One of my earliest recollections of a TV serial is The Prisoner. Therefore, I remember so well that I have not understood this series. In addition, I was also irritated about the equipment and the acting figures. It's typical for the late 1960s that British television tried to go new ways in making series. Starring and co-created by Patrick McGoohan, it combined spy fiction with elements of science fiction, allegory and psychological drama. Because of the controversial subjects – like permanent control, conformance compulsion, to drug experiments, torture, the idleness of democratic elections and other – all 17 results were not emitted everywhere. Thus the first entire radiation occurred in Germany only in 2010. Over the years I forgot this series until our cultural transmitter showed all 17 episodes in a row over summer period.
This is the plot like Wikipedia tells us:
The series follows an unnamed British agent who abruptly resigns his job, apparently preparing to go on a holiday. While packing his luggage, he is rendered unconscious by knockout gas in his apartment. When he wakes, he finds himself held captive in a mysterious seaside "village" that is isolated from the mainland by mountains and sea. The Village is further secured by numerous monitoring systems and security forces, including a mysterious balloon-like device called Rover that recaptures – or kills – those who attempt escape. The agent encounters the Village's population, hundreds of people from all walks of life and cultures, all seeming to be tranquilly living out their lives. They do not use names but instead are assigned numbers, which give no clue as to any person's status (prisoner or warder). Potential escapees therefore have no idea whom they can and cannot trust. The protagonist is assigned Number Six, but refuses the pretence of his new identity.
Number Six is monitored heavily by Number Two, the Village administrator acting as an agent for an unseen "Number One". A variety of techniques are used by Number Two to try to extract information from Number Six, including hallucinogenic drug experiences, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation, and various forms of social indoctrination. All of these are employed not only to find out about why Number Six resigned as an agent but to extract other dangerous information he gained as a spy. The position of Number Two is filled in on a rotating basis; in some cases, part of a larger plan to confuse Number Six, while other times as a result of failure in interrogating Number Six.
Number Six, distrusting of anyone involved with the Village, refuses to co-operate or provide answers. Alone, he struggles with multiple goals: determining for which side the Village works, remaining defiant to its imposed authority, concocting his own plans for escape, learning all he can about the Village, and subverting its operation. His schemes lead to the dismissal of the incumbent Number Two on two occasions, despite their failure to facilitate his escape. By the end of the series the administration, becoming desperate for Number Six's knowledge and fearful of his growing influence in the Village, takes drastic measures that threaten the lives of Number Six, Number Two, and the rest of the Village. A major theme of the show is individualism versus collectivism.
If you ever get a chance to watch this series - go for it.
And in addition a gem from 1968: