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.
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
A good introduction to the series.
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.
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.
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