The Prisoner (UK)

Season 1 Episode 6

The General

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 05, 1967 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
52 votes

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Episode Summary

'Speedlearn' is a subliminal process for educating the population of the Village, developed by a Professor with the aid of an unseen 'General'. In due course, the Professor realises that his creation has the ability to be abused by Number Two, and with the help of Number Six intends to send out a new subliminal message of freedom. After their attempt fails, Number Two takes Number Six to meet the 'General'.moreless

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  • Number 6 learns about a new system of learning The Village is experimenting with with eventual goal of controling the people of THe Village.

    This has to be the best episode of The Prisoner.

    The story is expertly put together and logical.

    The plot is great,too.

    It is about a new system being used to

    educate The Village,but with the eventual goal to

    be to control what the people of The Village

    think.Number 6,with the aid of Number 12,set out

    to find out what The General is in order to

    destroy him or it,whatever it is.Number 6 then

    tricks his way into the subliminal projection

    room and causes the people of The Village to

    become aware of the plot to control them.When

    captured,he is led into the professor's special

    room where The General is---a computer! But

    Number 6 has figured out a way to destroy

    The General---by asking it WHY the historical

    events happen.He types W-H-Y-? and gets it on

    magnetic tape and it is fed into The General.

    The computer overdoes it and explodes into an

    electrical fire inside.When the professor grabs a

    handle on the computer,he is shocked,and in

    trying to rescue the professor,Number 12 suffers

    the same fate.An explosion of electricity

    electrocutes them both.Number 2 then asks

    Number 6 what the question was.Number 6 then

    tells him.Number 6 six then tells the professor's

    wife of his death.

    Great episode.moreless
Colin Gordon

Colin Gordon

Number Two

Guest Star

John Castle

John Castle

Number Twelve

Guest Star

Conrad Phillips

Conrad Phillips


Guest Star

Peter Swanwick

Peter Swanwick


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Number Twelve: You don't believe it. A university-level degree in three minutes.
      Number Six: It's improbable.
      Number Twelve: But not impossible.
      Number Twelve: Nothing's impossible in this place.

    • Number Twelve: You'll find the Professor most interesting.
      Number Six: Would I?
      Number Twelve: With an extraordinary range of knowledge.
      Number Six: The only subject I'm interested in is getting away from this place.
      Number Twelve: Exactly.
      Number Six: Who are you?
      Number Twelve: A cog in the machine.

    • Man in Buggy: Are you a student?
      Number Six: Who isn't? Are you prefects?
      Man in Buggy: What are you doing here?
      Number Six: Playing truant.

    • Number Twelve: Who do you trust, Number Six?
      Number Six: I trust me.
      Number Twelve: Join the club.

    • Number Twelve: He's a troublemaker, and he attracts troublemakers.
      Number Two: How long have you been with us, Number Twelve.
      Number Twelve: Me, sir? Quite a long time, sir.
      Number Two: But obviously not long enough.

    • Professor's Wife: That gentleman over there. What do you think he's doing?
      Number Six: Tearing up a book.
      Professor's Wife: Construction arises out of the ashes of destruction. He's creating a fresh concept. And that woman?
      Number Six: Standing on her head.
      Professor's Wife: She's developing a new perspective.

    • Number Two: Number Six and I are old friends. I can recommend him as a thoroughly overzealous student. With a tendency to overdo it.

    • Number Twelve: I'll fix it, Number Six, so that you become aware that deliberate destruction of official property is a most serious offence. I must recommend the the full penalty.
      Number Six: Which is?
      Number Twelve: It could be imprisonment, could be a fine.
      Number Six: I'll take the fine.
      Number Twelve: Yes, I thought you might.

    • The Professor: (about Speedlearn) The most beneficent development in mass communication since the beginning of time.

    • Number Two: (about the Professor) It's the image, you see, that is important. The kindly image.

    • The Professor: Speedlearn is an abomination! It is slavery! If you wish to be free, there is only one way. Destroy the General!

    • Number Two: What was the question?
      Number Six: It's insoluble, to man or machine.
      Number Two: What was it?
      Number Six: W - H - Y - Question mark.
      Number Two: "Why?"
      Number Six: "Why?"

  • NOTES (5)