In this episode, they had Number Six waking up to find out he's in the Old West times. He becomes the Sheriff of a small town and must pursue law and order for the people. He doesn't want to carry a gun until he sees a fight break out, then he is willing to carry a gun. I thought this episode was very silly and out of character with the rest of the series. None of this episode took place in the prison and that really took me away from the series. I thought this was my least favorite episode of the series. Up until this point the show was quite good. Skip it and go to the next episode.
A nice change of pace episode. I must admit that the method used to simulate the western Harmony town was a bit hoaky but they still managed to pull it off nicely. The storyline and its parallels to the village were set up good. Number Six tries to escape harmony then he is caught and he refuses to work for the judge or wear a gun. Than a damsel in distress (more or less) causes our Number Six to actually show some romantic emotion and chivalry. This episode uses all the classic "Western Cliches" but by no means are they tacky. The final shootout is just as good as any movie. There is also a hint of a romantic attraction between Number Six and the prostitute/Number 22. All in all, a nice change of scenery and another great installment in this awesome series.
This special show wins hands-down on being clever, witty and in synch with parodying the TV reality of westerns. It's also a terrific showcase for McGoohan's talent; it's a masterful overview of the series' haunting, underlying messages.
McGoohan claims to have a penchant for the television western. In Living in Harmony, his dream comes true -- figuratively and literally. We find ourselves with The Prisoner immersed inside a Village-induced dream -- in fact, a western drama, where our hero plays the pacifist sheriff. He's not Andy Taylor, with hidden smarts and country charm; he's a sly, cunning, introspective sheriff who plays it as cool as a steely-eyed Clint Eastwood likely would portray a sheriff. He plays the part cinematically! The show is directed with great confidence and builds to a crescendo, mocking the tone and structure of "High Noon." Remember, when this show aired, "Gunsmoke" was blazing in the ratings. The great irony, of course, is in the episode title itself, Living in Harmony: the place is called Harmony, a placid, flat name like the Village, where The Prisoner reluctantly resides. Inside Harmony is unrest and gun fighting -- just like the inner battle going on inside of The Prisoner's head while he is forced to live in the Village. It's not until he takes up the gun -- becomes rebellious to the notion of pacifism (being removed from the social order -- and fights fire with fire -- that he is able to put down the notorious killer, The Kidd (Alex Kanner portrays this part with frightening sincerity; he later appears in the final two episodes as a hippy, beatnik). So when it comes down to bringing an inner peace to Harmony, like finding the solace inside a former secret agent's soul, The Prisoner comes to grips with one of the series' most haunting messages: we are all prisoners of our past, and by design, prisoners of society. And gun or no gun, you just can't shake who you are. You play the role and the part -- the sheriff, for instance, and you still aren't in control (because you don't REALLY want to tote a gun or use it). Who is in charge? Or as each episode of "The Prisoner" opened with the ambiguous dialogue exchange between Number 2 and Number 6, McGoohan asks: "Who is Number 1?" And the answer from Number Two: "You are Number 6." Read that now with pregnant meaning and punctuation: "You are, Number 6." Indeed, we are all masters/sheriffs of our own social prison! Lock 'em up!
This is the only episode of The Prisoner that was not shown on network television in 1968 and again in 1969. The reason is due to the concerns of guns,drugs and violence. After all America was at a pivotal point in the late 1960's. Number 6 is Sheriff in a town called Harmony and refuses to carry a gun until he meets up with The Kid. The episode speaks for itself.
At first this episode seems like its going to be a dog. Harmony reminds me of several episodes of Star Trek during the original series in which several of the red-shirts end up on a planet who's people are identical to Earths wild west years.
Classic Prisoner mind games and plot twists make this episode refreshingly different although still stimulating and totally intriguing.