Sunday, 27 February 2011
What The Prisoner Means To Me
For me Arrival sets the Prisoner up a treat, and it's not only the Prisoner-No.6 who is treated to an aerial tour of the village by No.2, that's also for the benefit of the television viewer. And of course by the end of Arrival you are eager to know, and see more.
The Prisoner is action and adventure. The action in fight scenes, and a daily bout of Kosho. Adventure, when No.6 tries to escape by helicopter, embarking on long sea voayges with Nadia, and again setting sail on his sea-going raft to god knows where, because he doesn't know where he is sailing to, or for how long!
The series is enigmatic, puzzling. It makes you think, and question who the Prisoner is? Why did he resign? Where is the village? Which side runs the village? Who is No.2? And if the villages administrations main priority is for the accumulation of information, should they get it - what do they do with it when they've got it?
For me, the Prisoner-No.6 will always be John Drake. Although to be prefectly honest the Prisoner-No.6 could be anyone. He need not be a secret agent once of M9, and formerly of NATO security. But somehow I don't think that the village authorities would go to so much trouble in having a Butcher, Baker, or Candlestick Maker abducted to the village. Those type of trades men would be recruited via the Labour Exchange, or Employment Bureaux.
I have, in my time, discussed, debated, and made study of many aspects of the Prisoner. And I've looked for those so called "hidden meanings" which many fans have believed to be within the series. There are no "hidden meanings" within the Prisoner series. I know, because I've never to this day, found any! There was a great deal of pressure on the production of the Prisoner, McGoohan was under pressure. So do you honestly think, because I don't, that the production crew working on the series, really had time to put in so called "hidden meanings" within the series? The thing with the Prisoner is, you get what you see, and have to make of it what you will. You could have one thousand fans of the series put forward one thousand individual ideas or theories about the Prisoner, and the thing is, they would all be right!
There is of course a further aspect of the Prisoner, that it can be treated as nothing more then pure escapism. The television viewer can emerse oneself in the Prisoners situation, having been abducted to the village, against his will. We sit and watch each episode enthusiastically, as No.6 is pushed, filed, stamped, briefed, debriefed, and numbered, in the safe knowledge that it's being done to someone else other than you!
I'm Piet Hein