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The Prisoner

March 2, 2009

What a coincidence that Spy Vibe, a site dedicated to the style of 1960s spy-genre, should make the internet rounds just as I start getting into ‘The Prisoner’! A few weeks ago, a random conversation with my boss led from tangent to tangent until at some point he recommended that I check out this old TV series which had quite a cult following in its time- and lo and behold it was available to rent via Blockbuster. So this now has become a new favorite pastime alongside knitting and hiding from the rain, and I finally get the reference from The Simpsons!

Only consisting of a mere 17 episodes, ‘The Prisoner‘ was a British TV series in the ’60s which tells the story of a resigned CIA operative (a perfectly smarmy Patrick McGoohan) who awakens in an unnamed Village by captors who want ‘information’ regarding his reason for quitting. Aspects of both ‘The Truman Show’ and ‘1984’ come to mind while watching, as the Village seems only to exist as a luxurious cage for McGoohan- who is only referred to as Number Six- and potential allies and love interests are merely role-players in the quest for information. The heroic Number Six’s will is unbreakable, who tries and tries again to gain his freedom. The Village features inescapable speakerboxes and hidden cameras around every corner, but perhaps the most surreal (and entertaining) aspect of the Village is the giant white ball which appears on command to smother and render unconscious anyone who tries to escape. What the eff?

Beautiful scenery, vibrant colors, cool decor, and effortlessly cool British smarm are hard to beat with this one. Definitely check it out, or check out Spy Vibe for more swingin’ inspiration…

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