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Monday 5 September 2016

The 50th Anniversary

   Today Monday September 5th is the 50th anniversary of the commencement of location filming for ‘the Prisoner’ at Portmeirion correct to both the day and date in 1966. Only four episodes were involved, The Arrival – Free For All – Dance of The Dead – and The Queen’s Pawn.
   Up until the 5th it had been persistently raining. But on the Monday morning the rain stopped and for the rest of the month there was nothing but sunshine. Had it not been so, then the four episodes would have taken on a very different look, in fact filming may well not have been completed during September 1966. According to the planned schedule filming was due to begin with scenes of the Graveyard, which was relocated to the beach. The original filming of this scene took place at Traeth Bach, but rain plagued the filming, forcing the film crew to take refuge in the caves above the tide mark. When it came to filming the scene of Cobb’s funeral, the coffin looked to be too light in the first few shots, so rocks were placed inside to give it weight. After this the weather improved dramatically, and shooting relocated to the road leading up to Battery Square. On Tuesday September 27th 1966 filming on ‘Dance of The Dead’ was to have been completed with the scene in which Number 6 finds the corpse in the water on the small beach in the cove just around the corner from the lighthouse at Portmeirion. This may well have been one of the last few scenes to be shot at Portmeirion during the September location shoot.
   Incidentally the two people seen in the photograph Number 6 found in the dead man’s wallet was that of props man Roy Cannon and his assistant Jill Hennessey, they were photographed together by the pool and fountain in the Piazza a few days before.
   On the weather front relating to September 1966, according to the long range weather forecast for
North Wales September 2016 appears to be much the same now, as it was then!

Be seeing you

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