The Prisoner found in Rochester

To the uninitiated, The Prisoner was a groundbreaking British television series that ran 17 episodes from 1967-1968.  It was created by Patrick McGoohan, who previously starred in the series, Danger Man (aka Secret Agent).  IMDB makes the following statement about the series:

“The Prisoner” is a unique piece of television. It addresses issues such as personal identity and freedom, democracy, education, scientific progress, art and technology, while still remaining an entertaining drama series.

Free For All episode

The program has such a dedicated fan base that even 40 years later, the Prisoner Appreciation Society gathers each year in Portmerion (where the show was filmed) dressed as characters of the series.

Even The Simpsons payed tribute to the program in the epsiode titled, The Computer Wore Menace Shoes.  McGoohan guest starred, reprised his role as Number 6.

McGoohan guest stars in The Computer Wore Menace Shoes

A remake of the series was produced by AMC, but we try not to talk about it.

I recently ordered a wonderful Prisoner collectible which should arrive soon via Royal Air.  While I was waiting for it to land I was fortunate to find two other items in the Buffalo and Rochester area.

While not at all rare, I was still happy to find an 8×10 glossy from the “Checkmate” episode at the SuperFlea in Buffalo.  The booth also had several shots from the Get Smart series, which I may go back for in the future.

Prisoner Checkmate 8x10

But the real treasure turned up in Rochester.  I stopped into a vintage toy shop and asked if the owner had come across any Prisoner items.

I had come to the right place.  After writing to the Prisoner Appreciation Society for more information, I confirmed that the item pictured below is a typewritten letter from around 1966.  It was written by McGoohan in response to a Danger Man fan letter, and makes mention of a “new series entitled The Prisoner which we hope will be with you some time in September ’67.”  Both the addressee’s name and McGoohan’s signature are written in by hand.

Included with the letter was a print of the famous 3×5 black and white portrait that appears in the opening sequence of The Prisoner.  The photo is autographed “All good wishes, Patrick McGoohan.”

It is a proud addition to my collection.

Danger Man fan letter

McGoohan 3x5




Published in: on February 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

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