The Prisoner (1967–1968)
5 user 2 critic

Once Upon a Time 

Because all other attempts to break Number Six have failed, Number Two decides to engage him in a game where one of them will end up dead.


Patrick McGoohan


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Episode cast overview:
Patrick McGoohan ... Number Six
Leo McKern ... Number Two
Angelo Muscat Angelo Muscat ... The Butler
Peter Swanwick Peter Swanwick ... Supervisor
John Cazabon ... Umbrella Man
John Maxim John Maxim ... Number Eighty Six (scenes deleted)


Number Two conducts tests on Number Six to force him to reveal why he resigned but Number Six's iron will resists and he uses psychology to turn the tables so that his interrogator ends up grovelling to him. Still refusing to answer Number Six watches as Number Two is locked in a cage after which he requests that he sees Number One. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi


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English | German

Release Date:

25 January 1968 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Patrick McGoohan once stated in a 1977 interview that this episode was his favorite of the series. See more »


When they are bantering back and forth in the last minute countdown the speed of the second hand on the clock slows down. At first it is spinning at a rate of about 6 seconds per revolution but slows down considerably in following scenes. This could be deliberate considering the nature of the episode See more »


[first lines]
Number Two: [shouting at the butler] Wait! Remove it! I told you to remove it!
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Features The Prisoner: Free for All (1967) See more »


Written by Paul Bonneau
Chappell Recorded Music Library
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User Reviews

It Came Out of the Heydays of Beckett, Ionesco, and Pinter
23 February 2015 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

Yes, even though my knowledge is inadequate to totally understand the theatre of the absurd, this sojourn into the realm of despair and existentialism is a masterpiece that I would bet most people are unaware. As our Prisoner, Number Six, is again manipulated with mind altering actions, he finds himself living as a child in a man's body. Once again, the purpose is to get him to reveal why he resigned as a spy. What is done is to take Shakespeare's "The Seven Ages of Man" and run our hero through these passages from birth, to infirmity, to death. Along the way, it is hoped that he will develop a bond with his "father" (Number Two) and reveal things that he previously will not. Number Two stakes his life on this. As Number Six passes through each of the ages, he develops knowledge and more resistance, the stubbornness and wonder of the child, if you will. The misfortune, if you can call it that, for Number Two is that he has done some programming to deny Six to the access of his past. The whole visual portrayal and the incredible acting of Patrick McGoohan and Leo McKern provide a tour de force that is hard to forget.

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