The Prisoner

It’s one of those TV shows you have to pay attention to comprehend, or so I felt. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been watching the original version of The Prisoner on YouTube

The delight of the show is its overwhelming simplicity – no clear facts, but a buffet of ambiguity. The main character and his colleagues (or enemies) have no names, but numbers. Number Two, a character who changes each episode, is the administrator of sorts. His (or her) role is to get the main character (Number Six, played by Patrick McGoohan) to answer why he left his post as an employee of his government.

Because everyone has numbers and not names, it makes things increasingly unclear who serves the interests of Number Two, and who has common ground with Number Six. If Six thinks he has the upper hand, Number Two has a weapon at his disposal: Rover, a balloon shaped alien who can incapacitate or kill as needed.

It was fun to watch – certainly an interesting allegorical show that holds up well even in 2018.

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