The Prisoner (UK)

Once Upon A Time

Season 1, Ep 16, Aired 1/28/68
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  • Episode Description
  • After all previous attempts to break Number Six have failed, Number Two decides the only way to obtain the information wanted is by using a system known as 'Degree Absolute', which is a battle that will leave one of them dead. If Number Six wins, he will have survived the ultimate test and finally meet Number One.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Patrick McGoohan

    Number Six

  • Angelo Muscat

    The Butler

  • Leo McKern

    Number Two

  • Peter Swanwick


  • John Cazabon

    Umbrella Man

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • The definition of artsy fartsy.

    By bbagnall, Oct 16, 2006

  • The battle of wits between Number 2 and Number 6 comes to a head.

    By webstercitian, Jul 17, 2005

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (5)

    • Number Two: (on the phone) Why do you care? Number Six: I know your voice. Number Two: I have been here before. Why do you care? Number Six: You'll never know.

    • Number Six: How? Umbrella Man: Don't do that. Number Six: What? Umbrella Man: Inquire. Number Six: What's your number? Your number--what is it? Umbrella Man: Be careful. Number Six: One two, three, four, five, six seven? Umbrella Man: Quiet! Number Six: Eight, nine ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16?

    • Number Two: You know who it was? Number Six: Yes, sir. Number Two: Who was it? That is cowardice! Number Six: That's honour, sir. Number Two: We don't talk about such things. Number Six: You should teach it, sir. Number Two: You're a fool! Number Six: Yes, sir. Not a rat. Number Two: A rat? Number Six: Rat. Number Two: I'm a rat?!? Number Six: No, sir. I'm a fool, not a rat.

    • Number Two: Society... Number Six: Yes, sir? Number Two: Society is a place where people exist together. Number Six: Yes, sir. Number Two: That is civilization. Number Six: Yes, sir. Number Two: The lone wolf belongs in the wilderness. Number Six: Yes, sir. Number Two: You must not grow up to be a lone wolf. Number Six: No, sir. Number Two: You must conform. Number Six: Yes, sir. Number Two: It is my sworn duty to see that you do conform. Number Six: Yes, sir. Number Two: You will take six. Number Six: Six, sir? Number Two: Of the best. Number Six: I'm not guilty, sir. Number Two: Ten! Number Six: Twelve. Number Two: What? Number Six: Twelve, sir, so that I can remember.

    • Number Six: I am a man, not a unit of society.

    Notes (5)

    • The footage of Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) pacing around his front room, eating toast and drinking tea, that was used in "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling" is taken from this episode.

    • The working title of this episode was "Degree Absolute."

    • Number Two (Leo McKern) tells Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) to "See me in the morning break!" This has often been misinterpreted as "See me in the morning, Drake!" and cited as evidence that Number Six is actually McGoohan's Danger Man character, John Drake.

    • This was the sixth episode of the series to be filmed, directly after Leo McKern's first appearance, "The Chimes of Big Ben".

    • Several of the facts about Number Six's life revealed in this episode are taken from Patrick McGoohan's real life.

    Trivia (4)

    • The area rubbed clean on the blackboard by Number Two changes size and shape between the close up of him and the board and the wide shot of Number Six, the butler and Number Two.

    • This episode strongly suggests that Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) served as a fighter pilot in World War II. His date of birth was revealed as March 19, 1928 in "Arrival" which means that if he entered the RAF as a recruit at the minumum permitted age of 17, he would have been able to serve for less than six months before the war ended.

    • Number Two's pennyfarthing on his badge faces to the left and to the right during different shots of the same scene.

    • At about 16 minutes into 'Once Upon A Time', Number Two is seen writing on a black board. As the camera shot goes from long to closeup, the printing on the black board changes. The most noticeable difference is the "F" in find.

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