The Prisoner (UK)

Season 1 Episode 9

Checkmate

1
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Dec 03, 1967 on ITV
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
53 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Number Six takes the position of Queen's Pawn in a human game of chess. An illegal move by the Rook leads to his withdrawal, and he is taken to the Village hospital. Number Two brainwashes the Queen to fall in love with Number Six who discovers the locket the Queen wears around her neck is in fact a radio transmitter which is being used to track him. The transmitter is useful to Number Six, and he manages to borrow the locket which he intends to use with the Rook in his latest escape bid.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Great episode, a lot of suspense!

    9.3
    I must admit that a couple of the earlier episodes kind of dragged or weren't as interesting as "Arrival" but this episode really brings back all the elements of what made The Prisoner so cool. Number Six this time actually meets up with a villager who isn't a Guardian & right up until the final minutes you really feel that he will actually get away this time. He even manages to enlist several members of the village to help with the escape. This episode also throws a few curves at you because you think #6 will be exposed by a new love interest but it turns out differently. Another quality episode!moreless
  • Number 6 is a pawn in a chess game and after the chess game meets an old man who had a plan of escape.He then uses the old man's wisdom to plan an escape himself.moreless

    7.0
    Number 6 walks around,and notices a chess game

    being played with people.An old man asks if he

    wants to be in the game.Number 6 agrees to it.

    He is the queen's pawn.He persists in asking

    her about escape.She says it's impossible,but

    Number 6 disagrees.After the game,the old man

    and him talk.Number 6 is rather surprised that

    the old man had a plan to escape.He asks the

    method and the old man says it's simple: you have

    to distinguish between the blacks and the whites.

    And so Number six,aided by The Rook,devise a

    plan of escape,based on who are guards and who are

    prisoners.The guards subconscious arrogance

    and prisoners submissiveness are the key.But

    events don't go without incident,as Number 2

    is suspicious and tests the conspirators.

    The queen is also programmed with a reaction

    transmitter to follow Number 6.However,they

    capture the transmitter and now have the

    ingredients they need to make a radio.Number 6

    contacts the Polotska,a boat in the sea,and

    makes like his call is that of a downed airliner.

    They then capture Number 2.However,when Number 6

    boards the Polotska,he finds that The Rook turned

    against him as Number 2 explains the plan had

    a flaw: Number 6's air of authority made him

    look like a guard.Number 6 fights,but all is in vain,as the white circular object intervenes.

    Good episode.moreless
  • A game of chess played Prisoner style.

    10
    It's a great day to play chess in the Village but the Prisoner has other ideas. Thanks to a locket with a radio transmitter,Number 6 and a fellow Village citizen they plot a chance to escape. However his plans are foiled in the end when he is rounded up by Rover at sea on the Polatska. Another great Prisoner episode worth watching!

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Queen: Oh, that was a good move, wasn't it.
      Number Six: I know a better one.
      Queen: Oh?
      Number Six: Away from this place.
      Queen: That's impossible.
      Number Six: For chessmen, not for me.

    • Number Six: Don't tell me you care?
      Number Two: Well, of course. We want you to be happy.
      Number Six: Fine. Just, umm... give me a one-way ticket home.
      Number Two: Won't you ever give up?
      Number Six: What do you think?

    • First Psychiatrist: Is he in for treatment?
      Number Two: Not yet.
      First Psychiatrist: Pity... interesting subject. I should like to know his breaking point.
      Number Six: Well, you could make that your life's ambition.

    • Number Two: Isn't it rather late to come visiting?
      Number Six: We didn't like to leave without thanking you for having us.

    • Chessmaster: It's like the game. You have to learn to distinguish between the blacks and the whites.

    • First Psychiatrist (about Number Six) "Total disregard for personal safety and a negative reaction to pain."
      Number Two: Well he wouldn't be able to fake that.
      First Psychiatrist I never met a man who could. It would require superhuman willpower.

    • Number Two: They'll be back tomorrow - on the chess board. As pawns.

    • Number Six: (referring to the chess game) Why do you use people?
      Man With Stick: Some psychiatrists say it satisfies the desire for power. The only opportunity one gets here.
      Number Six: That depends what side you're on.
      Man With Stick: (quickly) I'm on my side.
      Number Six: (quickly) Aren't we all?
      Man With Stick: You must be new here. In time, most of us join the enemy... against ourselves.

    • (The Queen has been brainwashed into thinking that she is in love with Number Six. She tells him so but he does not believe her. She starts to cry)
      The Queen: How can you doubt me?
      Number Six: It's easy and I'm waterproof; a little drizzle won't wash away my doubt. So don't try.
      The Queen: I only want to be near you.
      Number Six: Everybody's near in this place. Far too near.
      The Queen: Do you think they'll ever release us?
      Number Six: Let me know. I shan't be around.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Although Don Chaffey is credited for directing the entire episode, he actually only directed the scenes shot on location. All of the interior scenes were directed by Patrick McGoohan (Number Six).

    • The working title of this episode was "The Queen's Pawn".

    • Along with Leo McKern, Colin Gordon and Mary Morris, Peter Wyngarde is one of only four Number Twos to have their voices added to the interrogation scene in the opening credits. The "standard" voice of Number Two was provided by Robert Rietty.

    • Australian actor Terence Donovan, who plays the sailor in this episode, is the father of Jason Donovan, well known actor and singer.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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