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Quotes / The Prisoner (1967)
aka: The Prisoner

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"The Prisoner was a very surreal show. I've seen the whole thing, and I'm still not sure what happened."
Ross Scott, Ross's Game Dungeon: Super Cult Tycoon

"If I could do it again, I would. As long as people feel something, that's the great thing. It's when they are walking around not thinking and not feeling, that's tough. When you get a mob like that, you can turn them into the sort of gang that Hitler had."
Patrick McGoohan in 1984, on the outrage that followed the series finale

A population that makes a virtue out of muddling through adversity is one that is incredibly easy to force drastic action onto. The resulting anxieties over mind control and social conditioning are not a uniquely British phenomenon by any measure, but on the other hand, it's very hard to imagine The Prisoner ever getting made in the US, because part of what is going on in that series is that a fundamental cultural virtue of British society is turned into a real threat.

Nothing quite prepares you for this. Even if you know that The Prisoner features a big white balloon that is the Village's security system, there is absolutely nothing that prepares you for actually seeing Rover. The camera cuts back to McGoohan doing a double take, and suddenly there it is - a giant white balloon that chases a man down, asphyxiates him, then bounds cheerily away. And all that can really be said is that there has never, before or possibly since, been anything quite like this on television.

Number Two: [about Number Six] He can make even the act of putting on his dressing gown appear as a gesture of defiance.
Number Fourteen: There are methods we haven't used yet, of course.
Number Two: I want him with a whole heart, body and soul.
Number Fourteen: He'll crack.
Number Two: Perhaps. One tiny piece at a time. I don't want a man of fragments!
Number Fourteen: He doesn't even bend a little.
Number Two: That's why he'll break. He only needs one small thing. If he will answer one simple question, the rest will follow: Why did he resign?
The Chimes of Big Ben

Number Two: I am definitely an optimist. That's why it doesn't matter who Number One is. It doesn't matter which "side" runs the Village.
Number Six: It's run by one side or the other.
Number Two: Oh, certainly, but both sides are becoming identical. What in fact has been created is an international community — a perfect blueprint for world order. When the sides facing each other suddenly realize that they're looking into a mirror, they will see that this is the pattern for the future.
Number Six: The whole world as the Village?
Number Two: That is my dream. What's yours?
Number Six: I'd like to be the first man on the moon.
The Chimes of Big Ben

Nadia: Thank you, Mister...?
Number Six: Sorry, no names. I am Number 6. You are Number 8.
The Chimes of Big Ben

I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!
Number Six

Alternative Title(s): The Prisoner


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