on life, music etc beyond mainstream


The Prisoner (50th anniversary edition)





„While it’s all too common to ascribe the start of „quality TV“ to American programs such as Twin Peaks, arguably the UK-produced The Prisoner (1967) is where it all started. In the programme, an unnamed man (played by series creator Patrick McGoohan, who developed the idea from his previous hit show Danger Man) is kidnapped and taken to a quaint village — part holiday camp, part prison — on a secluded island where residents are given numbers instead of names and where attempts to leave are thwarted by Rover, a sinister beach ball-like entity. Here, he is repeatedly interrogated for information about his work and life using a barrage of unusual, often psychedelic techniques, which he continually tries to resist with the mantra „I am not a number; I am a free man.“


„If you want it deep, just enter that old world, without more cultural baggage, and, under the spell of it, later, move on to Alex Cox‘s book about it: „I am NOT a number“. Cox writes clearly and with passion, and with a playful, digressive side that takes in Project MKUltra, Orson Welles, and snarky quips at Theresa May’s government, along with many other detours. In this respect it is a quintessentially an Alex Cox product. The book will be of interest to both die-hard fans of The Prisoner and to curious first-time viewers keen to start exploring this perennially fascinating piece of cult TV.“


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