- We want information!
- Well, since "Questions are a burden to others and answers a prison
to oneself", this posting will hopefully reduce the questions.
- Danger Man and Secret Agent
- Danger Man was the name of the first secret agent series about the
character John Drake, a man who believed in using his head rather
than using a gun or getting involved with women to resolve situations
(contrary to the typical James Bond types). The shows were 25 mins B/W.
When American distribution was desired, the series was filmed as 60 minute
Secret Agent b/w and colour episodes (although they were never released in
colour). The main plots were how this agent dealt with the moral
conflicts of his job.
Note: the mixed up "puzzle" letters that appear in the closing credits of
may episodes of Secret Agent really spell Danger Man, as is clear
original UK showing as Danger Man.
Two of the colour filmings were edited together to produce a 90 minute TV
movie called Koroshi.
PM conceived the concept for The Prisoner while filming an episode of
Danger Man in Portmeirion (the village)
(the story was set in Spain).
There is also a Danger Man
episode called Colony 3 about a village of agents training to
become imposters that was used as part of the idea for The Prisoner
(this is the show where he hides a camera in a typewriter). Many of the actors
in DM/SA also appear in TP.
- Opening Lyrics - Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers
- (Written by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri)
- There's a man who leads a life of danger
- To everyone he meets, he stays a stranger
- With every move he makes, another chance he takes
- Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow.
- Secret Agent Man, Secret Agent Man
- They've given you a number and taken away your name.
- His Job Resignation
- McGoohan has made it plain in several interviews and books that The
is not a sequel to Danger Man. Although there are those that believe
#6 is called "Drake" in Once Upon a Time - according to the script, the
line reads "... in the morning break".
[No, I don't have the script. This
information was obtained during my attendance at the 6-of-1 convention at
Portmeirion. Contact 6-of-1 to see if scripts are available - kgb]
There is much evidence indicating however that #6's previous job was
as a government agent. It's known that #6 held "one of the most top-secret
positions" within Britain, and that this involved "field work". In Schzoid
Man, one of the advantages that Curtis has to help him impersonate #6
are his abilities as a top agent and a field man. Fall Out reveals that
he is given "a top secret confidential job" and it involved state secrets.
It is also a fact in real life that most agents are mathematical or
accounting specialists, and #6 does admit that he's "good with figures".
If you include the 4 part comic book sequel (OK, OK, Graphic Novels),
The main character's name is Alice Drake and it is implied that she is a
relative of #6's. But remember, mis-direction is always a possibility.
Some of the early paperback books have taken liberty and actually called
him John Drake, but these books are so filled with even the most basic
errors concerning the series and the village that most fans discount them.
Number Six has given his reasons for his job resignation several times,
it's just that the village either doesn't believe him or believe there is
more to it; so in some respects #6 has no choice but to resist his captors
because even if they got what they wanted it might not help. In
Arrival it's mentioned that his reasons "were a matter of principle".
In Chimes Of Big Ben, he states that "it was a matter of conscience",
and he also begins to say "I resigned, because for a very long time now
I...". In Once Upon A Time, he states that his reasons were for "Peace
of mind because too many people knew too much; I know too much", and that
he eventually rejected these moral contradictions. Also, in A B & C, he
states he didn't resign to sell out. A B & C also reveals that he
going on an immediate holiday after his resignation - just what
someone resolving an internal conflict would need to do.
It's more in line to say that the Village has taken the position that they
wish to break him and that getting him to reveal the details behind his
resignation is the first step. It has been made clear that the people don't
wish to cause any permanent damage because they believe that if they can
win him over, he "has a valuable future with us".
- Who Runs The Village?
- You are never given a direct answer to this question, but there is a large
amount of evidence pointing to "his own side", or to "both sides".
Certainly his own people are in on it. Many people from #6's past
(some having indications of authority) appear and work for the village.
This happens in Arrival, Chimes Of Big Ben, and
Do Not Forsake Me....
Even after #6 is found (Many Happy Returns) and reveals the presence of
the village; you can bet that if his previous position was as an agent,
his side would seek out such a place after he vanishes the second time.
Even if he was believed dead, they'd still search for it (especially if
there was a possibility other agents could be there). It would also not be
an easy manner for Mrs. Butterworth to occupy his home unless she could
pass the security investigation that would probably take place. Also, in
Do Not Forsake Me... it is revealed that it's been a year since his
capture; yet his home is still maintained for him to wake up in.
- Where Is The Village?
- In real life, it's a seashore resort called Portmeirion in North Wales, and
built by the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. It is located in the
town of Penryhndeudraeth. Look for Cardigan Bay on the western shore; at
the north end is Tremadoc Bay; look along its north-central shore and find
the town of Porthmadog; go east, and at the northeastern corner of
Tremadoc Bay, there is an inlet pointing slightly north of east.
Portmeirion is on the north shore of that inlet.
- The Portmeirion Hotel
- LL48 6ET
- United Kingdom
- Phone: 01766 770228
- Fax: 01766 771331
- Telex: 61540 PORTM G
- In the show, ignoring the information stated in Chimes Of Big Ben
(the girl was working for the village, so her statements are untrustworthy),
Many Happy Returns and Fall Out reveal the most about it. In
Many Happy Returns, it's narrowed down to an area that #6 begins
searching and eventually finds (a fact that doesn't help him any).
Fall Out reveals you can get there via road, so not an island. A route
number appears in Fall Out also. The Sea indicates it's on a
- The closest font to the one used in The Prisoner is a modified
Albertus (dots removed from "i" and "j", loop of "e" opened).
Albertus is available from Monotype in Postscript Type 1 format, in
their Headliners 6 type set. Call (in the US) 1-800-MONOTYPE.
Albertus also available from Image Club Graphics, Inc. (see Personal
Publishing magazine). Costs $75 for 3 styles: normal, bold, and
black. Postscript format. Suite 5, 1902 11th Street SE, Calgary AB
Canada T2G 3G2; 403/262-8008.
- The car used in the show was a Lotus Seven series II, which was available
as a kit or assembled (hence why #6 claimed he built it). In the U.K., a
license plate number stays with the car for life. The real KAR120C Lotus
(which was the demo model series II) was used and eventually sold to an
Australian. When Fall Out was filmed, a quick mock up from a
series III was used.
Lotus, desiring to termininate production of the car after their
failed attempt at marketing a series IV, sold all existing kits, molds, and
manufacturing rights to Caterham Cars (their biggest dealer at the time).
Caterham went back to the series III, made some internal structural
improvements, and re-named the car the "Super Seven". The car is still
available and can be purchased as a kit for import into the U.S. (I owned
one myself). There are 2 reputable places in the U.S. which will provide
you with an assembled vehicle that you can register in most states as a
composite or kit car.
The west coast: Dave Bean Engineering, Inc.,
636 E.St.Charles Street, Star Route 2,
San Andreas, CA 95249-9564,
On the east coast: Sevens and Elans,
Mr. Chris Tchornicki,
248 Hampshire Street,
Cambridge, MA 02139,
[I have the address for Caterham, but haven't had time to post it yet]
Caterham may also provide you with other locations. It is important
that if you do wish to pursue getting one, that you avoid many
places that attempt to sell imitations (all inferior) and seek one of the
sources mentioned above.
The cost is around $20,000. Delivery is about 6 months. The car looks
very much the same as it does in the show, but now comes with a 5-speed.
The car is very very fast (0-50mph in 4 to 4.5 secs), and can be painted
colour you want.
Funny point is that the car did have a problem history of
over-heating in traffic, the same one mentioned to #6 by the woman in
Many Happy Returns.
- What About The Penny Farthing?
- In interviews, Patrick McGoohan states it's a symbol of progress. In the
alternative version of The Chimes of Big Ben, a wheel on the bicycle
become the planet earth and eventually you see the word "POP". There is
also a story that the penny farthing symbol was already in some sort of
use at Portmeirion, and PM adopted it for use in the show.
- Filler Episodes
- PM was asked to create 5 "fill in" episodes for U.S. release. These are
the ones with almost no (or re-used) shots of the village.
Living in Harmony, The Girl Who Was Death,
Do Not Forsake Me... are some of these.
These episodes can be removed from the series without major impact to the
- Episode Order
- The order of the episodes according to script and production dates differs
that the order originally aired in the U.K. and U.S. Part of this is due
to the changes made to The Chimes Of Big Ben before airtime
(hence why the lost episode exists).
The main argument concerning the order is where
Chimes belongs in the series.
There are many indications of shows being in a specific order.
Once Upon a Time and Fall Out are obviously the last two.
Arrival is obviously the
first. Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling has flashbacks to
Free for All and Dance of the Dead.
Dance of the Dead mentions that #6 is "new
here". Many Happy Returns states #6 has been a prisoner for months, and
Do Not Forsake Me... states it's been a year. The General is a
episode than A B & C due to the second appearance of the same #2
mentioning that "He and #6 are old friends". There are those that believe
the Tally Ho article ("Is #2 fit for further term") and #2's opening
speech ("I am #2") indicate that A B & C and The General should be
reverse order, but remember that #2 was in a fragile position with
his leaders during A B & C and it's suggested that any failure would be
the end of him, so these could just be signs of his current situation.
The most widely listed episode order is the order the episodes were
originally broadcast in the U.S., and is typically published in magazines
(such as Starlog).
This is also the official episode order according to ITC:
- The Chimes of Big Ben
- A B & C
- Free For All
- Schizoid Man
- The General
- Many Happy Returns
- Dance of the Dead
- Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
- It's Your Funeral
- Living in Harmony
- A Change of Mind
- Hammer into Anvil
- The Girl Who Was Death
- Once Upon a Time
- Fall Out
- Note: Living in Harmony was originally omitted from the first showing
of the series in the U.S. Some opinions differ as to why this
happened, but the most official word is that they were pulled due
to the Vietnam era, and the issues concerning drugs and draft dodging.
- Uniforms And Numbers
- There are signs that a person's number is an indication of status
within the village. That being the case, then the number 6 would indicate
that he is considered valuable. There are also indications that
numbers are recycled, In Chimes Of Big Ben, the new arrival is referred to
as "the new #8" (with the old #8 being dead). Using an available number
rather than having a unique number is certainly more in line with the
village's practice of not identifying people as individuals. If you
believe that #48 in Fall Out is the same lad in Living In Harmony
(who has a lower number), then his number was changed after his experiment was a
failure. Certainly the #2 has been recycled numerous times.
There are also a few oddities. Roland Walter Dutton in
Dance Of The Dead
doesn't seem to have a number (perhaps suggesting that you only get one if
there is an intention you are going to live there), Alison in Schzoid Man
is referred to by name, the two newspaper reporters in Free For All
identify themselves as #113 and #113B. In Checkmate, one individual is
only identified throughout the show as rook; and you never learn if the
butler has a number. Finally in Fall Out, a large number of people are
identified by a belief or occupation rather than names or numbers, but it
is implied that they do also have numbers.
Ignoring the few exceptions; there seem to be 2 popular types of uniforms
among the "citizens" of the village. The turtleneck shirt and jacket with
coloured piping, and a striped shirt with a sailor's hat (sometimes worn
with a multi-colour striped cape). There seem to be colour variations of
both types, as there are also black pennyfarthing badges and white ones.
You're never told whether this has any significance or not (it may just
be for contrast with the black or white jacket).
In a few shows (especially in The General), you also see some sort of
uniform composed of a top hat, black shades, and tails. It can be deduced
that this indicates some sort of official position in the village (board
member perhaps), and that anyone serving these roles wears these outfits
during official events. The guards also wear a single colour jumpsuit
with shades, white sneakers, white club, and a white helmet.
Other items seen are multi-colour umbrellas, loafers, bland slacks,
pullovers, and sunglasses with narrow slits or b/w checkers. There were
also the maid uniforms, the butler's clothes, the Doctor coats, and in
Fall Out we see white hooded coats with b/w masks, and the judge's
- Other Patrick McGoohan Credits
- The Dam Busters 1954
- The Dark Avenger (aka "The Warrior") 1955
- Passage Home 1955
- I Am a Camera 1955
- Zarak 1956
- High Tide at Noon 1957
- Hell Drivers 1958
- The Gypsy and the Gentleman 1958
- Nor the Moon by Night (aka "Elephant Gun") 1958
- All Night Long 1961
- Two Living, One Dead 1961
- Life for Ruth (aka "Walk in the Shadow") 1962
- The Three Lives of Thomasina 1963
- Dr.Syn, Alias the Scarecrow 1963
- The Quare Fellow 1966
- Ice Station Zebra 1969
- The Moonshine War 1970
- Mary Queen of Scots 1971
- The Genius (aka "Un Genio, Due Compari e Un Pollo") 1975
- Silver Streak 1976
- Trespasses (aka "Finding Katie") 1983
- Brass Target 1979
- Escape from Alcatraz 1979
- Scanners 1981
- Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend 1985
- TV movies
- Koroshi 1966
- The Man in the Iron Mask 1979
- The Hard Way 1980
- Three Sovereigns for Sarah 1985
- Jamaica Inn 1985
- Of Pure Blood 1986
- TV Series
- Danger Man (aka Secret Agent)
- The Prisoner
- The Vice (1953)
- Hosted "Trilogy of Terror"
- Appeared in 3 episodes of "Columbo" (won an Emmy)
- Also acted in theatre
- Prisoner Books
- The Prisoner Alain Carraze and Helene Oswald, Virgin Books, 1989
Contains many great colour and B&W stills from the
series, including behind-the-scenes shots.
- The Prisoner and Danger Man, Dave Rogers, Boxtree Books, 1989
Contains episode synopses from both series.
- The Official Prisoner Matthew White and Jaffer Ali
Companion Warner Books, 1988
Contains many errors
- The Prisoner Thomas M. Disch (N.Y. Ace Publishing, 1969)
- Who Is Number Two? David McDaniel (N.Y. Ace Books, 1969)
- A Day In The Life Hank Stine (N.Y. Ace Publishing, 1970)
- The Prisoner Four part comic book, sequel to the tv series
(Comic Book series) by Dean Mottter, published by DC Comics 1988-1989
Highly recommended reading
They may also be found as a single volume called Shattered Visage
- Book A - A(r)rival
- Book B - By hook or by crook
- Book C - Confrontation
- Book D - Departure
- The Prisoner Puzzle A detailed Canadian
educational text from the 70s,
which included interviews with Patrick McGoohan.
Considered a valued resource; believed to be unavailable now.
- Prisoner Items
- The Mini-Moke toy (the taxi seen in the series) was available during the
time of original broadcast, and is now considered a serious collectors'
item. The 6-of-1 organization has obtained at least one of the two real
vehicles that were used in the series. Also available at that time were
prisoner watches (watches with the penny farthing symbol on the face).
Both of these are no longer available.
Cars sells a metal miniature model of the Super Seven for about
$40 (It's about 3 inches long). A Japanese firm sells a plastic version
for slightly less:
- Model Kits:
- Lotus Super Seven Series II Tamiya
1500 Cosworth Model Rectifier Corporation
(Scale 1:24) Edison, New Jersey, USA 08817
Kit No. 2446A
- Lotus Super Seven Wills Finecast
Sports Racing Car Lower Road, Forest Row
(Scale 1:24) Sussex, RH18 5HE, England
Kit No. 007
- Photos, badges, maps, postcards, and the CD soundtracks are available
through 6-of-1, or through the shop located at the hotel Portmeirion.
The official source for the CDs is suppose to be through 6-of-1, but
apparently you can obtain them from the publisher and other sources:
It is an import, marketed by Silva Screen Records Ltd, Silva House,
261 Royal College Street, London NW1 9LU, UK.
Video Tapes can be ordered from FUSION VIDEO, 17214 S. Oak Park Ave,
Tinley Park, IL, 60477-9917. All episodes are available; approximately
$20 each. The Prisoner Companions, Lost Episode, and
Best of are also available .
Some items the U.S. viewers see as novel collectables (such as the
telephones) are (or were) fairly common items in the U.K. and were not
specific to The Prisoner.
There was an adventure game out during the 70s, available for the
Atari and Apple computers, called The Prisoner.
It was made by Edu-Ware.
In the world of role playing games there is a GURPS The Prisoner
sourcebook. GURPS is made by Steve Jackson Games
- Fan Clubs
- There is only one officially recognized fan club for The Prisoner.
It's full name is:
- Six of One (or 6-of-1) The Prisoner Appreciation Society.
- There are chapters in the U.K. and in the U.S.
- For a year's subscription, it will provide 4 packages of documents and
the paper Number Six. Six Of One also organises the Portmeirion
Convention each year in September, although has been talk that this
may be discontinued due to the sometimes harsh relationship with
Portmeirion). For more information:
- U.S. Six of One, 871 Clover Dr, North Wales, PA, 19454
- France Six of One/France, Jean-Michel Philibert, BP 633,
42042 Saint-Etienne Ce'dex, France
- U.K. Six of One, PO Box 60, Harrogate, HG1 2TP,
There were several attempts by individual fans, especially in the late
70s, to promote personal newsletters as official fan clubs. These
went under such names as The Green Dome and The Prisoner
None were officially recognized by ITC, in most cases they just re-published
information provided by Six of One, and many were told by ITC
or Six-of-One to cease copyright violations.
- MENSA, the High-IQ organization, had (and may still have) a Prisoner SIG.
- Miscellaneous Facts
- Although he intentionally used it to his advantage, part of the reason a
#1 appears on the home of The Prisoner is because the real
apartment door used for the filming is apt #1 in Buckingham Place, London.
Currently, Patrick McGoohan lives in the north-western U.S.
Leo McKern had a breakdown during the filming of Once Upon A Time
because of the intensity of the episode.
Fall Out was filmed and aired months after Once Upon A Time. This
during the "resurrection" scene of #2 his beard is shaved off, and why Leo
had shorter hair.
Isn't it interesting that both PM and LM made films with Gene Wilder?
Using a weather balloon for rover was a last-minute decision. There was
suppose to be a robot-like electronic device, but it failed to work
properly during filming. The decision was made at the last minute
to use something else on the set, so a large number of weather balloons
The public was so outraged by the content of the last episode that PM had
to go into hiding for a short while to avoid being badgered by the press.
Most people were disappointed about the end (many wanted #1 to end up
being the Butler).
The Man behind the desk during the resignation sceen is George
In real life, the village (Portmeirion, Wales) is very
small and seems larger in the show because of film editing.
Those that have visited the place get a kick out of seeing #6 take routes
that don't really lead to the shown destinations.
McGoohan also wrote/directed episodes under the name Paddy Fitz, and
directed some under the name of Joseph Serf.
Ron Grainer, who did most of the supporting music for the show, also
did the theme for Dr. Who and other U.K. TV shows.
The garage that PM drives his Lotus into where he passes underneath the
gate before it lifts is in London.
YES YES! That is #6's face behind the mask in Fall Out! PM even
states so in The Prisoner Puzzle,
a Canadian publication of the 70s. The
ape mask was an intentional reference to evolution.
- Outstanding Items
- Many people are looking for copies of the Albertus font, sound samples,
GIF files, star movie credits, etc. You are encouraged to post such
items (UUSHAR or UUENCODE format preferred) often. I personally want good
GIFs AND sound samples (MAC or Amiga format). Anything I obtain I may
list in future FAQs and/or make available via email somehow.
- FAQs Looking For Official Answers
- Can you buy copies of the scripts?