Welcome to the book page. Here you will find updates on Six of One co-founder, Dave Barrie's forthcoming book: "What's It All About?"


You can read the background and context to Dave's involvement in the project on the latest news section of the homepage. See the panels below for more information and sample chapters, each of which contains the first three pages and subsequently, an exploration of some sample "themes".


Your feedback is most welcome. We will soon be publishing a dedicated email address for book related feedabck. In the meantime, please use the Contact Form if you wish to comment.

All material © David Barrie 2024. All rights reserved.






“What’s it All About?”


“The series was posing the question, has one the right to tell a man what to think, how to behave… Has one the right to be an individual? I wanted the audience to ask questions, argue, and think.” Patrick McGoohan . . . 


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The purpose of this introduction is to address two questions. Firstly, what is the essence and appeal of a 1960s TV series that made such a significant cultural impact that; it transcended the medium; it influenced a generation, then evolved into common currency as it became part of the fabric of society, and is now . . .


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As the pilot, ‘Arrival’ is the most complex and information intense of all the episodes, its task being to introduce so many novel ideas and concepts, virtually all previously unknown, nor encountered. Not just a parallel world, but one that many might never imagine could exist. Just as ‘Arrival’ introduces the viewer . . .


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A. B. AND C.



There are arguments both for and against the suitability of screening ‘Chimes of Big Ben’ to follow ‘Arrival’. In favour is that it has a conventional plot structure that shares some of the characteristics of the pilot, focussing as it does on a new fellow prisoner and an escape attempt, whilst it still poses philosophical . . .


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Most of the action here takes place either in the hidden dark heart of the Village, or, cleverly escaping the Village environment altogether, transported to a (studio bound) Paris. Given the absence of location footage, excepting that for linking scenes, perhaps surprisingly, this episode has always ranked highly in . . .


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Despite rigorous research, nowhere have I been able to find any interview where McGoohan has discussed ‘Free for All.’ He did once say, “I wrote it with 1984 in mind,” but this is likely to have been a general statement rather than specific. As we have discussed in the chapter, ‘Inspiration, Origins, and Sources’. . .


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The panels below show a glimpse of a few of the topics I attempt to explore as I ask; What's it all about?, and to 'Question Everything'. The reader will find no uniformity, nor are some topics covered in their entirety, being merely representative of the vast catalogue this work explores. From time to time, additions will appear. Just as The Prisoner refused to conform, nor will the examples, yet all will give a flavour of the 250,000 or so words that combine to form this book. The heading should clearly give an idea of what to expect.





Does ‘The Prisoner’ create a new genre?

This question has been debated at length. Part fantasy, part thriller, part science fiction, part action adventure, even part counter culture statement, yet it does not fall exclusively into any of those categories. McGoohan has described . . . 


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"Man is born free yet everywhere he is in chains."

The rightly famous opening sentence of Rousseau's ‘The Social Contract’ actually summarises his entire philosophical system, and although written in 1762, it is depressingly as true today as it was then. This mighty work . . .


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The writer who became a psychotherapist

In 2003 Vincent was a guest at the Six of One Portmeiricon. He was as interested in the Prisoner fans and what we thought as we were with him and his views. As the interview conducted by me – alas not recorded - drew to a close, he had . . .


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“His mind is yours. What do you want from him?” Number 14

The Truth about Truth Serum

In 1915 American obstetrician Robert House chanced upon an interesting discovery, which would have far-reaching consequences. He noted that women who were given the drug scopolamine for . . .


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The curious case of the town that went insane

The summer of 1951 was like any other in the small French town of Pont-Saint-Esprit in the Rhone valley, that is, until August 15th when some 300 residents of the town collectively went insane, experiencing mass hallucinations . . .


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What McGoohan hoped to achieve Rachel Herbert

“I thought he was exercising much more of himself and he was putting something across, some message which to me was quite obvious within the ‘Free for All’ episode, which had something to do with us being more watchful, because I feel . . 


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“I had in mind Nineteen eighty-four when it was made.” Patrick McGoohan

 Generally considered to have had more influence than any other book of the past 100 years, ‘1984’ is Orwell’s most famous work that impacted hugely when it was first published and to this day continues to echo down the decades. It has given us . . .


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Individualism, the willingness to be yourself

What makes a person unique? Their willingness to be who they are and stand out from the crowd. This is a very unusual trait, because most people are not comfortable embracing their differences and approaching life based on their . . .


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Education.  Noun: the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university

The act of teaching knowledge to others and the act of receiving knowledge from someone else. Perhaps one of the highest ideals of why education is important is . . .


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