Saturday, 26 March 2011

It's A Point Of View

   I read a comment the other day, oh not here on Blogger.Com, nor on MySpace, but on a different site altogether. It was a comment regarding the 2009 series of THEPRISONER.  The author of the comment stated that it was too bad that the producers chose to change every single thing of the original series, including that of the village! "It's oranges and apples as far as I'm concerned" the author wrote, who as a life long fan of the original series, sees the 2009 series as an abomination. A bit strong that I thought, and the 2009 series has been described as being a remake. Well it's not a remake, it's not even close to being a remake. What would be the point of a straightforward remake be anyway? If it were a remake, then the 2009 series would have kept as close to the original series of the Prisoner. I have no idea if the author of the comment had actually seen the 2009 series, but what THEPRISONER is, is a reinterpretation of the original series, a reinvention, in keeping much of that which is seen within the original series, along with the main plot, and some of the sub-plots within the original series.
    THEPRISONER has moved on. There's a new village. There's only one Two, which I believe works very well. And there are the subtle echoes of the original 1960's series. The newspaper reporter and photographer. The chessboard. The village taxi, not a Mini-Moke I grant you, but it does the job. The village guardian. Lava Lamps. Modern day deck shoes, and piped blazers. The phrase "Be seeing you." Everyone is a number, and wears a numbered badge, but not all the badges worn by the citizens are the same. Some do not even have the village emblem upon them! There's the village Postman. The Map of Your Village. Six, the former No.6. There's a penny farthing bicycle, and I could go on.
   I too am a life long fan of the Prisoner, and I can see that THEPRISONER is not so very different from that of the original series. So why can't the majority of fans? Did they truly think that a simple remake was to ahve been produced, filmed in Portmeirion?
   Next month sees the first anniversay of the UK premier of THEPRISONER, and I for one will be screening the series again, and that will make it four times I have watched the series. I bet there are not many fans of the Prisoner who can say that!
   This weekend I'm going out for a beer or twelve. I'm going to get myself a pig to keep. My favourite dish has become anything in a 'wrap.' And seeing as I've nothing to hide, I've nothing to find. But then of course if you haven't seen all THEPRISONER series, you won't know what I'm talking about, will you?
I'm Johnny Prisoner

Saturday, 19 March 2011

It's All Very Readable - But Only Good Agricultural Stuff!

 Over the years I've collected a number of books to do with the Prisoner, and not all of them have been good. It all began with the Prisoner by Thomas M. Disch. Then The Prisoner-A day In The Life by Hank Stine, followed by The Prisoner-Who Is Number Two by David McDaniel, which I found to be the stupidest of the three novels. No.2 sees to it that No.6's Lotus Seven is brought to the village, and No.6 is given a ration of petrol, and a race track is built, so that No.6 can drive his Lotus, at speed, but only round and round a race track........
   Many books have been written about The Prisoner, trying to put answers to the many questions, and demonstrating many interpretations about the series. They all try, but somehow they all fall short of the mark, which is easy to do, as we all have many different and varied ideas and theories about what the Prisoner is. What's more any book written about the Prisoner has something in common with all the rest - they all make mistakes, sometimes they have to!
   I thought that one day I might publish all my writings and theorisations about the Prisoner. But then it's tough getting a book published in this day and age. My mate Stimpy Stimpson knows that better than anyone. He's written three manuscirpts about the Prisoner, two novels, and another investigating every aspect of the series, and everything connected with it. Dave cannot tell you why the Prisoner was living in such a large house for one person of No.1 Buckingham Place. Because it is one house, and not a number of flats. In fact it's not known how the Prisoner could afford to live in such a house in the City of Westminster, London. But I tell you what, Dave Stimpson knows who was living next door to the Prisoner, at the actual time of filming the Prisoner in No.3 Buckingham Place. I myself am not at liberty to tell you, but it was someone closely related to a very important person. No less a person than........................No, I cannot betray a trust!
   It has to be said that Dave Stimpson has placed his trust in me, and that I share many confidences with him, his new dicoveries which he has made durng four and a half years of research into the Prisoner. And I tell you what, some of his discoveries would astound any fan of the series. They astounded me! I mean who would have thought the village salute, had an origin, and No, it's nothing to do with the Christain sign of the fish! Or that there's one certain connection between the Prisoner and Danger Man. I mean, Dave himself has only recently made that discovery! Trouble is he's not telling, not even to me! I can only hope that for my sake, as well as Dave's, and for fans of the Prisoner around the world, that he can find a publisher for his manuscript The Butler Speaks before too long. Then we might all learn a factual thing or three!
I'm Johnny Prisoner

Saturday, 12 March 2011

All The Fun Of The Convention!

   I generally watch the Prisoner over 17 weeks as a lead up to the Prisoner Convention in April 8th-10th. But this year it's THEPRISONER which will see me to the convention. In fact I've a mind to go as Two, and go about the village reminding people to "Breathe in, breathe out.....more village!" And during the election parade, instead of chanting "Six for two, six for Two, six for Two. Vote, vote, vote...." I'll chant "Six is the one! We want Six. Six is the one. We want Six. Six is the one." I bet they'll not be many joining in with such a chant from the 2009 series. I'll probably be posted as being Unmutual!    Here in the United Kingdom April will see it being a year since the premier of THEPRISONER. And already it seems to have been forgotten by the majority of fans of the original series. But not by me, nor by my mate David Stimpson, who keeps THEPRISONER in mind, he has not forgotten, and neither have I.

  This is the emblem of the village. Not so iconic perhaps as the canopied penny farthing bicycle, but I've got used to it, and think it rather clever in a way. It's Art Nuveau, or Art Deco, one or the other. and can be seen on everything and everywhere in the village. I thought it also symbolic of the village salute once given by the Shopkeeper-37927, as he said be seeing you to the Prisoner as he left the village shop in Arrival. But if that's right, then 37927 is the only citizen to give such a salute. It was perhaps a simple wave goodbye on the part of the Shopkeeper.
    The village of the original series should have had The Palace of Fun, it's marked on the map of the village. But for some reason it never visualised, or was made use of. The Palace of Fun would have been the place for drinking. Gambling. Amateur dramatics, and recreational activities of all kinds. But the only place to have any fun in the village in the original series is the Cat & Mouse nightclub with it's non-alcoholic Gin, Whiskey, and Vodka. The village of THEPRISONER has the Go-Inside bar, which caters for every taste. But I'm not sure if the village beer and wine is non-alcoholic or not!
Here the Prisoner tries to force a point by banging his hand down upon Two's desk, only not quite so forceful as Patrick McGoohan. Jim Caviezel fails to upset the teacup in it's saucer. Mind you there is tea in that teacup, whereas with McGoohan upset a teacup in it's saucer. Mind you the teacup was empty!

  And here, the schiozid man struggles against himself, but with the blade of a knife at Two's throat! You see, there really isn't a Two-Times-Six. There's no alter-ego for Six, it's all in Six's own mind, which as a matter of fact, can be said of the whole series.

And is this what they do to Unmutals in the new village? Well hardly, as there are no Unmutuals, only
those who go about impersonating Two, an Un-Two as he is termed. The only trouble is that this is the Shopkeeper-37927, who's only crime is to have shared with Two a pack of illicit cigarettes. And Two had given his word to the Shopkeeper that he would not tell about the cigarettes. But that wasn't Two, it was an Un-Two, who may look like Two, but you will know that he is not Two, because he is not Two. He many appear in the village in a dishevelled state, which has resemblance to Two. He may claim to be Two, but he is not Two, and must be treated as who he is, which is someone who is not Two! 37927 never impersonated Two, but here, as he's being taken to the Clinic for treatment, the Shopkeeper is Wearing an old school scarf, as like the original No.2 of the village! Two never wears an old school uniform. But he does wear a number of different ties throughout the series!
I'm Johnny Prisoner

Saturday, 5 March 2011

I'm Not A Number - I'm Johnny Prisoner!

    Being a fan of the Prisoner can leave oneself open to ridicule! People find fans of McGoohan's creation as something to laugh about, not to take seriously. Well I can assure you that that's never stopped me being me. It's not a vital statement, but I thought I ought to make it.
    As you know, well perhaps you don't, but I am, always on the look out to add Prisoner merchandise and memorabilia to my already extensive collection. And a few weeks back I was busy trawling the World-Wide-Web, and found myself on ebay. There were several different badges for sale connected to the Prisoner, but all at 'silly prices' as I like to call them. I mean £16.99 for green or blue enamal badge, who's going to pay that? I had them direct from Six of One when I was a member, back in the 1980's and 90's for about £2. And there was this badge for sale, yes, just like this one.
I was there, at the 30th anniversary event for the Prisoner in London, that day. It was organised by Six of One: The Prisoner Appreciation Society. There were displays of costumes worn in the series, like No.6's blazer, his charcoal grey suit. The overcoat he wore during A B & C, and no doubt in epiodes of Danger Man. And of course the Schizoid blazer, a cream blazer with black piping. There was a number of special guests, who made up several discussion panels. One guest I recall, was Chris Gregory, a University lecturer I believe. Gregory wrote the book called Decoding the Prisoner. I've never read the book, nor have ever had the desire to have it within my collection. what's more, as soon as Chris Gregory opened his mouth, I took and instant dislike to him! I won't say why, but he gave the appearance of knowing everything about the Priosner, without having actually watched the series!
   But back to the above badge. One just like it was for sale on ebay sometime back, for the princely sum of £16.99. Well, seeing as mine is in both mint condition, and still pinned to the original piece of card it came with.....well mine should be of the greater value!
I'm Johnny Prisoner