I read recently in the book ‘George Markstein and The Prisoner’ Edited by Roger Goodman, which was sent to me at Christmas by a good friend, that they had placed so much importance upon the Prisoner, that they showed it by placing him as Number 6 within the hierarchy of The Village. It went on to say the number could easily have been 8 or 5, as it was easy to say a single figure. It suggested that the Prisoner was one of the “first ranking” prisoners in the Village.
I surmise that if the Prisoner’s number had been 8, then the number assigned to Nadia Rakovsky during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ would have had to have been some other number, 9 for example. Mind you originally Nadia’s number was to have been 9, but was later changed to 8. In truth the Prisoner’s number could have been any number whatsoever. Production-wise, how 6 came to be chosen for the Prisoner is unknown. It might have had something to do with Patrick McGoohan’s childhood, whilst attending Ratcliffe College where he went to school while evacuated to Loughborough during the war. Ratcliffe is situated on the Six Hills Road. Or if his school number while at Ratcliffe had been six, although extremely doubtful. The RAF base situated next to Ratcliffe was called Station Six, perhaps the origin for the Prisoner’s number lies there, because our childhood experiences remain with us for all our lives. Or it might be as simple as Patrick McGoohan having asked one of his daughters to give him a number between 1 and 10, and the daughter said “Six.” Or even simpler, six chosen because of two of his daughters were six during 1966. The reason why 6 could be any of the above, all the above, or none of the above, or something completely different!
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