Friday Follies: The Prisoner

By January 16, 2009Friday Follies

It’s not funny nor a folly, but a still a grand sequence to start a Friday and a new Administration, the opening credits from “The Prisoner,” the British TV series that starred Patrick McGoohan. McGoohan died this last week. For a segment produced in 1967, it doesn’t seem dated at all — the theme and the Lotus are still very cool.

Various episodes did have their humorous moments. Also, when Oregon Public Broadcasting rebroadcast the series in the ’70s and ’80s, OPB dropped the ads and filled the remaining time with commentary from a university psychologist: “You see, what No. 6 experienced in this episode is what’s known as alienation.” That was funny.

The series was satirized in The Simpsons, with a McGoohan guest appearance, in “The Computer Wore Menace Shoes,” first broadcast November 26, 2000.

At times, “The Prisoner” certainly overreached in its paranoia about ominous government and universal surveillance. It could never happen here.


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