Thursday, 26 May 2011


    I received a couple of letters the other day asking if I ever discuss, debate, theorise, put forward ideas on what the Prisoner means, is, and might be? I have to say that in the past, I have done all that. Indeed I've contributed to journals and newsletters from Alert to Free For All, all of which have been dedicated to the Prisoner in their time. I've stacks of yellow, faded, and crumpled papers in my flat, which contain hand written and typed personal notes, ideas, and theories on the Prisoner, which has taken years to amass.
  For years I was a long standing member of 6of1 The Prisoner Appreciation Society, and joined in with debates on the series at Prisoner Conventions at Portmeirion.
    But I don't discuss, or theorise the Prisoner series as much as I used to. All the passed theorising, debate, discussion, and speculation has turned the Prisoner on it's head, inside out, and back again! I feel that anything that can be said about the series has been said. That all that can be written, has been written, although my good friend Dave Stimspon persists in squeezing just that little bit more out of the Prisoner. He's a prolific writer on the subject of the Prisoner, and although he doesn't always get it right, I feel he is to be congratulated for his work and persistance with the subject.
    These days I am more than happy to show my appreciation for the Prisoner and I'm talking about both series, by simply sitting back in my globe chair in my flat, and watching both seris of the Prisoner for its pure entertainment and escapism, especially THEPRISONER 2009.
   What has surprised me in recent years, is the clarity of the Prisoner. In that I mean the times that the actual film of  episodes of the Prisoner that has been put through the re-mastering process, at least three times to my knowledge, and that's not counting High Definition! And to my way of thinking that's wrong, because such clarity shows up all the blemishes of the Prisoner. The line down the middle of the television screen in The Schizoid Man when the two No.6's face each other in the cottage. Not to mention the different lighting on either side of the screen. And then there are the painted back drops of Portmeirion used in the later episodes of the series, namely Hammer Into Anvil, It's Your Funeral, and A Change of Mind. Me, I much perfer to use my old Channel 5 videos from 1986-87, which still play as good today as they did when they were first issued. And sometimes, I turn off the colour and watch the Prisoner as I first did, in black and white.
   An old, old friend of mine telephoned me one evening, and we were talking in general about the Prisoner, and he said that he'd been watching the series recently. So I asked him if he'd noticed then the different magazines in the Tally Ho newspaper rack in the General Store. Namely Village Weekly, and the magazine with the picture of that chap from the 1960's series Time Tunnel........James Darren? Or The Village Journal which is on sale at a kiosk in It's Your Funeral? My friend said that he hadn't, which I found strange, because he has the Prisoner in High Definition, and watches the series on a 44 inch television, and he's missed these small details!!!!!!!!!! It appears to me, that life-time fans of the Prisoner have a different degree of observational skills, as well as differing understandings of the series.
I'm Johnny Prisoner

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