TV Theme Of The Week: The Prisoner

10/11/2010 at 11:29 am (TV Theme Of The Week)

With opening titles that run like a mini-movie of its own, The Prisoner was truly high style. The late 1960’s brought with it bold colour, and inspired graphic design to go into overdrive. While this was apparent in many, many shows of the time, The Prisoner used fashion and design to create the bizarre world of The Village.

Shot in Portmeirion, an architectural fantasy built in North Wales, this was the perfect backdrop for these unusual tales of a man held for information (top secret/controversial/Colonel’s Secret Recipe). The Village is beautiful, the people are friendly, and it appears to be the perfect place to escape to. Unfortunately, it’s somewhere you’ll never escape from.

Packed with striking imagery, exemplified by Rover, the massive, suffocating balloon that acts as guard dog, this was indeed an original show. At a time where psychedelia wasn’t a welcome feature of the average household, The Prisoner would often challenge its audience. This led to a lot of head-scratching, and viewers would be left perplexed, but had to watch to the end of its 17 episode run.

Ron Grainer’s theme picks up on the sinister feel of the story, but also on the intensity of the show’s leading character known only as Number 6, played by Patrick McGoohan. The theme and its companion visuals weave together perfectly. Such style!


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