Friday, April 15, 2011

The Prisoner

Prisoner sm.jpg

I really don't have much of an intro for this.  I've never seen this show or it's precursors.  It's a quite popular cult classic, so naturally there have been crossovers.  Oh,and a very cool theme song came from this as well.
 

c. 43,000 B.C.--RUNESCAPE--Perhaps the creators of the Village and the concept are very old indeed, as a very similar version of it exists this far back in history.

1912--TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN--"Be Seeing You!"--The Village is created.  The original Number 1 is Winston Churchill, the first Number 2 is DENIS NAYLAND SMITH, and the first Number Six is Sherlock Holmes!  Though Sherlock later left, and Churchill and Smith went on to other ventures, but the Village itself must have been proven a success.

November 1952--BEWITCHED--"Samantha's French Pastry"--Uncle Arthur accidentally pulls Napoleon from the past.  Napoleon has also appeared on THE AVENGERS, THE TIME TUNNEL, I DREAM OF JEANNIE, THE PRISONER, TIME BANDITS, THE NEVER SAY U.N.C.L.E. AFFAIR, MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, and BLACKADDER:  BACK AND FORTH.

Fall 1960 to 1966--DANGER MAN/SECRET AGENT/THE PRISONER--John Drake is a secret agent, who after retirement is captured and kept prisoner in a very strange and mysterious place.  There are also several novels and comic books based on the three series.  Computer and role-playing games also exist that would fit into the TVCU.  Each different ending could be chalked up to the psychological torture of the Village.

1964--MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS # 72 to 74--"Weapon X"--Logan is a Canadian Secret Agent who decides to retire, so the government abducts him and hauls him away to be a prisoner of his own government.  The author implies that he is being taken to the Village.  However, he didn't stay there as he was soon chosen (due to his mutant healing abilities) to have his memories erased and have his skeleton bonded with adamantium.

1966--KOROSHI--John Drake takes a mission in Japan.

Fall 1966 to 1969--THE PRISONER--John Drake retires from being a secret agent man and is abducted and brought to the Village.  There he is renamed Number 6.  Not content in just keeping him prisoner, they continuously subject him to psychological torture.  (No, this is not Guantanamo Bay...or is it?)



Summer 1967--ROVER # 5--"Encounter at Night"--Number 6 is walking alone on the beach at night when suddenly DOCTOR OMEGA shows up in his TARDIS and offers to take him along as his companion.  Number 6 declines, as he can't leave until he figures out the secret of the Village and destroys it.  (Note that Doctor Omega is the Doctor from the DOCTOR WHO UNIVERSE.)

Fall 1967--THE PRISONER--"A Change of Mind"--Number 6's persona temporarily switches bodies with the persona of another person outside the Village due to a scientific invention.  Number 6 briefly makes contact with his fiance, Janet Portland before the two transfered persons return to their own bodies.

Fall 1967--ROVER # 7--"A Change of Mind Revisited"--Janet Portland seeks the aid of Simon Templar, THE SAINT, to find her fiance John Drake after she has just learned of his fate when he briefly visited her in another person's body.  They find instead the scientist who created the transfer machine.  Templar voluntarily change places with Drake in the Village for 24 hours so that he can spend time with Janet.

Spring 1968--ROVER # 8--"The Quatermass Interlude"--A shooting star results in bodies turning up drained of life.  John Drake, Number 6 recalls a similar incident being resolved by a PROFESSOR QUATERMASS.  Quatermass is the main character of various movies and television series.  Quatermass has also appeared on DOCTOR WHO.  Those specific episodes I will say take place in the TVCU between Quatermass and the Doctor.

June 1968--THE PRISONER--"I am not a Number"--Number 6 leases a new gatehouse.  (See, the Village isn't so bad.)  The furniture he finds there is the same furniture he had bought back in the real world from JERRY CORNELIUS, who is also another secret agent.  Was he buying used furniture, or does the agent own a furniture business, perhaps as a cover?

June 1968--THE PRISONER--"Who is No. 2?"--<Sorry, I'm thinking about Austin Powers..."Who does No. 2 work for?">  OK, I'm back.  Up until this point, it was only assumed that John Drake was Number 6 based on several pieces of evidence.  It was the same actor, playing a secret agent with the same personality, with the same production company, with one series starting as the other one ended.  But in this novel it is established that Number 6 is John Drake.  Oh, and No. 2 is the guy who runs things, or appears to run things in the Village.

Winter 1969--THE PRISONER--"A Day in the Life"--Again conformation is made that John Drake is the Prisoner.

March 1969--FANTASTIC FOUR # 84 to 87--"The Name is Doom"--Doctor Victor Von Doom traps the Fantastic Four in his own Latverian version of the Village.

Fall 1969--THE PRISONER:  SHATTERED VISAGE--The Village is discovered and evacuated by the United Nations.  However, Number 6 (John Drake) chooses to remain behind.  Later, the Village will be reactivated, however, I believe it was probably recreated somewhere else.

Winter 1972--TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN VOLUME 3:  DANSE MACABRE--"A Day in the Life of Madame Atomos"--Like all stories in the Tales of the Shadowmen series, this one is loaded with crossovers.  Of course, the appearance of the Pink Panther diamond is why I'm talking about it, but other crossovers are:  FU MANCHU, THE AVENGERS, BOB MORANE, THE DA VINCI CODE, JERRY CORNELIUS, MEPHISTA, TEDDY VERANO, THE PRISONER, VIC ST. VAL, MODESTY BLAISE, MADAME HYDRA, DEREK FLINT, SUMURU, THE NYCTALOPE, THE SAINT, THE BLACK LIZARD, AND MADAME ATOMOS.



November 1975--COLUMBO--"Identity Crisis"--Nelson Brenner, a top CIA operative, is really a double agent who finds it necessary to rid himself of a fellow spy and make it look like a mugging. Brenner inadvertently leaves tiny clues in a photo shop at a carnival, on Brenner's corpse at the beach, in a tape recording he makes while in his Agency-approved identity as a speech-writing consultant - the kind of clues that no one would ever pick up on. No one, that is, except the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo. The indefatigable detective will find himself followed by mysterious agents, visited by the top man himself and entertained with a recording of "Madame Butterfly" in Brenner's own mansion before solving this difficult case. (IMDB).  Toby O'Brien says "My all-time favorite TV series is 'The Prisoner', so just for the opportunity to see Patrick McGoohan as the guest star would have been enough. But the episode (directed by McGoohan) is full of allusions to 'The Prisoner' - visual imagery referring to "#1", the design of McGoohan's windbreaker, the phrase "Be Seeing You".... Plus McGoohan's line readings are brilliantly off-kilter - just the way he says "I know!" is a pleasure."

Summer 1977--ROVER # 6--"Acid Test"--Upon retirement John Steed of THE AVENGERS is taken to the Village, where he is reunited with Mrs. Emma Peel.  He also recognized No. 2, as John Drake.  However, John Drake didn't snap and turn evil after the dismantling of the last Village.  He has been brainwashed.  Steed and Peel help restore Drake to sanity and the three try to escape.  However, only the former AVENGERS manage to escape while Drake is captured and reassigned as Number 6 in this new Village.

Fall 1977--MASTER OF KUNG FU # 72 to 75--"Traitors to the Crown"--In flashback, Lancaster Sneed (aka SHOCKWAVE) is wearing a blazer like that forced upon John Drake while in the Village.  Note Sneed is the nephew of NAYLAND SMITH.

Summer 1978--BIONIC WOMAN--"On the Run"--Jaime Sommers informs her boss as the O.S.I. that she wishes to retire, and he tells her that he has to make her a prisoner in the Village.  If she is taken there, she does not remain, as she will have later adventures.

December 1985--G.I. JOE--"There's No Place Like Springfield"--Shipwreck is trapped in a town called Springfield that is on an island that is actually run by Cobra.  Cobra has obvious knowledge of the Village as the entire town is a near duplicate in appearance and methods.

1987--THE LAUGHING PRISONER--TV Host Jools Holland is sent to the Village after resigning as host of channel 4 Music Show THE TUBE.

October to November 1987--THE PRISONER:  SHATTERED VISAGE--A retired agent is sent to the Village, which is weird.  They send her to the abandoned one that is no longer operational.  And John Drake is there. He must have escaped the new one and returned to the old one.  Apparently the psychological torture and brainwashing has really messed him up.  John Steed and Emma Peel of THE AVENGERS are seen attending a funeral back in England, and they mention agent GEORGE SMILEY.  At this point, Steed has taken a new alias as Sir John Raleigh and is now running things as a MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.

September 1995--THE NOWHERE MAN--"Paradise on your Doorstep"--Photojournalist Thomas Veil is detained in the Village.

February 19998--SIMPSONS--"The Joy of Sect"--In SIMPSONS episode "The Joy of Sect", the Movementarians have Marge Simpson trapped in the Village.

1998--DOUBLE TEAM--Counter Terrorist Agent Jack Quinn is knocked out in an explosion and wakes up in the Colony.  The Colony is a prison that is inescapable and invisible, and houses secret agents.

1999 to 2000--NOW AND AGAIN--Brad Mengel:  The series Now and Again also had a reference to The Prisoner.  Clearly, Dr Morris is planning on sending Foster to a village-like facility.

“MICHAEL: Look, it's not my area, but just between us for a fabulously rich, somewhat spoiled media darling he seems like a pretty decent, grounded guy. I mean, do you really have to do anything?

DR. MORRIS: Tell me you're joking, Mr. Wiseman.

MICHAEL: No, I'm serious. I mean, why can't he just be champ? Somebody's got to do it.

DR. MORRIS: Okay, fine. Let's have it your way. But suppose PFC. Foster slips up and someone, anyone discovers the secret of his success is more than just a sweet left jab. What if he's hurt in the ring? Hell, forget the ring. He's hurt in a car accident. The attending physician cuts him open only to discover that the knee bone ain't connected to the shinbone. Hell, forget the knee bone. There are bits and pieces in this fellow that aren't even illustrated in Gray's Anatomy.

MICHAEL: Okay, I get it. So what's going to happen to him?

DR. MORRIS: Suffice to say that his strength and appearance will be dynamically altered. We'll obviously have to do something with his memory, some sort of surgical procedure involving the brain.

MICHAEL: Lobotomy?

DR. MORRIS: As I said, some sort of surgical procedure involving the brain. And after all that's accomplished I will make it my business to see to it that he lives out his days comfortably in a government facility.

MICHAEL: Right. After all that's accomplished.

DR. MORRIS: Need I remind you, Mr. Wiseman that he was offered the same proposition you were given? He entered into an agreement he accepted the conditions of that agreement fully aware of the consequences involved in violating it. He then chose to violate that agreement. And under the circumstances I think he's lived an unusually... comfortable life. I'll leave the map here. Let's skip our workout for today. Leave you some time to... yourself.” (“I am the Greatest” NOW AND AGAIN)


Summer 2000--THE INVISIBLE MAN--"A Sense of Community"--Darien Fawkes and Bobby Hobbes are taken to a new American version of the Village called the Community.  Fawkes sees John Steed of THE AVENGERS and also learns that JAMES BOND is also real.  (He's not there, but a woman there knows him.)

December 2000--SIMPSONS--"The Computer Wore Menace Shoes"--Later, in the episode "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes", Homer Simpson is sent to the Island after learning of a vast conspiracy theory.  Number 6 is also there, though in this universe the is there for creating the bottomless peanut bag.

2008--BIRTHDAY MASSACRE--"Looking Glass"--Another Community is set up in the form of a high school, likely for young agents, which are very commonplace in the TVCU.
December 2008--LEVERAGE--"The Six Days of Christmas Job"--John Drake, now under the name of Drake Rafferty, is a department store Santa.

Fall 2009--MIKE LYNCH CARTOONS--Rip Haywire becomes the new Number 6.  Read it here.

2009--THE PRISONER--TV mini-series that can fit.  The location is different than the original.  (They keep moving them to avoid being found or else there are multiple Villages.)  The plot is different enough for this to be a different experience of a new Number 6, especially since we don't know the name of this Number 6.

October 2009--FRINGE--"Momentum Deferred"--When Olivia Dunham's memories are being messed with, she has a flashback of the bicycle that is obviously the one from the Village.

2037--FRINGE--"Letters of Transit"--In the future that may come to pass, the Observers rule our planet, and run things very much like the Village, with an implication that they were behind the Villages of the past.  This is only a possible future, and it may seem to contradict other possible futures, but I believe that many alternate futures can work together if we consider how fractured our nation and world are becoming.  It's entirely possible that one time of scenario is happening, for instance in the Pacific Southwest while the Northeastern U.S. has a very different future scenario.

2269--ASSIGNMENT:  ETERNITY--Gary Seven visits the 23rd century.  Seven says that he has encountered or know of in his time period THE AVENGERS, THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E., THE QUESTOR TAPES, KOLCHAK THE NIGHT STALKER, MISSION:  IMPOSSIBLE, JAMES BOND, THE PRISONER, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, and Dr. Evil (enemy of AUSTIN POWERS:  INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY.)

ALTERNATE REALITIES:

DOCTOR WHO:  THE MAN IN THE VELVET MASK--The Doctor for the DOCTOR WHO UNIVERSE travels to this one where there is a French version of the Village with the Marquis de Sade as Monsieur 6.

DOCTOR WHO UNIVERSE--In the novel DEAD ROMANCE, the Time Lords set up a version of the Village on another planet.  Since there are no other connections in this universe to the Prisoner, there are a few different possible explanations.  1) The Time Lords may have thought up the idea on their own.  2) They may have seen the TV show.  3) Perhaps the events of the Prisoner also occur in this universe and the Time Lords copied that Village.  4) Perhaps a Time Lord had visited the Village of the TVCU and that is where the idea came from.

LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN DIVERGENT TIMELINE--LOEG Volumes 1 and 2 fit into the TVCU just fine, but after that, the timeline diverges and creates an alternate reality just like with BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 8.  In BLACK DOSSIER, the Village is said to be controlled by Big Brother's thought police (from 1984.)

LOONIVERSE--PINKY AND THE BRAIN have visited the Village of their world in the three part storyline "Brainwashed."

SKITLANDIA--On DEAD RINGERS, the soap THE ARCHERS is merged with THE PRISONER.

V FOR VENDETTA--In this reality, the Larkhill Death Camp is actually the Village of this reality, as can be seen by the scenery.

VIDEO GAME UNIVERSE?--OK, I'm not sure about video game crossovers.  This is about Sonic.  I know he isn't from the TVCU, because he travels to the TVCU in SONIC X.  But what is his home dimension.  I know Sonic and Mario are in the same universe, though Mario comes from the TVCU originally.  I'm not sure yet (though I will investigate at another time) if these games are connected to other ones or to any other fictional characters that might place them in, say, the Looniverse or something.  For now, I'm going to say Sonic is from the Video Game Universe.  Oh, what's this got to do with this blog?  Well, in SONIC THE COMIC # 106 to 107, Dr. Robotnik creates a computer program that goes rogue and creates that universe's version of the Village.

Well, that's it.  For a show I know very little about, this was a very fun blog to write.  I will be adding the Prisoner to my Netflix list I think.

4 comments:

  1. The series Now and Again also had a reference to The Prisoner

    “MICHAEL: Look, it's not my area, but just between us for a fabulously rich, somewhat spoiled media darling he seems like a pretty decent, grounded guy. I mean, do you really have to do anything?

    DR. MORRIS: Tell me you're joking, Mr. Wiseman.

    MICHAEL: No, I'm serious. I mean, why can't he just be champ? Somebody's got to do it.

    DR. MORRIS: Okay, fine. Let's have it your way. But suppose PFC. Foster slips up and someone, anyone discovers the secret of his success is more than just a sweet left jab. What if he's hurt in the ring? Hell, forget the ring. He's hurt in a car accident. The attending physician cuts him open only to discover that the knee bone ain't connected to the shinbone. Hell, forget the knee bone. There are bits and pieces in this fellow that aren't even illustrated in Gray's Anatomy.

    MICHAEL: Okay, I get it. So what's going to happen to him?

    DR. MORRIS: Suffice to say that his strength and appearance will be dynamically altered. We'll obviously have to do something with his memory, some sort of surgical procedure involving the brain.

    MICHAEL: Lobotomy?

    DR. MORRIS: As I said, some sort of surgical procedure involving the brain. And after all that's accomplished I will make it my business to see to it that he lives out his days comfortably in a government facility.

    MICHAEL: Right. After all that's accomplished.

    DR. MORRIS: Need I remind you, Mr. Wiseman that he was offered the same proposition you were given? He entered into an agreement he accepted the conditions of that agreement fully aware of the consequences involved in violating it. He then chose to violate that agreement. And under the circumstances I think he's lived an unusually... comfortable life. I'll leave the map here. Let's skip our workout for today. Leave you some time to... yourself.” (“I am the Greatest” NOW AND AGAIN)

    Clearly, Dr Morris is planning on sending Foster to a village-like facility.

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  2. The Simpsons has an episode set on "The Island," with Patrick McGoohan voicing No. 6

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  3. Thanks, Brad. I'll add this in my six month update. Hugh, I mention the Simpsons episode under alternate realities, though recently I decided it wasn't an AU and was indeed part of the main TVCU, so should have moved it thusly.

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  4. Another trivial tidbit to strengthen the connection between Drake and Six - they share the same birthday, which is also the same for Patrick McGoohan.

    You really should see the series; it's only 17 hours! You'll see there are a few things to set right. (Napoleon, the ultimate fates in the body exchange, etc.)

    ReplyDelete