The Prisoner is a 17-episode British Dramatic programming television series first broadcast in the United Kingdom from 29 September 1967 to 1 February 1968. Starring and co-created by Patrick McGoohan, it combined spy fiction with elements of science fiction, allegory, and psychological drama.
The series follows a British former secret agent who is abducted and held prisoner in a mysterious coastal village resort, where his captors try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job. Although sold as a thriller in the mould of the previous series starring McGoohan, Danger Man (1960–68; retitled as Secret Agent in the US), the show's combination of 1960s countercultural themes and surrealistic setting had a far-reaching effect on science fiction/fantasy programming, and on popular culture in general.
A TV miniseries remake aired on the U.S. cable channel AMC on 15–17 November 2009. This was followed in 2015 by a four episode audio series from Big Finish containing adaptations of three episodes, one original story and a second volume announced for 2016.
- 1 Plot summary
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Opening and closing sequences
- 5 Home video
- 6 Remake
- 7 In other media
- 8 Reception
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The series follows an unnamed British agent (played by Patrick McGoohan) who, after abruptly and angrily resigning his job, apparently prepares to make a hurried departure from the country. While packing his luggage, he is rendered unconscious by knockout gas in his flat. When he awakes, he finds himself held captive in a mysterious seaside "village" that is isolated from the mainland by mountains and sea. The Village is further secured by numerous monitoring systems and security forces, including a sinister balloon-like device called Rover that recaptures – or kills – those who attempt escape. The agent encounters the Village's population: hundreds of people from all walks of life and cultures, all seeming to be tranquilly living out their lives. They do not use names, but have been assigned numbers which give no clue as to any person's status (prisoner or warder). Potential escapees therefore have no idea whom they can and cannot trust. The protagonist is assigned Number Six, but he repeatedly refuses the pretense of his new identity.
Number Six is monitored heavily by Number 2, the Village administrator acting as an agent for an unseen "Number One". A variety of techniques are used by Number Two to try to extract information from Number Six, including hallucinogenic drug experiences, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation, and various forms of social indoctrination. All of these are employed not only to find out why Number Six resigned as an agent, but also to extract other purportedly dangerous information he gained as a spy. The position of Number Two is filled in on a rotating basis: in some cases, this is part of a larger plan to confuse Number Six; at other times, it seems to be a result of failure in interrogating Number Six.
Number Six, distrustful of anyone involved with the Village, refuses to co-operate or provide answers. Alone, he struggles with various goals: determining for which side of the iron curtain the Village works, if indeed it works for any at all; remaining defiant to its imposed authority; concocting his own plans for escape; learning all he can about the Village; and subverting its operation. His schemes lead to the dismissals of the incumbent Number Two on two occasions, although he never escapes. By the end of the series, the administration, becoming desperate for Number Six's knowledge and fearful of his growing influence in the Village, takes drastic measures that threaten the lives of Number Six, Number Two, and the rest of the Village.
A major theme of the series is individualism, as represented by Number Six, versus collectivism, as represented by Number Two and the others in the Village. McGoohan stated that the series aimed to demonstrate a balance between the two points.
- Main article: Characters (1967 series)
Actors who played the same role in more than one episode are:
- Patrick McGoohan as The Prisoner / Number Six
- Angelo Muscat as The Butler
- Peter Swanwick as Supervisor
- Leo McKern as Number Two
- Colin Gordon as Number Two
- Denis Shaw as The Shop Keeper
- Fenella Fielding as The Announcer/Telephone Operator
- Frank Maher as McGoohan's stand-in and stunt/fight double
- Robert Rietti as Number 2 (opening sequence voice)
There is debate about the order in whch the episodes should be watched, here is a guide of various official orders (thus excluding fan made lists such as Six of One's appreciation society or the A.V. Club)
|Title||Number 2 performer||Original UK airdate||Order|
|Prod.||ITC||KTEH||A&E DVDs||UK SciFi marathon|
|"Arrival"||29 September 1967||1||1||1||1||1|
|"The Chimes of Big Ben"||Leo McKern||6 October 1967||5||2||4||5||5|
|"A. B. and C."||Colin Gordon||13 October 1967||11||3||9||6||7|
|"Free For All"||
||20 October 1967||2||4||5||2||3|
|"The Schizoid Man"||Anton Rodgers||27 October 1967||7||5||7||8||8|
|"The General"||Colin Gordon||3 November 1967||10||6||8||7||6|
|"Many Happy Returns"||Georgina Cookson||10 November 1967||13||7||6||9||9|
|"Dance of the Dead"||Mary Morris||17 November 1967||4||8||2||3||2|
|"Checkmate"||Peter Wyngarde||24 November 1967||3||11||3||4||4|
|"Hammer into Anvil"||Patrick Cargill||1 December 1967||12||14||14||12||12|
|"It's Your Funeral"||8 December 1967||8||10||11||10||10|
|"A Change of Mind"||John Sharp||15 December 1967||9||13||13||11||11|
|"Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling"||Clifford Evans||22 December 1967||14||9||12||13||13|
|"Living in Harmony"||David Bauer||29 December 1967||15||12||10||14||14|
|"The Girl Who Was Death"||Kenneth Griffith||18 January 1968||16||15||15||15||15|
|"Once upon a Time"||Leo McKern||25 January 1968||6||16||16||16||16|
|"Fall Out"||Leo McKern||1 February 1968||17||17||17||17||17|
Furthermore, two completed but unproduced scripts were written:
- The Outsider
- Don't Get Yourself Killed
And two uncompleted stories reached the storyline stage:
- Friend or Foe
- Ticket to Eternity
The show was created while Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein were working on Danger Man (known as Secret Agent in the U.S.), an espionage show produced by Incorporated Television Company (also called ITC Entertainment). The exact details of who created which aspects of the show are disputed; majority opinion credits McGoohan as the sole creator of the series. However, a disputed co-creator status later was ascribed to Markstein after a series of fan interviews published in the 1980s. The show itself bears no "created by" credit.
Some sources indicate McGoohan was the sole or primary creator of the show. McGoohan stated in a 1977 interview (broadcast as part of a Canadian documentary about The Prisoner called The Prisoner Puzzle) that during the filming of the third season of Danger Man he told Lew Grade, managing director of ITC Entertainment, he wanted to quit working on Danger Man after the filming of the proposed fourth series. Grade was unhappy with the decision, but when McGoohan insisted upon quitting, Grade asked if McGoohan had any other possible projects; McGoohan later pitched The Prisoner. However, in a 1988 article from British Telefantasy magazine Time Screen, McGoohan indicated that he had planned to pitch The Prisoner prior to speaking to Grade. In both accounts, McGoohan pitched the idea orally, rather than having Grade read the proposal in detail, and the two made an oral agreement for the show to be produced by Everyman Films, the production company formed by McGoohan and David Tomblin. In the 1977 account, McGoohan said that Grade approved of the show despite not understanding it, while in the 1988 account Grade expressed clear support for the concept.
Other sources, however, credit Markstein, then a script editor for Danger Man, with a significant or even primary portion of the development of the show. For example, Dave Rogers, in the book The Prisoner and Danger Man, said that Markstein claimed to have created the concept first and McGoohan later attempted to take credit for it, though Rogers himself doubted that McGoohan would have wanted or needed to do that. A four-page document, generally agreed to have been written by Markstein, setting out an overview of the series themes, was published as part of an ITC/ATV press book in 1967. It has usually been accepted that this text originated earlier as a guide for the series writers. Further doubt has been cast on Markstein's version of events by author Rupert Booth in his biography of McGoohan, entitled Not A Number. Booth points out that McGoohan had outlined the themes of The Prisoner in a 1965 interview, long before Markstein's tenure as script editor on the brief fourth season of Danger Man.
Part of Markstein's inspiration came from his research into World War II, where he found that some people had been incarcerated in a resort-like prison called Inverlair Lodge. Markstein suggested that Danger Man lead John Drake (played by McGoohan) could suddenly resign and, consequently, be kidnapped and sent to such a location. McGoohan added Markstein's suggestion to material he had been working on, which later became The Prisoner. Furthermore, a 1960 episode of Danger Man, entitled "View from the Villa", had exteriors filmed in Portmeirion, a Welsh resort village that struck McGoohan as a good location for future projects.
According to "Fantasy or Reality," a chapter of The Prisoner of Portmeirion, The Village is based, in part, on "a strange place in Scotland," operated by the Inter Services Research Bureau (ISRB), wherein "people" with "valuable knowledge of one sort or another" were held prisoners on extended "holidays" in a "luxury prison camp." The Prisoner's story editor, George Markstein, this source contends, knows of "the existence of this 'secure establishment." However, this "Scottish prison camp, in reality was not, of course, a holiday-type village full of people wearing colorful" clothing.
Further inspiration came from a Danger Man episode called "Colony Three", in which Drake infiltrates a spy school in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The school, in the middle of nowhere, is set up to look like a normal English town in which pupils and instructors mix as in any other normal city, but the instructors are virtual prisoners with little hope of ever leaving. McGoohan also stated that he was influenced by his experience from theatre, including his work in the Orson Welles play Moby Dick—Rehearsed (1955) and a BBC television play The Prisoner by Bridget Boland. McGoohan wrote a forty-page show Bible, which included a: "history of the Village, the sort of telephones they used, the sewerage system, what they ate, the transport, the boundaries, a description of the Village, every aspect of it..." McGoohan wrote and directed several episodes, often under pseudonyms. Specifically, McGoohan wrote "Free for All" using the pen name "Paddy Fitz" (Paddy being the Irish diminutive for Patrick and Fitzpatrick being his mother's maiden name) and directed "Many Happy Returns" and "A Change of Mind" using the stage name "Joseph Serf". He wrote and directed the last two episodes — "Once upon a Time" and "Fall Out" — and directed "Free for All" under his own name.
In a 1966 interview for the Los Angeles Times by reporter Robert Musel, McGoohan stated: "John Drake of Secret Agent is gone." Further, McGoohan stated in a 1985 interview that No. 6 is not the same character as John Drake, further adding that he had originally wanted another actor to portray the character. However, other sources indicate that several of the crew members who continued on from Danger Man to work on The Prisoner considered it to be a continuation, and McGoohan was continuing to play the character of John Drake. Furthermore, Rogers states Markstein had wanted the character to be a continuation of Drake, but by doing so would have meant paying royalties to Ralph Smart, creator of Danger Man.
The issue has been debated by fans and TV critics, with some stating the two characters are the same, based on similarities in the shows, the characters, a few repeating actors beyond McGoohan, and certain specific connections in various episodes.
McGoohan had originally wanted to produce only seven episodes of The Prisoner, but Grade argued more shows were necessary in order for him to successfully sell the series to CBS. The exact number which was agreed to, along with how the series ended, is disputed by different sources.
In an August 1967 article, Dorothy Manners reported CBS had asked McGoohan to produce 36 segments but he would agree to produce only 17. According to a 1977 interview, Grade requested 26 episodes, which McGoohan thought would spread the show too thin, but was able to come up with 17 episodes. According to The Prisoner: The Official Companion to the Classic TV Series, however, the series was originally supposed to run longer, but was cancelled, forcing McGoohan to write the final episode in only a few days.
The Prisoner premiered on 29 September 1967 on ATV Midlands, and the last episode first aired on 1 February 1968 on Scottish Television. The world broadcast premiere was on the CTV Television Network in Canada on 5 September 1967.
- Main article: The Village (1967 location)
The exteriors for the series were primarily filmed in Portmeirion village near Porthmadog, North Wales, the location that partially inspired the show, At the request of Portmeirion's architect Clough Williams-Ellis, the main location for the series was not disclosed until the opening credits of the last episode. The Village setting was further augmented by the use of the backlot facilities at MGM-British Studios in Borehamwood.
Additionally, filming of a key sequence of the opening credits, and exterior location filming for three episodes, took place at 1 Buckingham Place in London, which at the time was a private residence and doubled as No. 6's home. The building still exists today as a highlight of Prisoner location tours and currently houses the headquarters of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. The episodes "Many Happy Returns", "The Girl Who Was Death" (the cricket match for which was filmed at Meopham Green in Kent), and "Fall Out" also made use of extensive location shooting in London and other locations.
- George Markstein ... Script Editor.
- Don Chaffey … Director.
- David Tomblin … Director.
- Peter Graham Scott … Director.
- Brendan J. Stafford … Cinematographer.
- Bernard Williams … Production manager.
- Eric Mival … Music Editor.
- Albert Elms ... Musical Director and Composer.
- Frank Maher - Fight/stunt coordinator.
- Rose Tobias Shaw … Casting director.
According to author James Follett, a protégé of Prisoner co-creator George Markstein, Markstein had mapped out an explanation for the Village. In George Markstein's mind, a young John Drake, the lead character in the television series Danger Man, had once submitted a proposal for how to deal with retired secret agents who posed a security risk. Drake's idea was to create a comfortable retirement home where former agents could live out their final years, enduring firm but unintrusive surveillance.
Years later, Drake discovered that his idea had been put into practice, and not as a benign means of retirement, but instead as an interrogation centre and a prison camp. Outraged, Drake staged his own resignation, knowing he would be brought to the Village. He hoped to learn everything he could of how his idea had been implemented and find a way to destroy it. However, due to the range of nationalities and agents present in the Village, Drake realised he was not sure whose Village he was in the one brought about by his own people or by the other side. Drake's conception of the Village would have been the foundation of declaring him to be "Number One". 
According to Markstein: "'Who is Number Six?' is no mystery he was a secret agent called Drake who quit." In the episodes "Arrival," "Once upon a Time" and "The Chimes of Big Ben," Number Six declares his resignation to be "a matter of conscience," that he left his job "for peace of mind -- because too many people know too much. I know too much" and that the concerns he alludes to had weighed on his mind "for a very long time," all of which takes on greater meaning with Markstein's intention to reveal that Number Six had long ago created a proposal for how to protect elderly intelligence agents with too much secret information to go unsupervised.
The prisoner was going to leave the Village and he was going to have adventures in many parts of the world, but ultimately he would always be a prisoner. By that I don't mean he would always go back to the Village. He would always be a prisoner of his circumstances, his situation, his secret, his background... and 'they' would always be there to ensure that his captivity continues.
However, Markstein's falling out with McGoohan resulted in Markstein's departure, and his story arc was discarded.
Opening and closing sequences
- Main article: Opening and closing sequences of The Prisoner
The opening and closing sequences of The Prisoner have become iconic. Cited as "one of the great set-ups of genre drama", the opening sequence establishes the Orwellian and postmodern themes of the series; its high production values have led the opening sequence to be described as more like film than television.
The first home video editions of The Prisoner appeared in the 1980s. In North America, MPI Home Video released a series of 20 VHS tapes covering the series: one for each of the 17 episodes; and three more containing "The Alternate Version of 'The Chimes of Big Ben'", a documentary, and a "best of" retrospective. In the 1990s, the first DVD release of the series occurred in North America/Region 1, with A&E Home Video releasing the series in four-episode sets and a full 10-disc "megabox" edition in the early 2000s; A&E subsequently reissued the megabox in a 40th anniversary edition in 2007. The A&E issue included "The Alternate Version of 'The Chimes of Big Ben'" and the MPI-produced documentary (but not the redundant "best of" retrospective) among its limited special features.
Numerous editions of The Prisoner were, meanwhile, released in the UK/Region 2 by companies such as Carlton. These editions differed from the Region 1 release in their special features, including one release that included a recently discovered alternative version of "Arrival".
The Prisoner: The Complete Series was released on Blu-ray Disc in the United Kingdom on 28 September 2009, following in North America on 27 October 2009. The episodes were restored by Network DVD to create new high-definition masters, of which standard-definition versions were used for The Prisoner: 40th Anniversary Special Edition DVD boxset released in 2007. The US edition, once again by A&E Home Video, includes the first North American release of an alternative edit of "Arrival" (in high definition), as well as "The Alternate Version of 'The Chimes of Big Ben'" from the earlier DVD/VHS releases (in standard definition due to the degraded source material) and assorted documentaries and behind-the-scenes footage.
- Main article: The Prisoner (2009 series)
A remake miniseries, in the works since 2005, premiered on 15 November 2009 on American cable TV channel AMC, made in cooperation with British broadcaster ITV after AMC's original production partner Sky1 had pulled out. On 25 April 2008, ITV announced that the new series would go into production, and in June 2008, that American actor Jim Caviezel would star in the role of Number 6, with Ian McKellen taking on the role of Number 2 in all six episodes. In May 2009 the shooting for the new series was completed with significant plot changes from the original television storyline. The new Village is located in a desert tropical area instead of Wales, with location filming taking place in Namibia and South Africa. The six part series premiered in the UK on 17 April 2010.
In other media
- Main article: The Prisoner in popular culture
Theatrical production: Magic Number Six
- Main article: Magic Number Six
In October 2012, Magic Number Six, a one-act play portraying the behind-the-scenes relationship between Patrick McGoohan and Lew Grade before and during the production of The Prisoner debuted in Leicester as part of The Little Theatre's One-Act Festival, running for four performances.
Written by playwright Paul Gosling, a graduate of De Montfort University's Cinema and Television History Centre (C.A.T.H.), and directed by Carolos Dandolo, the play was set in Grade's office in 1966-67 and starred Rob Leeson as McGoohan, Colin Woods as Grade and Karen Gordon as Grade's fictional P.A., Miss Cartwright.
Following positive fan reaction, the production was performed a further eight times in 2013, in Leicester, in Portmeirion, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. At Edfringe the part of Miss Cartwright was shared between Karen Gordon and actress Tracey Gee. A film screenplay of Magic Number Six was in development.
Six into One: The Prisoner File (1984, 45 minutes) docudrama presented by Channel 4 after a repeat of the series in the UK. With its central premise to establish a reason why Number 6 resigned, the presentation revolved around a new Number 2 communicating with staff (and Number 1). It reviewed scenes from Danger Man and The Prisoner, incorporated interviews with cast members (including McGoohan) and fans, and addressed the political environment giving rise to the series and McGoohan's heavy workload.
The Prisoner Video Companion (1990, 48 minutes) American production with clips, including a few from Danger Man, and voice-over narration discussing origins, interpretations, meaning, symbolism, etc., in a format modelled on the 1988 Warner book, The Official Prisoner Companion by Matthew White and Jaffer Ali. It was released to DVD in the early 2000s as a bonus feature with A&E's release of The Prisoner series. MPI also issued The Best of The Prisoner, a video of series excerpts.
Don't Knock Yourself Out (2007, 95 minutes) documentary issued as part of Network Distributing's 40th Anniversary DVD set, featuring interviews with around 25 cast and crew members. The documentary received a separate DVD release, featuring an extended cut, in November 2007 accompanied by a featurette, "Make Sure It Fits", regarding Eric Mival's music editing for the series.
On 5 January 2015, Big Finish Productions, best known for its long-running series of BBC-licensed audio dramas based upon Doctor Who, announced it would be producing licensed audio dramas reimagining The Prisoner within the same setting and time-period as the classic TV series. The first series, starring Mark Elstob as "Number Six", containing new reimaginings of three original series scripts ("Arrival", "The Schizoid Man" and "The Chimes of Big Ben") and one new story ("Your Beautiful Village") and written/directed by Nicholas Briggs, was released in January 2016 and was well received. The first series also featured John Standing, Celia Imrie, Ramon Tikaram and Michael Cochrane as "Number Two" and Helen Goldwyn as "The Village Voice/Operatons Controller". A second volume has been announced for 2016.
Christopher Nolan was reported to be considering a film version in 2009, but later dropped out of the project. The producer Barry Mendel said a decision to continue with the project depended on the success of the television mini-series. In 2016, Ridley Scott is in talks to direct the screen version.
- Main article: Shattered Visage
Shattered Visage is a four-issue comic book mini-series also collected as a graphic novel, by Dean Motter and Mark Askwith. The story is a sequel, set twenty years after the conclusion of the TV series.
Awards and honours
- The final episode, "Fall Out", received a Hugo Award nomination for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1969, but lost out to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- In 2002, the series won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award.
- In 2004 and 2007, it was ranked No. 7 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever.
- In 1997 and 2001, TV Guide listed "Fall Out" as the 55th Greatest TV Episode of All Time.
- In 2005, readers of SFX magazine awarded the series fifth place in a poll of British fantasy and science fiction television programs.
- A 2006 survey of leading rock and film stars by Uncut magazine ranking films, books, music or TV shows that changed the world, placed The Prisoner at No. 10, the highest for a TV show.
- The Prisoner in popular culture
- Festival N°6, an art and music festival at Portmeirion which has taken place annually since 2012.
- The Prisoner, Original Soundtrack - 3 disc set - Network
- Vinciguerra, Thomas (19 October 2008). A Spy Trapped in a Nightmare of Psychedelia.
- Pixley, Andrew (2007). The Prisoner – A Complete Production Guide.
- Rogers, Dave (1992). The prisoner & Danger man. [London]: Boxtree. ISBN 978-1-85283-260-5.
- The Prisoner - AMC. Amctv.com. Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- Gregory, Chris (1997). Be Seeing You--: Decoding The Prisoner. Indiana University Press, 101–102. ISBN 1860205216.
- Was not originally broadcasted
- "The Baron To Replace Danger Man" by Nan Musgrove The Australian Women's Weekly Wednesday 3 August 1966 Page 19
- Rick DuBrow Television Today "The Prisoner" The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Tue 4 June 1968 pg. 10
- O'Connor, John J. (16 January 1978). 'Prisoner' on TV Tonight. Retrieved on 2011-07-21.
- The Prisoner Puzzle
- Pixley, Andrew (Spring 1988). The Prisoner: Every Man's Production.
- Fairclough Robert, The Prisoner: Original Scripts Vol.1 pp. 9–10
- Fairclough, Robert. The Prisoner: The Official Companion to the Classic TV Series.
- Hora, Max. The Prisoner of Portmeirrion.
- Calia, Barrington (1985). Talking With McGoohan.
- (1988) The Official Prisoner Companion. Warner Books, 145.
- Terrace, Vincent. The Complete Encyclopedia of Television Programs 1947–79.
- A.S. Barnes and Company (1981). TV Detectives, 113.
- Manners, Dorothy (August 1967). The Prisoner.
- Toronto Star, 5 September 1967, p.22
- Kahn, Eve M. (29 July 2007). A Man's Whim on the Welsh Coast. Retrieved on 2010-05-25.
- The Unmutual Prisoner Locations Guide. Theunmutual.co.uk. Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- Royal Warrant Holders Association website.
- (10 November 2015) Rose Tobias Shaw, casting director - obituary. Retrieved on 2015-11-11.
- (1994) The Making of Shakedown & DreamWatch '94 Highlights. London: Dreamwatch Media Ltd.
- An Interview with George Markstein. The-prisoner-6.freeserve.co.uk. Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- Mike Patterson. The Prisoner – the classic British TV series.
- Sardar, Ziauddin (1998). Postmodernism and the other: the new imperialism of Western culture. London: Pluto Press, 1–3. ISBN 978-0-7453-0749-7.
- Cole, Tom (15 January 2009). Patrick McGoohan, TV's 'Prisoner' Number Six : NPR. npr.org. Retrieved on 2009-03-11.
- Dave Foster (2009-09-28). Film @ The Digital Fix - The Prisoner: The Complete Series (UK BD) in September. Dvdtimes.co.uk. Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- The Prisoner: Complete Series Blu-ray Disc Details | High-Def Digest. High Def Digest (2009-10-27). Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- Networkdvd.com Template:Wayback
- Eamonn McCusker. Film @ The Digital Fix - The Prisoner: 40th Anniversary Special Edition. Dvdtimes.co.uk. Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- It was announced in late 2005 that Granada would revive the series for Sky1 in 2007. BBC News: Remake for cult show The Prisoner Christopher Eccleston was initially rumoured to be considered for the title role, and it was reported that the series would be titled Number Six instead of The Prisoner.
- In December 2006, The Hollywood Reporter reported that AMC was co-producing The Prisoner with Sky1, and that it would run at least six to eight episodes, beginning in January 2008 (both in the UK and USA).ICv2 News—AMC Remaking The Prisoner
- In May 2007 it was reported that Sky One had pulled out of the re-make due to a disagreement with their AMC. In August 2007, Richard Woolfe, head of Sky One, stated: The Prisoner is not happening. It's a very quintessentially British drama and there were too many creative differences trying to share it with an American partner. I didn't want to be responsible for taking something that is quintessentially British and adapting it in a way that I didn't feel was reflective of the way people would remember it and the way people would want it to be. So we called time on that.Digital Spy: Q & A with Sky One head Richard Woolfe
- In October 2007, British broadcaster ITV stepped in to replace Sky One as co-producer with AMC. ITV to step in and save Prisoner remake.
- Prisoner series set for remake. The Scotsman (30 June 2008). Retrieved on 1 July 2008.
- (1 July 2008) Ian McKellan cast in The Prisoner. BBC. Retrieved on 2008-07-01.
- The Prisoner: McKellen and Caviezel Signed for 2009 Mini-Series. TV Series Finale.com (2 July 2008). Retrieved on 2008-07-02.
- Warzynski, Peter (2013-01-09). Turbulent tale of how The Prisoner escaped on to our TV screens. Leicester Mercury. Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- Magic Number Six @ Edfringe 19th-24th August 2013@thespace on the Mile 12 noon daily. YouTube. Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- The Unmutual Reviews Magic Number Six The Prisoner Patrick McGoohan Portmeirion. Theunmutual.co.uk. Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- It was released in 1990 by MPI Home Video, then the licensed label for both/all three series in the USA. The copyright notice (the only credit) is ascribed to Maljack Productions, apparently the real company behind the name MPI. Law.cornell.edu: Jackson v. MPI Home Video
- The Prisoner! - News. Big Finish (2015-01-05). Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- BIG FINISH - THE PRISONER SERIES ONE. The Unmutual Reviews (2016). Retrieved on 10 February 2016.
- Child, Ben (12 February 2009). Nolan signs to take Inception from script to screen.
- Nolan Drops The Prisoner. Contact Music (2009-08-13). Retrieved on 2015-10-05.
- (8 January 2016) Ridley Scott Captivated By ‘The Prisoner’, Film Version Of Patrick McGoohan TV Series. Retrieved on 9 January 2016.
- TV Guide Names the Top Cult Shows Ever - Today's News: Our Take. TVGuide.com (2007-06-29). Retrieved on 2015-08-10.
- (1997) Special Collector's Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.
- The 100 Greatest TV episodes of all time!. TV Guide (13 March 2003). Archived from the original on 28 October 2007. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
- (1990) The Prisoner – A Televisionary Masterpiece. London: W. H. Allen Ltd. ISBN 1-85227-338-0.
- White, Matthew (1988). The Official Prisoner Companion. New York, N.Y.: Hachette Book Group USA / Warner Books Inc.. ISBN 978-0-446-38744-6.
- Britton, Wesley Alan (2004). "Chapter 6: The Cold War and Existential Fables: Danger Man, Secret Agent, and The Prisoner", Spy television. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Publishing Group, 93–110. ISBN 0-275-98163-0.
- The Prisoner: The Original Scripts, foreword by Lewis Greifer, Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 978-1-903111-76-5. OCLC 61145235.
- The Prisoner: The Original Scripts, foreword by Roger Parkes, Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 978-1-903111-81-9. OCLC 61145235.
- Template:IMDb title
- Template:Tv.com show
- Berger, Arthur Asa. The Prisoner. Encyclopedia of Television. Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved on 16 September 2009.
- The Prisoner article at British Film Institute Screen Online
- "Why The Prisoner Endures" by John Fund, Wall Street Journal, 2009-01-20