Monday, 5 March 2012

A Quiet Chat

   It was only the other day that I learned of the death of actor Dennis Chinnery, who played Ernst in the episode Many Happy Retruns, and so far I have not been able to find an obituary for him, perhaps it's early days and one will appear in a newspaper, or perhaps The Stage.
    At the end of this month there's the Prisoner Convention at Portmeirion, March thirtieth to April the first. I don't think I'll be attending, as Prisoner conventions these days are not what they once were, and besides I'm no longer a member of Six of one: The Prisoner Appreciation Society. I could go to Portmeirion and simply see the out-door events, it would be a day out I suppose. It's been a while since I was at Portmeirion, I might even meet people I know there.
   But more importantly for me, I will be watching THEPRIS6NER-09 in April so to celebrate the third anniversary of the series. I wonder how many other fans of the Prisoner will be doing that, not too many I suppose. I have been a fan of the original series for 45 years now, and although I enjoy the series, having watched it countless times, THEPRIS6NER-09 came like a breath of fresh air to me, and it is a series which many fans of the original cannot find appreciation for. I don't know why not, as THEPRIS6NER-09 contains much of the old series, but reinvented. Of course the new series could never hope to live up to that of the original series, it could only try, and in my book Bill Gallager did an excellent job with the script.
   Later in the year, starting in October, I'll be watching the original series of the Prisoner to celebrate the forty-fifth anniversary. I know that in the past fans have messed about with the screening order, suggesting that this episode should go before that episode and so on. But for me the screening order in which the series comes on both television, Video, and DVD is good enough for me. Although I have once watched the series starting and ending with Fall Out, and for me it worked.
    Like my mate "Stimpy" Stimpson, that's David to you, I've had Number Six on my mind for the past fourteen days, while he has been at sea aboard his raft. He set sail on February 20th after first constructing his sea-going raft, and is keeping a "school boy" log, which goes only as far as the eighteenth day. Yes I know, Number Six confirmed that he spent twenty-five days at sea, perhaps he was to exhausted to maintain the log after the eighteenth day! I had Number Six especially on my mind yesterday, with the report that a meteor having been seen in the sky recently, which might have come to Earth in the Bay of Biscay......Number Six is somewhere in the Atlantic, of which the Bay of Biscay is part. It would be a terrible thing if Number Six, having gone to so much trouble, and having to endure such a journey at sea, was sunk by a meterorite hitting his raft! I'll leave you with that thought.

I'm Johnny Prisoner

Obsevers Of Life Should Never Get Involved!

    I've been making several observations on the matter of the Prisoner begining with the Town of Harmony, which if it had been a real Wild West town of America in the 1800's would have been placed in the state of California. How am I able to do this, well it's all thanks to Joaquin!
   In A,B,C if there had been a picture in the 'C' box file as there had in both 'A' and 'B', then the photograph would have been of Engadine.
    Whatever the village is, it is more than a helicopter flight away. The mention of a "quick flip in the helicopter to the landing stage" by No.2 during The Schizoid Man is an indication of a known fact.
    You will have observed that the Tally Ho is issued daily at in the village. However during the episode of A Change of Mind there are two issues of the Tally Ho newspaper. In fact A Change of Mind is the only episode to have two issues of the Tally Ho, on different days of course.
    The painter, we see has clearly been taking his time painting that wall in Checkmate, seems to have been making the job hang out! Just as well he wasn't asked to paint it again, or was he?
    No gardener appears to mow the lawns, or trim the hedges. They just fiddle about in the flower beds! Perhaps Sir Clough Williams-Ellis wouldn't let them do more than that during filming at Portmeirion!
    In his cottage the Prisoner smashed that black loudspeaker under foot on the day of his arrival in the village. Yet the music played on, liked piped music you hear, but cannot switch off in supermarkets. However by the time of The Chimes of Big Ben No.6 has found a more subtle way of dealing with the annoying programme of early morning music, by placing the speaker in the refrigerator. Thus rendering peace and quiet to '6 private,' which was not the case in Arrival.
   Tea features strongly in the episode of A Change of Mind, as No.6 cannot stand girls who can't make a descent cup of tea. But why warm the pot "always?" Well it certainly has nothing to do with improving the flavour of the brew. Tea doesn't taste all the better for warming the pot first. No, it has to do with the tea pot and boiling water. Because if you pour boiling water straight into a cold porcelain or ceramic tea pot, the boiling water will cause the pot to crack. So "warming the pot always" guards aginst the tea pot from cracking. Simple and foolproof!
    No.6 drinks tea when he is at home, but at either the cafe or on the lawn of the old peoples home he drinks coffee.
    Since his arrival in the village No.6 has reverted back to taking sugar. This after No.6 gave up sugar four years and three months ago on medical grounds. It seems that No.6 is afraid of nothing. Not putting on weight, nor of being reduced, not of diabetes.

I'm Johnny Prisoner

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Number Six - A plant?!

   What if No.2 in Hammer Into Anvil actually got it right, that No.6 is a plant, sent to the village to check on security, to check on No.2? That idea makes a total hash of how we see the opening sequence, that of a man who having resigned is trying to get away before they come for him. That would all be an act, as he allows himself to be abducted, as the Prisoner goes to work undercover in the village Absurd? Well Nadia Rakovski allowed herself to be abducted, to attempt a fake escape and be subjected to the awful effects of being captured by the village guardian! To make no mention of being interrogated and subjected to torture in that interrogation room, as she was a plant, working undercover in the village. Oh I know what Nadia Rakovski allowed herself to be put through is nothing compared to what No.6 was put through. But the principle is the same.
   Certainly whoever No.,6 is he is definitely a spy. He has intelligence of working with codes, uses code names, Schmidt, Duval, D6, ZM73, XO4, and a false name of Peter Smith. He gives nothing away about himself, only that of his birthday 19th of March 1928, the only real thing we know about the Prisoner-No.6's identity.
  It isn't until his supposed escape in The Chimes of Big Ben that we see that his cover is blown! the Colonel and Fotheringay have been brought to the village to help extract certain information from an old ex-colleague, and is left dumped in the village. Now he really is a Prisoner, betrayed by his very own people! But the Prisoner is still loyal, as we see in Many Happy Returns when the Prisoner "runs" again, back to old friends and ex-colleagues. And in Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling we not only learn that this one time spy, and undercover man is engaged to the bosses daughter, Janet Portland, and that the Prisoner's direct boss, above the Colonel is Sir Charles Portland. The fact that ZM73 had been sent on a mission deep under cover for the past year, means that even Sir Charles Portland was not privy to such delicate information. After all, Sir Charles may have told his daughter under pressure by her!

I'm Johnny Prisoner

Saturday, 29 October 2011


   Now I do completely understand that THEPRIS6NER09 is not every fan of the Prisoner's cup of tea. Indeed much feeling against the 2009 series has been vented by fans of the original series. But I feel blessed that I am amongst the minority who can appreciate both series, and I make no apologies for writing about it here in my blog, after all you don't have to read it........oh you're not, well I'm going to spit in the electronic eye of Number One, and be damned to the consequences!
   My mate Dave Stimpson wrote recently in a piece of blog, that he's watching THEPRIS6NER for the fifth time, and says the only thing wrong with the series, is that it's over too soon, there being only six episodes. And that is how I felt after watching the series for the first time, after each episode I was left wanting to see and know more. And I was left with that feeling at the end of the series, it was all over much too soon. But as they say, good things come in small packges, not that the majority of Prisoner fans would agree with me. Anyway, what follows is an article which I wrote in 2009, for whatever it is worth.

I'm Johnny Prisoner

Saturday, 22 October 2011


   Having watched THEPRIS6NER in 2009, I wrote a series of articles for The Tally Ho, and I thought readers here might be interested in reading them.
   I found myself getting quite excited about the prospect of a new series after all these years. Because ever since 1968 there had been much talk about a new series of the Prisoner. I was not disappointed by THEPRIS6NER and found the series very enjoyable, and still do today. Okay, there's not the scope for much discussion and debate regarding the new series, but all that was done with the orignal series, THEPRIS6NER is more subtle than the original, and I was amazed how I didn't find myself comparing the two series. Yet having said that, there are strong similarities between the two. What follows is the first of my articles, written in 2009.
I'm Johnny Prisoner

Saturday, 15 October 2011

45th Anniversary of The Prisoner

   2012 will see the 45th anniversary of the Prisoner and like all good fans of the series I'll be celebrating the event. This year of course it was the 45th anniversary of the start of filming of the series at Portmeirion on September 5th to the very day, a Monday. The weekend prior to filming at Portmeirion, the filming of the opening sequence in London was filmed, driving through the streets of London, and outside No.1 Buckingham Place.
    I don't suppose anything special will be done by ITV in way of celebration, like actually screening the Prisoner on terrestrial television in the evening, no, that would be too much to ask for. The only time the series is screened now is on ITV4 at 11:55am! Not that that really matters, because like all good fans I've the Prisoner series on video and DVD, and can watch the series any time I like. But then that's not really the point.
    I wonder if someone will produce a calendar for the Prisoner, but for us, the fans for 2012, a 45th anniversay special. We haven't had a Prisoner calendar for two years now, but it would have to be something really special, as passed calendars for the Prisoner became rather samey. Everything the same, only the year was different! Mind you my mate Dave Stimpson does produce an excellent Prisoner calendar each year. Its completely unofficial you understand. This years calendar was an amlagamation of both series of the Prisoner. I thought it was rather clever, what's more Dave has informed me that he is already working on a calendar for 2012, something different he said. I asked him if it was a 45th annaversary special, and he said 'No,' which I thought was strange for such a fan of the series as he. But I suppose he knows what he's doing!
     Perhaps Network DVD will produce a DVD box-set for the Prisoner next year to celebrate the 45th anniversary, they did for the 40th, {and will possibly again for the 50th}. Mind you Network DVD later released the 'ultimate' Prisoner box set, containing videos of both series, along with the music for the original series, but not THEPRIS6NER09, so it really wasn't the 'Ultimate'box-set at all! that's getting a bit samey, just releasing continuous box-sets of the Prisoner, blimey, I cannot believe I just typed that! Mind you that's how it feels at the moment, unexciting! The most exciting thing to happen regarding the Prisoner this year, was the discovery of a Village Mini Moke in the Netherlands, well I thought it was exciting, as did my mate Dave.
   The monthly meetings of the LPG {Local Prisoner Group} do still take place on the last Tuesday of the month, when Tommy Moke and myself meet up at the Goat and Compasses to discuss all things Prisoner, Danger Man, Patrick McGoohan, and Portmeirion. We have invited Dave Stimpson along to that last couple of meetings, but he has failed to put in an appearance, which has menat that we have had to drink the pint of bitter we order for him and put in his place, half expecting Dave to turn up. I mean who does he think he is, Patrick McGoohan? Do you know something, I attended the 2001 Prisoner convention at Portmeirion, and there was a guy there wearing a grey 'T' shirt, upon which were the words 'The David Stimpson Appreciation Society.' I asked the guy what that was all about, and Giles said that he had had the 'T' shirts specially made for the first summer after the Prisoner conventions held at Portmeirion had been cancelled, that was in 1999, at the same time as there would have been a convention. Anyway, the fans had gathered at Portmeirion that week in 1999, not for a non-convention, and the 'T' shitrs had been specially made, for it was expected that Dave Stimspon would be there. But as Giles said, that in true McGoohan style, Dave never turned up for the non-Convention of 1999!
I'm Johnny Prisoner 'Without appreciation society!'

Sunday, 2 October 2011

My Mathmos Lava Lamp

  You may recall how some time ago now, I was telling you about how the oil of my Mathmos Lava Lamp had gone cloudy, and refuses to clear. I wondered if there was anyone out there in the Village, who could tell me if there was anything I could do about it............ apparently not. Well I suppose I could send it back to Mathmos who would clean and refill the glass section with new oil. But that would prove costly. However there is another way I have found, in fact I found out last Friday when I was out and about town, and gazed into a window of a local Charity shop, gazing upon a Mathmos Lava Lamp. I hastened inside and examined the said Lava lamp closely, and found it to be in perfect condition. The blue tinted oil as clear as, well blue tinted oil. This is a picture of the lamp. It's not as the one I already have,not as the ones seen in the Prisoner, but it's predecessor of 1963, of which this is a Mathmos replica, just as the original would have been, but in copper metal.
   I have five Lava Lamps in my collection, but only two of them are Mathmos, and one is as seen in 93's apartment on THEPRISONER09, and another is a tall square lamp.
   There is something soothing about a Lava Lamp, to sit and gaze at a Lava Lamp seems to quieten the mind somehow. Possibly that is the reason why No.2 is seen to have the image of the perpetual Village Guadian on his wall screen in his office.
    Yet it can appear to have something malevolent about it, that the wax inside is symbolic of the Village Guadian, a perpetually moving, living 'thing,' that it would do harm to you if it were to ever escape its confines. It is almost as though anyone who owns such a Lava Lamp, and is a fan of the Prisoner, owns his or her own small containment area akin to that somewhere at the bottom of the sea.
I'm Johnny Prisoner enjoying his Lava Lamp, and having done good work for a charity into the bargain!