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Wednesday 8 March 2017

The Pri50ner

    50 years of ‘the Prisoner,’ it’s about time he was released on parole! As a matter of fact I have it on very good authority that Network DVD is to release a DVD box- set to celebrate the anniversary. But for a chap who prides himself on collecting memorabilia and merchandise connected to ‘the Prisoner,’ I’m not sure if I’m going to bother to buy this new box-set. After all I have the series on video from 1982 on Precision Video, to what was termed as the “ultimate” box set. So how can the “ultimate,” meaning last, most significant, most extreme example of its kind, not to be improved upon, be surpassed? I Think the 50th anniversary box set would have to contain something really, really special to encourage enthusiasts to part with their credit units to buy it, but what that could possibly be I’ve absolutely no idea. I should have thought that all and any original material appertaining to ‘the Prisoner’ had been all used up by now.  -   Over the past years and decades ‘the Prisoner’ as been discussed, debated, and written about in-depth. You would think that we’ve talked ‘the Prisoner’ to death by now, but that has not proved to be the case. Mind you I much favour the trivia within the series, and there’s nothing more important that trivia. Those colourfully striped capes for example. As a rule it’s mainly women who wear them, but there are two exceptions to that rule. One is the Butler, who wears a brown cape instead of the regular coloured striped ones. And yet he does, because the cape he wears is worn inside out! Also Number 240 in ‘Dance of The Dead’ also wears her cape inside out. Now why should they do that? I can understand the Butler’s reason. A man in his position wouldn’t want to be seen to look stupid in such a colourful appendage. He has his position to maintain. So to wear the cape inside out seems perfectly reasonable. But Number 240, what might her reason be? By doing so she might be guilty of letting her individuality show through, on the other hand perhaps the colours simply didn’t suit her. So she came out in sympathy with the Butler! The second exception to this rule about the wearing of capes takes place upon the chessboard in ‘Checkmate,’ well it would have to be Checkmate, the chessboard not appearing in any other episode. There even the male chess pieces wear a cape, that’s why when Tweedledee gives Number 6 his chess pole he also has a cape draped over his left shoulder by Tweedle-dum. But why should male chess pieces have to wear capes in the first place? Unless it’s to regiment them, so that the men and women look alike! I’ve just thought of another, the boys in the Brass Band also wear capes, and occasionally men can be seen wearing capes in episodes other than ‘Checkmate,’ notably in ‘Dance of The Dead’ only the Town Crier, the Butler, and Number 240 wear capes.
   There are two posters on the notice board outside the Recreation Hall. One of the posters advertising an exhibition of entertainment and mime to be given in the grounds of the Manor House, led me to sit here pondering the question, where in The Village is the Manor House? I first thought it was that pink house set back behind wrought iron gates, but it doesn’t have the look of a Manor House. There’s Government house of course, I’m surprised they didn’t put Number 6 in that, when one considers that he was living in a government house in
London. Then I thought of Madam Professor and her husband living in a big house, she used to hold her art seminars in the garden. A garden possibly large enough to hold a small exhibition of entertainment and mime, so it might well be the Professor and his wife were actually living in the Manor House. Then the question came to me, why hold an exhibition of mime and entertainment in the grounds of a Manor House and not inside the Recreation Hall? It might be a trivial matter, but I betcha that I’m the first person to write something about the idea of a Manor House being in The Village. That’s what I like about ‘the Prisoner,’ its endured over the past 50 years because there’s still something fresh to discuss about it, even if only on the trivial front, and still new things to be seen visually in the series. There aren’t that many television series, if any, which reach its 50th anniversary which you can say that about!  

Be seeing you


  1. The creators of the series and the (ficticious) Village did not give away too many details did they. As to how big the place was or how many inhabitant - inmates - there were. Let alone who was living where, their relative locations and distances. This was done by purpose. No. 2s and No. 6s residences being the exception. Nadia's isn't disclosed all too well, we only see the portal of it. I admit I've never heard about "Manor House", probably I'd simply overlook it. Perhaps Madam and Mr. "Professor" enjoyed some privileges so they were allocated not the Recreation Hall but a big enough mansion in the Village, perhaps next to what is known as the woods. - BCNU!

    1. Hello Arno,
      No, the creators of the series and of The Village gave very little away, only that which needed to be known. As for the size of The Village, its what we see, extended by the use of sets at MGM film Studios. Perhaps that's the meaning of that peculiar phrase said by Number 6 in 'The Schizoid Man,' "The atmosphere here is very different from what it was elsewhere," an in-joke perhaps, meaning they are at MGM and not Portmeirion!
      I should think there are few enthusiasts of 'the Prisoner' who have heard of the Manor House in The Village. Its was only quite recently that I discovered there must be one. The only place I could think of large enough is the Professor's house.
      When it comes to where people live in The Village, No.2, No.6 and Nadia are practically neighbours. Well they would be if No.2 actually lived in the Green Dome which he/she doesn't!

      Best regards

    2. Does No. 2 live in or under the Dome (probably in the annex...)? One good question. It's interesting isn't it that 6 Private and the Green Dome, although only a stonethrow apart, are made to appear quite remote from each other. And that's also a good point, the quote from "Schizoid". You could be right as for an in-joke! - BCNU!

    3. Hello Arno,
      I've always thought its the Butler who lives in the annex behind the Green Dome. No.2 lives in that room in the Town Hall, see 'Dance of The Dead.' Number 2 in 'A B And C' walks from the Town Hall to the Green Dome by underground passage way, arriving in his office through the floor seated in his chair wearing his dressing gown. The tunnel we see in 'Once Upon A Time.'
      Also the interim Number 2 in 'It's Your Funeral' is seen wearing his dressing gown in the Control Room!
      Yes 6 Private does appear remote from the Green Dome, but a stones throw apart as you say. It that why Number 6 is isolated in The Village, living in a detached cottage? Perhaps they thought he wouldn't make a very good neighbour!