There is a very detailed article on the series on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prisoner, with a number of useful references and links. From that, it seems that McGoohan's relationship with the producer, Sir Lew Grade, was more important for him. It was Grade who expanded the series well beyond the seven episodes that McGoohan originally imagined and Grade's fairly abrupt cancellation of the show forced McGoohan to write the final episode very quickly.
The question about sponsorship is interesting in relation to audience reception, but perhaps more significant is the series' cult status and the fan community that emerged around it, both at the time and long after. It is interesting that the late SF writer Thomas Disch, whose own work often dealt with similar themes, wrote the first novel spin-off of the series for Ace. According to the article, a revival of the series is in the works, with James Caviezel and Ian McKellen!
"When something is empty, fill it. When something is full, empty it. When you have an itch, scratch it." --Dieter Dengler
Donald F. Larsson, Professor
English Department, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Mail: 230 Armstrong Hall, Minnesota State University
Mankato, MN 56001
Office Phone: 507-389-2368
From: Film and TV Studies Discussion List [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jeannette Slonowski [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2008 8:54 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SCREEN-L] The Prisoner
An interesting question arose at an MA defence yesterday and I wonder
if anyone here might know the answer? Who was the sponsor for The
Prisoner when it played on American or British TV? This discussion
arose around the critiques of advertising and "modern" culture that
the program clearly does. Did watching the commercials create
discomfort for viewers given the show's themes?
In the end the defence committee was intrigued by how McGoohan lived
with the advertising that CBS must have inserted into the program.
At 04:06 PM 07/10/2008, you wrote:
>The School of Film and Television Studies at UEA is holding a study
>day on television on Monday, 27 October 2008. This event will
>features papers from postgraduates and staff. All those who are
>considering applying to the school's MA or PhD are welcome to
>attend, although we would need people to let us know that they are
>planning to come so that we can get a sense of the numbers. If you
>are interested please contact, Derek Johnston ([log in to unmask])
>for further details. The papers featured in the day will be:
>1. Michael Ahmed, "Growing up with Grange Hill: Grange Hill,
>Television and the Forgotten 14-16 Year Old Demographic"
>2. Joe Arton, "The Klutz Maddona: Diane Keaton on the Tonight Show"
>3. Rayna Denison, "Responsible Piracy: Anime Fansubbers and the
>Changing Roles of Japanese Animated Television"
>4. Vincent M. Gaine, "The Origin of Michael Mann in The Jericho Mile"
>5. Erin Giannini, "The 'Death Whinny' of Television? Doctor
>Horrible as Model for Television-Quality Internet Content"
>6. Oliver Gruner, "Public History/Private Matters: Women, the
>Sixties and Television"
>7. Su Holmes, "'An Important Piece of BBC Television' or 'A Lot
>of Viewers' Nonsense?' Re-visiting Points of View"
>8. Mark Jancovich, "`A Very Different Impact': The
>Opportunities and Dangers of Horror in Early British Television Production"
>9. Derek Johnston, "The Rise of the Unreal Real: Realism and
>Science Fiction on British Television 1936-1950"
>10. Brett Mills, "Invisible Television: The Programmes No-one
>Talks About Even Though Lots of People Watch Them"
>11. Rachel Mizsei Ward, "What is Television For? Television by
>12. Louise Smith, "Simulacrum Motherhood and Reborn Babies"
>13. Lindsay Steenberg, "Television is for Teaching: TV's Public
>Services and Pedagogical Functions"
>14. Helen Warner, "'We're stuck in this Broadway Nightmare':
>Spectacle and Ordinariness in the Television Musical Special"
>Abstracts of the papers will be available via the School's website
>All the best
>Professor Mark Jancovich
>Head of School,
>Film and Television Studies
>University of East Anglia
>Norwich, NR4 7TJ
>Tel: 01603 592787
>email: [log in to unmask]
>Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
>University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
For past messages, visit the Screen-L Archives: