The Prisoner (UK)

Season 1 Episode 13

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 07, 1968 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
46 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Number Six is not himself. The Prisoner's mind is transformed into another man's body by the Village authorities in an attempt to track down a scientist, Professor Seltzman. When he awakens in his London home, he has a tough task convincing people of his true identity, so he sets off for Austria to find Professor Seltzman - the only man who can help him.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Number Six's Identity Crisis

    I guess this episode isn't the personal favourite of most Prisoner fans, however i found it to be quite entertaining. The whole body/mind swapping trick has been used in several shows and the method that it's done in this episode is nothing fancy. I did like Nigel Stock who played the alter Number six. We also get to learn more about Number Six's personal life like he was supposed to get married (which would explain why he so cold to all the females in the village). We also get to see some more of the people that Number Six worked with prior to been taken captive. A clever change of pace episode, that has a cool ending!moreless
  • Every series has to have a bad episode. This is an odd, temporary, turn into mediocrity for this otherwise compelling series.

    Nearing the end of the series, it seems that the writers of The Prisoner were trying desperately to grasp satisfactory ideas and just get them done. This episode proves a fine example of such. More often than not they managed to do this and get it right. Unfortunately, the writers fall flat on their face in their attempt to produce one of the bizarrest and comparatively worst of the entire series.

    Looking at the plot line, the episode doesn't relaly seem that bad. However, as the story unravels, the poorly-formed plot twists and generic, non-sensical writing, intertwined with a string of random events which happen to way too quickly turn the episode into someting that is almost painful to watch. What is rather confusing is that this inferior episode is followed by two of the series' best, "Harmony" and "The Girl Who was Death."

    Every series has to have a bad episode. This is an odd, temporary, turn into mediocrity for this otherwise compelling series, which fortunately is brought back to life with the next episode, "Harmony."moreless
  • Not exactly its finest hour

    I have to say that this is by a VERY long way, the worst episode of "The Prisoner". It suffers greatly from the fact that Patrick McGoohan is absent for almost the entire episode. The fact that he was the one and only cast member made his absence all the more notable. I missed his brilliant sense of humour, hilarious one-liners (like "Oh, I'll just go to pieces" in "The Girl Who Was Death" and the aura of coolness he gaves off every time he's on-screen.

    I usually love body swapping episodes in any series but the main attraction of them for me was seeing what the bad guy is doing in the good guy's body because it gives the actor a chance to flex his acting muscles, not what the good guy is doing in the bad guy's. All the Colonel does in Number Six's body is lie semi-conscious on a bed wearing stupid looking goggles!

    I thought Nigel Stock was a poor substitute for McGoohan as well. He was a good actor but I never really bought that this was the same stubborn and extremely intelligent and resourceful man that I'd watched in the last twelve episodes stuck in another man's body. In fact, the only time he seemed to be acting or even talking like himself was at the very end when his mind was put back into his own body.

    One other thing that bothered me was that Seltzman believed that he was who he claimed to be after just comparing two samples of his handwriting, one written while in his own body and the other written while he was in the Colonel's. It could easily just have been forged. A man capable of inventing a machine capable of swapping two peoples' bodies should have realised that. The final twist, however, was brilliant and I did not see that coming at all.

    All in all, the low point of "The Prisoner" but every series has to have one fairly poor episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In the cellar fight, Nigel Stock's hair changes from ginger to gray and becomes substantially longer and bushier when the stunt man is substituted.

    • Approximately 30 minutes into 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling' the rebodied Number Six walks into a Photographic Shop. On the door an advertisement poster is folded over twice at the top so as not to show the product name. A moment later Number Six looks back through the door and sees a man watching - the poster is now only folded once and advertises "The Polaroid Swinger".

    • In some of the car driving shots the actor is not Nigel Stock but looks to be McGoohan. This is particularly evident after he has left the camera shop and is returning back home, as the car makes a right hand turn. Likely due to using stock footage of McGoohan driving rather than filming Nigel Stock doing it.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Number Two: (as Number Six paces his flat) What sort of opinion would you form of that fellow?
      The Colonel: Anybody who spends his time doing that must be rather stupid.
      Number Two: You couldn't be more wrong. Because he's our most interesting citizen from every point of view... particularly yours.

    • Number Six: You're still as pompous as ever... Danvers.
      Danvers: Where did you get my name?
      Number Six: Jonathan Peregrine Danvers. Boorn in Bootle. Took elocution lessons. Came to London, joined the civil service in 1948 as a junior clerk, but moved to this department sometime later. Mainly at the request of the typing pool. Am I going to see Sir Charles? Well? Or would you prefer me to go on. I'm sure these gentlemen would be most intrigued to hear of your little jaunt to Paris in March 1958. Let me see now, what was her name...

    • Seltzman: If you really are who you say you are, you would not have expected me to keep it, would you?
      Number Six: No. It's a hopeless situation.
      Seltzman: If I had kept it, I would have been very stupid. Silly.
      Number Six: You've made your point. I accept it.
      Seltzman: But you overlooked one thing. Sentimental people are sometimes stupid. Very stupid.

    • Seltzman: I will do it... on certain conditions.
      Number Two: I'm sure they will be reasonable.
      Seltzman: For once, I am dictating.
      Number Two: Heil.

  • NOTES (12)

    • Professor Seltzman would not have been able to identify Number Six by his hand-writing as he was comparing it with that on a letter mailed to him. Since he didn't actually witness the Prisoner write the letter, how could he be sure that it was actually written by him?

    • Henry Longhurst and Danvers Walker are credited but their scenes are cut from the final cut of the episode.

    • The address on the letter Number Six sent to Seltzman is "20 Portmeirion Road," an in-joke to the filming location of The Prisoner.

    • The episode opens non-traditionally, with a pre-credits teaser of Sir Charles and his men going over the photos. After the standard opening credits, the scene of Number Six waking up features different background music and no sequence of Number Six walking through the Village, running along the beach, or the standards "Who are you?/I am not a Number!" exchange between Number Six and Number Two.

    • This is the only episode in which someone other than Patrick McGoohan portrays Number Six. He is played by Nigel Stock here.

    • This is the only episode in which they both appear where Patrick McGoohan (Number Six) and Angelo Muscat (The Butler) do not share a scene.

    • This is the only episode of 'The Prisoner' in which Number Six touches a woman in an affectionate way, the woman being Number Six's fiancee. This is probably because the actor portraying Number Six is not Patrick McGoohan, who objected to doing scenes of this kind. This is probably why intimate scenes were written out of two other episodes which would have featured McGoohan, 'The Chimes Of Big Ben' and 'Many Happy Returns'.

    • The working title of this episode was "Face Unknown."

    • Lockwood West (Camera Shop Manager) was the father of Timothy West, the father-in-law of Prunella Scales and the grandfather of Samuel West.

    • The footage of Sir Charles Portland's party is taken from "A. B. and C."

    • The footage of Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) pacing around his front room, eating toast and drinking tea, is taken from "Once Upon A Time" which, although it was aired after this episode, was actually filmed months before.

    • The final scene is the only one that Patrick McGoohan (Number Six) actually filmed for this episode as he was filming Ice Station Zebra in America at the time. All of the other footage of him is taken from other episodes. He also recorded several voice over lines for this episode.