The Prisoner (UK)

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 01, 1967 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
70 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After handing in his resignation, the Prisoner heads off to his London home to pack for a holiday. He begins to feel faint and ends up unconscious. He awakens not in his house but in a strange village. He starts to explore but soon realises that in "The Village" all things such as phone calls, maps and taxis are "only local". He is shown around the Village by Number Two, who explains that the information in his head is priceless, and that he wants to know why he resigned. Welcome to your new home, Number Six.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • One of the best pilot episodes for a TV series ever made. Original and thought-provoking, it looks great and really grabs your interest from the first second.

    This is one of the best pilot episodes of a series I've ever seen. It has a lot of ground to cover and does it in a fast-moving, stylish way. There's not much in the way of plot because of the amount of scene setting to get through but it grabs you right at the beginning with a fast-paced intro sequence. It looks superb on screen and has production values more associated with movies than with TV series episodes. McGoohan stamps his presence on the show from the first second. The originality of the concept hits you in the face immediately. Hard to think of any negative points; I suppose the theme music is somewhat dated now and there are one or two continuity glitches but these are very minor point compared with the plus points. The series did not always live up to this high standard in later episodes but here at the very beginning things the quality was astonishing.moreless
  • A man is taken from his London flat and awakes in "The Village."

    Let's get this straight. No. 6 is John Drake. Everything points to it. Pilots are generally good. This qualifies. Patrick McGoohan is in top form as a government agent (we presume) taken 'prisoner' to find out why he resigned. Although this may be interesting to know, I find it hardly the necessary 'maguffin' to the series. Any number of reasons why he may have resigned. But the roots were all laid out in "Secret Agent." The key moment in the pilot is when "Rover" makes his first appearance. Brilliantly done! The mystery unravels all so deliciously slowly. He must try to escape of course. But we know he will fail. Still the setup is wonderfully staged and thank goodness, despite controversy at the end, it was held to 17 episodes.moreless
  • A man is captured and brought to an unfamiliar place.He then learns why he was brought here and the dangers that await him.

    We are introduced to a man called Number 6 in

    this,the pilot episode of The Prisoner.He drives

    a little hot rod with license plates KAR 120C.

    He is being followed by another car as he leaves

    the office of his former boss who gave him a

    reprimand for an infraction he explodes in anger

    about.When he arrives home,a man comes to his door

    and shoots knockout gas into his apartment.He

    collapses and when he wakes up,he discovers he is

    in a strange place.He walks about,looking for a sign of life.He discovers one lady,but assumes

    she doesn't know anything when she tells him the

    name of the place---The Village.He can't figure

    anything out---until when a man says to come to

    number 2,the green dome.Then he is told why he's there---they want information.He will not

    cooperate.He is then shown The Village---and

    shown what happens to those who misbehave,as a

    circular white object consumes a man.

    In all this,the man---now known as Number 6

    ---learns that escape is practically impossible.

    He must accept the fate that he is there for a

    long time.

    A good introduction to the series.moreless
  • Welcome to your new home Number 6!

    A strange new world awakens for Patrick McGoohan when he arrives in The Village. A beautfiul place indeed but it has its dangers including the white balloon known as Rover. There is no escape as he fully realizes. Not by land, sea or in the final few minutes by air. This episode sets the stage for what will happen in the 16 others to follow. It's a show that is still ahead of its time in the 21st century.moreless
Angelo Muscat

Angelo Muscat

The Butler

Guest Star

Virginia Maskell

Virginia Maskell

The Woman

Guest Star

Guy Doleman

Guy Doleman

Number Two

Guest Star

Peter Swanwick

Peter Swanwick


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In the scene, where Rover "swallows" the pond-man, you can clearly see that the clothing changes from a white-red striped t-shirt to a pink jacket and the face inside Rover is definitely McGoohan's.

      This is because in the original script the 'pond-actor' is not even in the scene. The man in the pink jacket is from the episode "The Schizoid Man", which was later cut out and re-used in the re-edited pilot.

    • The first time Number Six leaves his apartment in the village there is no "No.6" or "Private" sign by the door. When he returns they are there.

    • At almost 20 minutes into 'Arrival' you see Rover being released from the top of a building. As he floats downward you can see regular cars parked in the background.

  • QUOTES (8)

  • NOTES (15)

    • The doors leading to his resignation have the words WAY OUT painted on them, obviously a reference to his leaving the secret agent life.

    • In the opening sequence of this and every episode, when Number Six pounds his fist on the desk, you can see a second plate under the teacup break.

    • Patrick McGoohan had previously filmed an episode of Danger Man at the Portmeiron location, and according to him, it came to mind for The Prisoner because of it's "otherworldly feel" as well as appearing to be a global community with it's varying architecture.

    • The directory Number Six uses at the beginning avoids using the number 7, and subsequent episodes follow this trend, whether in mention of the number or showing it on-screen. Ironically, the series ended with the 17th episode. (forshadowing?)

    • Originally, Rover was designed to be a dome-shape device on top of a go-cart. A number of problems arose from this, mainly the person inside the dome steering the cart kept getting exhaust fumes inside, sickening him and halting production, as well as the difficulty in steering the device with a limited field of vision being the primary examples. It was, according to Bernie Williams, both him and Patrick's spotting of a weather balloon over the beach location at Portmeiron, of course, that led to the Rover we all know. Photos of this original concept can be seen on the Prisoner A & E US release DVD set.

    • For the second time this month, The Unmutual Website is sad to announce the passing of another member of the "Prisoner family" of cast and crew.
      Kenneth Bridgeman was set dresser on the first thirteen episodes of "The Prisoner". It was his job to literally "dress the sets", and bring an empty room or set to life. The visuals of the series are one of its best-remembered aspects, and this is due in no small part to the work of Kenneth, and his successor the late John Lageu.
      As well as working on The Pr isoner, Ken also worked as a designer on projects such as "Straw Dogs", "Vampyres", "Billy Liar", and the Beatles' movie "A Hard Days Night". He died, at the age of 75, on Tuesday 24th January 2006. The Unmutual Website would like to express its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of a uniquely talented man.

    • Brian Cox appears in numerous episodes of the series as an extra.

    • Along with "The Schizoid Man", this is one of only two episodes in which Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) wears a badge with the numeral "6" on it.

    • The guardian sphere, Rover, was actually an 8 foot weather balloon. It was the most expensive special effect made for the series.

    • Christopher Benjamin (Labour Exchange Manager) would later play Number Two's assistant in "The Chimes of Big Ben" and Potter in "The Girl Who Was Death".

    • George Baker is the only Number Two to wear the same type of black piped jacket that Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) regularly wears.

    • Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) was born on March 19, 1928 at 4:31am. This is McGoohan's actual date and time of birth.

    • The commonly heard phrase "Be Seeing You" was also the catchphrase of Patrick McGoohan's character, John Drake, in Danger Man. Apparently, McGoohan also regularly uses the phrase in real life.

    • Patrick McGoohan (Number Six), Angelo Muscat (The Butler) and Peter Swanwick (The Supervisor) are the only actors to appear in both this episode and the finale, "Fall Out."

    • Some people believe that Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) is in fact the same character, John Drake, that the actor played on both series of Danger Man from 1960 to 1968, however McGoohan has always denied this.