How Does "The Prisoner" End?


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The cult series "The Prisoner" was supposed to run for 36 episodes. In fact there were only 17, because the Controller, Lew Grade, decided not to finance any more. The series was certainly expensive, but its fans were deprived of the answers to many questions which the enigmatic series had raised. The ending that was shown may or may not have been the one originally planned. The whole series hinges on the efforts of Prisoner Number Six to find the identity of his captor, Number One. When he asks who it is, he is repeatedly told "You are, Number Six." Viewers thus couldn't say they had not been warned when, in the final episode, Number six tears the mask from Number One's face to reveal first an ape and then himself. Many felt the ending was a let-down, but it was quite appropriate to the mood and themes of the series; we create our own prisons, and we are freed when we acknowledge this.

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