Sunday, 2 March 2014

My favourite things - The Prisoner

Creatabot runs an evening called My Favourite Things - a chance for people to share their passion about something that excites or inspires them. It's a chance to practice public speaking, but also a chance to meet new people and to expand your boundaries.

It was a brilliant, fun and informative evening full of talks about new subjects (geocaching) and heartfelt (clothes making going back generations). And then there was me. So, what is my favourite thing? What inspires me? The answer is a peculiar but intriguing series made back in the 1960s called the Prisoner. It was created by a team of strong minded individuals, all pulling in different directions.That creative tension led to the blend of elements that it one of the most individual series I've seen.

Picture credit: Alvimann

What's unique about it? OK, the basic story is that an unnamed man resigns from his job and escapes. He's taken to a place to be debriefed, given a number. We never learn his name. So far, so sixties spy series you might think. But wait - there is more to it than that. Using this framework, the series managed to pose some intriguing questions about politics and the political system,  but it also addresses questions about identity, freedom, democracy, education and the nature of power. But more than that, it wrapped it all up in a fast paced series. It also has a biting wit, delivered with panache by Mr McGoohan and the other actors throughout the series.

The series has been called by some an allegorical conundrum. But you can enjoy it just as well if you don't want to look any deeper - it's a cracking show.

Would you like to know more? The opening sequence on youtube sets the scene nicely. Here is an example of wit and satire from the election on youtube Here is a menacing yet beautiful scene from Dance of the Dead (Inspired by Jean Cocteau and a film called the Devil and Daniel Webster (details on IMDB here)

The official appreciation society: Six of One. They host an annual convention at Portmeirion where the external shots of the series were filmed

And for fun, here's a little description of the press launch on youtube. It fits in perfectly with the series.