Martin Bright

Escape from the Village

Escape from the Village
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Patrick McGoohan's character never made it out of "the village". But I'm back in London after a six hour journey from Portmeirion, where the series was filmed and don't seem to have been followed by a giant white inflatable ball.

I've just watched the first episode of The Prisoner again and it really is as brilliant as I remember: tight script, unfussy acting and shot with plenty of sixties zoom shots that went out of style with the Nouvelle Vague. As an examination of the totalitarian mentality it's pretty stunning stuff for mainstream TV.

It's difficult not to identify with "No.6" as he becomes ever more mystified by the softly-softly authoritarianism around him. I had forgoten that the question "No. 2" is detemined to force the McGoohan's prisoner to answer is "Why did you resign?" That made me chortle.