I have recently begun reading through copies of the original scripts for ‘the Prisoner,’ and having found some interesting points, I begin at the end, and yet there is no ending because in the Prisoner’s ending is his beginning. And yet it could have been so, so different, had Pat McGoohan stuck to his original script the ending of which follows;
The length of the street. Foreground the Lotus and the door to P’s
house. In the distance P and the London approaching together. Behind then from
around the corner:- Butler
The hearse out of the standard opening. It passes them slowly. Pan it by P’s house as it turns left into
Palace Street. Hold with it as it turns left again
out of Palace
and P approaching the steps. They
stop. P inspects the Lotus the Butler dusts the bonnet. He smiles. P hands
him the key to the house. The Butler mounts the steps and unlocks the door.
He goes in and holds it open. P slowly walks up the steps and goes in. The Door
shuts. Bring in :- Butler
Fade out before:
“And hear the words of the Lord”
But that wasn’t good enough, McGoohan had to try and go one or two better. He had to show that with the electronic opening of the front door to his house he had been in the village all the time. And with the final scene of that long, deserted runway, the dark clouds and thunder, the Prisoner was about to start all over again! But really, how likely would it have been to re-set the village as it was before the evacuation?
I like the simple idea of “The Butler mounts the steps and unlocks the door. He goes in and holds it open. P slowly walks up the steps and goes in. The Door shuts.” It might seem something of an anti-climax to the majority of fans, but in reality what else would he have done? Not to have gone driving off to have it out with his former colleagues, because surely he would have remembered what had happened on the 3 former occasions he had done that. So what price a fourth encounter with another Colonel and his assistant? ZM73 had been put through so much over the past 15 months, he would need time to recover, and consider what he would do next. So he goes home, a wash and brush up, a change of clothes, and a cup of tea. So yes, having read the ending of ‘Fall Out’ in a copy of the original script, I much prefer that to what we see in the finished episode. No matter how much of an anti-climax it might seem.
Be seeing you