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 Post subject: THE PRISONER
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:45 pm 
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TV Guide called it, "...a chilling blend of Oz, '1984,' Toyland and terror."

I have the TV Guide "Close Up" in my files.

I've sold articles about it, one to "The Dossier: A Journal of Naval Intelligence." In that opus I wrote, "Unlike all other television in this country, before or since, it [The Prisoner] demanded an alert, aware, intelligent audience, an audience not satisfied with merely having their emotions provoked in a predetermined way. ...The Prisoner evoked a dichotomy of reactions, always presenting metaphors of a multitude of philosophical alternatives, never endorsing a single dogma, compelling the viewer to participate in the usually one-sided media experience, to think, to use their individual imaginations to answer for themselves the universial psychosocial issues the series raised, and thus explore, or optimistically, RE-EXPLORE who they really are."

As a lifelong student of television and a writer who has published many observations of same, The Prisoner remains a rare Television Event, one long discussed by others and a personal passion.

I first met Patrick McGoohan in 1977 when his "Rafferty" teleseries was filming in "The Sequoia" a brownstone in Hollywood I happened to live in at the time. After watching production staff go up to his trailer and knock on the door while calling out his name, I imitated them and was graciously invited to sit and have a drink by Pat once he saw my Ace Paperback from the series that I wanted him to sign. ("NEVER BE A PRISONER" he wrote on the inside of the cover, above his signature.) He told me he'd never seen the books and was interested in what my thoughts about the series were, and, as the conversation unfolded, what I was writing at the time in my tiny apartment in the building used as the Establishing Shot of his Rafferty character's home.

Later, his son-in-law did a script (shooting/budget) breakdown for a major budget SF film I'd written that I was marketing that year. (Ultimately, it didn't sell.)

I've always found Pat a wonderous guy and The Prisoner stands at the top of all Television.


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 Post subject: Re: THE PRISONER
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:08 pm 
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That's a great story and a great favorite TV show to have. Definitely one of the best television shows in history, one of my personal favorites as well. Speaking of The Prisoner, I think there were some comics based on the original series as well. Did you ever read those? If so, what did you think? I first heard of the show when I read the chapter on it in the History of Sci-Fi TV book from the '50s to the '90s with Deep Space Nine. It also had chapters on Quantum Leap, all the Star Trek shows done at the time and V.

Also, have you ever seen the remake of The Prisoner with Jim Caviezel, that originally aired on AMC, now on DVD? If so, what did you think of that?


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 Post subject: Re: THE PRISONER
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:10 pm 
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In reply to Anthony: I have The Prisoner limited series of comics from way back; they were ok, but nothing like the McGoohan series' level of excellence. I also have the 3 Ace paperbacks, the second written by famous SF writer Tom Disch which Patrick McGoohan signed for me and it is quite good. It opens with a two word sentence: "Drake woke," which is typical of the taut, high-impact style Tom wrote in. Tom's book discusses some of the social, political and philosophical points raised in the teleseries and even discusses Orwell's "1984." The other two books are ok, but lighter in tone (though the 3rd mentions Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" song, a fav of mine).

What did I think of the remake of the The Prisoner? Let me put it to you this way: I recorded all the episodes and watched them because I sometimes write about The Prisoner (and television in general) for magazines. Upon finishing the final episode, I IMMEDIATELY erased all of them and, up until this moment, NEVER thought, spoke or wrote about them again.


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 Post subject: Re: THE PRISONER
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:42 pm 
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JonnyDuffy wrote:
What did I think of the remake of the The Prisoner? Let me put it to you this way: I recorded all the episodes and watched them because I sometimes write about The Prisoner (and television in general) for magazines. Upon finishing the final episode, I IMMEDIATELY erased all of them and, up until this moment, NEVER thought, spoke or wrote about them again.


A good summation. Nothing like the classic series in style or impact.

Jonny, you may want to check out our "Prisoner" section in One Season Sensations.

Find the related topic by Clicking Here


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 Post subject: Re: THE PRISONER
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:43 am 
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In 1980 I was in the UK with my girlfriend and we were going to spend 7 days in Hotel Portmeirion.

I was at that time asked to do a write-up for possible use in StarLog (it didn't work out).

In my opening I described the trip to Penrhyndeudraeth, North Wales (where "The Village" is) by paraphrasing The Prisoner's opening.

My girlfriend had the map and I was driving.

Me: "Where are we?"


She: "Near the village."


Me: "What village?"

She: "I don't know. I can't pronounce it!"

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