The Prisoner: Miniseries (1967 - 1968)


Miniseries
The Prisoner

Critics Consensus

Sharply intelligent, visually striking, and bracingly bleak, The Prisoner remains a political metaphor for the ages.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 13

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 21

You might also like

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this season

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of this tv season? (optional)



  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this season

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of this tv season? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

Episodes

Having been kidnapped and drugged after resigning his position, a British intelligence agent (Patrick McGoohan) awakens in the Village (a mysterious, Orwellian community). Now known as Number Six, he is expected to provide information to the enigmatic Number Two (Guy Doleman) if he ever hopes to escape the Village and return home. Things take an even more perplexing turn when Cobb (Paul Eddington), an old friend of Number Six, suddenly shows up...and just as suddenly kills himself. In one of her last appearances, (Virginia Maskell) guest-stars as "the Woman." "The Arrival" was co-written by series producer David Tomblin and George Markstein. This inaugural episode of The Prisoner first aired in England on October 1, 1967, and in America on June 1, 1968.

View Details

Still seeking a means of escaping The Village, Number Six forms an alliance with a new arrival named Nadia (Nadia Gray), who claims to know the location of their isolated prison. As the two prisoners formulate a scheme to return to London, the mystery of Number Six's predicament deepens, with the not inconsiderable assistance of the New Number Two (Leo McKern) and an elderly man known as The General (Finlay Currie). Written by Vincent Tilsley, "Chimes of Big Ben" was originally telecast in England on October 8, 1967; the episode first aired in America on June 8, 1968.

View Details

The New Number Two (Colin Gordon) hopes to extract information from Number Six with the help of a machine which displays a person's dreams on a TV monitor. Number Six is pumped full of a mind-bending drug, then attached to the machine. Visions of the prisoner's life before his incarceration in the Village are projected upon the TV screen, as well as several clues to his reason for resigning his government job. Figuring prominently in the proceedings are a woman named Engadine (Katherine Kath), and an odd pair known only as A (Peter Bowles) and B (Annette Carrell). First broadcast in England on October 15, 1967 and in America on June 22, 1968, "A. B. and C." was written by frequent Prisoner contributor Anthony Skene.

View Details

The celebrated "election episode" of The Prisoner, "Free For All" was directed by series star Patrick McGoohan, and also written by him under the pen name of Paddy Fitz. While the Village gears up for the election of the New Number Two, Number Six is encouraged to throw his hat in the ring. Curiously, Number Six is nominated by the incumbent, Number Two (Eric Portman) himself. At first balking at the "honor", Number Six is persuaded to run on the promise that, if elected, he will learn the identity of Number One --- thereby earning his freedom. Rachel Herbert plays the crucial role of maidservant Number Fifty Eight. "Free For All" made its British TV bow on October 22, 1967, and was first telecast in America on June 29, 1968.

View Details

Number Six awakens one morning to find that his appearance has been radically altered and that he has been reassigned the "identity" of Number Two. Compounding his confusion, he comes face to face with the new Number Six, who looks exactly like his "old" self (Patrick McGoohan plays both roles). It's all part of a scheme by the New Number Two (Anton Rodgers) to break down the protagonist's resistance --- and possibly, his sanity. Jane Merrow costars as Alison, a woman claiming to have a mental link with Number Six (but which one?) Written by Terence Feely, "The Schizoid Man" first aired in England on October 29, 1967, and in America on July 6, 1968.

View Details

The fine line between knowledge and insight becomes a battleground in this episode of the classic British television series The Prisoner. Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) becomes aware of a strange new innovation created by scientists in the Village -- a type of brain implant that allows the subject to readily absorb information, but eliminates their ability to process their own thoughts. The role of Number Two is played in this episode by Colin Gordon, with Betty McDowell and John Castle heading up the supporting players.

View Details

Originally broadcast in England on November 12, 1967, this episode of The Prisoner was written by Anthony Skene and directed by "Joseph Serf" --- actually a pseudonym for series star Patrick McGoohan. Arising from his slumbers early one morning, Number Six discovers that the Village is deserted and all the power has been shut off. At last able to make his escape, Number Six fashions a raft and sets out to sea. Washing up on the shore of what seems to be a familiar English coastal village, he finds that his old lodgings have been taken over by a Mrs. Butterworth (Georgina Cookson), whose behavior does not set his heart at ease. Hoping to return to his former government headquarters to inform his superiors of the Village's existence, the prisoner is plunged into a deep and ever-widening pit of paranoia, with no certainty as to whom he can trust and whom he should fear. Donald Sinden and Patrick Cargill guest star as the Colonel and Thorpe, respectively. "Many Happy Returns" first aired in America on July 20, 1968.

View Details

In this episode of the allegorical television series The Prisoner, No. 6 (Patrick McGoohan) discovers a new sort of danger has come to the Village, while a carnival attempts to distract the villagers from their gloom. No. 6 recognizes a new resident, and learns that he is being tortured by No. 2 (Marn Morris) in order to learn the truth about No. 6 and his past. As both No. 6 and the newcomer are subjected to interrogation to find out what they know, a body washes up on the beach, which No. 6 discovers has a radio in his pocket. Will he be able to get the radio to work and find out what's happanmed in the outside world? And can he somehow send a signal to the people outside the Village about his plight?

View Details

In this British cult-classic television series, Patrick McGoohan stars as Number Six, a secret agent whose resignation results in his imprisonment on a strange island called "The Village." In "Checkmate," Six finds himself involved in a bizarre chess game which uses real people as pawns.

View Details

Written by Roger Woddis, this episode of The Prisoner guest stars Patrick Cargill (also seen in the previous episode "Free for All") as super sadistic New Number Two. Delighting in tormenting the villagers, Number Two drives at least one of them, Number 73 (Hilary Dwyer), to suicide. Hoping to avenge the woman's death, Number Six begins his own campaign of psychological warfare, utilizing such "weapons" as his collection of Bizet recordings! In addition to resembling an installment of the much later CBS series, Survivor, this episode also predates American Gladiators by offering an "extreme sport" known as Kosho. Originally slated as the 14th episode of The Prisoner, "Hammer into the Anvil" was seen as episode number 10 when it first aired in England on December 10, 1967. It was placed in its original chronology for American television, where it was first seen on August 31, 1968.

View Details
Show More Episodes

The Prisoner: Miniseries Photos

Tv Season Info

News & Interviews for The Prisoner: Miniseries

Critic Reviews for The Prisoner Miniseries

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (8)

The Prisoner, in which Patrick MacGoohan is captured and transported to an unsettling quaint village as Number Six, is justifiably famous for its addiction to enigma.

Dec 6, 2018 | Full Review…

The cult Sixties spy show has been often referenced and parodied, but never bettered.

Oct 23, 2018 | Full Review…

The Prisoner was a series that rebelled against everything -- even itself.

Apr 20, 2018 | Full Review…

The Prisoner is one of my favorite shows.

Apr 20, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The Prisoner was the best show of 1967. Watch it now, today, a half-century after it debuted. And ask yourself: Is it the best show of 2017?

Apr 20, 2018 | Full Review…

Seen at a 40-year distance The Prisoner seems intelligent enough to be forgiven most of its excesses, especially if you treat the whole thing as an allegorical time capsule.

Apr 20, 2018 | Full Review…

It's one of the [most] visually striking and bracingly bleak shows ever; everything from Lost and Twin Peaks to The Americans owe it a debt.

Apr 20, 2018 | Full Review…

The Prisoner follows the title character's endlessly frustrated Kafka-esque attempts to escape and to learn who is keeping him captive. Stymieing escape is the show's most memorable visual flourish.

Jul 5, 2018 | Full Review…

McGoohan turned the genre, and TV itself, inside out with this ingenious political allegory played as a conspiratorial mind-game of elaborate psychodramas and, though it ran a mere 17 episodes, it became an instant cult classic.

Apr 20, 2018 | Full Review…

Even today such a programme would shake our senses, back in the 1960s it was astonishing.

Apr 20, 2018 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

If you crave something way beyond the normal (and then some) that forces you to think outside the box, the hop to it.

Apr 20, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Part of the fun of The Prisoner is watching the clever, resolute and self-assured Number Six come up against one Number Two after another, each convinced that they will be the one to make him crack.

Apr 20, 2018 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Prisoner: Miniseries

  • Apr 26, 2021
    I had just started secondary school when this first came on TV but I managed to persuade my parents that I could stay up and watch it with them even though I was fighting to stay awake - but that was due to the lateness of the hour not boredom. And it is still just as fresh today as over 50 years ago. The opening and closing sequences are fabulous. The simple irony of the catchphrase "be seeing you". Yes sometimes the plots lost their way a bit but that is not the point of this enigmatic series. There were some great number twos including Leo McKern (the best), Mary Morris and Eric Portman. It was a one of a kind series and there has never been another one like it.
  • Mar 20, 2021
    Probably it was shocking in its time.
  • Nov 23, 2020
    An amazing series!! Its message is timeless and the commentary on society is relevant in any age. Patrick Mcgoohan gives a master's class in acting and dominates the screen. A wonderful ride down the rabbit hole. Be seeing you!
  • Apr 12, 2020
    This is the most awesome, best and finest films/movies/series ever filmed!
  • Dec 22, 2019
    Simply excellent. A fantastic story about an interesting character. A fantastic tale about society and individualism. Effective use of surrealism which doesn't distract from the story.
  • Sep 09, 2018
    The most original TV series of it's time, it influenced many future series' like Lost, X-Files, etc. Watch it.

News & Features