‘little’ man in society, his apparent dumbness representative of the little man in the street who has no voice. He is the man who follows faithfully and without question, no matter who is the established leader.
No.48 is representative of youth, which rebels against any accepted norm. He goes about aimlessly, in which ever direction the wind blows. For him it’s not so much the destination that matters, only the journey taken to arrive there.
The shouting down of the former No.6 by the delegates in ‘Fall Out,’ as he tries to make his speech, symbolises the struggle the individual, his inability to make himself heard in order to put forward his viewpoint. The shouting down possibly so that Patrick McGoohan doesn’t have to make a speech!
PRISONER seen on the screen towards the end of ‘Fall Out,’ demonstrates that the Prisoner is just that, as much a prisoner at the end as he was at the beginning, that there is no escape from that within yourself that holds you prisoner!
Be seeing you