The Prisoner

Real Name: Unknown - possibly John Drake

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: former secret agent

Affiliations: Unknown

Enemies: Number Two, Rover

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Number 6

Base of Operations: The Village

First Appearance: The Prisoner Episode 1 "The Arrival" (ITV, 1st October 1967)

Powers/Abilities: The Prisoner is a trained spy, skilled in combat and espionage. He is very quick witted and used to planning on the run.

History: The man who would become known as Number 6, the Prisoner, was once a secret agent for an unspecified agency. For reasons known only to himself he eventually decided to quit, and stormed into his boss' office to declare this. Refusing to divulge why he was leaving the business, the agent then returned home, planning to pack and go on a holiday - or perhaps defect. Someone wanted information though, and wasn't prepared to take "no" for an answer. Perhaps it was his former employers, perhaps it was an enemy agency. While still in his flat, gas was sprayed in which rendered him unconscious, and he was spirited away in a hearse.

The agent awoke in a room which looked identical to his flat, but instead of London outside, there was a strange village, full of people who had numbers rather than names. Enemy agents trying to trick him into revealing information to use against his former masters? Agents of his old employers trying to find out if he was defecting, or at least why he was quitting? Other former agents who had tried to retire, locked away here to prevent them from ever leaking what they know? No one was saying, and even if they had, could they have been trusted. The newly arrived agent was dubbed Number 6, but as he constantly protested, he was not a number, he was a free man. And where was the Village? Attempts to find out by going beyond the boundaries of the place where halted by a bizarre guardian, an apparently sentient (and malevolent) entity called Rover, which resembled a large white balloon, and which would suffocate anyone who tried to leave.

Constantly trying to get Number 6 to reveal his reasons for quitting is Number 2, perhaps the master of the Village. But every time Number 6 visits Number 2's house, a different man greets him in that role. And if Number 2 is in charge of the Village, then who is Number 1?

Comments: Played by Patrick McGoohan.

Nathan Genovese has pointed out "There was some implication that the character might be John Drake from the British TV show Danger Man (Secret Agent in the US.) Both character were played by Patrick McGoohan, and a character from Danger Man has a cameo in one episode of the Prisoner. Although people who have worked on the show claim that they were the same character, the lead actor has denied this."


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