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 before World War 2 people seemed have more deference towards the elected people in power and the establishment.”


“Some departments do seem to feel they can do extraordinary things in the name of the ‘people’, security, or to whatever they feel is a threat. Which is often in contradiction to how the ‘people’ would view it as most of us are good natured, friendly, and conscientious.


“I didn’t think of it as a propaganda (oriented) series, Patrick was quite sincere about it. I remember one lunchtime, after a few drinks at the studio, he was talking about how he hoped that the audience realised and appreciated the concept of the show, that is, to express what you believed and to question authority, and its values and beliefs; that the being ‘a free man’ concept would translate into that, and further that he hoped that people everywhere would pick up on it and create a network of like-minded people. I can’t remember if he intended it to be more formalised or not, but he was obviously not writing ‘The Prisoner’ for fun. But he didn’t voice any one particular suspicion about the government or whatever, he just wanted to create a general feeling that we should be more aware, and to be independently minded about issues and not just go along with what particular spin the authorities and the media put on things. Patrick’s sincerity had something to do with the fact it has longevity, I’m sure.”