The Prisoner

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Where am I?

The Prisoner is a 1967 UK television series about a man who, after resigning from a government agency, is kidnapped from his London home and awakens in a secret location known to its inhabitants as The Village, where he is known only by the name Number Six.

I am not a number! I am a free man!

Series One[edit]


Number Six: Where am I?
Number Two: In the Village.
Number Six: What do you want?
Number Two: Information.
Number Six: Whose side are you on?
Number Two: That would be telling. We want information… information… information.
Number Six: You won't get it.
Number Two: By hook or by crook, we will.
Number Six: Who are you?
Number Two: The new Number Two.
Number Six: Who is Number One?
Number Two: You are Number Six.
Number Six: I am not a number! I am a free man!
Number Two: [laughs]

Arrival [1.01][edit]

I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!
Number Six: I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!

Number Two: Quite a beautiful place, really, isn't it? Almost like a world on its own.
Number Six: I shall miss it when I'm gone.
Number Two: Oh, it will grow on you.

The Admiral: A game of chess, my dear.
The Woman: I don't play.
The Admiral: You should learn. We're all pawns, my dear.

Sign: Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself.

Number Six: I am not a number. I am a person.
New Number Two: Six of one, half dozen of another.

Free For All [1.02][edit]

Number Six: Elections? In this place?
Number Two: Of course--we make our choice every 12 months. Every citizen has a choice. Are you going to run?
Number Six: Like blazes, the first chance I get.
Number Two: I meant run for office.
Number Six: Whose?
Number Two: Mine, for instance.
Number Six: You have a very delicate sense of humor.
Number Two: Naturally. Humor is the very essence of a democratic society.

Number Six: What physically happens if I win?!
Number Two: You're the boss.
Number Six: Number One's the boss.
Number Two: Join me. [They enter Number Six's house] If you win Number One will no longer be a mystery to you, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I'll introduce you properly and see how you feel after assessing the madding crowd.

Labour Exchange Manager: "Gave up sugar four years and three months ago on medical advice." That shows you're afraid.
Number Six: What?
Labour Exchange Manager: You're afraid of death.
Number Six: I'm afraid of nothing.
Labour Exchange Manager: You're afraid of yourself. You are aware of that? Good, you are honest. That is of use here. Honesty attracts confidence and confidences are the core of our business.

Reporter: How will you handle your campaign?
Number Six: No comment.
Reporter: "Intends to fight for freedom at all costs."
Photographer: Smile
Reporter: How about your internal policy?
Number Six: No comment.
Reporter: "Will tighten up on Village security."
Photographer: Smile!
Reporter: What about your external policy?
Number Six: No comment.
Reporter: "Our exports will operate in every corner of the globe." How do you feel about life and death?
Number Six: Mind your own business.
Reporter: "No comment."

Number Six: There are those who come in here and deny that we can supply every conceivable civilised amenity within our boundaries. You can enjoy yourselves and you will. You can partake of the most hazardous sports and you will. The price is cheap. All you have to do in exchange is give us information. You are then eligible for promotion to other and perhaps more attractive spheres. Where do you desire to go? What has been your dream? I can supply it. Winter, spring, summer or fall--they can all be yours at any time. Apply to me and it will be easier and better.

Dance of the Dead [1.03][edit]

Number Six: I have a choice?
Number Two: Of course. You can do as you want.
Number Six: As long as it's what you want.
Number Two: As long as it is what the majority wants. We're democratic. In some ways.
Number Six: I have a choice?
Number Two: Of course. You can do as you want.
Number Six: As long as it's what you want.
Number Two: As long as it is what the majority wants. We're democratic. In some ways.

Number Two: I'm sad, Number Six. I thought you were beginning to...
Number Six: Give in?
Number Two: Be happy. Everything you want is here.
Number Six: Everything's elsewhere.

Number Two: What were you looking at?
Number Six: A light.
Number Two: A star.
Number Six: A boat.
Number Two: An insect.
Number Six: A plane.
Number Two: A flying fish.
Number Six: Somebody who belongs to my world.
Number Two: This is your world. I am your world. If you insist on living a dream you may be taken for mad.
Number Six: I like my dream.
Number Two: Then you are mad.

Number Two: Our legal system is unusual.
Number Six: No jury.
Number Two: Three judges decide here.
Number Six: As in the French Revolution.
Number Two: They cut through the dead wood, didn't they?

The Observer: It's the rules. Of the people, by the people, for the people.
Number Six: It takes on a new meaning.
The Observer: You're a wicked man.
Number Six: Wicked?
The Observer: You have no values.
Number Six: Different values.
The Observer: You won't be helped.
Number Six: Destroyed.
The Observer: You want to spoil things.
Number Six: I won't be a goldfish in a bowl.

Checkmate [1.04][edit]

Number Six: [referring to the chess game] Why do you use people?
Man With Stick: Some psychiatrists say it satisfies the desire for power. The only opportunity one gets here.
Number Six: That depends what side you're on.
Man With Stick: I'm on my side.
Number Six: Aren't we all?
Man With Stick: You must be new here. In time, most of us join the enemy... against ourselves.

Queen: Oh, that was a good move, wasn't it?
Number Six: I know a better one.
Queen: Oh?
Number Six: Away from this place.
Queen: That's impossible.
Number Six: For chessmen, not for me.

Number Six: Don't tell me you care?
Number Two: Well, of course. We want you to be happy.
Number Six: Fine. Just, umm... give me a one-way ticket home.
Number Two: Won't you ever give up?
Number Six: What do you think?

Psychiatrist: [about Number Six] Is he in for treatment?
Number Two: Not yet.
Psychiatrist: Pity... interesting subject. I should like to know his breaking point.
Number Six: Well, you could make that your life's ambition.

Queen: [crying] How can you doubt me?
Number Six: It's easy and I'm waterproof; a little drizzle won't wash away my doubt. So don't try.
Queen: I only want to be near you.
Number Six: Everybody's near in this place. Far too near.
Queen: Do you think they'll ever release us?
Number Six: Let me know. I shan't be around.

The Chimes of Big Ben [1.05][edit]

Number Two: [about Number Six] He can make even the act of putting on his dressing gown appear as a gesture of defiance.
Number Two's Assistant: There are methods we haven't used yet, of course.
Number Two: I want him with a whole heart, body and soul.
Number Two's Assistant: He'll crack.
Number Two: Perhaps--one tiny piece at a time. I don't want a man of fragments. Fascinating.
Number Two's Assistant: He doesn't even bend a little.
Number Two: That's why he'll break. He only needs one small thing. If he will answer one simple question, the rest will follow: why did he resign?

Number Two: [offering coffee] I can never remember. One lump or two?
Number Six: It's in the file.
Number Two: Yes, as a matter of fact, yes. But it would save time if you just answered.
Number Six: Why? Running out of time?
Number Two: "Does not take sugar." Frightened of putting on weight?
Number Six: No. Nor of being reduced.
Number Two: Oh, that's excellent. I am glad you are here. You really are a model.
Number Six: But I don't run on clockwork.
Number Two: You will, my dear chap. You will.

Number Two: Do you still think you can escape, Number Six?
Number Six: I'm going to do better than that.
Number Two: Oh?
Number Six: Going to escape, come back.
Number Two: Come back?
Number Six: Escape, come back, wipe this place off the face of the Earth, obliterate it and you with it.

[Number Two shouts to Number Six as he walks out of his office]
Number Two: Don't worry, Number Six. You'll be cured. I'll see to it. No more nightmares. If you have so much as a bad dream, you will come… whimpering… to tell it to me!
[The door closes behind Number Six as he leaves]
Number Two: Whimpering!

Number Six: Has it ever occurred to you that you are just as much a prisoner as I am?
Number Two: Oh my dear chap, of course--I know too much. We're both lifers. Number Two: I am definitely an optimist. That's why it doesn't matter "who" Number One is. It doesn't matter which "side" runs the Village.
Number Six: It's run by one side or the other.
Number Two: Oh certainly, but both sides are becoming identical. What in fact has been created is an international community--perfect blueprint for world order. When the sides facing each other suddenly realize that they're looking into a mirror, they will see that "this" is the pattern for the future.
Number Six: The whole Earth as the Village?
Number Two: That is my hope. What's yours?
Number Six: I'd like to be the first man on the moon.

A. B. and C. [1.06][edit]

Number Two: [viewing Number Six's thoughts] Extraordinary. How very single-minded.
Number Fourteen: He's not conventional.
Number Two: I sometimes think he's not human.

"A": News of old friends travels quickly.
Number Six: In a few hours.
"A": To you and to me, news is like air. We breathe it deeply. We draw it from far and wide.
Number Six: If it's interesting.
"A": What are you going to do with your freedom?
Number Six: Go fishing.
"A": Perhaps you're fishing now.

Number Two: What's that Number Six doing? Always walking. Irritating man. Doesn't he ever get tired?!

Engadine: And remember.. you're mine.
Number Six: Really?
Engadine: Be horrible to other women.
Number Six: I promise.
Engadine: Oh, thank you.

The General [1.07][edit]

Number Twelve: You don't believe it. A university-level degree in three minutes.
Number Six: It's improbable.
Number Twelve: But not impossible.
Number Six: Nothing's impossible in this place.

Number Twelve: You'll find the Professor most interesting.
Number Six: Would I?
Number Twelve: With an extraordinary range of knowledge.
Number Six: The only subject I'm interested in is getting away from this place.
Number Twelve: Exactly.
Number Six: Who are you?
Number Twelve: A cog in the machine.

Number Twelve: I'll fix it, Number Six, so that you become aware that deliberate destruction of official property is a most serious offense. I must recommend the the full penalty.
Number Six: Which is?
Number Twelve: It could be imprisonment, could be a fine.
Number Six: I'll take the fine.
Number Twelve: Yes, I thought you might.

Number Two: Allow me to introduce .. The General. All the professor's own work; he gave birth to it and loves it with a passionate love, probably hates it even more. That mass of circuits, my dear fellow, is as revolutionary as nuclear fission. No more wastage in schools: there's no more tedious learning by rote. A brilliantly devised course, delivered by a leading teacher, subliminally learned, checked, and corrected by an infallible authority. And what have we got?
Number Six: A row of cabbages!
Number Two: Indeed - knowledgeable cabbages.

Number Two: [after Number Six stumped the machine, causing it to self destruct] What was the question?
Number Six: It's insoluble, to man or machine.
Number Two: What was it?
Number Six: W - H - Y - Question mark.
Number Two: "Why?"
Number Six: "Why?"

The Schizoid Man [1.08][edit]

Number Twelve: The trouble with science is that it can be perverted.

Number Twelve: You know what, why don't we settle this like gentlemen?
Number Six: You're claiming to be a gentleman too?
Number Twelve: Oh very good, very good indeed. That line is very worthy of me.

Number Twelve: [to Number Six] I take it I'm supposed to go all fuzzy round the edges and run off into the distance screaming "Who am I?"

Number Two: By the time we finish with him, he won't know whether he's Number Six or the cube root of infinity.

Number Six: [to Alison; about Number Twelve] I am the original, he is the economy pack.

Many Happy Returns [1.09][edit]

The Colonel: You're a stubborn fellow, Number Six.
Number Six: James, you call me that once again and you're liable for a bout in hospital.

Thorpe: [to Number Six] You resign. You disappear. You return. You spin a yarn that Hans Christian Andersen would reject as a fairy tale.

Thorpe: And they're all... numbers? No names. No names at all?
Number Six: Just numbers.
The Colonel: I see.
Number Six: Numbers in a village that is a complete unit of our own society. A place to put people who can't be kept around. People who know too much or too little. A place with many means of breaking a man.

Thorpe: [about Number Six] Interesting fellow.
The Colonel: He's an old, old, old friend. Who never gives up.

It's Your Funeral [1.10][edit]

Number Six: Who are you?
Watchmaker's Daughter: I'm a number, just like you. Does it matter which?
Number Six: How'd you get in?
Watchmaker's Daughter: The door was open.
Number Six: Always is... to them, isn't it?
Watchmaker's Daughter: But I'm not one of them.
Number Six: No. What do you want?
Watchmaker's Daughter: Help.
Number Six: Go to the Town Hall. The Citizens' Council promises help and advice for everyone.
Watchmaker's Daughter: Their Citizen's Council.
Number Six: As far as I'm concerned, what's theirs is yours.
Watchmaker's Daughter: I am not one of them.
Number Six: No... no one is.

Computer Attendant: Good morning--I've brought you the activities prognosis you ordered.
New Number Two: Oh, good--how accurate are these? What is the percentage of right and wrong?
Computer Attendant: I'm afraid we don't know that.
New Number Two: Why not?
Computer Attendant: Well, twice we programmed our machines for a percentile appraisal of their own efficiencies. Each time they refused to give back the requested information.
New Number Two: Refused? How?
Computer Attendant: Simply by not returning the data to us.
New Number Two: They'll be wanting their own trade union next.

The Watchmaker: You refuse to understand. What I'm doing is for a principle. We are in this prison for life, all of us, but I have met no one here who has committed a crime. I protest in a manner they cannot ignore.
Number Six: Some other way, then--not by an act of murder.
The Watchmaker: Assassination.
Number Six: Call it what you like--the important matter is that the entire Village will be punished.
The Watchmaker: Maybe it is what they need to wake them up, to shake them out of their lethargy. To make them angry enough...
Number Six: That's assuming they survive the punishment!

Retiring Number Two: Tomorrow, after I've handed over office, I'm to be assassinated..
Number Six: For "assassinated," substitute "executed."
Retiring Number Two: Since it's arranged by my own people, you mean.
Number Six: You don't mind?
Retiring Number Two: Of course I mind. It's just that... well, I never thought it would happen to me.
Number Six: It never does--to anybody. But it can be prevented.
Retiring Number Two: Preventing is only postponing. You never understood us, Number Six. We never fail!

Retiring Number Two: The Seal is the ceremony.
Number Six: It's hollowed out, it's packed with explosives.
Retiring Number Two: And before I hand it over to my successor...
Number Six: It will be detonated by radio.
Retiring Number Two: I can think of better ways to die.
Number Six: And better causes to die for.

A Change of Mind [1.11][edit]

Committee Member: It is the duty of this Committee to deal with complaints.
Number Six: Complaints?
Committee Member: Your complaints.
Number Six: Well done. I have several.

Number Two: Do carry on.
Number Six: No time for tea?
Number Two: No. Only your future.

First Member of Social Group: All right, say you're a poet and you were composing, and you failed to hear Number Ten's greeting.
Second Member of Social Group: Neglect of social principle.
Number Six: Poetry has a social value.
Second Member of Social Group: He's trying to divide us.
First Member of Social Group: His intentions are obvious. To stop us from helping this unfortunate girl.
Number Forty Two: You're trying to undermine my rehabilitation. Disrupt my social progress!
Number Six: Strange talk for a poet.
Second Member of Social Group: Reactionary!
First Member of Social Group: Rebel!
Number Forty Two: Disharmonious!

Number Two: There is a saying, "The slowest mule is nearest to the whip."
Number Six: And another. "He who digs a pit will one day lie in it." Or is Number Two above investigation?

Number Six: You still have a choice. You can still salvage your right to be individuals. Your rights to truth and free thought. Reject this false world of Number Two. Reject it. Now!

Hammer into Anvil [1.12][edit]

Number Two: We have things to discuss.
Number Six: About the girl you murdered?
Number Two: Oh, never mind the girl. I want to talk about you.
Number Six: You're wasting your time. Others have tried.
Number Two: Amateurs.
Number Six: You're professional. A professional sadist?

Number Two: You are too strong. We'll see. "Du musst amboss oder hammer sein."
Number Six: "You must be anvil or hammer."
Number Two: I see you know your Goethe.
Number Six: And you see me as the anvil?
Number Two: Precisely. I am going to hammer you.

Sign in shop: Music makes for a quiet mind.

Sign in shop: Music begins where words leave off.

Number Two: You destroyed me.
Number Six: No.. you destroyed yourself. You destroyed yourself. A character flaw. You were afraid of your masters. A weak link in the chain of command waiting to be broken.
Number Two: Don't tell them... don't report me.
Number Six: I don't intend to. You are going to report yourself.
Number Two: [taking the phone] I have to report a breakdown.. in control. Number Two needs to be replaced. Yes, this is Number Two reporting.

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling [1.13][edit]

Number Two: [watching as Number Six paces his flat] What sort of opinion would you form of that fellow?
The Colonel: Anybody who spends his time doing that must be rather stupid.
Number Two: You couldn't be more wrong. Because he's our most interesting citizen from every point of view... particularly yours.

Number Six: You're still as pompous as ever... Danvers.
Danvers: Where did you get my name?
Number Six: Jonathan Peregrine Danvers. Born in Bootle. Took elocution lessons. Came to London, joined the civil service in 1948 as a junior clerk, but moved to this department sometime later. Mainly at the request of the typing pool. Am I going to see Sir Charles? Well? Or would you prefer me to go on. I'm sure these gentlemen would be most intrigued to hear of your little jaunt to Paris in March 1958. Let me see now, what was her name...

Seltzman: If you really are who you say you are, you would not have expected me to keep it, would you?
Number Six: No. It's a hopeless situation.
Seltzman: If I had kept it, I would have been very stupid. Silly.
Number Six: You've made your point. I accept it.
Seltzman: But you overlooked one thing. Sentimental people are sometimes stupid. Very stupid.

Seltzman: I will do it... on certain conditions.
Number Two: I'm sure they will be reasonable.
Seltzman: For once, I am dictating.
Number Two: Heil.

Living in Harmony [1.14][edit]

Number Six: Harmony? Never heard of it.
Mexican Sam: Not many people have, señor. it's sort of… exclusive.
Number Six: So am I.

The Judge: You turned in your badge.
Number Six: And my gun.
The Judge: What were your reasons?
Number Six: My reasons.
The Judge: You've already taken a job. With who?
Number Six: [correcting] Whom with.

Number Twenty-Two: [to Number Six; her last words] I wish it had been real.

The Girl Who Was Death [1.15][edit]

Sonia: [to Mr. X] You are a born survivor. I am a born killer. We were made for each other, but I fear this is where it must end. Your reflexes cannot save you now.

Sonia: [to Mr. X] I love you madly. I love the way the hair curls on the back of your neck. You'll make a beautiful corpse. I'm going to do you the honour of letting you die superbly.

Sonia: Mountaineering rope. It would hold an elephant.
Mr. X: I must remember that next time I go climbing with one.

Sonia: You see, when the rocket reaches London, you will be the first to know! Won't that be exciting?!?
Mr. X: I'll just go to pieces.

Number Two: [about Number Six] That one wouldn't drop his guard with his own grandmother!

Once Upon a Time [1.16][edit]

Number Two: [on the phone] Why do you care?
Number Six: I know your voice.
Number Two: I have been here before. Why do you care?
Number Six: You'll never know.

Number Six: How?
Umbrella Man: Don't do that.
Number Six: What?
Umbrella Man: Inquire.
Number Six: What's your number? Your number--what is it?
Umbrella Man: Be careful.
Number Six: One two, three, four, five, six seven?
Umbrella Man: Quiet!
Number Six: Eight, nine ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16?

Number Two: You know who it was?
Number Six: Yes, sir.
Number Two: Who was it? [Six says nothing.] That is cowardice!
Number Six: That's honour, sir.
Number Two: We don't talk about such things.
Number Six: You should teach it, sir.
Number Two: You're a fool!
Number Six: Yes, sir. Not a rat.
Number Two: A rat?
Number Six: Rat.
Number Two: [turns to face Six] I'm a rat?!?
Number Six: No, sir. I'm a fool. Not a rat.

Number Two: Society...
Number Six: Yes, sir?
Number Two: Society is a place where people exist together.
Number Six: Yes, sir.
Number Two: That is civilization.
Number Six: Yes, sir.
Number Two: The lone wolf belongs in the wilderness.
Number Six: Yes, sir.
Number Two: You must not grow up to be a lone wolf.
Number Six: No, sir.
Number Two: You must conform.
Number Six: Yes, sir.
Number Two: It is my sworn duty to see that you do conform.
Number Six: Yes, sir.
Number Two: You will take six.
Number Six: Six, sir?
Number Two: Of the best.
Number Six: I'm not guilty, sir.
Number Two: Ten!
Number Six: Twelve.
Number Two: What?
Number Six: Twelve, sir, so that I can remember.

[Number Six begins to violently come out of his hypnotic trance and attack Number Two. The Butler knocks him unconscious, and he and Number Two begin to re-hypnotize Six.]
Number Two: I'm beginning to like him.

Number Six: I am a man, not a unit of society.

Fall Out [1.17][edit]

President: We understand he survived the ultimate test. Then he must no longer be referred to as "Number Six" or a number of any kind. He has gloriously vindicated the right of the individual to be individual. And this Assembly rises to you... Sir.

The President: Give it to me baby! Confess!
Number 48: Oh Dad, I'm your baby Dad, do you owe your baby something Daddy?
The President: Confess!
Number 48: The bones is yours Dad! They came from you my Daddy.
The President: Confess! Now you hep?
Number 48: Hip, Dad, hip.
The President: Confess!
Number 48: And a hip bone.
The President: Confess!
Number 48: And a thigh bone.
The President: Confess!
Number 48: Shin bone, knee bone.
The President: Confess!
Number 48: Back bone. All yours Dad.

President: Youth, with its enthusiasms which rebels against any accepted norm must because it must--and we sympathize--it may wear flowers in its hair, bells on toes, But when the common good is threatened, when the function of society is endangered, such revolts must cease. They are non-productive and must be abolished.

Number Two: New allegiances. Such is the price of fame.... and failure. Dear me, how sad. My Lords, Ladies and Gentleman, a most extraordinary thing happened to me on my way here. It has been my lot in the past to wield a not inconsiderable power. Nay, I have had the ear of statesmen, kings and princes of many lands. Governments have been swayed, policies defined and revolutions nipped in the bud at a word from me in the right place, and at a propitious time. Not surprising therefore, that this community should find a use for me. Not altogether by accident that one day I should be abducted, and wake up here amongst you. What is deplorable is that I resisted for so short a time. A fine tribute to your methods.

President: We are honoured to have with us a revolutionary of a different calibre. He has revolted. Resisted. Fought. Held fast. Maintained. Destroyed resistance. Overcome coercion. The right to be a Person, Someone, or Individual. We applaud his private war and concede that despite materialistic efforts he has survived intact and secure. All that remains is recognition of a Man.

About The Prisoner[edit]

  • It was a place that is trying to destroy the individual by every means possible; trying to break his spirit, so that he accepts that he is No. 6 and will live there happily as No. 6 for ever after. And this is the one rebel that they can't break.


External links[edit]

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