Who is Number One?

It was on 29 September in 1967  that an unusual television program made it’s debut. THE PRISONER was a program that concerned a member of the Intelligence Community who suddenly resigns, but wakes up to find himself  in an unfamiliar, and as it turns out extremely secure, coastal community known only as ‘The Village’, where he has apparently been spirited away and is being held until he reveals why he suddenly quit.

At the beginning of each episode he is introduced to ‘the new Number 2’ (who presumably works for an unseen ‘Number 1’) and who informs the Prisoner (whom they call ‘Number 6’) that they want information, and ‘by hook or by crook’ they will get it. It is at this point the Prisoner informs Number 2 that “I am not a number, I am a free man!” and the episode begins.

The episodes usually followed one of two plot lines, either the Prisoner was trying to escape, and was thwarted, usually due to a double-cross by someone he trusted, or Number 2 was trying to get the Prisoner to tell him why he resigned, with the Prisoner refusing to crack.

The Prisoner was played by Patrick McGoohan, a 39 year old Irish American actor.

Only a total of 17 episodes were filmed and broadcast, but the show developed a devoted following which continues to this day.