It has something of a 3-Act feel about it. The ‘third act’ takes place in a ‘safe house’. Everyone is a guest, but all are in hiding. The episode has a number of intriguing elements. A woman named Nandina runs the safe house. Played by Joan Greenwood, she could easily be seen as a putative Number Two in the village. She watches her ‘guests’ on a primitive CCTV system.
and when he wakes, he has been taken to a new place, whilst unconscious. As he wakes, there is what could almost be an early try-out for the iconic prisoner opening speeches.
Where am I?
In the Via del Sella da Nici.. A small hotel – Giorgio, the proprietor is a friend of mine.
Where are my things?
Your suitcase is over there. …[some episode detail]…… You are very agile and extremely devious
You have money?
If you’d like to stay here a day or two, it’ll be alright
What’s the catch?
None – What’s your name?
You have it
Your real name….
Prior to this, when Nandina and Drake had fallen out over his behaviour. She castigated him:
I know everything that goes on in this house. It’s useless for you to sit there with your enigmatic face.
Are you the judge and jury then?
If you like…… and you have only one plea
So, separated by the two years of 1964 and 1965, two episodes of Danger Man, Colony Three and The Paper Chase evidently prefigure both plot elements and stylisations that Patrick McGoohan carried forward into his 1966/67 project. Like a giant standing on his own shoulders, he could see that little bit further than before.
It is a minor piece of amusing trivia to note that the conclusion of The Paper Chase has Drake escaping aboard a go-kart.... A Lotus 0.07 perhaps..... I have read one story from the prisoner cult archives that the Lotus 7 was personally chosen by McGoohan on a visit to the Lotus factory-works, ditching the previously scripted notion of Number Six driving a more glamorous Lotus Elise coupe. In the press of 1965 he is pictured fooling around on a go-cart.
It's not evidence of all that much, but it is interesting to imagine possibilities.
There are many small asides in many different episodes of Danger Man that reflect ideas or *gimmicks* within The Prisoner. Within the prisoner cult there has been a long and slightly foolish debate about whether or not Number Six was or wasn't John Drake. I debunked the silliest parts of their notions in one of my first Blogs. However, whilst they delved into their own *back-story* fantasies about what were completely fictitious characters anyhow, they completely missed the point that of course Patrick McGoohan's ideas were hugely influenced by his experiences of the scripts and themes that the Danger Man series had explored over several years. McGoohan was no passive performer in Danger Man however and he shared in the formulation of those ideas and themes, as well as their eventual exposition in the many episodes of Ralph Smart's creation. His lack of passivity is often remarked upon and indeed his increasing frustration at the limits laid upon his creativity probably led him to approaching Lew Grade with his proposal for his own original series. Sidney Cole possibly deserves a little credit in fact for The Prisoner project ever happening. In one interview the distinguished producer recalled his having something of a dispute with the star of his show. He recalled that when Patrick McGoohan complained to him (Sidney Cole) about why it was that he (Sidney Cole) always had the final word; Sidney Cole explained to his recalcitrant star that the reason he (Sidney Cole) had the final say was because he (Sidney Cole) was the producer. That was WHY.....
Patrick McGoohan evidently took the lesson to heart when he made himself Executive Producer of The Prisoner. This time he (Patrick McGoohan) would have the final say. He would be Number One.
Harry Verderci ..... I'll be Back.