Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Prisoner

    I've been a fan of the Prisoner for much of my life. In fact I was ten when I first watched the Prisoner series on television back in 1967. Before that there was Danger Man, with Patrick McGoohan as John Drake, first of NATO Security, and later of M9, I always took M9 to be MI9, that they dropped the 'Intelligence' bit for the Danger Man series!
    John Drake as the Prisoner-No.6, well I suppose he could be, No.6 could be anyone really, so on that basis you cannot really rule out him being John Drake.
    They say, although I'm not entirely sure who 'they' are, that John Drake resigned from M9, the only trouble with that is, I don't remember John Drake actually resigning in Danger Man. Yes, the Prisoner resigned, and Patrick McGoohan resigned from the role of John Drake, because he thought the plot lines in the series were getting a bit thin. Actually when I view the 50 minute episodes today, I see how repatative some of the plot lines are. But in others, I see an element of truth about them, as in Under The Lake, and Don't Nail Him Yet, and several of the episodes set in any African country.
    So, John Drake had little truck with women. He kept them at arms length, well for most of the time. As for No.6, well he's a succour for a damsel in distress. Especially if she claims to know where the Village is, and if she tells No.6 like Nadia did, then he knows where he's sailing from, and therefore sailing to. But in Many Happy Returns, No.6 builds himself a Kon Tiki style raft. And really it is a voyage of faith, because No.6 still doesn't know where he is sailing to, because he doesn't know where he is sailing from! However, by the end of Mnay Happy Returns No.6 does know the location of the Village, because he has found it during the aerial search for the Village. So why is it, that when No.6 has drawn that map of the Village, adding north, south, east and west, he doesn't add both longitude and latitude to the map? If only they had added a little continuity between the episodes, then the Prisoner would have been a little more understandable, if you see what I mean. I feel that the Prisoner suffers from the too many writers syndrome!
    So what of the Prisoner today? What is it that keeps me a Prisoner of a forty-four year old television series? Well really I suppose it's the fact that I've perhaps been a fan far too long. I hate to say it, having been a fan for so long a time, but the Prisoner did become to be a little stale. An awful thing to have to admit to, but I felt that my appreciation for the Prisoner was on the wane. On the wane until that is THEPRIS6NER 2009 series came along. THEPRIS6NER with Jim Caviezel as Six, and Ian Mckellen as Two. With the Village set in Swakopmund in Namibia, instead of Portmeirion in North Wales, which many fans found to be unthinkable. But not me. Many fans in both America and here in the United Kingdom, took against the 2009 series of THEPRIS6NER, but not I. Because to me THEPRIS6NER 2009 series is refreshing. Okay, there's not quite the quirkiness of the original. There's not so many questions. The viewer is under no illusion what is happening, once you've picked up on all the clues along the way. And of course by the end of the final episode Checkmate, you know excatly what THEPRIS6NER is all about. And I think the 2009 series is all the better for having one scriptwriter, and only six episodes. It would have been better for the original series of the Prisoner to have had only seven episodes, which was Patrick McGoohan's idea.
   But there we are. We have what we have with the Prisoner of both series. I'm one of the lucky ones, I have appreciation for both series. I'm excited about the Prisoner again. And thanks to 2009 series my appreciation is renewed.
I'm Johnny Prisoner

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