The Best Episodes of The Prisoner

The series follows a British former secret agent who is held prisoner in a mysterious coastal village resort where his captors try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job. Although sold as a thriller in the mould of the previous series starring McGoohan, Danger Man (1960–68), the show's combination of 1960s countercultural themes and surreal setting had a far-reaching effect on science fiction/fantasy programming, and on popular culture in general.

Hammer into Anvil

#1 - Hammer into Anvil

Season 1 - Episode 10

When a young woman is driven to her death by Number Two, Number Six swears his revenge. Number Two tells Number Six that he is going to hammer him (using a quote from Goethe about hammers and anvils) so Number Six decides to turn the tables. He plans to make Number Two think that he is an agent called D6 and that he reports to a superior X.O.4. Number Six sets out on a campaign to break Number Two.

star 8.52
27 votes
Directors: Pat Jackson
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Many Happy Returns

#2 - Many Happy Returns

Season 1 - Episode 7

Number Six awakes to a deserted Village. He realises that he has the perfect opportunity to escape his captors. He builds a raft and sets sail away from the Village. During his voyage he comes across some gunrunners who steal his remaining supplies and leave him to drown. He is eventually washed up on the south coast of England. He manages to get back to London to find a 'Mrs Butterworth' living in his house. The next day is Number Six's birthday and Mrs Butterworth has a surprise planned for him.

star 8.48
40 votes
Directors: Joseph Serf
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The Chimes of Big Ben

#3 - The Chimes of Big Ben

Season 1 - Episode 2

Number Six has a new next-door neighbour, Nadia. She befriends Number Six and tells him that the Village is situated on the Baltic. To cover their plans of escape Number Six enters the Village arts and crafts exhibition competition. His entry entitled "Escape" is the inspiration for their plan to get back to London.

star 8.23
77 votes
Directors: Don Chaffey
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The Schizoid Man

#4 - The Schizoid Man

Season 1 - Episode 5

Number Six awakes one morning in a different Village apartment and discovers things have changed. He has a new appearance, has become left-handed and has a different taste in foods. He is no longer Number Six but now Number Twelve. A double of Number Six has been brought to the Village in an attempt to crack him. A bruised fingernail is the only clue that can help the real Number Six.

star 8.14
52 votes
Directors: Pat Jackson
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Checkmate

#5 - Checkmate

Season 1 - Episode 9

Number Six takes the position of Queen's Pawn in a human game of chess. An illegal move by the Rook leads to his withdrawal and he is taken to the Village hospital. Number Two brainwashes the Queen to fall in love with Number Six who discovers the locket the Queen wears around her neck is in fact a radio transmitter to track him. The transmitter is useful to Number Six and he manages to borrow the locket which he intends to use with the Rook in his latest escape bid.

star 8.08
37 votes
Directors: Don Chaffey
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It's Your Funeral

#6 - It's Your Funeral

Season 1 - Episode 11

The Prisoner is tricked into discovering an assassination plot - but who is going to be killed? Number Two knows that Number Six is the only man in the Village capable of stopping a murder so he attempts to discredit him. After Number Six finds out about the plot he goes to warn Number Two who records the warning and doctors the tape. After a new Number Two arrives in the Village, Number Six realises that the intended target is not who he first thought.

star 8.03
31 votes
Directors: Robert Asher
A Change of Mind

#7 - A Change of Mind

Season 1 - Episode 12

After becoming involved in a fight with two thugs, Number Six is declared 'unmutual' by the Village committee who recommend that he undergo 'instant social treatment'. However, due to Number Six's importance he is not administered the treatment, only tricked into thinking he has had it. Number Six later realizes this and manages to get the Village doctor on his side. With her help he has plans for Number Two.

star 7.91
30 votes
Directors: Joseph Serf
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Once Upon a Time

#8 - Once Upon a Time

Season 1 - Episode 16

After all previous attempts to break Number Six have failed, Number Two decides the only way to obtain the information wanted is by using a system known as 'Degree Absolute'. A battle that will leave one of them dead. If Number Six wins, he will have survived the ultimate test and meet Number One.

star 7.89
26 votes
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Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling

#9 - Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling

Season 1 - Episode 13

Number Six is not himself. The Prisoner's mind is transformed in another man's body by the Village authorities in an attempt to track down a scientist, Professor Seltzman. When he awakes in his London home he has a tough task convincing people of his true identity, so he sets off for Austria to find Professor Seltzman - the only man who can help him.

star 7.89
26 votes
Directors: Pat Jackson
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The General

#10 - The General

Season 1 - Episode 6

'Speedlearn' is a subliminal process for educating the population of the Village, developed by a Professor with the aid of an unseen 'General'. However, the Professor realizes that his creation has the ability to be abused by Number Two and with the help of Number Six intends to destroy the 'General'. After their attempt fails Number Two takes Number Six to meet the 'General'.

star 7.88
40 votes
Fall Out

#11 - Fall Out

Season 1 - Episode 17

The Prisoner is presented to the President of the Assembly. He watches the trials of Number Forty Eight and the resuscitated Number Two. It is now his chance to finally meet Number One. As chaos breaks out, The Prisoner leaves the Village and heads for London.

star 7.87
31 votes
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The Girl Who Was Death

#12 - The Girl Who Was Death

Season 1 - Episode 15

The Prisoner is back in his old job as he tries to track down the murderer of Colonel Hawke-Englishe, who was looking for a crazy scientist called Schnipps. The scientist's daughter Sonia, who calls herself Death, protects her father and sets many deadly traps for Number Six. Sonia eventually leads him to her father who has plans to destroy London with his super-rocket.

star 7.85
26 votes
Directors: David Tomblin
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Arrival

#13 - Arrival

Season 1 - Episode 1

After handing in his resignation, the Prisoner heads off to his London home to pack for a holiday. He begins to feel faint and ends up unconscious. He awakes not in his house but in a strange village. He starts to explore but soon realises that in ""The Village"" all things such as 'phone calls, maps and taxis are ""only local"". He is shown around the Village by Number Two who explains that the information in his head is priceless and that he wants to know why he resigned. Welcome to your new home, Number Six.

star 7.84
117 votes
Directors: Don Chaffey
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Dance of the Dead

#14 - Dance of the Dead

Season 1 - Episode 8

Number Six discovers a dead man washed up on the Village beach. He finds a wallet and a radio set in the dead man's jacket. He hides the body in a cave and later tries the radio. Number Six later returns to the body with a life-belt and sets it afloat with a rescue note, although he is watched by a former colleague, Dutton. Number Two has been using Dutton to obtain information on Number Six but soon thinks Dutton is expendable. Number Six receives an invitation to the Village carnival where he meets Peter Pan and Little Bo-Peep.

star 7.75
40 votes
Directors: Don Chaffey
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A. B. and C.

#15 - A. B. and C.

Season 1 - Episode 3

The new Number Two uses a new wonder drug to tap into Number Six's subconscious to try to discover why he resigned. Over a period of three nights he encounters A, B and C in separate circumstances, at Madame Engadine's party. Unknown to Number Two, Number Six has realized what has happened and uses his dreams to prove that he was not selling out.

star 7.69
64 votes
Directors: Pat Jackson
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Free for All

#16 - Free for All

Season 1 - Episode 4

It's election time in the Village. A new Number Two needs to be elected and Number Six is persuaded to stand. While attending a meeting of the outgoing council meeting, Number Six angers Number Two who decides that Number Six must undergo ""The Test"". Number Six sets out on his election campaign with many promises to his voters but his aim is to discover who Number One is.

star 7.67
60 votes
Living in Harmony

#17 - Living in Harmony

Season 1 - Episode 14

The Prisoner finds himself a stranger in a Western town called 'Harmony'. He reluctantly takes on the job of the Sheriff in order to release a young saloon woman. As Sheriff he refuses to carry a gun until a killing spree forces him to take one up. After a gun fight with the Kid, The Prisoner wants to resign from his post but The Judge refuses to let him.

star 7.32
25 votes
Directors: David Tomblin
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