Saturday, 8 April 2017
653 Six Into One : The Prisoner File
First viewed : 16 January 1984
I won't dwell on this one long because we've covered most of the ground already.
The infamous final episode of The Prisoner was broadcast on 16 January 1984 and immediately followed by a documentary programme about the series . It was presented in an appropriately surreal fashion by one Saul Reichlin ( ? ) a Number Two figure who looked disturbingly like disgraced Tory MP Neil Hamilton.* However it did manage to round up all the key players for an absorbing insight into the making of the series and make a decent attempt at explaining its meaning.
Although Reichlin and many of the interviewees repeatedly mentioned that Patrick McGoohan was difficult to work with, he seemed affable enough in discussing the series on camera. What came across was that the series thrived on the tension between himself and story editor George Markstein. Markstein was quite clear that Number Six was John Drake and saw it as an adventure series while McGoohan wanted to make it an allegory and explore open ended philosophical questions.
Alexis Kanner appeared in a children's playground beneath a graffiti'ed slogan "Grenada" ( effectively dating the documentary ) although his actual contribution was quite straightforward.
*Funnily enough, Hamilton himself would first come to public attention a few weeks later in the Panorama programme Maggie's Militant Tendency featuring new Tory MPs whose views were rather out there.