Recorded on: 11, 14 and 15 March and 18 May 2017
Recorded at: The Soundhouse
THE PRISONER™ remains unique in the world of television. A taut psycho-thriller about a secret agent who resigns and finds himself thrown into a Kafka-esque world of mindplay and enigma.
THE PRISONER™ is the story of a man known only as Number 6 played by Patrick McGoohan. He has committed no crime, but is being held against his will in The Village – a location from which there is no escape.
Number 6 can trust no one and is under constant supervision by his ever changing adversary Number 2 - the leader of The Village. Number 6 attempts to trace the real identity of his captors, and the mystery of the ever-elusive Number 1, but is forever thwarted. Mysterious white orbs known as Rovers help to maintain order, and will engulf any who attempt escape.
Shot in the village of Portmeirion, a creation that features a melange of cultural styles, and at the MGM Studios at Borehamwood, the look of THE PRISONER™ is both surreal and enchanting. Portmeirion, a leading tourist attraction in its own right, forms a captivating backdrop to the futuristic, fantastic, and often bizarre interior sets.
First appearing on British TV screens in 1967, THE PRISONER™ was one of the most expensive series produced by Lew Grade and ITC at that time. The idea for THE PRISONER™ series allegedly grew out of Patrick McGoohan’s desire to move on from playing the popular undercover agent John Drake in DANGERMAN.
The allure of THE PRISONER™, with its mystery and enigmatic symbolism, remains timeless…
Dateline: 28th January 2016, 17.16 hours
I’m still buzzing from the great reviews of The Prisoner. It was a big risk making this series, and a lot of the initial reaction to the fact that we were producing it was understandably negative. As I said in an interview the other day, if I hadn’t actually been producing it myself, I would have had a negative reaction to it. And, as I said to fellow writer and all-round nice fellow Guy Adams the other day, if I’d really considered the risks involved in whether it would turn out to be well received or not, I think I wouldn’t have dared go near The Prisoner. I just had a sort of insatiable and perhaps insane drive to do it. Thank goodness those lovely people at ITV were convinced by me. Thanks, Giles, Maggy and Najmie!
But here it is. It’s widely praised and liked. That’s good enough for me. I feel a huge sense of relief and gratitude. My co-exec and best boss in the world, Jason Haigh-Ellery, has given the go-ahead for Volume 2 of The Prisoner. That’s not the only reason why I think he’s the best boss in the world, by the way!
I already have plans for the stories I’m going to do next time, but since those storylines haven’t been finished yet, I haven’t sent them to ITV. And if they haven’t been sent to ITV, I don’t know if they’re going to be approved yet. So… I’ll let you know what they are if and when they’re approved. But the rough plan is for four more stories, three of them adapted from original series episodes, with one entirely new. I have a feeling the adaptations will be looser this time, with even one of them having a different title as a result.
A huge contributing factor to the success of the series has been Mark Elstob as Number Six. And he’s definitely up for more. He’s already appeared at our event, Big Finish Day 8, and did a sterling job on stage, giving many insights into his work on the series.
Other huge contributing factors were composer Jamie Robertson and sound designer Iain Meadows. I’m hoping I can persuade them to come back. They did such brilliant work. I still can’t stop humming the new theme.
Also, I’ve told Jamie Anderson I’d love him to continue script editing and he seems fine with that. Hopefully, by next time, I’ll have some news about storylines.
Naturally, I should end with…
Be seeing you!
Dateline: 23rd March 2016, 14.10 hours
As I mentioned last time, I’ve already planned out which stories I’ll be adapting from the original TV series of The Prisoner. I’ve also worked out a title for the ‘original’ episode I’ll be writing too. But as the overall storyline for the box set develops in my head, I can see that the adaptations will depart from their source material even more.
I’ve just completed the storyline for the first episode of the second box set. It’s an adaptation, but I’m not yet giving away its title, mainly because I haven’t sent it to ITV yet. The title isn’t the same as that of the episode from which it has been adapted. It’s that different!
I’ve been trying to fathom some sort of cryptic clue I can give to the nature of the story. But the fact of the matter is that Prisoner fans are so knowledgeable about the series that literally anything I say will give it away. So instead, I’ll just try to tease you with the impossibly obscure clue of… ‘Robin Redbreast’. If you can guess which episode I’ve adapted from that clue, then you truly have incredible powers of deduction. It’s an impossible clue!
In other news, Mark Elstob, our superb new Number Six, has emailed me to let me know about his availability. As happened last year, he’s up in Scotland doing some theatre, so it’s going to be really rather difficult to get hold of him. But Mark is very committed to the series, so we should be able to work something out.
Oh, and I’ve also met another veteran actor who I want to cast as a Number Two. He’s actually great friends with Michael Cochrane and conveyed Michael’s best wishes to me when I was working with him (this ‘mystery’ actor) on our Sherlock Holmes range recently.
I’ve been a little distracted by other Big Finish duties of late - not least an adaptation of HG Wells’s War of the Worlds - so I really must head back to the Village.
On that theme, it’s probably worth mentioning that I’ll be having a short weekend break in Portmeirion over Easter (my first ever visit). If you’re there, I’ll…
Be seeing you!