The Prisoner

The Prisoner was a sci-fi/action/thriller show that forty plus years later, people still don't know what the hell half of it means.

Because pennyfarthing bikes kick ass, that's why!

Be Seeing... D'oh!

Just The Facts

  1. The Prisoner premeried in 1967 on ITV (the redheaded stepchild of the BBC).
  2. It ran for 17 episodes.
  3. The last episode might be the most confusing hour in the history of television.
  4. Tricia Helfer's character on "Battlestar Galactica" was named for Number Six.
  5. The AMC remake sucks monkey balls.


The series premise is simple (well...). Patrick McGoohan plays an unnamed secret agent who angrily resigns his post. He goes home, starts packing and is gassed, kidnapped and taken to The Village, a seemingly idyllic seaside resort where he is drilled for information, which he refuses to give up. He is given a number, 6, and told to behave, which, of course, he doesn't.

This summary, by the way, is available in the opening credits of nearly every episode (just in case you missed it).

A, B and C

A) The Village is run by Number One, whose identity remains mysterious. Who we do get to meet is Number Two, but, don't get too attached to Number Two, as they are constantly replaced as they continually fail to break Number Six.

B) The Village's "guard dog" is an enormous white balloon nicknamed "Rover." Rover can paralyze, or even kill you, depending on what you're doing and how it feels at that moment. Rover also releases a horrifying roar that makes Godzilla sound like Hillary Duff.

C) The way of saying good-bye in The Village is give a little salute and say, "Be Seeing You."


The Prisoner's all-singing, all-dancing finale left more than one viewer baffled, supposedly forcing star Patrick McGoohan to go into hiding and not do anything really badass again until he played Edward "The Longshanks" in Braveheart.

The series was filmed in the seaside resort of Portmerion, which is in Wales, which is the only reason on Earth to ever go to Wales.

It's often been speculated by Prisoner fans that Number Six is John Drake, the secret agent played by McGoohan in his previous series, Danger Man. But, this is a sensitive topic for Prisoner fans, so approach it with caution.

Not only do fans argue about the meaning of the series, they also argue over the order in which to watch the episodes.

Rover made a cameo in "The Simpsons" episode "The Joy of Sect." Later, they went hog-wild with a nearly episode-long parody in "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes," in which Patrick McGoohan reprised his role as Number Six.

The Prisoner is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray or you can watch it for free on

Be Seeing You.